Joseph Henry Blackburne, nicknamed "The Black Death", dominated British chess during the latter part of the 19th century. He learned the game at the relatively late age of 17 or 18, but he quickly became a strong player and went on to develop a professional chess career that spanned over 50 years. At one point he was the world's second most successful player, with a string of tournament victories behind him, and popularised chess by giving simultaneous and blindfold displays around the country. Blackburne also published a collection of his own games.
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