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Joseph Henry Blackburne vs William Ballard
"Blindfold Bonzai" (game of the day Aug-25-2018)
Blindfold simul, 10b (1872) (blindfold), London ENG, Mar-20
Scotch Game: Scotch Gambit. Saratt Variation (C44)  ·  1-0



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sac: 17.Qxg4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-13-04  WMD: "Many competent judges hold this to be the finest game I ever played blindfold."
Feb-13-04  ughaibu: Amazing, great game. Does anyone know which game from a blind simul it was in which Blackburne announced a mate in something like 16? It's in Fox and James 2nd Addicts.
Feb-13-04  Benjamin Lau: Nice! I can't imagine many playing this sort of a game with vision of the board.
Feb-13-04  WMD: Better blindfold than blind drunk! Winter's Chess Notes gives Steinitz's version of what could happen when Black Death was in a black mood:

"And on one occasion at Purssell’s about 1867, in a dispute between us, he struck with his full fist into my eye, which he blackened and might have knocked out. And though he is a powerful man of very nearly twice my size, who might have killed me with a few such strokes, I am proud to say that I had the courage of attempting to spit into his face, and only wish I had succeeded, Dreckseele. And on the second occasion, in Paris, we occupied adjoining rooms at the same hotel, and I was already in bed undressed when he came home drunk and began to quarrel, and after a few words he pounced upon me and hammered at my face and eyes with fullest force about a dozen blows, until the bedcloth and my nightshirt were covered with blood. But at last I had the good fortune to release myself from his drunken grip, and I broke the window pane with his head, which sobered him down a little. And you know well enough too, Dreckseele, if any confirmation of anything I say were needed, that the same heroic Blackburne performed a similar act of bravery on a sickly young man, Mr Israel, who died some years afterward, and whom he publicly gave a black eye at Purssell’s during his first match with Gunsberg. And you also know, Dreckseele, that this gallant Blackburne struck in a similar manner, publicly, in the City of London Chess Club, the secretary, Mr Walker, as nice a little gentleman as I ever met, who was even a head and shoulder shorter in stature than myself, and who has also, I am sorry to learn, died since. And I may tell you, moreover, Dreckseele, that this brave Blackburne, whose blackguardly fisticuff performances you want to glorify at my expense, has never to my knowledge struck a man of his own size, unless it were in the case of an assault on board ship, during his journey to Australia, for which he was fined £10 at the police court, on his landing in Melbourne."

Feb-13-04  Bitzovich: Wow! SOunds like one of those hardcore people one doesn't want to mess with..
Nov-01-05  biglo: "At this stage [move 14] the game was adjourned and most of the spectators held that white had a lost position;" Golden Treasury of Chess
Jul-02-12  ForeverYoung: This is perhaps Blackburn's best game! I like it much better than his two horsepower mate game in which the defense fumbled bigtime. Real ability was required to see the mate a few moves following 36 ... Rc8 which is delivered by one of the galloping horses!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Today's GoTD title is "Blindfold Bonzai".

Blackburne played the game blindfold and "bonzai" is the Japanese art of growing small trees and plants.

The meaning is that although blindfold, Blackburne has allowed a miniature work of art to blossom like a flower. Or something.

Aug-25-18  goodevans: "Blindfold Bonzai" - It seems that whilst is in this unfortunate hiatus we must expect the GOTD puns to be determined by random word generation. No sense whatsoever.

At least today we have a good game to enjoy.

Aug-25-18  morfishine: Or 'bonzai' could refer to the Japanese battle cry yelled while attacking fiercely and recklessly
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: This game definitely exemplifies a reckless, go-for-broke attack.

What I did not know until reading <WMD>'s post above, is that Blackburn also was known for physically attacking people.

He must of been one of those types who got violent when he had one too many. Maybe they should have kept him blindfolded all the time.

Aug-25-18  tea4twonty: 15Bxf7+ Kd8 16Kh4 ± ± GG
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I have a nascent games' collection of blindfold brilliancies: Game Collection: Seeing is believing... to which this will be added. Suggestions welcome.
Aug-25-18  Retireborn: <MissS> Not sure if you're interested in more recent games, but if so there must be a few from the Melody Amber tourneys. These two come to mind:-

Kramnik vs Korchnoi, 1994


Ivanchuk vs Shirov, 2000

Aug-25-18  Captain Hindsight: Better would have been <27.Bxh6!! Qxe4 28.Nf4 +->

click for larger view

Aug-25-18  thegoodanarchist: A rollicking good game!

