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Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais vs Alexander McDonnell
La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 3rd Casual Match (1834), London ENG, rd 5
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Old Variation (D20)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-15-07  notyetagm: Position after 28 ♖g5-h5+!:

click for larger view

A lovely example of <SQUARE CLEARANCE>. White would be able to play ♕e5-g5# if only his White g5-rook was not already on this square.

<<<Note that Black is doing -nothing(!)- to stop this threat; -only- the White g5-rook being in the way is preventing the <SNAP MATE>.>>>

So White simply moves his White g5-rook off of the g5-square with a <FORCING MOVE>, 28 ♖g5-h5+!, and Black is powerless to stop the mate next move with 29 ♕e5-g5#.

Result of vacating g5-square for White e5-queen:

click for larger view

Dec-19-07  nimh: Rybka 2.3.1 mp, AMD X2 2.01GHz, 10 min per move, threshold 0.33.

De La Bourdonnais 2 mistakes:
13.Ne5 0.14 (13.Rfe1 0.61)
27.Qe5 7.87 (27.Bxf4 #6)

McDonnell 9 mistakes:
12...f5 0.61 (12...a5 -0.14)
13...f4 1.01 (13...Re8 0.14)
14...g5 1.39 (14...Bf5 1.01)
18...Qxd5 1.86 (18...cxd5 1.36)
20...Bf5 2.39 (20...Qb5 1.78)
22...cxd5 3.70 (22...Kg6 2.29)
24...Be6 13.66 (24...Rd8 4.07)
25...Re8 #16 (25...Bf5 13.40)
27...Bg4 #2 (27...Rf5 7.87)

Feb-01-12  Knight13: Makes me wonder if Black's mucho-ducho opening of the Kingside was brave or stupid. Very likely the latter.
Oct-04-21  Brenin: If the White Q could capture its own piece, then 28 Qxg5 would be mate. It can't, but White can remove the R with 28 Rh5+, and then (after 28 ... Bxh5 or Kg6) 29 Qg5 mate.
Oct-04-21  Cheapo by the Dozen: It's a Monday puzzle, and a heavy piece is being sacrificed on the h-file.

That said, this is a somewhat unusual form of a pure clearance sacrifice.

Oct-04-21  Brenin: Alternative puzzle (a little harder than Monday standard): suppose that Black had played 27 ... Rf6 instead of Bg4. Find the win for White.
Oct-04-21  stacase: Spent a little time on searching for a Queen sacrifice - Monday you know, and then I looked at the Rook. Ha! Forced mate in two (-:
Oct-04-21  Steve.Patzer: Even I could see that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: Probably one of those positions where McDonnell said, "I don't like it muchy."
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has an extra pawn.

The rook on g5 avoids Qg5#. Hence, 28.Rh5+ and mate next.

Oct-04-21  drollere: doesn't get simpler than that. <27 ... Rf6 instead of Bg4.> 28. Bxf4 <nimh (27.Bxf4 #6)> 27. Bxf4 Rxf4, 28. Rxe6+ Qxe6, 29. Qg7#
Oct-04-21  Dionysius1: I prefer 28.Rg8 instead of <drollere>'s 28.Bf4 as solution to <Brenin'>'s alternative puzzle. There are more juicy ways forward. E.g. 28...Rxg8 29.Qxf6 Rg6 30. Bf4 Kh5 31.Re5+, then Black throws away pieces blocking on f5 and White mates on h3

