Joseph Henry Blackburne Biography

Joseph Henry Blackburne, known as “The Black Death,” was born on December 10, 1841, in Chorlton, Manchester, England.

He learned to play chess at the age of 17 or 18 and quickly rose to prominence in the British chess scene during the latter part of the 19th century.

Blackburne was the strongest British player for many years and was among the world’s best players, regularly ranking among the top five from 1871 to 1889 and remaining in the top 20 until 1902

Contributions and Achievements

Blackburne was famous for giving simultaneous and blindfold exhibitions, popularizing the Blackburne Shilling Gambit, and winning many brilliancy prizes due to his strong endgame skills and combinative ability.

His chess career spanned over 50 years, during which he won the British Chess Championship and several international tournaments, solidifying his reputation as one of the top players in the world

Legacy and Impact

Despite his irascible nature, Blackburne left a lasting impact on the world of chess and is remembered as one of the greatest players of the 19th century.

He is remembered as one of the greatest players of the 19th century, and his significant contributions to the game, including his success in international tournaments and his role in popularizing chess, have cemented his legacy in the history of chess

Playing Style

Joseph Henry Blackburne was famous for his wide-open and highly tactical style of play. He was one of the top-five players in the world from 1871 to 1889 and was the strongest British player for many years. Blackburne was especially strong at endgames and had a great combinative ability, which enabled him to win many brilliancy prizes. 
He was also widely known for his popular simultaneous and blindfold displays, which allowed him to live off his chess earnings.
Blackburne’s chess career spanned over 50 years, during which he played nearly one strong tournament per year from 1870 to 1899. 
His best results were in international tournaments, where he always finished close to the top and earned prizes.
Blackburne’s legacy includes winning the British Chess Championship and several international tournaments, solidifying his reputation as one of the top players in the world.

Wife

Joseph Henry Blackburne was married three times. He married Eleanor Driscoll on December 10, 1865, Beatrice Lapham on October 3, 1876, and Mary Jane Fox on December 16, 1880.

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His second wife, Beatrice Lapham, passed away in January 1880 in St Olave Southwark, London, at the age of 26. With his third wife, Mary Jane Fox, he had a son named Frederick.