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Staunton - Saint Amant Match

Howard Staunton15.5/27(+13 -9 =5)[games]
Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint Amant11.5/27(+9 -13 =5)[games] Chess Event Description
Staunton - Saint Amant (1843)

Saint Amant played two matches against Staunton in 1843. (1) The first, in London, Saint Amant won 3½–2½ (+3 -2 =1), but he lost a return match in Paris just before Christmas 13–8 (+6 -11 =4). This second match is often considered an unofficial world championship which cemented Staunton as the leading player of his era. (2)

London, 28 April - 7 May 1843

1 2 3 4 5 6 Saint Amant 0 = 1 0 1 1 3.5 Staunton 1 = 0 1 0 0 2.5

Saint Amant moved first in the odd-numbered games.

Paris, 14 November - 18 December 1843

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Staunton 1 1 = 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 = 1 0 = = 0 0 1 13 Saint Amant 0 0 = 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 = 0 1 = = 1 1 0 8

Saint Amant moved first in the odd-numbered games.

(1) Wikipedia article: List of chess world championship matches, (2) Wikipedia article: Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 27  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Saint Amant vs Staunton 0-1691843Staunton - Saint AmantB20 Sicilian
2. Staunton vs Saint Amant ½-½891843Staunton - Saint AmantC24 Bishop's Opening
3. Saint Amant vs Staunton 1-0351843Staunton - Saint AmantC53 Giuoco Piano
4. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-0301843Staunton - Saint AmantC53 Giuoco Piano
5. Saint Amant vs Staunton 1-0601843Staunton - Saint AmantB40 Sicilian
6. Staunton vs Saint Amant 0-1581843Staunton - Saint AmantA80 Dutch
7. Saint Amant vs Staunton 0-1331843Staunton - Saint AmantB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
8. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-0321843Staunton - Saint AmantA43 Old Benoni
9. Saint Amant vs Staunton ½-½571843Staunton - Saint AmantB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
10. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-0331843Staunton - Saint AmantA43 Old Benoni
11. Saint Amant vs Staunton 0-1391843Staunton - Saint AmantB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
12. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-0471843Staunton - Saint AmantA34 English, Symmetrical
13. Saint Amant vs Staunton 0-1331843Staunton - Saint AmantD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
14. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-0521843Staunton - Saint AmantB44 Sicilian
15. Saint Amant vs Staunton 1-0351843Staunton - Saint AmantD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
16. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-0611843Staunton - Saint AmantB44 Sicilian
17. Saint Amant vs Staunton 1-0501843Staunton - Saint AmantD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
18. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-0891843Staunton - Saint AmantA34 English, Symmetrical
19. Saint Amant vs Staunton 1-0341843Staunton - Saint AmantD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
20. Staunton vs Saint Amant ½-½621843Staunton - Saint AmantA35 English, Symmetrical
21. Saint Amant vs Staunton 0-1561843Staunton - Saint AmantD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Staunton vs Saint Amant 0-1581843Staunton - Saint AmantA34 English, Symmetrical
23. Saint Amant vs Staunton ½-½541843Staunton - Saint AmantD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
24. Staunton vs Saint Amant ½-½571843Staunton - Saint AmantD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
25. Saint Amant vs Staunton 1-0791843Staunton - Saint AmantD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 27  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-25-15  jnpope: <The seconds and umpires are Messrs Wilson and Worrell, on the part of Mr Staunton; and for the French player, M M Lecrivain and Lasias.>

source: Bell's Life in London, 1843.11.26

<Latterly Mr Staunton had to contend with the great disadvantages arising from a protracted absence in a foreign land, and the being left in Paris without his umpires, Mr Worrell and Mr Harry Wilson, both being compelled to return prematurely to London, by sudden and grave indisposition; and admirably as their places were filled by Mr Bryan and Mr Dizi, their loss as personal friends could not but be sensibly felt.>

Source: Bell's Life in London, 1843.12.24

Jan-25-15  jnpope: Evans as a second? Looks like that bio posted at the site is by Bill Wall... I'm not sure what sources Wall used but I haven't found any mention of Evans as a second or umpire for Staunton.
Jan-25-15  zanzibar: <jn> Yes, I would think the definitive sources would be from each player's respective journals in the day.

<Chess Player's Chronicle, Vol 5>

I haven't had time to go through it all, but the <George Walker> article on p92 is a must-read.

I'll try to go through the volume more carefully later today. And I should also try to find the <Le Palemède> take on the match as well (luckily, I can read a little French).

I may of overstated the case when I claimed I found the seconds with only the one source - but as I've said, these are working notes, and a little enthusiasm provides the impetus for doing the follow-up research.