click for larger view

Oct-04-21  Brenin: <drollere>:After 27 ... Rf6 instead of Bg4, did you mean 28 Bxf4 Rxf4 29 Qxe6+ (Rxe6+ is impossible)? Then 29 ... Qxe6+ 30 Rxe6+ R(either)f6 avoids mate. White is 2P up, but still has work to do. There is a better solution after 28 Bxf4 Rxf4.
Oct-04-21  goodevans: Very nice game by the guy with the long name.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Nice! Thank you for this puzzle!
Oct-04-21  TheTamale: A rule I use to solve Monday puzzles is to look for the move you'd like to play, and that's often it. Then you figure out how to make it work.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Queen vis it a Rh5+ gobble v axioms its job v its affinity piece its queens its a kit amp mvp its scully its wu cus v its wobble v its a dr queens its a query vat nefarious v i hog jog its and the hew its a v i op racy mully guv v its clammed its lambed its alimony black huffle v heel fetch hive hoggy guff fluffer bog v i accommodate abracadabra vehement its hud v bib its affable its apply flick ie ruffle its a job u favour ji reckon got cuff fag pin ace its a div aint it hide cool it no jah v mind read pugnax it dog in dig v candy nod job kind again i deciduous elucidate ra hoof cage c u do v i tell it hot body hive it her bind doctor coon horror its hop Rh5+ dug!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: If nominal nerd raws i vat no back cut the mustard overs all up v and down rh5 no?
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Quip may o board neighs v it scued its card its feel good it schwarz in weiss its oy amg nick re grub too no.
Oct-04-21  drollere: i was thinking more 27. .. Rf6, 28. Bxf4 Rxf4, 29. Rh5+ Kg6, 30. Qg5+ Kf7, 31. Qxf4+ . although Rg8 is exceedingly sexy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  raymondhow: It's a nice Monday puzzle. McDonnell's bio here claims he was "of GM strength". Is that for real, or was that some enthusiastic Irishman's opinion?
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: <raymondhow> Not it's no joke
Oct-11-21  Dionysius1: <drollere> Your way's pretty destructive too.
Jan-11-23  generror: I just spent an two hours analyzing this game because it's on my list of "canonical" chess games, and afterwards wondered why it's considered canonical, and then realized that is mistook it for La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834. Anyways, here are my results.

The opening is the typical La Bourdonnais - McDonnell Queen's Gambit Variant, with <6.Nc3?! Be7?!>, both of which far from being correct. The game is quite (un)even(tful) until move 12, when McDonnell has had enough and suddenly starts an ill-advised pawn storm (Stockfish sees each of <12...f5>, <13...f4> and <14...g5> as mistakes). The last move effectively loses a pawn, a La Bourdonnais demonstrates (McDonnell probably oversaw <17.Nxc6!>, but <18...Qxd5?> is another mistake, he should have retaken with the pawn. After <19.Qxe7+> (D), the smoke has cleared, White is up a pawn, better in every respect, and begins to put pressure on the black king.

click for larger view

McDonnell continues to be very inaccurate. La Bourdonnais too, but a bit less so, and he also occasionally plays great moves such as <22.d5!>, offering a pawn to give the queen a nice central square at d4. Taking it is another mistake, <22...Kg6> would have put the king on a white square and away from the a1-h8 diagonal. Same goes for the next two black moves. <24...Be6??> (D) is especially bad, preferring to save to save the very important d5-pawn instead of that completely irrelevant g5-pawn RIGHT NEXT TO THE KING. Really, dude?!?!

click for larger view

This position may already be a forced mate; it definitively *is* a forced mate in 19 after <25...Re8?>, and in 6 after <26...Ref8? 27.Bxf4 Bg4 28.Qe5 Rf5 29.Rxf5+ Kg6 30.Rg5+ Kh6 31.Rg8+ Rxf4 32.Qg5#>. La Bourdonnais misses it, but McDonnell helps him by playing his final blunder, <27...Bg4??>, after which it's a nice mate in 2 -- <27...Rf5!> (D) would literally have thrown a wrench into White's attack; the game is still theoretically won for white (at about +10 pawns), but White would still have had to work.

click for larger view

So yeah, not the most high-quality match, but of course you always learn something. After this game, I am beginning to realize why La Bourdonnais won that first proto-World Championship. He just was the better chess player overall. He may not have been as accurate and positionally sound as modern players, but he rarely blunders horribly and is a good all-rounder. In contrast, the only thing McDonnell seems to be good at is attacking the opponent's king; he is very inaccurate at everything else, and he positively *sucks* at defending his own king. Actually I'm beginning to wonder if he even knows he *has* a king.

Jan-11-23  generror: PS. I'm counting 2 blunders (evaluation delta -3), 8 mistakes (delta -1..-3) and 2 dubious moves (delta -0.5..-1) for McDonnell. That's an accuracy of below 60%, which is about my level of play :)

In other words, I'm playing like a World Chess Championship candidate XD

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