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M Didier
Number of games in database: 28
Years covered: 1900 to 1901

Overall record: +1 -25 =2 (7.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (6) 
    C67 C80 C77 C83 C79
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (5) 
    C65 C83 C77 C80
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NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Didier vs J Mason, 1900 1/2-1/2
   Didier vs M M Sterling, 1900 1-0
   L Rosen vs Didier, 1900 1/2-1/2

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 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 28  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. L Rosen vs Didier ½-½251900ParisC51 Evans Gambit
2. Lasker vs Didier 1-0301900ParisD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. Didier vs L Rosen 0-1441900ParisC11 French
4. Didier vs Showalter 0-1391900ParisC49 Four Knights
5. Chigorin vs Didier 1-0401900ParisC51 Evans Gambit
6. Didier vs Pillsbury 0-1291900ParisC67 Ruy Lopez
7. Didier vs J Mieses 0-1211900ParisB01 Scandinavian
8. Didier vs Marshall 0-1261900ParisC42 Petrov Defense
9. Schlechter vs Didier 1-0241900ParisC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
10. Didier vs Maroczy 0-1341900ParisC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
11. Didier vs J Mortimer 0-1251900ParisC52 Evans Gambit
12. G Marco vs Didier 1-0211900ParisC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
13. Burn vs Didier 1-0321900ParisD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Didier vs J Mason ½-½451900ParisC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
15. J Mason vs Didier 1-0351900ParisC45 Scotch Game
16. Didier vs M M Sterling 1-0441900ParisC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
17. Janowski vs Didier 1-0411900ParisC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
18. M Brody vs Didier 1-0361900ParisC28 Vienna Game
19. Didier vs Alapin 0-1311901Monte CarloC11 French
20. Schlechter vs Didier 1-0371901Monte CarloC77 Ruy Lopez
21. Didier vs Janowski 0-1451901Monte CarloB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
22. Gunsberg vs Didier 1-0411901Monte CarloC50 Giuoco Piano
23. Didier vs J Mason  0-1371901Monte CarloC67 Ruy Lopez
24. Didier vs Von Scheve  0-1671901Monte CarloC77 Ruy Lopez
25. Chigorin vs Didier  1-0401901Monte CarloC33 King's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 28  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Didier wins | Didier loses  

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  Phony Benoni: New York Times obituary of Eugene Lemoine Didier from September 9, 1913:

No mention of chess.

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  jnpope: Ok, it looks like the Didier who was a sponsor of the Paris Exposition was a Charles Didier, professor at the School of Higher Commercial Studies, Paris.

I'm not sure if Charles is the Didier of the publishing group "Didier et Méricant" who published books in Paris including <Guide Armand Silvestre de Paris et de ses environs et de l'Exposition de 1900>.

I may have to do some geneology research on the Didier families living in Paris around 1900. See if Etienne is the only "E. Didier" floating around at the time and if his age matches the photo at (I'm guessing he is in 40s 10 years; certainly not in his 60s).

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  Tabanus: The book "Amos Burn. A Chess Biography" by Richard Forster (with foreword by Korchnoi) (2004) has <L. Didier>: - pp. 559, 560, 561, 643

If you have this book, post here :)

Eugene Didier, the French publisher. He must be born before 1840, perhaps 1820-1830. Too old compared with the picture (1901).

Eugene Lemoine Didier (1838-1913) from Baltimore, who was a chess enthusiast and moreover lived in Paris in 1883. Probably too old compared with the picture.

Eugene Didier: several, including at least two (of right age) born in France and immigrated to US after 1900.

Rev. Edmond Didier from Baltimore, possibly a brother of Eugene Lemoine. He was also in Paris in 1883. But apparently not in 1900-1901.

Edmond L. Didier, born ca. 1874 in France and living in St George Hanover Square, London 1901 and 1911 as agent for a stock exchange firm, is a candidate. Unfortunately he is single and hard to track.

Etienne Louis Didier? Why not. There are many "E. Didier". The middle name does not have to start with L.


Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2 Feb. 1901 has <M. Didier of Paris> but also M. Reggio, meaning Monsieur or Mr. (Arturo) Reggio.


On 6...Bc5 in the game the game Schlechter vs Didier, 1901, in Wiener Schsachzeitung vol. 4, 1901:

<Richtig ist 6...Lf8—e7. Leider scheint der <Vollblutfranzose Didier> den Partien des Pariser Turniers vom Jahre 1878 keine besondere Beachtung gewidmet zu haben; er müsste sonst wissen, dass das Spiel Capt Mackenzie — Englisch hauptsächlich deshalb für den verstorbenen Wiener Schachmeister verloren ging, weil er mit 6...Lf8—c5 den Bauer d4 behaupten wollte.>

A "full-blooded Frenchman", if that helps.

The 1911 Classic Encyclopedia has this: "France showed a decline for many years, having only the veteran M. Arnous de Riviere and the naturalized M. Rosenthal left, followed by Goetz and two good amateurs, MM. Didier and Billecard."

<jnpope: his first initial is given as "L." in Deutsche Schachzeitung, v56-57, 1901>. I suspect L. is correct. Perhaps Louis.

He is certainly mentioned in French sources. The truth is out there.