I'm not sure what "rollicking" means, but it sounded good.

Aug-25-18  Enrico Leon: 36)... Rc8 37)Ngf8+ Kh6 38)Bxg7+ Kh5 39)Nf4+ Kg5 40)N8e6#
Aug-25-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 Pro w32: d 21 dpa done

<1. - / + (-1.39): 10...Nf6> 11.Qd1 h6 12.fxe5 d3+ 13.Rf2 dxe5 14.Nxf7 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Rf8 16.Qxd3 Be6 17.Nd6+ cxd6 18.Kg1 0-0-0 19.Be3 Kb8 20.Nc3 g5 21.Rf1 Nd7 22.Rxf8 Nxf8 23.Nd5 Bxd5 24.Bxd5 Ne6 25.Qa3 a6 26.Qb3 Nf4 27.Bc4 Kc8 28.Qb4 Rf8 29.a3 Qc7 30.Bb6

2. = (0.21): 10...d3+ 11.Kh1 Nf6 12.Qh4 Ng6 13.Qe1 0-0 14.cxd3 Bd7 15.Nc3 Rae8 16.Bd2 c6 17.Na4 h6 18.Nf3 Nh5 19.Nxc5 dxc5 20.f5 Ngf4 21.Bxf4 Nxf4 22.Rd1 b5 23.Qg3 Ne2 24.Qg4 Qd6 25.e5 Rxe5 26.Nxe5 Qxe5 27.Rde1 Ng3+ 28.Kg1

Aug-25-18  cormier: Analysis by Houdini 4
7.h3 Ne5 8.Bb3 d6 9.f4 Nc6 10.0-0 Bd7 11.Nd2 d3+ 12.Kh2 dxc2 13.Bxc2 0-0-0 14.Nb3 Bb6 15.a4 a6 16.Bd2 f6 17.Nf3 Kb8 18.Bc3 Qf7 19.Qxf7 Nxf7 20.Nbd4 Nxd4 21.Nxd4 Rhe8 = / + (-0.69) Depth: 22
Aug-25-18  cormier: Analysis by Houdini 4: d 22 dpa done

<1. = (-0.15): 6.0-0> 0-0 7.c3 d6 8.h3 a6 9.Nf3 Qf6 10.Kh1 Bb6 11.Bd5 Be6 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.cxd4 Qg6 14.Nc3 f5 15.Re1 fxe4 16.Rxe4 Nf5 17.Rg4 Qf6 18.d5 cxd5 19.Nxd5

2. = / + (-0.34): 6.c3 Ne5 7.Bb3 d3 8.0-0 Nhg4 9.h3 Bxf2+ 10.Rxf2 Nxf2 11.Kxf2 d6 12.Be3 Qf6+ 13.Nf3 Be6 14.Nbd2 0-0 15.Qf1 a6 16.Kg1 Bxb3 17.axb3 Rfe8 18.b4 h6 19.Nxe5 Qxf1+ 20.Rxf1 dxe5 21.Kf2 Kh7 22.Kf3 Kg6

Aug-25-18  cormier: Analysis by Houdini 4: d 23 dpa done

<1. = (0.03): 5.c3> Nf6 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nbd2 Bxd2+ 8.Bxd2 Nxe4 9.d5 Ne7 10.Bf4 Ng6 11.Be3 0-0 12.Qc2 Nf6 13.0-0 d6 14.Rac1 b6 15.Rfe1 h6 16.Bb3 Bb7 17.Qxc7 Qxc7 18.Rxc7 Bxd5 19.Bxd5 Nxd5 20.Rd7 Nxe3 21.Rxe3

2. = (-0.12): 5.0-0 d6 6.c3 dxc3 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.Re1 c2 9.Qxc2 Nge7 10.Be3 0-0 11.Nc3 Bxe3 12.Rxe3 Qd8 13.Rd1 Bg4 14.Be2 Qd7 15.h3 Bxf3 16.Rxf3 Ne5 17.Rg3 N7g6 18.Qd2 Rfe8 19.b3 h6 20.Nd5 c6

Aug-26-18  Retireborn: <MissS> This game (found in Winter's book) may also be of interest:-

Pillsbury vs T Lyman, 1899

Winter also recommends the Skinner/Verhoeven Alekhine book which apparently comprises quite a few blindfold games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Bonsai is the tree, banzai is the cry.

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