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Alexander McDonnell vs Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais
"Labourdonnais Picnic" (game of the day Sep-03-2012)
London m4 ;HCL 18 (1834), London ENG
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-03-12  scormus: The perfect finishing position, made possible by the perfect resignation. A classic in every sense
Sep-03-12  DanielBryant: I still think this one leaves a better impression than Ortueta-Sanz. I remember the first time I played over this game as a youth.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Phony Benoni: If you're not from the United States, you might not realize today is a national holiday known as <Labor Day>. Now, does the pun make a little more sense?>

It works on another level because we think of ants invading a picnic, and the black pawns are like angry ants.

Here's another example where Chernev (?) compared the black pawns to an army of ants.

Albin vs Winawer, 1896

Sep-03-12  Federacion: <Phony Benoni: If you're not from the United States, you might not realize today is a national holiday known as <Labor Day>. Now, does the pun make a little more sense?

Now that that's out of the way, I'll just say this is one of those nineteenth-century games which make me grateful for the evolution of chess style. I couldn't live through such head-exploding compllications.>

Don't forget the Canadians too!

Sep-04-12  Moonwalker: The formation after 35...e3 is the most pleasing I have ever seen! And the fact that the black queen was en prise for 4 consecutive moves, it's just too delicious!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black clinches it with trips on the seventh.
Sep-04-12  Llawdogg: It's cool to know that Morphy studied this game.
Sep-07-12  CharlesSullivan: As <J.A. Topfke> has pointed out on 18 November 2003, 22.Nd6! looks like a saving resource for White.

And there is still something to be said for Nd6 at move 23: 23.Nd6 Bxd6 24.Bxe8 Bc7 25.c6 e4 26.cxb7 Qxh2+ 27.Kf1 exf3 28.gxf3 Bg3 29.Qxd4 Rxe8

<Kasparov misses White's saving move>

click for larger view

30.Rd3!!! (Kasparov gave 30.Rc3 as White's best -- but losing -- move) 30...Qe2+ 31.Kg1 Bh2+ 32.Kh1 Be5 33.Qxe5!! Qxe5 34.Rc8! Qe1+ 35.Kg2 Qe2+ 36.Kh3 f4 37.Rdc3 Qe6+ 38.Kg2 Qg6+ 39.Kh1 Qh6+ 40.Kg2 Qg6+

<Despite his material advantage, Black can't win>

click for larger view

Black must give perpetual check, DRAW!

However, as Topfke has pointed out, Black has a winning move in this variation (after 23.Nd6 Bxd6 24.Bxe8 Bc7 25.c6):

<J.A. Topfke finds the win for Black>

click for larger view

25...Bc8! wins; for example: 26.Bd7 e4!! 27.Bxc8 d3! 28.Qc5 Bd6 29.Qxd6 Qxd6 30.Ba6 d2 31.Rc3 e3 32.Be2 f4 33.Ra3 Qxc6 34.Rxa5 Qf6 35.g3 Qxb2 36.Kf1 g6 37.a4 Qd4 38.Rb5 Qxa4 39.Rc5 Kg7 40.Kg2 Kh6 41.Rc7 Qb3 42.Rc5 g5 43.Rb5 Qc2 44.Rb6+ Kg7 45.Rb4 h5 46.Rd4 Qc5 47.Re4 Qd6 48.Ra4 Rc8 49.Rda1 Kg6 50.Ra6 Rc6 51.R6a4 h4 52.g4 Rc2 53.Kh3 Rc1 54.Ra6 Rc6 55.Ra8 Qd5 56.Rb1 Qe6 57.Rbb8 Rd6 58.Rg8+ Kh6 59.Rge8 Qb3 60.Rh8+ Kg7

click for larger view

Black wins.