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  jnpope: The cross table of Paris 1900 published in the London Times, 1900.06.14, gives "E.Didier"
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  Tabanus: Is Eugene Lemoine Didier (1838-1913) really too old (61,5 years), compared with the picture? If only we could find another picture of him. I imagine he spoke French fluently and could be regarded as full-blooded.
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  Tabanus: New York Herald, 14 Dec. 1883:

"The Evening Telegram of yesterday published a special cable despatch containing the names of the following Americans who were registered at the Paris office of the New York Herald on Thursday, December 13:

Andrede, Otto, New Tork, Grand Hotel. Barrett, Miss, Asbury Park, Hotel Binds. Berg, Mrs. Ross M., New York, Hotel Continental. Burden, F., and family, New York, Hotel de Liverpool. <Didier, Rev. Edmund and Eugene, Baltimore, Hotel de Burgundy.> ..."

Not sure if relevant, but The Paris Herald was founded on 4 October 1887, as the European edition of the New York Herald, see

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  jnpope: <We have had sent us, by the courtesy of its president, M. Delaire, a little brochure containing the rules and list of members of the Philidor Club, Paris, for 1901. There are no less than 248 members, and among them we notice the names of M. de Riviére, and of M. Didier, who is a competitor in the Monte Carlo tourney.> source: British Chess Magazine, 1901.03, p99

Again, I think we may find the answer in the records of the Philidor chess club. I wonder if a copy of the "brochure" mentioned above still exists.

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  jnpope: Stay tuned... I just found a huge clue to this puzzle... preparing an image to upload to the Chess Archaeology website later tonight...
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  jnpope: I think this is a significant find and should definitely bubble Lucien to the top of the suspects list:
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  Phony Benoni: <jnpope> The <Koninklijke Bibliotheek> (National Library of the Netherlands) has (or used to have) a copy of the 1901 brochure. There is a similar brochure from 1925 that is available at the Cleveland Public Library, but might not have information on Didier.

There is also the Cercle's <Bulletin mensuel>, issued from 1905-1913, which is available at the Cleveland Public Library and the Free Library of Philadelphia.

But all that seems a bit irrelevant now.

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  jnpope: Not necessarily.

Confirmation is the rule... Lucien is now at the top of my suspects list, but I'd like to remove all doubt and nail him down as the member mentioned in the BCM, so finding his listing in the brochure would be a nice data point to have.

And if it turns out to be Lucien then the follow up question... why do several periodicals give "E. Didier"?

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  Tabanus: Is there any trend between E and L vs Paris and Monte Carlo? There may be two different Didier's.

I'll try to find Lucien now.

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  jnpope: Contemporary news indicate it was the same Didier that played in both Paris 1900 and Monte Carlo 1901. The first instance I could quickly find was from Hoffer:

<As chess editor of Le Monde Illustré for many years M. Rosenthal has advocated a sound and scientific style, and as professor he has rendered invaluable services. Two of the best French amateurs, M. Billecard and M. Didier, are his pupils. The former, reading for the Bar, is temporarily prevented from cultivating his favourite pastime; whilst the latter, as shown in his games both in the Paris and Monte Carlo tournaments, is second to none in judgment and skill. M. De Riviére apprecaites his talent justly in saying: "La France aurait en M. Didier un superbe gladiateur, s'il voulait résolument se soumettre au régime sévère qu'impose un tourni."> source: London Field, 1901.04.20, p533

It would be nice to see how Didier is mentioned in aforementioned 1901 brochure's list of members of the Philidor Club.

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  Stonehenge: Traité des échecs et recueil des parties jouées au tournoi international de 1900, by Samuel Rosenthal, is the Paris tournament book.
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  Stonehenge: Here for only $3,500 :)

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  Tabanus: Or here for only 2,500:, with 'Didier' mentioned on 23 different pages according to Google books.

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.ed..., online in US??

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  Tabanus: Three options:

1) Lucien-Etienne Didier, born 11 June 1869 in Reims (144 km from Paris), married 11 Sep. 1895 in Sillery (Reims) to Ernestine-Emile Fortel. Occupation in 1891: unreadable to me, possibly (but doubtfully) "etudiant" (= student).

This guy *might* be the author of this book: (To workers in cities and rural areas (?))

2) Lucien Didier, born 19 (15?) Sep. (?) 1868 in Paris (Seine), lives 1891 in "R. de Paris 38" as an accountant ("comptable").

3) Home-made family trees also has Lucien Jean Baptiste Didier b. 23 June 1870, and Lucien Ernest Didier b. 1874.

Not much helpful I'm afraid.

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  Stonehenge: Pity I don't live in The Hague anymore otherwise I would visit the Royal Library.

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  Tabanus: <with 'Didier' mentioned on 23 different pages according to Google books.> But with 0 hits on 'Lucien'. I tried 'amateur' and got this: <La France ne fut representee que par un amateur dont le talent, tres distingue d'ailleurs> = something like

"France was only represented by an amateur with talent, and else very distinguished"

Jun-07-13  thomastonk: <Stonehenge> Rosenthal's book can be read at Google books (at least by means of an proxy).
Oct-04-13  thomastonk: This is one of Rosenthals chess column's in "Le Monde Illustré", which mentions Lucien Didier:

And if I understand this correctly, then he gave 200 francs for Paris (1900).

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  Stonehenge: "Dominique Thimognier has provided his first name, Lucien".

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  jnpope: Does have have conclusive proof? We've had Lucien on the suspects list since May. And if his source is us then we still need to nail this down to be certain.
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  jnpope: Edochess didn't add Lucien until after October:

I'm guessing Dominique picked up on Lucien from what we've uncovered here and ran with it... I'm still not 100% convinced yet (but I'd definitely bet money that it was Lucien).

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