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Joseph Henry Blackburne vs George Henry Mackenzie
"By George!" (game of the day Oct-26-2006)
Blackburne - Mackenzie m (1882), London ENG, rd 1, Sep-25
Scotch Game: Meitner Variation (C45)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-25-04  Everett: <erikcu> I also saw 29.Nb6 and stopped there. Not the proper thing to do. I guess we should take more time...
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It takes a day like Thanksgiving to bring up this great puzzle! Mate is unavoidable at a8!

This is the type of finish that Blackburne usually gives an opponent,he might have been secretly smiling at this one.

Maybe that's why <pkjohn146>that you misread this as white's win.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Nov-25-04  flamboyant: I saw the sacrifice but didnt find the continuation after queen on c2, the finish is just awesome!
Nov-25-04  dwojiow: Blackburne's 29.Qf2 was a trappish kind of move I think. He wants to provoke a time-wasting move from Black such as ...c6. White has in mind the maneouver Nf6 (blocking the B Queen's protection of h6) followed by Qh4 and Qh6+. This plan is very dangerous and White will get a big attack. A better way to implement the same plan is with 29.Qh3, preventing the Qxd5 sac (30.Qh6+ Kg8 31.Nf6+ Kh8 32.Qxh7#)
Nov-29-04  Magic Pawn: Here we have a creative mating combination. But what has made it possible?

First, the loser's, White's, mistakes. As pointed out before, it seems that all bagan on move 13. when White created three weaknesses in succession: first, unprotected Bc4, then backwards pawn f3, and, finaly, poorely protected pawn a2. Black moved his Knight immediately on move 14... to set a fork on two of them. Then, on move 18., White could have secured the pawn on a2, but did not. (By the way, to prevent this, Black could have taken this pawn on move 16..., but he did not. Why? Is there something I don't see?)

Now, what was special in the play of the winner, Black, that prepared for the decisive combination? As pointed out before, it seems that it was the active use of all the pieces. When one of them, the Queen Bishop, was blocked, Black simply sacrificed another one to clear the way. I would only add one thing I noticed: high activity of Knights and an interesting way in which they cooperate. Knights stay in the same rank, one square apart. Then, they move together one rank ahead. Do someone know if this technique is known and used?

Overall, Black did play with inspiration. I like it.

Nov-29-04  Marco65: <Black could have taken this pawn on move 16..., but he did not. Why?> White is threatening 17.f4 and then the fork 18.f5
Jan-12-05  PinkPanther: And I thought Mackenzie was a good player....
Jan-12-05  Knezh: Well, he did win, so you were not far off the mark. :)
Jan-12-05  PinkPanther: Whoops, I meant to kibitz this on the page for the tactical puzzle :(
Dec-31-05  syracrophy: A crushing mating combination full of brilliant sacrifices!

I wanna notice some points of this game:

0-0-0? <How ilogical its to castle queenside with the a-file opened. But I think there was no secure place for the king>

20.g5? <Useless. Correct was 20.Kb1>

23.Ne3? <Another mistake. Correct was 23.Rhg1>

23...Na5? <Putting the knight on the edge with no activity. Correct was 23...Qf4>

25.Qg2? <Too slow. 25.f6! was correct>

29.Qf2?? <The decisive mistake. It allows the following crushing combination. Much better was 29.Re1>

29...Qxd5!! <This is a thunderbolt in a sunny sky. If white does not accept the queen, they lose anyways>

<30.exd5 Bf5+ 31.Qc2 (31.Kc1 Ra1++) 31...Ra1+!! 32.Kxa1 Bxc2 and there's no way to avoid 33...Ra8++>

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Blackburne is well known for his deep combinational play. This time,however,he is on the receiving end of a great combination. There is not thing one that he can do to prevent 33...♖a8#
Oct-26-06  Castle In The Sky: This is kind of an Anastasia's mate.
Oct-26-06  cavaleiro: Uau! Great combination! 29... could easily be a tuesday puzzle someday...
Oct-26-06  outplayer: <syracrophy> good work.
Oct-26-06  syracrophy: <outplayer> Thanks! When I saw this puzzle (from move 29) in a book, I loved it and looked for it on this page, and alas, I found it! :-)

Can someone explain the pun?

<"By George!"> Maybe from a famous letter? Or a famous message?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: "By George" is an idiom in English, sort of with the meaning of "I surely will!" or "Definitely!" For example, "I'll checkmate him in three moves, by George!"

It's a way of swearing without actually cussing, since you substitute "George" for the name of a deity.

I'm not sure of its origins. Maybe it dates back to somebody named "George" who had a reputation for doing what he said he would. George Washington? George III? Boy George? Or maybe it's just used because "George" sounds funny.

Oct-26-06  Thrajin: <Phony Benoni>, I'm willing to bet that it is a bastardization of the phrase "by Jove" (which itself refers to the ancient Roman god Jupiter). "By George" can also mean 'Oh my!' or 'well I'll be damned!', as in "By George, I think he's got it!"

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Thrajin> Good points.
Oct-26-06  extremepleasure: Phony Benoni,

There was a person who posted many many really disgusting messages on a religion message board with this ID (George) until his ID is canceled. I hope this ''by George'' is not the same person.

Premium Chessgames Member
  hesyrett: IMO White was ahead up to move 17, when he gave up his better ♗ for no obvious reason.  A modern master would probably play 17 ♘b4 and meet 17...♗e6 with 18 ♔b1.  Black's ♘s look pretty but aren't going anywhere; White has an automatic K-side attack just by pushing his h-pawn.  White's pressure on the d-file inhibits ...c6, so White can switch the b4 ♘ to aid in the attack via ♘d5 when necessary.  Those 19th-century masters were great tacticians but didn't have the positional technique of even a lowly 21st-century expert like myself!
Mar-24-15  Cactusjuice: Exellent sacrifice
Mar-24-15  bachiller: Black burnes Blackburne?
Feb-04-17  morfishine: Another game title that serves no other purpose than to dump excrement on an otherwise interesting game


Feb-12-23  generror: This is a duplicate: Blackburne vs Mackenzie, 1882
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Reposted from the deleted duplicate:

<Jul-18-18 Jean Defuse:> ...

Tim Harding - Blackburne, A Chess Biography, p. 187:

<First match game, Simpson's Divan, London, 25 September 1882> (Graham wrongly says this was played in 1883).

Blackburne and Mackenzie never played a major match but they played a minor one at Simpson's Divan, for a prize offered by Messrs. Collinson and Cubison ... The Field in 1882 shows it was 2-1 for Blackburne.

Soure: The Field (30 September 1882) page 490, reprinted in C.P.C., 4 October 1882 pages 476-477.

<May-25-20 Marcelo Bruno:> Bachmann, in his "Schach durch Selbst-Unterricht" (1902), writes correctly 1882, even adding 33.b3 Ra8#.

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