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Joseph Henry Blackburne vs Samuel Tinsley
London (1899), London ENG, rd 15, Jun-19
French Defense: Normal Variation (C00)  ·  1-0



Annotations by Joseph Henry Blackburne.      [148 more games annotated by Blackburne]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-15-05  Knight13: Good play of queen-side-pawn-storm.
Jan-15-05  MidnightDuffer: One thing I know I am weak at, when to push pawns in a game, etc. At times, I'm sitting back and a whole slew of pawns are coming down towards my castled King. This is probably my major weakness in chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: While this game does feature an effective Queen-side pawn storm by Blackburne as Knight13 points out, what is most notable about this game is Tinsley's opening and middle-game play, which--even by his atrocious opening play standards--was horrific and culminates in a near helpmate.

Fresh from getting demolished by Pillsbury in Round 13 when he tried his 2...b6 variation in the "French Defense," Tinsley tries the same line here in Round 15. Unlike Pillsbury who needed 26 moves to beat Tinsley in this line, Blackburne wipes Tinsley out in only 23 moves.

The only opening move by Tinsley that Blackburne criticizes is 5...c6. Yet that is just about the only decent move Tinsely makes from move two through nine.

As an illustration of just how bad Tinsley's opening play was, here was the position after his ninth move:

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And it could have been worse. As Blackburne correctly notes, he could simply have won a pawn with 8. Bxg5 instead of 8. a4. Tinsley's opening was so bad that Blackburne's primary problem was deciding which winning strategy to employ. His Queen-side pawn storm was more elegant than just grabbing pawns.

After Blackburne's 20. Qa4, Tinsley decided to expedite his own demise with 20...hxg3 rather than try to prolong matters with 20...Ba6 (his game being hopeless in any event). Tinsley's move allowed Blackburne to play the lovely 21. RxB.

Most of us would have resigned after 21. RxB, but Tinsley played on through his 22...d6 which left Blackburne to decide whether to administer mate with 23. Qa7 or 23. Qa8.

I remain flabbergasted at Tinsley's opening play in this Tournament. Steinitz sometimes burdened himself with difficult openings, but in terms of really bad opening play in master level chess Tinsley appears to have been in a class by himself.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: My 5...c6 was a typo. Tinsley's move (the one criticized by Blackburne that I mentioned) was 5...Nc6.

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