Joseph Henry Blackburne

In his heyday, Joseph Henry.Blackburne was the second ranked player in the World, second only to Wilhelm Steinitz. He was though, probably most famous for his Blindfold Simultaneous ability where he very regularly played 10 strong opponents at a time without sight of the board.  

Quite excitingly, many of these took place locally. Burton chess club has an unbroken history to be proud of and due to the generosity and hospitality of W.H.Worthington of brewing fame (and president of the Burton Chess Club when it took up residence in the new Liberal Institute Club opened in 1880), Blackburne gave two day exhibitions - a 10 player blindfold on one day and an unlimited player simultaneous on the other - on no less than seven occasions, the first being in 1875. These are documented in Tim Harding's book and Trevor Bould has loaned me hand written records from the time. 

Worthington also donated impressive trophies including an impressive cased sterling silver cup and a large boxed solid ivory chess set and wooden board, very probably used by Blackburne himself, and now much too valuable to be awarded for internal competitions.

Fuller details and photographs will soon appear in the History section.
 






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