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Staunton - Saint Amant Match

Howard Staunton15.5/27(+13 -9 =5)[view games]
Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint Amant11.5/27(+9 -13 =5)[view games] Historical Chess Event
Staunton - Saint Amant (1843)
Saint Amant played two matches against Staunton in 1843 (1). The first, in London, Saint Amant won 32 (+3 -2 =1), but he lost a return match in Paris just before Christmas 138 (+6 -11 =4). This second match is often considered an unofficial world championship which cemented Staunton as the leading player of his era (2).

Match 1, London 28 April - 7 May

1 2 3 4 5 6 Saint Amant 0 = 1 0 1 1 3.5 Staunton 1 = 0 1 0 0 2.5

Saint Amant moved first in the odd-numbered games.

Match 2, Paris 14 Nov - 18 Dec

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Staunton 1 1 = 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 = 1 0 = = 0 0 1 13.0 Saint Amant 0 0 = 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 = 0 1 = = 1 1 0 8.0

Saint Amant moved first in the odd-numbered games.

References: (1) , (2) Wikipedia article: Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant , (3) Original collection: Game Collection: WCC Index (Staunton-Saint Amant 1843), by User: suenteus po 147


Missing information: Match 1, Game 6 has no date

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 27  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Saint Amant vs Staunton 0-169 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantB20 Sicilian
2. Staunton vs Saint Amant ½-½89 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantC24 Bishop's Opening
3. Saint Amant vs Staunton 1-035 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantC53 Giuoco Piano
4. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-030 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantC53 Giuoco Piano
5. Saint Amant vs Staunton 1-060 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantB40 Sicilian
6. Staunton vs Saint Amant 0-158 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantA84 Dutch
7. Saint Amant vs Staunton 0-133 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
8. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-032 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantA43 Old Benoni
9. Saint Amant vs Staunton ½-½57 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
10. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-033 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantA43 Old Benoni
11. Saint Amant vs Staunton 0-139 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
12. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-047 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantA34 English, Symmetrical
13. Saint Amant vs Staunton 0-133 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-052 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantB44 Sicilian
15. Saint Amant vs Staunton 1-035 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantD40 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
16. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-061 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantB44 Sicilian
17. Saint Amant vs Staunton 1-050 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-089 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantA34 English, Symmetrical
19. Saint Amant vs Staunton 1-034 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. Staunton vs Saint Amant ½-½62 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantA35 English, Symmetrical
21. Saint Amant vs Staunton 0-156 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Staunton vs Saint Amant 0-158 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantA34 English, Symmetrical
23. Saint Amant vs Staunton ½-½54 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. Staunton vs Saint Amant ½-½57 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantD40 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
25. Saint Amant vs Staunton 1-079 1843 Staunton - Saint AmantD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 27  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-16-12  brankat: Still no kibitzing?! This is a great collection of fine old games.

Predecessors, indeed "harbingers", of the coming of a Morphy, a Steinitz, a Lasker etc..

Nov-16-12  brankat: These two distant (in time) relatives of of Petrosian, Kramnik, Leko...drew 5 games out of 27 :-)
Nov-16-12  brankat: One hundred and seventy years ago they played 7 Sicilians in these 27 games! A somewhat "different" Sicilians to be sure, but still...

Who knew. I think I need a serious brush up of my chess History :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: So much for "home field advantage" Staunton loses to Saint-Amant in London but then convincingly defeats him in France.
Apr-20-13  Conrad93: This was the match that made Staunton an unofficial World Champion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: <<<The Great Chess Match.>

We have received during the course of this memorable contest a number of letters demanding information on various points relative to the play. Some of our correspondents have asked most strange questions, and to such we think it unnecessary to reply ; to the rest, who appear to be actuated by more worthy motives than mere curiosity, the following remarks will probably prove sufficient:

The play did not take place in the Cafe de la Regence, as many suppose, but at the Chess Club, adjoining the Cafe.

The preparations made for the match were simple.

All the chess-tables, which on ordinary occasions line the room, were removed, and a single card table was placed near the large centre window, bearing a board and men, brought by Mr. Staunton from England, and the use of which he had made one of the conditions of the match.

At each side of the players were seats for the seconds, and around were disposed long benches, covered with crimson, for the spectators.

With one or two exceptions, the members of the club were the only persons permitted to attend.

The temperature of the room never rose to an excessive degree, and all the stories that have appeared in the French and English papers relative to persons being taken out fainting, or of gendarmes being placed at the door to prevent a crush, are ridiculous exaggerations.

During the play not a word was spoken above a whisper, and every precaution was taken to prevent the combatants from being disturbed.

The time taken up in deliberating on the moves of a game was in general about the same on both sides perhaps, of the two, the English player was a shade longer in studying a difficult or critical position.

Both players appeared much worn out at the termination of a lengthened sitting, and the day's rest which was given between the games seemed absolutely requisite to enable them to recruit their strength ; indeed, it may be remarked, that no brain could resist the influence of a series of protracted sittings, if continued for any length of time.

In the late contest, the effect of intense thinking began to show itself in the players after seven or eight hours' play. Their faces became gradually flushed, and marks of general uneasiness were then visible. If the duration of the play could be restricted in future matches to eight hours at furthest, we conceive that it would be an advantage. Some inconveniences would, no doubt, attend such a decision ; but they would be amply compensated for by the probable superiority of the play.

One point in the late match has excited great surprise, and several of the letters before us refer to it. How does it happen, they ask, that M. Saint Amant, who last year was the victor in his match with Mr. Staunton in England, should here allow his antagonist to ride at first over the lists as he pleased, winning seven frames almost without resistance?

How, also, when the English champion seemed to have the match completely to himself, was he all at once so vigorously arrested in mid-career, the French player getting up to six games, and he himself only winning one game in the last six?

Those terms in the play do at the first glance appear extraordinary, and yet they can be easily accounted for.

Mental training is as requisite for any intellectual contest as bodily preparation is for one of mere corporeal strength and activity. M. St. Amant erred in not subjecting himself to severe practice for at least some weeks previously to the match. His play is acknowledged both by himself and the gentlemen who are aware of his powers to be far below its general average. His mind had, in fact, grown rusty, and it was only after a certain quantity of practice that he again arrived at his usual foree of chess combination, and was able to respond to the fine play of his antagonist.

Dearly did he pay for his neglect. Day after day he sat down to be beaten, and the whole world, except himself, looked on the match as already decided, when at last he won a solitary game. From that time forth the aspect of the contest gradually changed, until at last he won his sixth game, "thereby", as he himself emphatically expressed it, 'sauvant l'honneur!'.

Were the contest to commence again at present, there can be no doubt that the scales of combat would be more equally balanced.

Galignani's Messenger.>

- Inquirer (Perth, WA) issue Wednesday 24 April 1844>

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: So this was the debut of the great Staunton pattern chess set.
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