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Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant vs Howard Staunton
"Fournier Transformation" (game of the day Nov-27-2021)
Staunton - Saint-Amant (1843), Paris FRA, rd 5, Nov-21
Sicilian Defense: McDonnell Attack (B21)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-15-04  TrueFiendish: fred lennox: 39.d7 Rxc2 40.d8Q+ Qxd8 41.Rxd8+ Kc7 and black wins the ending, I think.
Sep-28-04  HOTDOG: prova(my first post)
Sep-28-04  HOTDOG: first of all sorry for my terrible English:

GM Raymond Keene's analysys:

5...Qb6 (theoretical novelty which attacks the d4 pawn) 6.Bd3 (strange move,but the Bishop is directed in c2 to allow d2-d4) 10.Kh2 (to remove the King from the contrapposition with the Black Queen.St'Amant's moves are artificial,so that the French without committing any real mistake is in an inferior position.So we can say that St'Amant's whole opening plan is wrong.) 10...f5 (prophilaxis!this is a tipical Stauntonian move) 11.a3 (to push d2-d4 without the answer 11.d4 cxd4 12.cxd4 Nb4) 11...a5 (to control b4)
12.a4 (apparently incoherent after 11.a3,but a logical move because it controls the b5 square that Black has weakened with 11...a5) 13...h6 (Staunton doesn't castle to move the king side pawns against the White king.) 14.Re1! (if 14...g5? 15.Bxf5! exf5 16.e6 and the Black center collapses) 16.Nxd4 (if 16.cxd4 Nb4)
17.cxd4 (if 17.Qxd4? Qxd4 18.cxd4 Bxa3 gaining a piece) 17...g5 (beginning the attack against the White king) 18.Nb5!? (in search of counterplay,but now the b5 square is weak) 19...Rc4? (if 19...Qxb5?? 20.Ba4,but 19...gxf4 should have gained a tempo) 20...Rc8 (forced,if 20...Rxd4? 21.Be3)
25...Kd7! (despite the mistake in the 19. move,Black's advantage is clean:his Knigth is in a strong position and White is forced to exchange it,conceding a protected passed pawn.White has no active counterplay) 26.Qe3 (White had to protect the d4 pawn.if 27.Bxh6? Qxd4 and White's positon collapses) 29.Bxg5 (permitting the formation of a powerful pawn chain for Black,but White has no choice because after 29.Qb3 Bxf4+ 30.Rxf4 Qxd4 31.Rxf5 Qd2 32.Rf7+ Ke8 Black wins) 30...g4!? (if 30...Rc8 31.Rxf5 or 31.d5)
31.Rd1? (the decisive mistake.White had two options:A)31.d5 Qd4 32.dxe6+ Ke7 33.Rxf5 g3+ 34.Kh1 Rc8 35.Rf1 e3 with clear advantage for Black;B)31.Rxf5! Qxd4 32.Rf7+!(not 32.hxg4? Rh8+ 33.Rh5 Rxh5+ 34.gxh5 e3 or 32.Rf1 Qxe5+ 33.Kg1 gxh3 34.Qxh3 Qd4+ with Black's advantage)32...Kd8 33.Qg3! with good drawing chances) 32...Qd8!(transfering the attack on the h line)
33...Rc8! (if 33...Rh8? 34.dxe6+ Kc7 35.b6+ and White wins) 36.Qc5 (36.Rc1 with the idea Qc7+ is fruitless:36...Rh8+ 37.Kg1 Rh7! threatening 38...Qh8,38...e3 or 38...f3) 36...e3 (threatening 37...Qh4+, 38...Qf2+ e 39...Qxg2 mate) 38...Rc8! (38...Rh8?? 39.Qc7+ Ka7 40.Qxa5+ Kb8 41.Qc7+ Ka7 42.Ra1 mate) 39.Qe2 (better resistance with 39.d7 but after 39...Rxc2 40.d8=Q+ Qxd8 41.Rxd8+ Kc7 Black wins)

Sep-28-04  Lawrence: Hi, <HOTDOG>, a warm welcome from all of us.
Sep-28-04  HOTDOG: one circumstantiation:I'm NOT a good chess player,for example this is one of my ''better'' games(I was the White):