Sep-07-12  CharlesSullivan: In the game, White could have drawn with

<Game position after 24...exf3 25.Rc2 Qe3>

click for larger view


Kasparov does not mention 26.Rf2 in My Great Predecessors (published 2003), and Nunn/Burgess/Emms do not mention 26.Rf2 in The World's Greatest Chess Games until the 3rd edition of 2010. After 26.Rf2 was discovered (perhaps by Guerrero Sanmarti [see <J.A. Topfke>, 18 November 2003]), the search was on to find where Black's play could be improved to save this masterpiece. The result of this search: Burgess inserted a brief note at Black's 24th move: "24...Qe3+ 25.Kh1 exf3 is the correct move order." But is this move order any better?

<Analysis position: Does Black win?>

click for larger view

After 26.Rf1!! fxg2+ 27.Kxg2 Rxe8 28.cxb7 Qe4+ 29.Kg1 Qxb7 30.Qf7

click for larger view

White has a perfectly acceptable position.

So the real error was not 24...exf3, but 25...Qe3+. As <Magorian> pointed out on 17 September 2006, the strongest move in this position

<Analysis: Magorian found the best move in 2006!>

click for larger view

is 25...Ba6!!! and Black's attack should win after 26.Qxa6 e4!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Wow! This was a great game with the black triplets on the seventh!
Nov-19-14  Ke2: for all the fairly bad games in this match, this one is a real jewel, mostly for that final position
Dec-01-14  welhelm1982: About ten yearsago ihadseen this gameand i studied it well and it is one of games that changed my style
Jun-28-15  Shoukhath007: the end position was 3 pawns on the 7th rank watch the video step by step analysis
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <welhelm> - < i studied it well and it is one of games that changed my style> Interesting. You mean that you consciously gave up a modern style and switched to an 1830s style of play? Is that even possible?

In an another sphere, we can admire Shakespeare or Milton, but literally trying to write in their manner would be quite odd.

I suppose that games like this might inspire one to be more direct, more tactical. But the na´ve, if brilliant, style on show here can't really be replicated.

There's a story by Borges, about a man who sets out to rewrite Don Quixote, word for word -- Pierre Menard. It seems relevant.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <Domdaniel> Ever seen the book of Mormon? 19th century religion written in 16th century English (an obvious imitation of the KJV Bible).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Robed.Bishop: Perhaps <welhelm1982> IS Pierre Menard.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Marmot> Yeah, I've actually read (some of) the Book of Mormon. I thought it was a fascinating read -- so clearly derived from the King James Bible, with a dash of 19th century mystic history.

And there are still people who regard it as being divinely inspired. Just as people do with the Bible, Quran, Torah, etc. In defiance of textual analysis.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Robed.Bishop> Now you're giving me ideas for a story... "<welhelm1982, Winner of a Match with LaBourdonnais>...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game:
Jun-03-16  The Kings Domain: Nice, pretty complex game by the two leading masters of their day, capped by the famous pawn march.

Chessgames should create a page for the landmark De la Bourdonnais-McDonnell match in the Tournament Index section of the site. I'm surprised it still hasn't been done yet.

Jul-30-16  Tal1949: I still do not get it. McDonnell plays 25.Rc2 and does not follow it up with 26. Rf2. Instead he moves the King and weakens his position dramatically. What was he thinking?
Jul-30-16  Ultra: <The Kings Domain: Nice, pretty complex game by the two leading masters of their day, capped by the famous pawn march.

Chessgames should create a page for the landmark De la Bourdonnais-McDonnell match in the Tournament Index section of the site. I'm surprised it still hasn't been done yet.>

A motion has been advanced and I second it!

Oct-28-16  clement41: Astonishing early Sveshnikov! Def deserves more fame
May-08-17  MichaelAndrewLo: A wonderful analysis

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessCoachClark: <morphynoman2: In "Kasparov Teaches Chess", the former World Champion says about the final position of this game: "This position, where the small pawns were victorious over the enemy, was so surprising that it seemed like a fairy tale and I was unable to live without chess after seeing it. I have admired this position ever since". (Kasparov was then 6 years old)"> I have read this book and found this game intriguing as well as a motivator to beginners. Nunn and abhor reliance upon games before 1999, but true gems must be promoted. Yes!
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