Thanks for those refs.

<crawfb5> also found some nice material on the match:

User: crawfb5

It's funny, after reading Walker's letter, that Staunton ended up going to Paris a second time for a rematch (which never occurred due to him catching pneumonia) - after being so vehement about Saint Amant having to come to London as a condition.

Jan-26-15  zanzibar: To continue with the identity of the seconds...

Another non-contemporaneous ref can be found here:

<Staunton also brought with him Worrall, Capt. Evans, and later Harry Wilson, to assist him.>

The text is right next to an illustration of the players from the match (where is the illustration from?).

Batgirl/Sarah gives a link via the "to assist him" to here:

It's in German, and I haven't had the time to follow it up.

Batgirl goes on to say this:

<In short, Saint Amant who was basically a coffeehouse player, was steam-rolled. Staunton took an early 9-2 lead in the match while Saint Amant lost all his confidence and had to be encouraged by his friends to even continue the match. But Saint Amant had finally worked his way through these openings he wasn't prepared for and was making a strong comeback, winning 4 of that final 6 decisive games for a finally tally of +11 -6 =4 in favor of Staunton. Saint Amant wanted a third match, but Staunton, who had developed heart trouble during the match, refused.>

I generally like Sarah's writings, but I do have some criticism of the above.

1) Was Saint Amant truly just a "coffeehouse player"?

(Look at all the trouble Giri got in using this term)

2) I wouldn't use the phrase "steam-rolled" to characterize the entire match. As she notes, Saint Amant did fight back rather well (for a coffeehouse player) during the 2nd half of the match.

3) Staunton is said to have not been able to play a 3rd match due to "heart trouble". My understanding is that it was due to pneumonia. If he developed heart trouble from the pneumonia, this should have been noted.

Still investigating more, of course.

(I did learn the good Capt served as Harrwitz's second in a proposed match vs Staunton:

<British Chess Review, Vol 2. 1854 p85 / Chess Intelligence>

Jan-26-15  zanzibar: PS- A nice summary of the Staunton--Harrwitz dickering can be found here:

<Eminent Victorian Chess Players: Ten Biographies

By Tim Harding (p 60)>

Jan-26-15  zanzibar: <RE: Captain Evans as Staunton's Second>

There is contemporaneous evidence of his potential involvement (or should I more accurately say, evidence of his potential non-involvement?):

<Letter from Staunton to Saint Amand

St. George's Club: Oct 9th, 1843>

Article 7: Captain Evan's absence rendering it impossible for me to ensure his presence at the match, I reserve to myself the privilege of naming my referee when you mention yours.>

<The Chess Player's Chronicle, Vol 6, p148>

So, Staunton at least contemplated using Evan's as his second for the Staunton--Saint Amand match.

Jan-28-15  jnpope: From Bell's Life in London for 1842.03.06: <[...] Captain Evans, the "Evans Gambit man," who recently settled himself in Greece as commander of the Iberia steamer, running between Malta and the Isles..>

And from the Bristol Mercury for 1843.12.23:
<The Oriental Company's steam-ship, Iberia, Captain Evans, arrived in the docks this morning, from London, and will take out the Peninsular mails to-morrow [...]>

It would appear that Captain Evans was busy with his "day job" during the match and very unlikely that he could have been involved in the match at any point.

Jan-28-15  zanzibar: Nice bit of digging there.

I've seen <Bell's Life> referenced elsewhere (e.g. an account of Labourdonnais' sad death in London iirc).

Is it available/searchable online somewhere?

* * * *

I think the most definitive statement concerning who actually were seconds at the match some from Le Palamede, an excerpt of which is quoted by Edward Winters (CN #7028):

<7028. John Worrell

Lynne Leonhardt (Claremont, WA, Australia) is seeking information about her great-great-great-grandfather, John Worrell, who was a second to Staunton in the 1843 match against Saint-Amant in Paris.

We have noted fewer particulars in the Chess Player’s Chronicle than in Le Palamède. From page 481 of the 15 November 1843 issue of the latter:>

So, M. Worrell for Staunton, at least till M.H. Wilson became available.

For Saint Amant, it was MM. Sasais and Lecrivain.

Jan-30-15  zanzibar: A famous (as I learned), and fabulous tableau of the match, in color no less, can be seen here:

or even better (higher resolution and apparently public domain) here:

Might I suggest <CG> use it?

Jan-30-15  zanzibar: I assume this is a scene from Paris, but do we know for sure?

The Paris location is widely reported as Café de la Regence, but it was in a private room adjacent to the actual cafe itself, I think.