1.e4 e6 2.d3 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Bd2 0-0 7.Be2 h6 8.a3 Ba5 9.b4 Bb6 10.Na4 c6 11.Nxb6 Qxb6 12.0-0 Nbd7 13.Re1 Re8 14.c4 dxc4 15.dxc4 c5 16.Qc2 cxb4 17.axb4 Qc7 18.Bd3 Rxe1+ 19.Rxe1 Nf8 20.Bc3 Bg4 21.Bxf6 Bxf3 22.gxf3 gxf6 23.Re4 Ne6 24.Rh4 Kg7 25.Qd2 Rh8 26.b5 Ng5 27.Rg4 h5 28.Rg3 Kf8 29.Qb4+ Qe7 30.Qxe7+ Qxe7 31.Be4 b6 32.h4 Nxe4 33.fxe4 Rd8 34.Kf1 Rd4 35.Rg8 Rxe4 36.Ra8 Rxc4 37.Rxa7+ Ke6 38.Rb7 Rxh4 39.Rxb6+ Ke5 40.Rc6 Kd5 41.Rxf6 Kc5 42.Rf5+ Kb6 43.Kg2 Rb4 44.Rxh5 Rxb5 45.Rh6+ Ka5 46.Rf6 Rg5+ 47.Kf3 Rg7 48.Kf4 Kb5 49.Kd5 Rg5+ 50.Kd6 Rg7 51.Ke7 Kc5 52.Rxf7 Rxf7+ 53.Kxf7 Kd5 54.Kf6 Ke4 1/2-1/2

Mar-07-08  Knight13: 19...Rc4 20. Bd3 Rc8 is ridiculous.
Sep-17-10  nvrennvren: a great great game for new player..38.Rc8 is both for attack and defence. keep away white queen from mating opportunity and force it to e2 to block its own king.
Feb-05-12  Knight13: This is the same opening that was played many times in the 1834 La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell matches. But Staunton realizes 11... a5!, which La Bourdonnais neglected in many of his match games against McDonnell (if not all), preventing White from playing b4.
Feb-06-12  Knight13: Correction: La Bourdonnais actually played ...a5 many times in his matches in the same opening to prevent b4. Sorry. Staunton was following La Bourdonnais's example.
Sep-27-14  dernier thylacine: YES, Knight13!

Strange enough for me: it's the British Staunton who seems often to be the "chess inheritor" of La Bourdonnais, rather than the Frenchman Saint Amant!! Even La Bourdonnais and Saint Amant certainly knew very well each other (excuse my poor english, I am just a poor french Tasmania wolf!!)

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: In this position,

click for larger view

20...Rc8 is a mistake. 20...Rxd4 is better. It might seem that 21.Be3 is now a winner but 21...Bb4!! then settles all arguments.

Jul-11-15  mikposeidon: After 21...Bb4 position becomes very wild, but i'm not see clear advantage for black. Just good initiative.

After all, i think Staunton didn't want to play such kind of game, where every piece is under attack. So it's good for him to try to outplay his opponent in solid style with minimum risk in wild tactics.

Nov-27-21  nalinw: There is such a thing as the Fourier Transformation .... but other than the similarity to one of the names of the players I don't see any "transformation" in the game to make this a worthy pun ....
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: The floor is yours, <nalinw>, to provide a pun that is interesting or amusing, has great application to the game and is a well played game by at least ELO 2400 players.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <OhioChessFan: ... provide a pun that is interesting or amusing, has great application to the game ...>. OK.

"Saint Amant has designs on Staunton 's king, but Staunton's designs are better."

(Probably been used before. And not great even then.)

Nov-27-21  George Wallace: <OhioChessFan: The floor is yours, <nalinw>, to provide a pun that is interesting or amusing, has great application to the game and is a well played game by at least ELO 2400 players>

It's hard to imagine that Saint Amant was a 2400 level player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <al wazir> Perfect pun: fits the game, refers to the players' names, hilarious.

How about "To make a long story short".

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <There is such a thing as the Fourier Transformation .... but other than the similarity to one of the names of the players I don't see any "transformation" in the game to make this a worthy pun ....>

<More GOTD like this please - better to have distant puns and great games rather than good puns and mediocre games .....>

Blackburne vs Steinitz, 1876 (kibitz #10)

Nov-27-21  Ironmanth: Actually, I liked this game! Pretty good strategizing for being played 178 years ago by two heavies of the time. Y'all stay safe out there today, and enjoy Magnus/Ian rd. 2!
Nov-27-21  goodevans: Interesting to compare SF's annotations to Ray Keene's (as provided by <HOTDOG> in 2004).

