chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais vs Alexander McDonnell
"Big Mac and French Fries" (game of the day Mar-15-2010)
London m4 ;HCL 18 (1834), 04, rd 50
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Central Variation. McDonnell Defense (D20)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

explore this opening
find similar games 86 more La Bourdonnais/McDonnell games
sac: 13...Nxd5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can learn a lot about this site (and chess in general) by reading the Chessgames Help Page. If you need help with premium features, please see the Premium Membership Help Page.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.
PREMIUM MEMBERS CAN REQUEST COMPUTER ANALYSIS [more info]

A COMPUTER ANNOTATED SCORE OF THIS GAME IS AVAILABLE.  [CLICK HERE]

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  mjmorri: One of the early masterpieces.

McDonnell is often dismissed as a light weight, but in this game, his positional sacrifice of the Queen for two minor pieces is one for the ages.

He shows great restraint in not giving up his beautiful e3 Knight for the Rook on d1, the mark of a true master.

Feb-13-09  Chachaman: If you think about it, White got two minor pieces, two pawns, and great positional plusses for the queen. After 15...Kxe7, black has two minor pieces and two pawns. Plus, he has the bishop-pair, a great outpost for his knight, and superior development. Later on, he gets another outpost, and more plusses. White's extra queen had no bearing on the situation; it just sat there. The queen rook sat undeveloped. Eventually, white had to give back material to stay even, and then black won. Great game by McDonnell, making a deep positional sacrifice. But if you think about it, the plus in positional factors made it not a sacrifice, but a trade in his favor!
Feb-23-09  theagenbiteofinwit: Kf1 just pains me. That bishop goes on to cost white a rook!
Aug-09-09  birthtimes: Lasker comments on White's 18th move: "But here White errs. To develop his force he should offer a sacrifice by 18. Rf1, so as to rid himself of the oppressive Knight on e3.

If then 18...Rac8 19. Bb3 or 18...Ba5 19. Rf2. The [b3] pawn move only weakens his position [by giving Black mastery of the c-file, especially c2]. La Bourdonnais had not recognized this clearly. The theory of Steinitz, explaining these points, was not evolved until fifty years later."

Lasker's Manual of Chess, 1960, p. 246

Mar-15-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black's 13...Nxd5!! offers up the Queen as a sacrifice for positional advantage. Following the expected 14. Bxe7, the key in-between move 14...Ne3+! and the followup 15. Kxe7 give Black two minor pieces and two extra pawn for the Queen.

Under many circumstances, that might be considered an even trade based on the point values of the pieces. However, in this case, Black has much better pawn structure, control of space and better coordinated pieces to justify his investment.

Initially, Fritz 10 shows the position as near equal or only slightly favoring Black after 13...Nxd5! However, as the position plays out it's extremely difficult to find a saving resource for White and the evaluations begin to slowly increase in Black's favor.

Don't know if it's a forced win, but Black has the initiative and the attack with little danger of losing. Also it's a lot more fun and forcing than something like 13...Qf8 .

Mar-15-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I think I'll get a value meal combo for lunch...
Mar-15-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A great pun on a great matchup.This was the Ali-Frazier of the 19thC chess world.
Mar-15-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black's 22...Nd4! offers up an unusual discovered attack. Except instead of discovering an attack on a piece, this move discovers the threat on a critical square (i.e. d1) after 23. b4? Rd1+ while simultaneously threatening 23. Bc4 Nxf3+! as in the game continuation.

Technically, I suppose 22...Nd4! could be classified as a simple double attack. However, since the most effective discovered attacks are quite often double attacks and the move 22...Nd4! definitely discovers the threat 23. b4 Rd1+ or 23. Rxg7+ Kf6 24. Rg1 Rd1+ on the critical d1 square, I think I'll keep it in my discovered attack collection.

Also, my double attack collection is getting quite large and I think this classification will help me to remember this tactic (discovered attack on a critical square) a bit easier in the future.

Mar-15-10  Quad Fifties: when I see the dates of these old contests it makes the game itself all that more fascinating to me. pure chess. ahhh,the old days
Mar-15-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For my tactical game collections, the Queen sham positional sacrifice 13...Nxd5!! is in my "positional sacrifices" collection, 14...Ne3+! is in my "in-between move" collection and 22...Nd5! is in my "discovered attack" collection.
Mar-15-10  Edeltalent: <In one of his epigrams, Adolf Anderssen said: "Once get a Knight firmly posted at King 6 and you may go to sleep. Your game will then play itself". I presume that Anderssen was thinking on this game when he made that statement.>

Anderssen vs Staunton, 1851 comes to mind as well - although that one probably played itself even before the knight on e6 :-)

