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Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint Amant vs Howard Staunton
Staunton - Saint Amant (1843), London ENG, rd 5, May-05
Sicilian Defense: Kramnik Variation (B40)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-07-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  forcedmatefanatic: The Saint should have settled for the stalemate.
Apr-10-08  Knight13: What the hell is 59...Kg8?? Too many blunders in this game by both players.
Sep-04-08  Kink: Hey Forced. Why would a player want to settle for a stalemate over a win?
Nov-24-10  FlameHeart: Why not 59...Rxg6 ?
Feb-04-12  Knight13: <FlameHeart: Why not 59...Rxg6 ?> Because it leads to Stalemate. Black wanted to win, not be satisfied with a draw (although ... Rxg6 was the best move in that position). Travel back to move 42 and you'll see what kind of a win he threw away -- it must have been painful. 59... Kf8 60. Qf6+ Kg8 61. Qe6+ and 60... Rf7 61. Qh8+ . There's no way out of it.
Nov-16-12  brankat: Why is the variation employed in this game (played 130 years before Vlad's time) called: Kramnik variation :-)

Perhaps St.Amant-Staunton would have been more appropriate.

Dec-16-12  poorthylacine: Choose losing in an ugly way rather than accept the draw of an after all original stalemate? Hard to believe!
I think 59... Kg8 was just an horrible blunder which threw away not only the game but even the match, because the next game would be the last one!
Dec-16-12  psmith: <Knight13> So, I traveled back to move 42 and did not see a win for Black. White was winning after 42. Nf4+, not Black, as far as I can see. In the game line at move 46 White has a forced mate with 46. Qd7. I don't see any really significant improvements for Black between moves 42 and 46. Can you explain what you had in mind? White blundered with 46. Ng3+ and then had to be creative to come up with the stalemate draw.

Maybe you meant move 32? But then we need to see how there is a win for Black there (though his position does look pretty).

Mar-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: 53...Rg8? looks like a losing move. Now, instead of 54.Qh7+, which should have drawn with a stalemate, White may be winning after 54.Qe5 R4g7 55.Qxf5+ Ke8 56.Kh6 Re7 57.h5 Rf8 58.Qg6+ Rff7 59.Kg5 a5 60.Qg8+ Rf8 61.Qb3 Re2 62.Qb8+ Kf7 63.Qb7+ Re7 64.c7 Rg8+ 65.Kh4.
Feb-06-15  Errrrrrr: 46. Qd7 wins outright. White chooses the blunder Ng3 instead :(
Dec-31-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pioneer27: I recently finished reading Cary Utterberg’s book on the famous De La Bourdonnais-McDonnell matches of 1834 and so I’ve moved onto another famous match in 1843 between Staunton & Saint-Amant. I like these old games.

As others have commented, this game definitely ended strangely. Why didn’t Staunton play 59. . . Rxg6 and stalemate White? I remember reading awhile back that sometimes a stalemate would be considered a win for the player who was stalemated. So I did a little research and here is what I found:

According to Davidson in A Short History of Chess (Ch. 8), there was a time in Europe when the result of a stalemate was in dispute. Quoting from his book:

“Consider the situation in which White is the ‘winning player’ in that he has many major pieces still on the board, while Black has only his King plus a few blocked pawns. In that situation, stalemate has at one time or another been:

1) A victory for White.
2) A victory for Black!
3) Disallowed entirely---creating a stalemate is illegal. 4) Black forfeits a move and White gets to play again.”

Davidson goes on to point out
that in Britain, # 2 was in vogue
perhaps into the mid 19th century. He does point out that in 1808, the London Chess Club’s official rules made stalemate a draw. And in Jacob Sarratt’s New Treatise on Chess (1828), p. 24 & 53, he recommended that a stalemate should be treated as a draw. You would think that Staunton would have been aware of this, but perhaps . . . .

If Staunton was thinking a stalemate would be counted as a loss, I guess he just decided to lose in a different way. I, of course, don't know for sure. I was wondering if anyone else had any insight into this.

Mar-30-20  njuguna: they had so many blunders, missing mate in 1, free Queen, maybe they were in time trouble
Sep-20-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: <Pioneer27>: commenting the 6 games of this match in "Le Palamède", Saint-Amant writes about the 59 th move of Black: " Il est inutile de s'appesantir sur une pareille inadvertance. La T devait prendre la D et comme le R noir était PAT, c'était une partie remise." (Volume 6, page 221). Meaning: "It's useless to comment such a blunder. The Rook should have taken the Queen, and the black King being then stalemate, it was a drawn game"... So, it seems the rules about stalemate were already the same in 1843... And in 1834 already too, I guess so, but I did not yet check it by watching again all the games played between La Bourdonnais and Mc Connell where stalemate really occurred, or at least could happen as a threat ...

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