Blackburne Shilling Mate:
Part of the Famous Checkmates Guide

Chess Endgame Guide
Famous Checkmates
[Blackburne Shilling Mate]

Blackburne Shilling Mate
- Overview -

Famous Checkmates - Blackburne Shilling MateThis famous Checkmate opportunity is named after the Manchester (England) Chess player, Joseph Henry Blackburne (1841-1924), also nicknamed "Mr Black Death".

The 'Shilling' bit refers to Blackburne's habit of hustling in cafes, where he'd bet others a Shilling to play against him - he'd win by Checkmate in 7 Moves.

Blackburne Shilling Mate
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Blackburne Shilling Mate
- Video Example -

PGN File(s) [+]Show
Video Commentary
  • Move 1,
    [Timeline, 0:10],
    This game opens with White's e2 Pawn moving to e4 ... Black meets the challenge by moving his e-file Pawn to e5.

  • Move 2,
    [Timeline, 0:20],
    White brings his King-side kNight out onto f3 ... Black counters by moving his Queen-side Knight out to c6.

  • Move 3,
    [Timeline, 0:32],
    White brings out his King-side Bishop to the c4 square, with Black advancing his kNight to e5, to nestle between White's Bishop and Pawn ... Black's Knight is backed-up by that centrally-positioned Pawn - on e5 - but White could still opt to sacrifice his own Knight, in exchange for Black's Knight, with the likelihood that Black will subsequently capture with that e5 Pawn.

  • Move 4,
    [Timeline, 0:43],
    But, instead, White chooses to use his kNight to capture (x) the Pawn on e5 ... Black responds by bringing out his Queen to g5.

    So far, White seems to have had the better opening, being a Pawn up, while not having lost a single piece - and it's White's turn:

  • Move 5,
    [Timeline, 0:57],
    White sees an opportunity to do even more damage with his kNight - in addition to capturing (x) Black's Pawn, on f7, he also thinks he'll be in prime position to capture the trapped Rook, on his next move. But White's greed gets the better of him ... it's Black's turn to take material, using his Queen to capture (x) White's g2 Pawn, while moving ever closer to victory.

  • Move 6,
    [Timeline, 1:07],
    White fears for both his exposed Rook and King and chooses to safeguard both by moving his Rook in to f1 ... Black's trap is working, yet White still cannot see it! ... Black's fifth move is to use his Queen to capture (x) the Pawn on d4 and immediately put White's King in Check (+).

  • Move 7,
    [Timeline, 1:17],
    White has no option and has to use either his Queen or Bishop to cut-off the direct threat to his King. White chooses to bring his Bishop back down to e2 ...

    BUT THAT'S SHILLING'S TRAP! White's King is now totally blocked-in and Black seals victory by bringing his patiently waiting kNight to f3, Checkmate (#).

    Game Over. Black Wins (0-1).

    And that's the Blackburne Shilling Mate.

  1. e4 ... e5
  2. Nf3 ... Nc6
  3. Bc4 ... Nd4
  4. Nxe5 ... Qg5
  5. Nxf7 ... Qxg2
  6. Rf1 ... Qxd4+
  7. Be2 ... Nf3#
  8. 0-1

From this example of the Blackburne Shilling Mate,
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