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Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais vs Alexander McDonnell
Match (1834), ?, rd 69
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Main Line (C51)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-28-04  Knight13: I don't know what black was trying to do but white builted lot's of pawn walls on the king side attacking the castled king. But black's pieces are spread apart. Good old game by Louis Charles Mahe.
May-16-06  sneaky pete: This edition of the 69th game comes from the Oxford Encyclopedia, based on publication in La Stratégie, 1874. In the amazing duplicate La Bourdonnais vs MacDonnell, 1834 from Bachmann's "Aus Vergangenen Zeiten" (1920) the black bishop moves (logical) to c7 on move 17 and white "forgets" to recapture the knight on move 22 but still wins after (illogical) 22.Kg2 Neg5 23.Bxg5 Qxg5 in 31 moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <sneaky pete> You are a fearsomely learned man, a la <Benzol>, <Resignation Trap>, <Calli> etc. Will you ever write a bio of yourself?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Black's 12-14th moves are about as pointless a series of moves as I've seen by a strong player.
Oct-18-07  sneaky pete: 12... h6 preparing for .. Nh7 and .. f5 is not at all pointless, it's typical McDonnell. He wants to counterattack at all costs from every position. Usually this means finding some way to advance f- or g-pawn, or both, no matter who benefits or suffers from it.

William Greenwood Walker (1836), the primary source for these games, gives the alternate score La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834. I believe that is the correct version, except for the omission of 22.Rxe4 Qh4 before 23.Kg2 .. etc is played. In fact, in his score
22.K to Kt second Kt to Kt fourth
white's move makes no sense and black's move is ambiguous when both Ne4-g5 and Nh7-g5 are possible. So I guess Walker made a mistake here when recording the moves.

If I'm right, the correct version would have 5... Ba5 6.0-0 d6 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4 Bb6 and 17... Bc7 (instead of .. Ba7) and the rest as presented on this page.

<keypusher> I will post my bio shortly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <sneaky pete> Thanks. Greenwood Walker is the culprit. Once an error is introduced, it is very hard to expunge. In Chess Player's Chronicle, Staunton commented on move 22:

"We cannot understand why De la Bourdonnais omitted to capture the Knight, when by taking it he would in no degree have retarded his victory"

Google Book for the above quote:

The year was 1843, so you see how long bad scores stay around.

Feb-01-12  Knight13: Is 14... f5? really necessary? I've seen McDonnell pull that kind of move a couple of times now.

Also, 18... c4?, giving up the d4 square.

I have no idea what McDonnell's plan was in this game other than to wander (and become lost).

Nov-23-14  jnpope: Bell's Life in London, 1835.06.14, gives the game as follows:

[Date "1834"]
[Site "ENG London (Westminster CC)"]
[Event "Fifth Match"]
[Round "5"]
[White "de la Bourdonnais, L.C.M."]
[Black "McDonnell, A."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C52"]
[Opening "Evans Gambit"]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.O-O d6 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4 Bb6 9.d5 Na5 10.Bd3 Nf6 11.h3 h6 12.Nc3 O-O 13.Kh1 Nh7 14.Qc2 f5 15.exf5 c5 16.g4 a6 17.Bf4 Bc7 18.a4 c4 19.Be4 Nb3 20.Rae1 Nc5 21.Nd4 Nxe4 22.Rxe4 Qh4 23.Kg2 Ng5 24.Bxg5 Qxg5 25.f4 Qh4 26.Ne6 Bxe6 27.dxe6 h5 28.Qe2 hxg4 29.hxg4 b5 30.Nd5 Rfc8 31.e7 Kf7 32.Rh1 1-0

Which corresponds with Sneaky Pete's gut feeling.

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