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Staunton - Saint-Amant Match

Howard Staunton13/21(+11 -6 =4)[games]
Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant8/21(+6 -11 =4)[games] Chess Event Description
Staunton - Saint-Amant (1843)

Paris, France; 14 November 1843—18 December 1843

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Wins ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Staunton 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1 11 Saint Amant 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 0 6 ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Format: The winner of the first eleven games is the victor, draws not counting. Time Control: None. Purse: £200/2,500 francs (£100 a side).

Rules of the Match(1)
1st. The amount of stake on each side to be £100 sterling—and the winner of the first eleven games to be declared the victor, and entitled to the stakes.

2nd. The match to be played in the rooms of the Cercle des Echecs, in Paris.

3rd. The games to be conducted in accordance with the rules adopted by the Paris Cercle des Echecs.

4th. The parties to play on a Chess-board and with Chess-men similar to those used by them on the previous occasion of their playing together.

5th. The match to commence in the month of November, 1843, and to be continued at not less than four sittings each week. Either player failing to attend at the hour fixed for play, to forfeit one guinea for each omission.

6th. In the event of the English player failing to present himself within the course of four days from the time appointed for the commencement of the contest, he shall be considered to have lost, and the stakes be forfeited to his opponent. On the other hand, if his adversary be unprepared to play at the expiration of the same period after the time fixed, he shall be adjudged to have forfeited the stakes, &c.

7th. The stakes on the part of Mr. Staunton to be deposited prior to the commencement of the match in the hands of Mr. Lewis, of the London Chess Club; and those on the side of M. St. Amant in the hands of M. Chamouillet, of the Paris Chess Club.

(1) Chess-Player's Companion, Howard Staunton, London, 1849, p315

 page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Saint-Amant vs Staunton 0-1331843Staunton - Saint-AmantB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
2. Staunton vs Saint-Amant 1-0321843Staunton - Saint-AmantA43 Old Benoni
3. Saint-Amant vs Staunton ½-½571843Staunton - Saint-AmantB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
4. Staunton vs Saint-Amant 1-0331843Staunton - Saint-AmantA43 Old Benoni
5. Saint-Amant vs Staunton 0-1391843Staunton - Saint-AmantB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
6. Staunton vs Saint-Amant 1-0471843Staunton - Saint-AmantA34 English, Symmetrical
7. Saint-Amant vs Staunton 0-1331843Staunton - Saint-AmantD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
8. Staunton vs Saint-Amant 1-0521843Staunton - Saint-AmantB44 Sicilian
9. Saint-Amant vs Staunton 1-0351843Staunton - Saint-AmantD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
10. Staunton vs Saint-Amant 1-0611843Staunton - Saint-AmantB44 Sicilian
11. Saint-Amant vs Staunton 1-0501843Staunton - Saint-AmantD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
12. Staunton vs Saint-Amant 1-0891843Staunton - Saint-AmantA34 English, Symmetrical
13. Saint-Amant vs Staunton 1-0341843Staunton - Saint-AmantD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
14. Staunton vs Saint-Amant ½-½621843Staunton - Saint-AmantA35 English, Symmetrical
15. Saint-Amant vs Staunton 0-1561843Staunton - Saint-AmantD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. Staunton vs Saint-Amant 0-1581843Staunton - Saint-AmantA34 English, Symmetrical
17. Saint-Amant vs Staunton ½-½541843Staunton - Saint-AmantD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
18. Staunton vs Saint-Amant ½-½571843Staunton - Saint-AmantD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
19. Saint-Amant vs Staunton 1-0791843Staunton - Saint-AmantD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
20. Staunton vs Saint-Amant 0-1301843Staunton - Saint-AmantC01 French, Exchange
21. Saint-Amant vs Staunton 0-1661843Staunton - Saint-AmantD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  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?)

