GrahamClayton: Here is an excellent description of Lecrivain's participation in a simultaneous blindfold exhibition by Daniel Harrwitz, taken from the Hobart Courier, dated 26 June 1857:
"AN EXTRAORDINARY GAME OF CHESS
The Cafe de la Regence, Paris, on Friday night was the scene of an extraordinary display of chess power, contending without seeing the board, in two games at the same time against two players of the Paris Chess Club.
Prince Antoine Bonaparte, the Duke of
Brunswick, the Marquis do Carraciola, Count Issoire, and a great number of amateurs and members of the club, wore present, and followed with unflagging interest to the close the wonderful feat of mental abstraction and chess memory which M. Harrwitz presented on the occasion without, to all appearance, any harassing effect.
To better understand how the matches wee conducted, it may be as well to state that the Cafe de la Régence consists of two large salles on the ground floor; one fitted up as a cafe, properly so called, and the other provided with billiard tables and arranged as an estaminet, in which smoking is allowed. In both of these rooms, which are open to all, and in which chess is going on nearly all day long, the amateur is sure at all times to find someone willing to play a game. But above is situated a range of rooms appropriated to the use of the Paris Chess Club, and in these it was that the wonderful display took place on the occasion of which we speak.
In the centre of the largest of those rooms were placed two tables, at which were seated, each with a board and chessmen before him, M. Lecrivain and M. P-, the gentlemen with whom
M. Harrwitz was to engage in peaceful conflict. The room beyond, the last of the suite, was set apart for the mental player, all its fitting-up consisting merely of three or four chairs, and a table in one corner, on which were placed wine, sugar, and water, and other refreshments, as well as writing materials, to enable the gentleman who acted as secretary to mark down the moves when decided on.
The door of communication between the two rooms was kept open the whole time, so that every one could see that not only M. Harrwitz had no means of aiding his memory by any extraneous or tangible object, but that all intercourse with other persons was absolutely impossible. All round the other rooms were arranged chess-tables, on which the amateurs invited to be present followed the moves as they were played. Everything being declared in readiness, at about half-past nine the play commenced.
The manner in which the moves were
announced was this :- M. Lequesne, who had kindly consented to act as secretary, after having received instructions from M. Harrwitz wrote down the moves for both games, and then entering the other room and saying ' First game,' specified tho move fixed for it; next saying 'Second game', he acted in the same way for it. The moves, thus named, were then played on the board, and the two adversaries studied the reply to be given. When both gentlemen had decided M. Lequense marked down the moves as before, and then in turn announced aloud to M. Harrwitz, exactly in the same manner, the advance so given in each case.
The longest game, in which there was remark of fine play by both sides, lasted three hours and a half, and from the beginning to the end of that long space of time, during which the strain on the memory must havo been enormous, Mr. Harrwitz (says Galignani) never for a moment appeared in the slightest degree embarrassed, nor did he delay longer in his moves than he probably would have done in an ordinary game, when looking at the board. The replies certainly came more rapidly from him than from the other room, M. Lecrivain taking a considerable time to examine each position and playing with great caution; M. P-, on the other hand, moved at once, and, being naturally a quick player, soon got somewhat fatigued by the great length of time which he was obliged to remain unoccupied while waiting for the decisions of M. Lecrivain.
It is most probably to this circumstance that must be attributed the fact that he by no means equalled his usual game. It was after one o'clock when M. Harrwitz came into thie general room after winning in both games. He declared himself to be but little fatigued, and, in answer to observations made to him, proceeded at once to explain various points of his play."