Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

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Tim Harding
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Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by Tim Harding » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:05 pm

I have just posted a game by De la Bourdonnais played in London on 7 June 1834:
http://www.chessmail.com/research/Historic-games.html

I found this game yesterday in the British Newspaper Archive. It's quite a pretty Evans Gambit at QN odds.

The opponent and the author of the notes are both anonymous, but the latter was perhaps William Lewis.

I doubt if it was George Walker because I could not find the game in his Chess Studies collection of a thousand games.
Tim Harding
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O.G. Urcan
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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by O.G. Urcan » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:17 pm


Tim Harding
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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by Tim Harding » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:31 pm

O.G. Urcan wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:17 pm
See, though, viewtopic.php?t=8967#p196126.
It seems to me that the attribution of the game to them is wrong.
The Morning Post is clear that De la Bourdonnais won the game and the article did not mention McDonnell.
Pulling might have been the loser.
Tim Harding
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John Townsend
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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by John Townsend » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:18 pm

I don't see why Tim has concluded that De La Bourdonnais played this game. White was described as "one of the first players in Europe". McDonnell would fit the bill.

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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by Tim Harding » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:51 am

Maybe you are right.
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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by Gerard Killoran » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:05 pm

The arrival in London of De la Bourdonnais is announced in the Morning Post of Saturday 28 June 1834 and Bell's Life in London of Sunday 29 June 1834. I doubt they would have waited three weeks if he'd already started to play games in town.

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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by O.G. Urcan » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:43 pm

Tim Harding wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:31 pm
O.G. Urcan wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:17 pm
See, though, viewtopic.php?t=8967#p196126.
The Morning Post is clear that De la Bourdonnais won the game....
That is not true. The Morning Post column in question does not mention De la Bourdonnais anywhere at all:
column.JPG
column.JPG (142.14 KiB) Viewed 822 times

The same game and text were reproduced on page 4 of the Standard of 14 June 1834, again without De La Bourdonnais or any other player being named.

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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by Tim Harding » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:51 pm

Gerard Killoran wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:05 pm
The arrival in London of De la Bourdonnais is announced in the Morning Post of Saturday 28 June 1834 and Bell's Life in London of Sunday 29 June 1834. I doubt they would have waited three weeks if he'd already started to play games in town.
I have to accept I was wrong here. I think what happened was that I was caught out by a search in the BNA coming up by "relevance" whereas I normally sort by earliest date, so I had read the Morning Post report of 28 June first.

It is not clear when exactly Labourdonnais arrived as the 28th June article says " he is now playing daily at the Westminster Club." So he could have been in London for a week or two.

Evidently Labourdonnais was in my mind when I read the report with the game, which indeed was in two different newspapers on the earlier date.
The Bell's Life article on the 29th talks of matches being "on the tapis" at the Westminster Chess Club.

The game in question was presumably, as has been pointed out, played by McDonnell.
Tim Harding
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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by Gerard Killoran » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:53 pm

We all make mistakes - that's why they put rubbers on the ends of pencils.

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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by J T Melsom » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:45 pm

I'm not a chess historian. Please can somebody explain why games played at odds were considered worthy of publication?

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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:47 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:45 pm
I'm not a chess historian. Please can somebody explain why games played at odds were considered worthy of publication?
The short answer to that is "they most certainly were in those days".
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by J T Melsom » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:52 pm

Not sure I entirely understand that answer. Were there simply more columns to fill? Why not fill them with 'proper' games? Or are the games deemed newsworthy because of the individuals playing them?

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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by David Sedgwick » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:35 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:52 pm
Not sure I entirely understand that answer. Were there simply more columns to fill? Why not fill them with 'proper' games? Or are the games deemed newsworthy because of the individuals playing them?
With fewer strong players, those that there were played fewer "proper" games and far more games at odds. There was some basic theory about games at odds of the Queen's Knight in particular.

When masters play weaker players nowadays, it tends to be with a time handicap or in simultaneous displays. Games in the latter get published from time to time.

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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by J T Melsom » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:14 pm

Thanks Matt and David. I'd view simuls in a different light, to my mind games at odds are essentially a chess variant as 960 is now. And I think on one occasion I deleted the blitz games from a TWIC download, so I may be a bit fussy. And I suspect the sports pages would also have similarly covered games of cricket pre-dating codification of laws.

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Re: Rediscovered game by De la Bourdonnais

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:22 am

Any game might be interesting. I accidentally found a good TN in a blitz game and subsequently played it in proper games.

Meanwhile, I am laboriously opening Chessbase and entering as white "One of the first players in Europe" and as black "Gentleman holding no mean..."

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