The Top Chess Players in the World

Joseph H Blackburne

Joseph H Blackburne
Full name
Joseph Henry Blackburne
Dec 10, 1841 - Sep 1, 1924 (age 82)‎
Place of birth
Manchester, England


Joseph Henry Blackburne was an English chess master and chess problem composer. He was the strongest British player for many years and was also among the world's best players. He was famous for giving simultaneous and blindfold exhibitions, which allowed the master to live off of his chess earnings. He also popularized the Blackburne Shilling Gambit, a dubious opening he used to beat beginners quickly to win shillings he would wager in the games.

Blackburne was one of the top-five players in the world from 1871 to 1889. He enjoyed a lot of success in international tournaments, always finishing close to the top and earning prizes. His most significant result came in Vienna (1873) when he shared first place with Wilhelm Steinitz. During that tournament, commentators nicknamed him the "Black Death."

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