Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography

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About the Book
During a career spanning more than 50 years, J.H. Blackburne (1841–1924) won the British Chess Championship and several international tournaments, at his peak becoming one of the world’s top three chess masters. A professional player who derived his livelihood from annual tours of chess clubs in England and other countries, entertaining and teaching amateur players, he astonished his contemporaries by the ease with which he played the game without sight of the chessboard. At 21, he set a world record for such exhibitions, competing against 12 club players simultaneously, and he continued to perform “blindfold” into his sixties.

This first comprehensive biography of Britain’s greatest chess player of the 19th and early 20th centuries presents more than 1,000 of Blackburne’s games chronologically, including all his surviving games from serious competition, annotated in varying detail. Many are masterpieces containing beautiful combinations and instructive endgame play. Blackburne’s unusual family and social background are fully explored.

About the Author(s)
Tim Harding played for Ireland at the 1984 FIDE chess olympiad in Thessaloniki, and is a Senior International Master of correspondence chess. A well-known writer on many aspects of chess, he is a former editor of Chess Mail magazine and he contributed monthly articles in "The Kibitzer" series at He now writes regularly for, the official website of the World Chess Championships. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.


" far no real biography of Blackburne has ever appeared so this massive undertaking from Tim Harding is a gift to every chess players who is interested in exciting chess...massive research work"--John Elburg (

"both a biography and a game collection, Harding sets the record straight and fleshes out the life and career of Joseph Henry Blackburne"--ProtoView

"Harding tells Blackburne’s chess life with a great love for detail...a breathtaking and carefully researched masterpiece"--Chess News

More Information
Edition : Hardcover
Publication date : January 1, 2015
Number of pages : 0
Publisher : McFarland
Weight : 1620 gram
ISBN : 9780786474738