The biggest difference is that Keene awards <14.Re1> a '!' whilst SF gives it a '?'. It turns out that on a deeper analysis SF finds little difference between this move and its preferred 14.dxc5.

Keene's <25...Kd7! (despite the mistake in the 19. move,Black's advantage is clean> (sic) looks like a massive overstatement when you consider that a few moves later (and with no glaring errors) he himself points out that <31.Rxf5> would have kept Black's advantage to a minimum. Nevertheless, despite its human foibles I find his commentary the more enlightening.

Nov-27-21  Brenin: <nalinw>: The correct name is the Fourier transform. It is widely used by mathematicians and engineers. A typical application is to break a musical chord up into the frequencies of the notes within it. There is also discrete Fourier transform, widely used in signal processing. The only Fournier I know of is associated with a form of gangrene.
Nov-27-21  Cibator: UK artists Gilbert and George live at no 8 Fournier Street in London's East End. They have largely transformed the house back to its original 18th-century state.


Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Cute pun, but Saint-Amant vs Staunton, 1843 would have been a more appropriate game for it. Soltis calls Saint-Amant's astonishing swindle beginning with 32.b5!!! the greatest ever perpetrated in match history. It transformed the game, turning a seemingly resignable position into a miraculous win. It also transformed the match. Before that game, Staunton had scored 7.5 out of 8, and believed that St. Amant would have resigned the match if he had lost. Instead, St. Amant was able to continue the match for three more weeks, winning another five games, before finally succumbing.
Jan-19-23  generror: An unexpectedly terse and closed positional. game, well played by both sides. The opening is okay, at least if you take into account that then you simply *had* to push that f-pawn as soon as possible :) <6.Ld3?!> is pretty bad, blocking the whole queenside development for the next 10 moves.

Both sides go on to play mostly very solidly, occasonally making positionally weak moves, like that sequence of completely unnecessary flank pawn moves <10...f5? 11.a3?! a5? 12.a4?>. However, nobody seems to have a specific plan; but in 1843, the concept of "exploiting weaknesses" was still decades off.

White does well to close the center, so Stockfish initially gives it a slight advantage despite its lag in development. But after <16.Nd4?>, creating a weak d-pawn and opening the c-file for Black, and helping him get rid of his weak bishop via <18.Nb5?!> (which should have been played in the 16th move), the game is about even until Black's 30th move (D):

click for larger view

Here, <31.Rd1?> turns out to be too passive, allowing Black to open the g-file and making its e- and f-pawn much more dangerous. <31.Rc1> or <31.h4> were fine; but probably the best would be just split the black pawn structure in two with the great <31.Rxf5!!>: after <31...exf5?? 32.Qf7+ Kc8 33.Qxg8+ Kc7 34.Qf7+ Kd8 35.Qf6+>, the endgame is winning for White (Stockfish says +6), and any other continuation results in a very drawish-looking position (<31...Qxd4 32.Rf7+ Kd8 33.Qc2 Qxe5+ 34.g3 Qd6>).

However Staunton plays a few weak moves, and after <32...Qd8?! 33.d5! Kc8?! 34.Qb3+ Kb8 35.d6 f4> (D), White doesn't look too bad, even though the two horrible black pawns start rolling.

click for larger view

Saint-Amant definitively should have done something about them -- the quite obvious <36.Rd4!> would have been totally fine and would probably held the game. Instead, he plays the absolutely nonsensical <36.Qc5??>. I have no idea what his plan was here, but it sure didn't work, and now it's sudden death. After <39.Qe2?> it's mate in 3, but even after, say, <39.d7!?>, he would have lost quickly.

This was Saint-Amant's fourth loss in the fifth game, and his third in a row with his Grand Prix/McDonnell Attack. In his next game with white he switched to 1.d4 with which he fared much better.

Jan-19-23  generror: EDIT: Thinking again, it should be <31.Rxf5! 31...exf5?? 32.Qf7+!> -- actually, the second move is the point of the whole thing.
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