Oct-11-16  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  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!
Jun-24-19  amadeus: A pretty bad start for Saint Amant in the second match.
Apr-15-21  Caissanist: The best account I know of of this match, and one of the best pieces of chess writing I have seen, comes from the great British writer Geoffrey Harber Diggle, in an article originally written for <British Chess Magazine> in 1943 and reprinted in Hugh Alexander's 1973 <A Book of Chess>. Diggle's writings are, so far as I know, consistently well researched: Edward Winter speaks very highly of him. Since that piece has yet to make its way to the web I will put up some excerpts here, hope the gang here finds them enjoyable.
Apr-15-21  Caissanist: <from Diggle>: Staunton has been criticized for always calling it 'The Great Chess Match between England and France,' but the struggle really was worthy of this title. For nearly a century previous the French had been, as a chess-playing nation, traditionally supreme. This supremacy, established by Philidor, had been maintained successively by Deschapelles (though in a somewhat shadowy manner), by La Bourdonnais (far more decisively) and (up to 1843) by St. Amant himself. [...]

Nor was the 'unparalleled interest' any mere grandiloquent figment of Staunton's pen. Overwhelming evidence survives as to how genuinely the contest fired the public imagination on both sides of the Channel. We have the recollections of such men as Wayte and Tomlinson, who were both young players when the match took place. 'In the chess clubs of this country,' writes the latter, 'the greatest excitement prevailed; and the games, as and when received, were played over and over.' Nor was the ferment confined to the very few of our cities which boasted such a club at that time. Chess came to life in all sorts of obscure haunts and shallows in the provinces. From all over the country converts sprang up and vociferously demanded 'The Games of the Grand Match.'

Apr-15-21  Caissanist: [...]These conditions were a rigorous challenge even to such giants of a rugged age as were Staunton and St. Amant. Again and again the two champions, having fought without respite throughout the day, were faced late in the evening with a crucial endgame to be played out in surroundings which (to quote Staunton's second, Captain Wilson), 'had become insupportable through the lighting of the lamps, and the crowding in of more and more spectators who had come to see the finish.' 'During the playing of the nineteenth game' (if we are to believe Bell's 'Life'), 'Such was the anxiety of the public to witness the skill of Mr. Staunton and the heroic resistance of St. Amant, that both parties suffered terribly from the heat, and gendarmes had to be posted at the club doors to refuse further admittance.' [...]
Incidentally, Captain Wilson's figures show that St. Amant was much the slower player. 'But,' said Staunton, when discussing his opponent with Tomlinson fifteen years later, 'his conception was slow. He did not take more time than was necessary. I never met a man with such powers of endurance. He seemed as fresh at the end of fourteen hours as when he sat down.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <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.>

Staunton - Saint Amant (1843) (kibitz #18)

An exchange of letters took place between <Worrell> and the other second, Harry Wilson, in the pages of the <Morning Herald> in October/November 1844. Worrell's letter of October 30th, p.5, is signed: <J. Worrell. Hunter-street, Brunswick-square, Oct. 28.>

That allowed me to find our man listed at No.28 Hunter St as <surv and est agnt> in the 1842 <Robson London Directory>:

Jul-31-21  Lossmaster: A very high-resolution scan of the Laemlein lithograph showing game 19 is downloadable from the Musée Carnavalet: https://www.parismuseescollections....

Identification of the 32 people depicted is discussed (in French) on pp. 37-38 of this document:

It also discusses about the Marlet painting and the whole plagiarism affair (pp. 32-41), from contemporary sources.

Wkimedia Commons has both a cropped version of the Laemlein lithograph scan and a scan of the Marlet painting:

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The <St James Chronicle> of November 21st 1843, p.4, carries the score of the first game, played on November 14th. Across the page in the <Births, Marriages, Deaths> column is listed the demise of:

<Nov. 14, aged 30, Caroline Dundas, wife of Mr. P. W. Mitchell, and youngest daughter of the late Elias Freeling, Esq.>

Following research by John Townsend, it seems probable this woman was, de facto, if not de jure, Staunton's sister-in-law.

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