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Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant vs Howard Staunton
Staunton - Saint-Amant (1843), Paris FRA, rd 13, Dec-06
Tarrasch Defense: Symmetrical Variation (D32)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-28-03  Ashley: In 1843 they played six games in London with Saint-Amant winning 3.5-2.5, then 21 games in Paris with Staunton emerging victorious 13-8. Staunton therefore outscored his opponent 15.5-11.5, however I believe historically they are considered two separate matches. Some might consider these to be the first world championship matches, it is not really settled.
Jun-28-03  jmcd2002: DK - in your line, isn't there still a knight on f3? Playing through your line, it looks like 22...Bf4 23. dxe6 Bxd2 24. exf7+ Rcxf7 25. Bxc8 and a very interesting position arises - black's bishop is not yet on e1, but it is black to move with threatening any of the following: Bxe1, exf3, R/Bxc8. I think I like exf3 best, as it eliminates the knight and keeps both rooks under threat. Maybe 25...exf3, 26. Rxd2 (eliminating both threats) ...Bxc8? Now we're left with equal material, but only momentarily because black will break up white's K-side pawns. Of course, maybe there's a better way for white to handle the exchange after 22...Bf4?
Jun-28-03  drukenknight: Yes I think you are right, jmcd. When I looked at it, during the day. I was not too worried because the B would take on f2 w/ check (this is after 25...Bxf1 26 Bxb7) and I felt that was okay.

THen I came back last night, and I was trying to follow all that stuff in my head and I thought that the f file would be open but I guess it is not. Really getting confused.

But I think we are okay through 25...Bxe1, after that I will have to set it up and look at it.

Now that I look at it again, maybe there is something else going on with that rook on f7 huh?

I have to run now, be back tomorrow, stick it in your computer and see if you can drive your computer crazy. It's a good thing to do that to computers every once in awhile, trust me.

Jun-28-03  drukenknight: I think what I am looking at right now is:

22...Bf4 23. dxe6 Bxd2 24. exf7+ Rcxf7 25. Bxc8 Bxe1 26 Nxe1 Bxc8 (it might be tempting to push e3) 27 Rxe4 Bxh3! 28 Nf3 Bf5

I think it is fair to say that Staunton was not a real sharp tactical player. You would have to admit a modern day player like: Tal Alekhine, Geller, Fischer, Piket, Karpov or a latter day Rubinstein and/or Lasker would be able to follow a clear strategy plan (it could be one of several) over the course of several moves. Not just get by one move at a time.

we are already 13 plys deep and Staunton has already left the table and gone home for the night! So no hes not a sharp tactical player.

It would be interesting to see how a deep thinker like Korchnoi or a Lasker would have come up with in this situation.

Fischer/Geller here at this stage would of course be a superb test. Or Fischer/Tal would probably become hilarious but would be very interesting.

Who would do something strange. Korchnoi for sure. Can you see him sitting there for an hour looking at the board w/o moving a piece?(he would do this in game, all the time)

You know he would be there calculating each and every move of this.

Capablanca. Not at all. He would not even be sweating to get through this. He is probably thinking

"yeah I had this same combo last thursday over blitz, we breezed through it in 1ike 15-20 seconds and it was no big deal, just interesting.."

Fischer/Larsen. Larsen would mess this up, real bad. Probably in two or three moves.

Euwe would mess this up. He would forget to exchange at the right moment.

spassky/korchnoi. actually it would probably be a french.


Jun-28-03  jmcd2002: DK<stick it in your computer and see if you can drive your computer crazy>

I don't think my computer would survive... but if anyone out there (where's crafty?) would do us the favor that'd be swell.

Jun-28-03  crafty: 22. ... ♗f4 23. ♕d1 exf3 24. ♖xe6 ♕d8 25. ♖6e4 ♗g5 26. ♕d3   (eval 0.43; depth 14 ply; 500M nodes)
Jun-28-03  jmcd2002: Wow. That was quick. "Ask and ye shall receive..." Thanks, crafty. ;)
Jul-02-03  Sylvester: Thanks for the information Ashley. I know who the first official champion is, but who is the first one to have proven himself the world's best player?
Jul-06-03  morphynoman2: Analysis by crafty is the same by Staunton himself, as you can see in Raymond Keene's book about Staunton.
Jul-22-03  Sylvester: Is that the best book about Staunton?

There are two, both published around 1975. The Keene book has about 20 pages of biography and 60 annotated games. The book by his friend David Levy is a biography focusing on chess and contains several letters and a few games.

Jul-25-03  Sylvester: Thanks PVS. I think I will check the library for the Keene book.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: I have found a gamescore of this game, which was a little bit longer. The game after 27.Be4 continued 27....fxg2 28.Qf4 Rc4 29.Qg4+ Kf8 30.Qh5 Ke7 31.d6+ Kxd6 32.Bxb7 Kc7 33.Bxa6 Rc3 34.Qxb5 1-0
Mar-15-04  mtalfan104: Paul Morphy proved himself to be the world's best player in 1858, I think. He was also the first American to be the best in the world at anything. Interesting game, by the way. Good analysis!
Sep-12-07  Guguni: Doesn't 25. Qh6 finish it? It is an inescapable mating net. Whatever black plays 26 Qxh7 mates, or if the black plays 25... Re8 27 Qh8 can be added to the sequence. Black can annoy a bit with Bh2+ etc., but it is unstopable, I think. Any ideas?
Sep-12-07  MetalPig: 25. Qh6, fxe6
and Rc7 protects h7.
Oct-16-07  nimh: Rybka 2.4 mp, AMD X2 2.01GHz, 10 min per move, threshold 0.33.