OK, a little more digging reveals more details than I could have hoped for, as the painting itself was on sale and was promoted:

From Boris Wilnitsky Fine Arts:

< 37025

Jean Henri Marlet "19th game of chess match "Staunton-Saint-Amant (16th December 1843), oil on canvas

15000 EUR
( for EUR price see date rate )
Please note: Shipping and insurance costs are not included in this promotion, ONLY ITEM PRICES! (please note additional 10% tax applies for transactions concluded within the European Union)

As our image nr.14 show, the author of this composition - well-known French artist of the 1st half of the 19th century Jean Henri Marlet - probably replicated it few other times. The variation offered in 2006 at Sotheby's London differs from "ours" by a single detail, namely by the absence of the chandelier hanging from the ceiling. There exists also a lithograph by Alexandre Leemlein (1812-1871; see our images nr.15-16), which at some point provoked a somewhat of a scandal (see below).

In the work presented here, we are witnessing the famous 2nd meeting between two world's best chess players that took place in the same year (1843) shortly after the 1st meeting. First, Englishman Howard Staunton (CLICK HERE) and Frenchman Pierre Charles Fourrier de Saint-Amant (CLICK HERE) played against each other in summer 1843 in London (Saint-Amant was the winner of this match of eight games) and in November-December 1843 in Parisian "Café de la Regence" (Staunton won with the score of 13-8; this 2nd match is sometimes considered to be an unofficial world championship). The depicted here scene represents the 19th game on the 16th of December 1843 (this game was won by Saint-Amant (see our image nr.17), who nevertheless was no longer in the condition to draw near Staunton, who by that time, was leading with the score of 12-6. Saint-Amant managed to win also the next 20th game, yet Staunton did outscored him in the 21st game, thus putting the end to this match) .

Jean Henri Marlet (1771 Autun/Saone-et-Loire - 1847) was a celebrated historical and genre painter, lithographer and engraver of the 1st half of the 19th century. He was the son of sculptor Jerome Marlet (1731-1810) and studied at first at the Ecole d. B.A. of Dijon, then under Baron Regnault in Paris. He exhibited regularly (until 1844) at the Salon de Paris. His paintings are on display in museums of Compiegne and Dijon. Jean Henri Marlet is considered to be one of the best artists of early French lithography.

And now, a few words about the abovementioned scandal that was provoked by publication of Alexandre Laemlein's lithograph (see our image nr.15).

It appears that Saint-Amant bought Marlet's painting (the question, which one of the two - "ours" or Sotheby's variation? - remains open) for 500 francs, and handed it over to the engraver, Laemlein. The latter did not engrave from the original, but in the first instance made a copy of the painting, in which he substituted several well-known characters in the chess world for some of the persons in the original. As a consequence of these alterations, Saint-Amant considered he was dealing with a fresh picture, and on publication he therefore only suffixed the name of the engraver. Thereupon Marlet brought an action against the chess journal Palamède for publishing his picture without his consent, and likewise for damages for the omission of his name. The first part of the action was dismissed, as it was held that the artist, in selling his picture, ceded all his rights to the purchaser. For the omission of his name he was awarded 200 francs damages, and Saint-Amant was ordered to have Marlet's name added to all future impressions of this lithograph.

Provenance: Vienna auction house "Dorotheum", 16th October 2013, Lot 1133 (see our image nr.18)


Condition: good

Creation Year: 1843/45

Measurements: UNFRAMED:71,1x91,4cm/28,0x36,0in FRAMED: 98,5x117,5cm/38,8x46,3in

Object Type: Framed oil painting

Style: 19th century paintings

Technique: oil on canvas


Creator: Jean Henri Marlet>

Apparently Winter's CN #4259 identifies most (all?) of the attendees.

I wonder if that includes the man at the far left, apparently asleep?!

Jan-30-15  zanzibar: Interestingly, they claim the scene is from R19, and give the date as 1843-12-16.

Winter's CN #4259

Show Staunton sitting on the left, playing White (note the captured Black pieces on his immediate right).

<CG> has R19 on the right day, but I believe with colors reversed.

Not sure what to make of that.

Jan-30-15  zanzibar: Oh, goodness gracious, Marlet's painting is on ebay:

I'd suggest going directly to the art dealer's webpage instead, if you're interested. You could save a couple of grand.

Jan-31-15  jnpope: <<CG> has R19 on the right day, but I believe with colors reversed.

Not sure what to make of that.>

Game 19 was a Queen's Gambit Accepted of 79 moves and St. Amant had the first move; <CG> has it correct.

