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Alexandre Louis Honore Lebreton Deschapelles
Number of games in database: 5
Years covered: 1821
Overall record: +2 -2 =1 (50.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

Most played openings
000 Chess variants (4 games)

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(born Mar-07-1780, died Oct-27-1847, 67 years old) France

[what is this?]
Alexandre Louis Honoré Lebreton Deschapelles was born in Ville d'Avray and lost his right arm in the Battle of Fleurus (1794)*. He was one of the strongest chessplayers of the world in the first half of the 19th century mainly focusing on Pawn+Move odds matches. Some successes were his 6-1 match win over John Cochrane in 1821 (with the latter receiving odds of pawn and 2) and a tied match with Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint Amant (+1 -1 =1) in 1836 after not having played chess for 14 years. In 1842 he managed to beat Saint Amant +3 -2 =0. Deschapelles was the teacher of Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais.

*Wikipedia article: Battle of Fleurus (1794)

Wikipedia article: Alexandre Deschapelles

 page 1 of 1; 5 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. W Lewis vs A Deschapelles 1-027 1821 Odds Games000 Chess variants
2. Cochrane vs A Deschapelles 0-124 1821 Odds game000 Chess variants
3. Cochrane vs A Deschapelles 1-031 1821 casualC44 King's Pawn Game
4. Cochrane vs A Deschapelles 0-127 1821 casual odds game000 Chess variants
5. W Lewis vs A Deschapelles ½-½35 1821 Pawn and move odds match (3 games)000 Chess variants
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Deschapelles wins | Deschapelles loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-07-08  brankat: The man certainly had an enormous talent for games, particularly Chess.

Happy Birthday!

Sep-20-08  Karpova: C.N. 5764

<The truth of phrenology is strongly borne out by the conformation of Deschapelles' forehead; in which the organ of calculation is more considerably developed than in that of any other human being we ever saw. A high and sharp ridge stands forth as the boundary of his fine, square forehead; attracting, at the first glance, the earnest attention of the disciples of Combe and Spurzheim>

From page 46 of "Chess & Chess-Players" by George Walker (London, 1850). Sent in by Dominique Thimognier (St Cyr sur Loire, France).


He is surely referring to George Combe (1788 - 1858):


Johann Spurzheim (1776-1832):

Jan-06-09  WhiteRook48: that last game surprised me. Just newly added to the database. Hmm. Who submitted it?
Feb-16-09  WhiteRook48: he won 1/2 of his games!!
And lost the other half. :(
Mar-07-09  brankat: R.I.P.Master Deschapelles.
Mar-07-09  Granny O Doul: Dead for 162 years.... Time sure flies.
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: only 4 games for this guy?
oh well...happy birthday.
Mar-07-09  rogge: <talisman: only 4 games for this guy? oh well...happy birthday.>

Yeah, he should at least have more games than names :)

Mar-07-09  WhiteRook48: happy birthday!
Oct-09-09  newzild: <TheAlchemist>

Wow! Thanks for posting that. An awesome mate - up there with the best. Reminds me of the two famous games where Petrosian sacced the queen on h8.

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966

Petrosian vs Simagin, 1956

Jun-17-10  Needle: <theAlchemist>
After 1...Kh8 2.Qe5 white's attack slows down a bit after 2...e1Q. A more forcing continuation is the beautiful 2.Nf7+ Kg8 3.Qxg7+ Kxg7 4.Bf6+ Kg8 5.Nh6# (don't credit it to me though, this was featured in Shredder chess puzzles today).

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <TruthHurts>Perhaps the greatest games-man in history, he was the strongest whist player in France and inventor of the Deschapelles Coup.

Here is a description of the Deschapelles Coup:

Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: happy birthday d
Apr-08-11  GamerMan: Not only was he the strongest player at chess, he completely dominated the field. He made morphy's dominance look even. Not only did he win vs the best players of his time, he could offer them knight odds and still win. Kudos to you Deschapelles!
Mar-07-12  brankat: Only 5 of his games in the database?

Happy Birthday master Deschapelles.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.O. Deschapelles. Enjoy your 232nd birthday or something.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Like most of the wonderful old material in the Chesscafe archives, the Deschapelles article has been moved and can only be found by searching. Here is the current link: .
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Spinrad's piece also mentions that very few of Deschapelles' games have survived, so the five in this database are apparently all that still exist, even though he seems to have played a great deal. The article also lacks a picture of Deschapelles, so it would appear that none of those have survived either.
May-27-12  thomastonk: <Caissanist> A few more games of Deschappelles survived as well as some fragments. As an example I mention a game with Dumoncheau played June 21, 1841, and published in La Palamede 1842.
Aug-02-13  Oliveira: A portrait of Deschapelles:
Oct-13-14  Bubo bubo: <TheAlchemist: This is a famous game (composition, maybe?) attributed to Deschapelles against La Bourdonnais, where only the spectacular finale is known:>

Theo Schuster's book "Unvergessene Schachpartien" also gives only the final, but moreover claims that this game was played at very strange odds; allegedly Black started with 8 additional pawns, but w/o queen: <"Mit Weiß hatte Deschapelles seinem damaligen Schüler Labourdonnais acht Extrabauern für die Dame vorgegeben.">

I think I've seen the initial setup for this type of odds game somewhere:

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: In re: "In 1842 he managed to beat Saint Amant +3 -2 =0" above, it should be mentioned this was a very unusual odds match:

