Whisky clears my brain and improves my chessplay
Joseph Henry Blackburne was 52 at the time of Hastings and was notorious for his drinking prowess and the preceding quote was a claim he made while interviewed for a liquor industry publication. There is even a story that part of the prize fund at Hastings 1895 was paid in advance, and for Blackburne the "currency" was a case of Scotch. Mr. Blackburne finished the case of Scotch during the first six rounds. I couldn't find a second point of reference to back this up but it might explain some of the style of play in the first few rounds.
Blackburne was called "The Black Death" since he was known to fair well playing the black pieces. He was also a strong endgame tactician. The position is from round 1 after move 48.Bc6. Blackburne sees an opportunity to grab the pawn and finally make fruition of his pawn material advantage. He plays 48...Re6 49. Bf3 Rd6.
In the second round he loses to Mieses of all players. Mieses placed second to last with Blackburne being his only other win aside from Albin. It wasn't one of Blackburne's better games as the pieces themselves looked scattered and drunk. This almost supports the claim of the drunken master made earlier.
He wins against Amos Burn in round 10 with a move order variation of the French as white. 1.e4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3. d4 ... truly showcasing his flare for style and ability to transpose into games he's comfortable with.
In round 11 as white against Von Bardeleben and Round 12 as Black against Teichmann, back to back rounds he seems to deliver back to back rook sacs in seemingly similar positions with colors reversed:
24, Rxd5! (Here on the left) and 48...Rxe4! on the right. In both cases he had material pawn advantages and without his opponent's bishop pair, he had a favorable endgame.
His wins against Vergani ( last place finisher) and Pollock in rounds 14 and 18 are not that spectacular. Against Vergani, the "Black death" plays a gambit and jumps ahead right away. With Pollock he plays the Philador's defense and wins a Knight versus Bishop endgame.
The Lasker game is the one to watch. Blackburne offers his knight on h2 which rips opens this young master's ( and third place finisher) king side.