According to the 1844 book of the match by Carl Meier, Staunton used the Black pieces throughout the match. So he never played with the White pieces in any of the games of this match.

The painting on eBay seems incorrect showing Staunton using the White pieces; the lithograph shown at shows Staunton with the Black pieces (perhaps St. Amant had the engraver correct the flaw?).

Jan-31-15  zanzibar: <jnpope> Another example of my rushing, even if I did qualify my concern.

Still, I'm glad I did post it, since I would never have known this:

<According to the 1844 book of the match by Carl Meier, Staunton used the Black pieces throughout the match. So he never played with the White pieces in any of the games of this match.>

Do you believe this? I find it utterly fantastic!

Reading the contemporaneous reporting in <La Palamede> and <Chess Player's Chronicle> I do know there is a lot of discussion about Staunton's set being used.

The French maybe claiming this put Saint Amant at a disadvantage, the English pointing out Saint Amant's compliments for the design while in London. Etc.

But I don't remember reading that Staunton always had the Black colors, even if not the move.

Jan-31-15  zanzibar: <jnpope><The painting on eBay seems incorrect showing Staunton using the White pieces; the lithograph shown at shows Staunton with the Black pieces (perhaps St. Amant had the engraver correct the flaw?).>

I differ here, and maybe confirm my original post, which based on the original painting.

The close up of the players at the table show captured Black pieces on Staunton's side of the table, to his immediate right - strongly suggesting he is playing White.

I don't go by the pieces on the board, as they are more difficult to see, and it's clear that we are well into the game.

Here is the link to <CG R19>:

Saint Amant vs Staunton, 1843

which shows Saint Amant is playing White.

Saint Amant vs Staunton, 1843

I see now that the lithograph shows Staunton with Black, as you said. The captured pieces are now White (and maybe are rearranged, some of them being tipped over).

As we've learned the engraver, Laemlein (who actually is actually in the painting (#5 - see Winter)), took liberties to rework the painting when making his engraving. Perhaps he corrected the colors to match the actual game, while at the same time inserting non-attendees?!

Jan-31-15  zanzibar: By the way, unless I've missed something, <CG> makes it difficult to find a particular game (i.e. round) from a match.

For instance, item #19 in the above game list might be assumed to be the game from R19. It's not:

It's even worse, since the round number isn't displayed (let alone promeniently displayed) on the game page:

Saint Amant vs Staunton, 1843

Instead, you have to look at the PGN page:

It's only there that we learn game #19 is actually R13.

I find this simply wrong, as in wrong-footed. <CG> should work to improve this area.

1) Sort match games, and tournament games, by round numbers if available.

Only if the round numbers are missing should the games be sorted by date.

Sorting when neither date nor round number are available should probably be done alphabetically for a tournament, and by cid for a match.

2) When displaying the game, the Event/Site/Date/Round should be prominently displayed.


* * * * *

R19 is easily found in the gamelist above for this one case however, it being the only game with a photographic icon.

Jan-31-15  jnpope: It was common practice for players to keep using the same color pieces at least into the 1850s. I'd have to check to see when "White moves first", and players alternating colors, became standardized.
Jan-31-15  zanzibar: < It was common practice for players to keep using the same color pieces at least into the 1850s.>

Wow, I never heard of this before!

I certainly would have found it very confusing...

(How did they decide who got what color, in addition to who got first move/first game?)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Zbar says <It's only there that we learn game #19 is actually R13.>

I think that it is because two matches are combined. Thus there are two Rd One games, two Twos etc. Therefore the list gets 6 rds off.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: Holy smokes:

13 wins, 9 losses.

9 wins, 13 losses.

Not to many Grandmaster draws!

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <diceman> That's because the term Grandmaster did not come into lexicon until 1907, or 1914, depending on which one you want go by.
Dec-03-16  Tal1949: Playing through the games with Stockfish 8 at the moment. I am very surprised just how good Staunton was. Sure, his openings had much to be desired by modern standards- but damn could he play the endgame!

No wonder Morphy wanted to test his skills against him.

Mar-14-17  jnpope: Earlier this month I finished a CA treatment of the 1843 Staunton-Staint Amant match:

I asked readers of the Bistro if anyone possessing superior French language skills than myself could spot-check my translations of Saint Amant's annotations (published in <Le Palamède>) and asked for feedback and/or corrections to anything I may have grossly misinterpreted, especially the idioms, and I ask the same here. I did the best I could with my high school level romance language translation skills.

Apr-24-17  Caissanist: I can't help with the French, but many thanks for your excellent article!
Premium Chessgames Member
  amadeus: A pretty bad start for Saint Amant in the second match.
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