Chess Edinburgh lewischessmen2-75h 

Chandler Cornered

Blackburne Shilling Trap. Further Developments




Perhaps the first chess joke to feature a machine. CHESS. December 1946.

The Machine Plays Chess by A.G.Bell, Pergamon 1978.
Was one of the first books about chess and computers.
(more about that later).

The Continuing Story of the Blackburne Trap


Now I know you are all very interested in this fact finding quest
to try and find the first person who mistakenly linked this trap...


[Click here to be shown the trap]
not the Blackburne trap

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 4.Nxe5 Qg5 5.Nxf7 Qxg2 6.Rf1 Qxe4+ 7.Be2 Nf3.


...with Henry Blackburne calling it the Blackburne Trap or the
Blackburne Shilling Game. (because Blackburne won Shillings with it?).

There is no recorded game of Blackburne playing it. (but see below).

Blackburne himself said the trap he often caught amatuers with was Legal's Mate.

OK It's not a major error, it's just a piffling wee mistake.
But the whole world appears to have gone along and it's now everywhere
including an appearance in The Oxford Chess Companion.

So I put out an appeal. Where is the smoking gun?

Response from around the world was very encouraging.

Edward Winter: "Go Away."

Which obviously means go away and do more research.

Lothar Schmidt: "Who Are You?"

This is without a doubt a clear reference to Euwe (pronounced 'Yoo').
So I'm tracking down the games of Max Euwe. (Max is pronounced Max).

Bill Wall: "Leave Me Alone."

Bill is to busy researching the Blackburne Trap and
at the moment cannot reply in great depth to my email.

Rick Kennedy: "Get Lost Chandler."

There must a book called 'Lost Chess Information.' (LCI) and my mate
Rick wants me to get a copy of Lost and consult it. Anybody got it?

Maggie McTurtle: One more email and I call the police.

OOPS! Sorry about that. That one had nothing to with the Blackburne Trap.

Back on the case.
No Recorded Game of Blackburne playing it.
One happy soul sent me a game where Blackburne did indeed have Black in this position.

Duras v Blackburne, Ostende 1907.










Only problem is it comes from this order of moves.


[Click here to replay the game]
Duras v Blackburne

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Bc4


Infact Blackburne has been Black in this postion at least three times.
The difference being here it is Black to play.

Hmmm.....The cunning Chandler mind now kicks in and thinks...

"Black can lose a move...something silly...and the trap is on."

Alas I've been beaten to it.

H.Haugsrud(2092) - C.Zermiche(2047), Norway, 2003 reached the above
position with the same move order. Black played 4...a5.










White did not bite with 5.Nxe5 instead he played 5.c3 and he went on to win.

In R.Schlamp - K Petri, Giessen, 1996. Black tried 4...h5.










Again White ignored it and played 5.c3 winning the game.

Finally F.Kung - R.Engel, Plymouth, 1984.
Black tried 4...h6. White sacced on f7.


[Click here to replay the game]
F.Kung - R.Engel

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Bc4 h6 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Ke7 7.Ng6+ Ke8 8.Nxh8 Qg5 9.0-0 d6 10.d3 Qh4 11.c3 Bg4 12.f3 Nxf3+ 13.gxf3 Bh3 14.Rf2 Be7 15.Ng6 Qh5 16.Nxe7 Nxe7 17.Kh1 Kd7 18.Qg1 Rf8 19.f4 Bg4 20.Qg3 Ng6 21.Be3 Nh4 22.Nd2 g5 23.f5 Nxf5 24.exf5 Bxf5 25.Raf1 Bxd3 26.Rxf8 Bxf1 27.Rxf1 g4 28.Qf2 Qd5+ 29.Kg1



But I have diverged and gone off on one of my moments. Sorry.

The Oxford 2nd edition appears to have got it from The Complete Chess Addict (1987)
who slipped in a small foot note. And there the trail lay cold.

Then Bill Wall advised I searched Google 'Books.' I have to admit that this
option did not occur to me.

I found something and needing confirmation I sent it to Edward Winter.
And he was kind enough to email the following page.



This comes from 'The Machine Plays Chess' page 75. (1978) A.G.Bell.

MASTER is the name of a computer that fell into this trap.
(no doubt playing for silicon chips).

So here we now sit. Can aybody pre-date 1978?

(No Alexander Graham Bell telephone joke.....ED)

I'll call you when I think of one.


A snippet from CHESS Nov. 1948.



And for you cretins who do not know how descriptive notation works.


[Click here to replay the game]
B.H.Wood - L.D.H.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bd7 5.Nf3 Bc6 6.Bd3 Nf6 7.Nxf6+ Qxf6 8.Bg5 Bxf3 9.Qd2


And this arrived from Johan Van Aelst, it's his game v Gaston Verheyen, Norway 1999.
Such terrible games should not lay unpublished for so long.


[Click here to replay the game]
Johan Van Aelst - Gaston Verheyen

1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Bc4 cxb2 5. Bxb2 d6 6. Qb3 Qd7 7. Nf3 h6 8.O-O c6 9. Nc3 b5 10. Nxb5 cxb5 11. Bxb5 Nc6 12. Rac1 Bb7 13. Rfd1 Qe6 14. Rxc6 Qxb3 15. Rc8+ Ke7 16. Rc7+ Kd8 17. Rd7+ Ke8 18. axb3


Test Your Tactics No.91


Two positions that were given to some 9 year old English players.
All from actual play and in both cases the winning player messed it up.

Give them a try, they are not straight forward and well selected.
You will most likely reject your first idea.

A). Black to play.











B). Black to play.












Who is this lad No 128




It is a snap from the 1950 British University Championship
featuring some very known names in British Chess.

Standing left to right. J.E.Littlewood, J.H.Hancock, B.F.Truscott.
Sitting left to right. ? ???????, B.H.Wood and with the chess board, Leonard Barden.

So who is the lad sitting on B.H.Wood's right?

Clue: One or two Edinburgh players may perhaps have played him in the Edinburgh League.
Answer below.

Test Your Tactics Solutions

A). The standard Back Rank cannon trick does not work.
1...Qd1+ 2.Nxd1 Rxd1+ 3.Rf1!

Nudging away the c3 Knight failed in dramatic fashion.
1...b4 2.Qxh7+ Kxh7 3.Rh3 Mate.

Correct was 1...Qxc3! 2.Qxh7+ Kxh7 3.Rh3+ Qxh3 0-1.

B). This was easy. 1..Rxf3 removing the guard covering h2.

It is what Black played and then sat there looking at 2.Bb4. OOPS!










The correct move was 1...Rxd2! deflecting the guard on h2.

There is more than one way to skin a dog. But only one right way.

(It's cat Chandler you fool....Ed)

There is usually more than one way to cat a dog?

You sure? That looks daft.

Who is this lad No 128 answer
It's Oliver Penrose who won the 2009 Lothian Championship!



Note: No emails on how to correctly pronounce Euwe. That was a joke,


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