De Saint Amant 3 mistakes:
25.Rxd6 11.91 (25.R6e4 #10)
27.Be4 7.09 (27.Qf4 13.99)
31.d6+ 19.66 (31.Bf5+ #8)

Staunton 7 mistakes:
20...Ne4 0.53 (20...Re8 0.00)
22...exf3 2.71 (22...Bf4 0.51)
23...Qd8 3.69 (23...fxe6 2.68)
24...gxf6 #10 (24...fxe6 3.62)
27...fxg2 11.47 (27...Rcd7 7.09)
28...Rc4 #10 (28...Re7 11.47)
31...Kxd6 #13 (31...Rxd6 19.66)

Mar-07-08  Knight13: If only this game were played between these two you would think Staunton sucked.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Knight 13> No, you wouldn't. Staunton loses to a fantastic combination.
Mar-18-10  SirChrislov: Wait a minute, in the Chessmaster game database, the move 18...b5 is never played. the final move is 34.Qb5 resigns. not 34.Qxb5. man that collection is full of errors.
Feb-05-12  Knight13: At move 19, Black has his pieces set up in purely defensive (possibly ineffective) positions. What can he do there, really, except wander? 20... Ne4 was a good try, given the context.
May-09-13  Phony Benoni: <"The year 1843, and the handsome and engaging St. Amant reigns over chess at the Regence. He was as much an idol socially as at chess play; a triumphant personality. He had no fear except-- But let Delaney tell the story, qutoed freeely out of "Brentano's Chess Monthly".

"'Only one thing troubled him, and that was an umbrella tap on the windowpane of the Regence by Madame St. Amant, his energetic and somewhat despotic lady. This trifling signal was such an order as he dared not disobey, on pain of losing his beef tea, as also wifely smiles and domestic felicities....'

"In the same year 1843, Staunton, of London, beat this irresolute Adonis, of Paris, in an historic match. Staunton upset all French ideas of propriety by playing with coat off--a shirt-sleeve victory!

"And now, gracious reader, look critically at the terrific battle below, and wonder with me what would have happened to the Briton if St. Amanat also had been a bachelor and had taken off his coat, too!

Here is the famous thirteenth game, in which the longest time tie French master used on any move, Staunton said, was ten minutes at 24.Bf6."> -- William Ewart Napier.

So much for dress codes.

Dec-06-13  poorthylacine: Here is it at last, a game won by Saint Amant as worthy inherit of La Bourdonnais'genius!!

L'immortelle de Saint Amant!!

Jan-25-15  morfishine: Probably Amant's best game of the match. You just don't usually see Staunton get ripped apart like this


Jan-20-23  generror: Another terse Queen's Gambit wrestling match between these two.

Again, the first half-dozen moves are absolutely solid (a Symmetrical Tarrasch), but then today's opening theory and Stockfish are not impressed by either player, but at least nobody plays "King's Bishop pawn to its Fourth". After <15...Rc7> (D) the position is still nearly symmetrical, but White has won a tempo well spent by playing the rook onto the e-file.

click for larger view

Play goes on quite uneventfully until Staunton's <20...Ne4? 21.Nxe4 dxe4> (D) which looks totally fine until Saint-Amant plays the lovely interposing move <22.d5!>, when it suddenly looks much less fine.

click for larger view

Staunton now played <22...exf3??> (can't hurt grabbing the knight with the pawn, right?) but this turns out to be losing after another Saint-Amant drops <23.Rxe6!>, with <23...fxe6 24.Bxe6+ Rff7 25.Bxc8 Rxc8 26.g3> losing the queen for a meager recompensation of a rook and a bishop.

(The great zwischenzug <22...Bf4! 23.Qd1> would have saved the game: <23...exf3 24.Rxe6 Qd8 25.R6e4 Qg5 26.Qxf3 Qxf5 27.Rxf4 Qxd5 28.Qg3> and White's advantage is clear, but not crushing.)

Instead Staunton tries <23...Qd8> and is then shocked once more by <24.Bf6!> (D). The plain <24.Rxd6 Qxd6 25.Be5> would have been at least just as good, but of course doesn't nearly look as cool :)

click for larger view

Although Black is now lost now whatever he does, after Staunton's choice of <24...gxf6?> it's mate in 10, but Saint-Amant misses <25.R6e4!>. Both players go on to play pretty inaccurately, so the game goes on for a while before Staunton realizes it does not make much sense to go on (after <34.Qxb5>, white is up 7 points of material and it's a mate in 7).

The whole situation after <22.d5!> reminded me Saint-Amant's famous swindle <32.b5!> in the fifth game ( Saint-Amant vs Staunton, 1843 ): Again, Staunton blunders heavily after being completely surprised by an unexpected (but totally sound) pawn push, and while he didn't lose a won game here, I can't help but thinking that the trauma of that game may have clouded his judgement here and led to the usual re-enactment of the trauma. (I know about these things :)

This game is often hailed as the best game of their match; I'm not quite sure, I found the fifth much more entertaining, and both have their share of blunders and mistakes from both sides, but Saint-Amants sequence of breathtaking moves sure makes this one a classic.

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