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Problems of the Black Death

Problems of the Black Death

batgirl
Jul 6, 2009, 5:53 AM 4


Joseph H. Blackburnw 

The Black Death was a cataclysmic event that helped introduce a new age, the Renaissance.  While Joseph Blackburne wasn't particularly cataclysmic, his life, indeed his chess-life, overlaid the entire era that defined the beginnings of modern chess, a true Chess Renaissance. 

In his book, Mr. Blackburne's Games at Chess, he included 28 problems that spanned 33 years (1861 to 1894). The introduction states:

"In all about 400 games are given, and they are divided into three classes—match, off-hand and blindfold games. To these is added a brief selection of problems that have a curious interest of their own, as showing how much the delicate art of problem- composition has changed during the last thirty or forty years. It has now come to be quite a separate department of chess."

Since the average person really doesn't think of Blackburne as a problemist, I thought it would be helpful to exhibit a few of his problems. I found his problems both delightfully clever and quite difficult.  The answers, built into the movelist, are the ones given by Blackburne in his book, transposed from descriptive to algebraic notation.

 

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