<An extraordinary sensation has been created in the Paris Chess Club, by the sudden re-appearance of the veteran chess monarch, M. Des Chapelles; this gentleman has gratified his friends by playing a match of five games with M. De St. Amant, giving very curious and unusual odds. Des Chapelles proudly proffered to give something like a Pawn and a half in each game, and thus it was arranged. In the first game the veteran gave a Rook, and received in exchange two Pawns and the move; in the second game, St. Amant gave the Rook, and took in lieu thereof, five Pawns and the move; the third game was simply a Pawn-and-two affair; in the fourth party, Des Chapelles yielded up Queen, taking in return six Pawns and the move; and lasty [sic], in the fifth battle, St. Amant gave the Queen, and received nine Pawns and the move. For some elucidation of the curious variety of Chess termed the Pawn game, see Mr. George Walker's pocket volume, called games played by Philidor and his contemporaries, as well as the earlier volumes of the French Chess Magazine, "Le Palamede". These five important games occupied three sittings of about two hours each; Des Chapelles coming off, on the whole, conqueror, winning three of the five games. Are his laurels so brilliant that even his seventy five years may not dim their hue? We say in deep truth and humility, that Des Chapelles could even now, in our opinion, give the Pawn to the proudest spirits of Britain. Of the five about named games, it is matter of regret that one only was taken down [...]> «Bell's Life in London, 1842.12.04»

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: That last line should be <Of the five above named games, it is matter of regret that one only was taken down [...]> (my typo)
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Here is the first game from the odds match with St. Amant where Des Chapelles gives up the Queen's Rook for two extra pawns and the move (note: FEN line has the slashes reversed for posting):

click for larger view

[Event "Odds Match"]
[Site "FRA Paris (Paris CC)"]
[Date "1842"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Des Chapelles,ALH"]
[Black "St. Amant,PCF"]
[Result "0-1"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "rnbqkbnr\pppppppp\8\8\2P2P2/8\PPPPPPPP\1NBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] [PlyCount "110"]

1.e4 d6 2.d4 f6 3.f5 g6 4.d5 Bh6 5.f4 c6 6.Bd3 Na6 7.c3 cxd5 8.cxd5 Nc5 9.Bc2 Bd7 10.b4 Na6 11.a4 Nc7 12.Be3 Kf8 13.c4 Na6 14.Qd2 Qc8 15.b5 Nc5 16.g4 a6 17.Nc3 axb5 18.cxb5 g5 19.fxg5 Bxg5 20.Bxg5 fxg5 21.Qd4 Nf6 22.h4 Kf7 23.hxg5 Nxg4 24.g6+ hxg6 25.fxg6+ Kxg6 26.e5+ Kf7 27.e6+ Bxe6 28.Rxh8 Qxh8 29.dxe6+ Nxe6 30.Qxh8 Rxh8 31.Nf3 Rh3 32.Be4 Rh1+ 33.Kd2 Ra1 34.Bd5 Kf6 35.Ne4+ Kf5 36.Ng3+ Kf4 37.Ne2+ Kf5 38.Ng3+ Kf6 39.Ne4+ Kg6 40.Bxe6 Rxa4 41.Kd3 Nf6 42.Nc3 Ra3 43.Nd4 Nh5 44.Kc4 Nf4 45.Bc8 b6 46.Be6 Nxe6 47.Nxe6 Kf6 48.Nc7 e6 49.Na6 d5+ 50.Kb4 Ra1 51.Na4 Rb1+ 52.Kc3 Rxb5 53.Nb8 Ke7 54.Nc6+ Kd6 55.Nd4 Rb1 0-1 «Bell's Life in London, 1842.12.04; Le Palamede, v2, 1842, pp216-219»

Again, the poorly written ChessBase software I have goes bonkers if you save this game in CB format, however, it loads and plays the game just fine from a PGN file.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: So I was messing around with Rybka and checking it's evaluations at 14-ply for the starting arrays in the Des Chapelles v St. Amant odds match (where Des Chapelles was said to be giving roughly one and one-half pawns in odds in each game).

In the first, and only published game, Des Chapelles gives St. Amant the Queen's Rook for two extra pawns (at c4 and f4) and the move. Rybka suggests Nf3 as White's best move with an evaluation of White at -4.31 centi-pawns.

In the second game St. Amant gives Des Chapelles the Queen's Rook for five extra pawns. It is unclear where the pawns are placed, but based on the four and six pawn set-ups published in the literature available to me, it seems that the pawns were placed most likely at c3, c4, f3, f4, and g3 or at b3, c3, c4, f3, and f4. In each case Rybka suggests Nh3 as White's best first move with White at -2.02 and -2.03 centi-pawns respectively.

In the third game St. Amant receives from Des Chapelles Pawn and two moves. Assuming St. Amant's first move as being 1.e4 (the most likely first move in a Pawn and two game) White's evaluation is exactly +1.50 centi-pawns for 2.d4 (and actually a little better at +1.51 for 2.Nf3).

In the fourth game Des Chapelles gives St. Amant his Queen for six additional pawns (traditionally placed at b3, c3, c4, f3, f4, and g3). Rybka suggests 1.d4 with an evaluation of -4.19 centi-pawns for White.

The fifth game has St. Amant giving up his Queen to Des Chapelles for nine extra pawns. I'm guessing the two best possible configurations for the extra pawns to be b3, c3, c4, d4, e4, f3, f4, g3, and g4 or b3, b4, c3, c4, d4, e4, f3, f4, or g3. Rybka suggests 1.b4 at -1.40 centi-pawns for White in the first case and 1.e3 at -1.63 centi-pawns for White in the second case.

We know Des Chapelles lost the first game (giving up roughly 4 pawns and not 1.5), so I'm guessing that he also lost game 4 (the other game at a roughly 4 pawn disadvantage) and that he won games 2, 3 and 5.

It makes me wish we had more games from Des Chapelles to study.

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