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Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais vs Alexander McDonnell
La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 4th Casual Match (1834), London ENG, rd 17
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Main Line (C51)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: De La Bourdonnais exploits MacDonnell's prediction for a very aggressive g5 thrust in this position, with a N sacrifice. MacDonnell also tried to make the <g5> idea work by inserting h6, but he this too resulted in a loss to De La Bourdonnais

<12...h6> 13.Kh2 c5 14.Nd2 Bd7 15.Qe1 g5 16.f4 gxf4 17.Rxf4 15.Nxg5 is I believe sound, if <16...Qe7> (an idea MacDonnell uses on move 19), De La Bourdonnais can continue to build up the pressure on the K-side, e.g.:

<17.Qf3> Bd4 18.Ne2 Bxa1 19.Rxa1 Kg7 20.Qg3 Rh8 21.f4 Rag8 22.e5 dxe5 23.fxe5 Kf8 24.Bxf6 Qc5+ 25.Qf2 Rxg2+ 26.Kxg2 Bxh3+ 27.Kf3 Bg4+ 28.Kxg4 Qxf2 29.Bxh8

Aug-29-06  sneaky pete: The normal position of the Evans Gambit was played 18 times in this match. It can be reached via at least half a dozen plausible move orders. Both MacDonnell and De La Bourdonnais ALWAYS played 6.0-0 .. first and 7.d4 .. next, not allowing the the compromised defence. As black MacDonnell played 5... Ba5 6... d6 and 8... Bb6; De La Bourdonnais 5... Ba5 6... Bb6 and 8... d6, except in game 66 (5... Bc5?! 6.0-0 Bb6 etc).

The two main sources (La Strat├ęgie, 1876 and Bachmann, Aus Vergangenen Zeiten, 1920) give the move order 6.0-0 d6 7.d4 exd4 etc for this game. That original version (gid=1001166) was here half a year ago, but has been erroneously removed in favour of this duplicate. The second duplicate, with 5... Bc5 (never played by MacDonnell) and dated in 1835, La Bourdonnais vs MacDonnell, 1835, so far escaped that fate.

Sep-21-07  sneaky pete: William Greenwood Walker, A Selection of Games at Chess, actually played in London, by the late Alexander M'Donnell, esq., etc, 1836, gives the move order

5. Q. B. P. one
5. B. to R. fourth
6. Castles
6. Q. P. one
7. Q. P. two
7. P. takes P.
8. P. retakes
8. B. to Q. Kt. third

Feb-26-08  Knight13: <21...Nc4> LOL that was Black's way of waving the white flag.

<15. Nxg5> I hate it when someone does that!

Feb-28-08  wolfmaster: I thought that McDonnell and La Bourdonnais were so sick of playing each other, but I guess not!
Jan-31-12  Knight13: <Chessical: De La Bourdonnais exploits MacDonnell's prediction for a very aggressive g5 thrust in this position, with a N sacrifice. MacDonnell also tried to make the <g5> idea work by inserting h6, but he this too resulted in a loss to De La Bourdonnais > McDonnell must have missed 17. Ne2! A better move would have been 14...c6 or 14...c5, which Steinitz used in similar positions later in the century.
Jul-27-21  George Wallace: I found that if I took my time studying this match, and only looked at one game per day, and tried to find the right moves for each side as I played through it, slowly, taking my time, that I not only learned a lot, but I also gain a great appreciation for how good and creative these guys were.

There was relatively no theory at this time, compared to, say, even the 1870s.

When I play through this match, I see not only two chess players with incredible vision and tactical gifts, but also two players who most certainly wanted to win and it goes double that they didn't want to lose. These are fighting games!

La Bourdonnais was Deschapelles's student, so maybe Deschapelles' style in these games. Maybe Deschapelles was a gambiteer with incredible tactical vision and was unbeatable in his day.

I happen to think that Labourdonnais was better than St Amant.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Steinitz's obituary of Staunton in the <Field> (July 4th 1874) gave this assessment:

<Estimating his play as a whole, we may fairly express our opinion that some of his best achievements have been much underrated, while on the other hand an almost fictitious value has been placed upon some of his inferior exploits. To the latter category belongs his great match with St. Amant in 1846 [sic], which he won by eleven games to seven and two draws. This first made Staunton's fame resound over the world, though neither the antecedents nor the subsequent career of his opponent ever entitled the Frenchman to any high rank in the chess world. St. Amant had received the odds of the pawn and two moves from Deschapelles not long before his match with Staunton, and he was subsquently easily defeated by Boden, Falkbeer and others; yet the British public, remembering that Philidor and Labourdonnais had found no rival to beat them in this country, prided themselves on the victory of their champion over a French representative, and the element of national rivalry tended to raise Mr Staunton's achievement on this occasion beyond its real merit.>

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