Apr-06-11  dumbgai: 15. Qxe3 fxe3 (or Bxe3) 16. Bxd6 gives White a better chance to hang on, I think.
Jun-25-11  Llawdogg: Wow! McDonnell's Immortal! 13 ... Nxd5!! Great move. Amazing queen sacrifice. All kinds of tactics. Great game.
Feb-01-12  Knight13: I do not understand 20... b5 at all. Otherwise, an outstanding game by Black!
Jun-15-12  ForeverYoung: 20 ... b5 was played to open the path for the rook on c8. I took a look at this game today on my board and pieces and was thoroughly impressed! I recall giving back some loot to break Black's initiative was discussed in Larry Evans' column in Chess Life & Review in the early '70s.
May-22-13  vajeer: I wonder if 16. Rxd6 would have given White some counter play.
Sep-27-13  Rii the Wordsmith: I'm not very well-versed in chess...why does the game end here? Why does white resign? I can see that the black rook has cornered the white king to one row of movement and the black knight could easily be used to threaten the king...but was it truly a hopeless game for white now? How might it have played out for white's downfall? I'm afraid I can't see it from here.
Sep-27-13  Jim Bartle: Rii: the white king cannot move. All black needs to do is give a check and protected against the queen check on f5. 36...Ne3 does both. It Covers f5 and threatens mate with 37...Ng2. If white plays Kh3, then Nf5 is checkmate in two.
Sep-27-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Black is threatening Ng2 which is checkmate! To prevent that white would have to play a move like Qxg6ch or some other move that would lose his Q, leaving the position totally hopeless for white. The position is truly hopeless for white, thus his resignation.
Sep-27-13  Rii the Wordsmith: Okay. Okay, I think I see it now.

Thanks!

Jul-23-14  kereru: 13...Nxd5!! isn't the engine favourite at first, but it grows on it. By ply 25 it is Stockfish's first preference, though not a forced win. White could have defended better of course, but even a modern super-GM would struggle to find all the right moves at the board.
Oct-06-15  The Kings Domain: Brilliant game by McDonnell. At first his queen sacrifice seemed like a hard sell but as the game progressed he outpointed la Bourdonnais move by move. The Irishman's masterpiece and one for the ages.
Oct-03-18  Howard: This game, if I recall correctly, appeared in some old book called British Chess. That was the first time that I ever saw it...over 45 years ago !
Oct-03-18  Howard: This game, if I recall correctly, appeared in some old book called British Chess. That was the first time that I ever saw it...over 45 years ago !

And wasn't this the game where Larry Evans stated around 1977 that games like this one were considered "downright ugly" because the loser didn't put up enough of a defense?

Oct-03-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <And wasn't this the game where Larry Evans stated around 1977 that games like this one were considered "downright ugly" because the loser didn't put up enough of a defense?>

I can't believe Evans said anything so foolish. And if he did he should be compelled to make 500 copies of Mr. Cronhelm's poem that <sneaky pete> so gallantly shared with us.

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 3)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, is totally anonymous, and 100% free—plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, profane, raunchy, or disgusting language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate or nonsense posts.
  3. No malicious personal attacks, including cyber stalking, systematic antagonism, or gratuitous name-calling of any member Iincludinfgall Admin and Owners or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. If you think someone is an idiot, then provide evidence that their reasoning is invalid and/or idiotic, instead of just calling them an idiot. It's a subtle but important distinction, even in political discussions.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No malicious posting of or linking to personal, private, and/or negative information (aka "doxing" or "doxxing") about any member, (including all Admin and Owners) or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. This includes all media: text, images, video, audio, or otherwise. Such actions will result in severe sanctions for any violators.
  6. NO TROLLING. Admin and Owners know it when they see it, and sanctions for any trolls will be significant.
  7. Any off-topic posts which distract from the primary topic of discussion are subject to removal.
  8. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by Moderators is expressly prohibited.
  9. The use of "sock puppet" accounts in an attempt to undermine any side of a debate—or to create a false impression of consensus or support—is prohibited.
  10. All decisions with respect to deleting posts, and any subsequent discipline, are final, and occur at the sole discretion of the Moderators, Admin, and Owners.
  11. Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a Moderator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors. All Moderator actions taken are at the sole discretion of the Admin and Owners—who will strive to act fairly and consistently at all times.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
98_D20-D29_ Queen's Gambit ACCEPTED
by whiteshark
March 15: Big Mac and French Fries
from Game of the Day 2010 by Phony Benoni
Mike Steen's Favorite Games
by MSteen
Selected 19th century games
by atrifix
representative game 1 pre-steinitz
from How to Defend in Chess by Colin Crouch game coll by tak gambit
I'm surprised [04Apr2003 1st known, CG opened late 2002]
from They were surprised by Calli
Maybe the best game in match
from Pre-romantic era of chess by Calar
19th Century Chess & English, Bird, KIA, et al.
by mmzkr
Fine says it's the FIRST great immortal game of chess
from Que up Fredthebear's Queen Pawn Game on Que by fredthebear
Queen sacrifices 1
by obrit
Diagram 31
from T. Czarnecki. Chess book "Szach i Mat" by Sebastian88
Game 90
from Manual of Chess (Lasker) by Qindarka
Game collection: old
by tomo6
Queen's Gambit Accepted Central Variation. McDonnell's Defense
from GrandMasters of Chess by HCS by RayDelColle
Queen sac for two minor pieces prevails! (1st QP game here)
from Evolution of Chess games by wvkevin
McDonnell vs. De La Bourdonnais
by Gioachino Greco
maxruen's favorite games III
by maxruen
4. Labourdonnais and MacDonnell
from Amenities and Background of Chess-play by Phony Benoni
The Evolution of Chess Style
by Kryptops
GM Fine says it's the FIRST GREAT IMMORTAL GAME of chess
from Quickly Perhaps Prickly QG Poked Fredthebear by fredthebear
plus 53 more collections (not shown)


home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC