View Full Version : Blackburne's stay in Australia, 1885

14-11-2007, 08:02 PM
Dear chess friends,

for a projected book about the English chess master Joseph Henry Blackburne Iím searching for information about his stay in Australia and New Zealand in 1885: reports in newspapers, photographs, games etc. I would be very greatful to get such information and would of course name every help in my book.

Thank you in advance,

07-01-2008, 06:56 PM
Dear Chesscoach.

I have been checking newspapers for games for the Ozbase website and would be willing to get newspaper reports for you. He visited from about December 1884 to May 1885 and played many simuls and offhand games. he also played a match with Charlick in 1885 just before returning to England. Roland Eime has collected some of the games from this match which was played in Adelaide.

Paul Dunn

08-01-2008, 10:27 PM
Dear Paul, thank you very much for your effort. How can I get these information? You can contact me via email: chesscoach@gmx.net.

By the way: A good year 2008 for you and for all the members of this forum.


11-01-2008, 09:49 PM
I believe that Joseph Blackburne's visit down under was briefly mentioned in the history of the Melbourne Chess Club's booklet "Care for a Game?" by Robert Brooking.

I will see if I can fish out my copy for you if you are interested.

~EE :)

12-01-2008, 06:54 AM
Ah, found the booklet, some amusing quotes from Blackburne plus a blindfold simul game (played on 8th January 1885) listed on pages 44-45. :) (Although not quite as amusing as the section about the visit by G.H.D. Gossip!)

Mario, I'll see if I can scan the page for you (if that's not in breach of copyright!)

14-01-2008, 04:31 PM
Email sent. :)

16-01-2008, 10:29 PM
Although not quite as amusing as the section about the visit by G.H.D. Gossip!
Anything on this guy is a scream. Do post. Fox and James have much fun at his expense!

21-01-2008, 06:27 PM
A quick flick through the booklet and it seems I had the wrong source - there was some info and a game, but I must have gleaned the information originally from one of Cecil Purdy's Chess World magazines (July 1950 Edition), and his April 1942 edition of Australasian Chess Review.

I am not etirely sure where I saw the Chamier quote, anyway, here's an extract from a local newspaper column in the mid to late 1990s:

Of all the famous international players to visit Australia, perhaps the one that made the greatest impression was the Englishman, George Hatfield Dingley Gossip.

Gossip came to Australia in 1885 and issued a challenge: he would play a
match against anyone for a prize stake of thirty pounds, and the title of
Champion of Australia. This challenge was taken up by a Franz (Fred) Esling
of the Melbourne Chess Club.

G.H.D.Gossip - F.K.Esling, First Match Game, 26 June 1885.
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Bc5 3.Nf3 d6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 Qe7 8.Qd3 Nc6 9.Nd5 Nb4 10.Nxb4 Bxb4+ 11.c3 Bc5 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Nf3 O-O 14.Be2 Re8 15.O-O Bd7 16.Nd4 Qg6 17.Bf3 d5 18.Rfe1 Rad8 {Thus far the game has been quite a tame affair, Gossip now blows a piece.} 19.Nf5?? dxe4 20.Bxe4 Bxf5 21.Bxf5 Rxe1+ 22.Rxe1 Rxd3 23.Bxg6 fxg6 {a bishop down, Gossip soon resigned.}

Another game was played that day, and adjourned with Esling in a far
superior position. When the game was due to be resumed, Gossip was nowhere to be found, in fact he had withdrawn from the match claiming ill health.

It was then announced that the match was cancelled and Australia had to wait two more years for it's first tournament for the Australian Championship
which was won by Henry Charlick, with Esling (second) & Gossip (third).

However in 1950, just before Esling's 90th birthday, the Australian Chess
Federation issued a statement recognising the match, and Esling's right to
be called the first Australian Champion.

Gossip was never popular in Australia, and according to Esling he had a 'gift
of making himself generally disliked wherever he went'. He also had a gift of
getting people to lend him money, which he was notorious for not paying back.

He had raised several small loans from a leading Sydney player, Chamier, so
thought to try his luck once more. 'What about the other loans I've made
you?', requested Chamier.

'Do I understand that you refuse sir?', an indignant Gossip demanded.

'Well, er - yes, if you won't answer my question.' Whereupon Gossip drew
himself up and thundered, 'This rude refusal, sir, cancels all my obligations
to you!'

True to form Gossip dind't stake his £30 himself, rather he got someone else to do it! - Esling later returned the £30 to the unfortunate genteleman.

06-03-2008, 07:06 AM
I have a book which is a collection of games played by Blackburne. There are quite a few games played in Australia, including several blindfold games.

The book was published by Dover and was printed in 1979.

31-05-2008, 05:49 PM
Blackburne is mention in Care for a Game?