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Napoleon Bonaparte vs The Turk (Automaton)
"Napoleon Torn Apart" (game of the day Feb-09-2008)
Schoenbrunn Palace Exhibition (1809), Vienna AUT (Schoenbrunn Palace)
King Pawn Game: Napoleon Attack (C20)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-19-10  Lokaz: What an embarassing defeat for the once fierce millitary strategist.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Wow. Napoleon was slowly being torn apart.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: A better pun might have been "Blown apart".
Apr-25-12  ScottWeatherill: 11... Nf3+ looks like a quick finish here
Apr-25-12  andrewjsacks: It certainly is, Scott, and the game goes to show that chess aptitude and savvy military skills are not necessarily both possessed by the same person.
Apr-25-12  Mudphudder: Dude...Napoleon sucks at chess! LOL
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game here:

Nov-22-12  bengalcat47: After getting trounced by the Turk Napoleon must have decided that it would be a bad idea to try and invade the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
Nov-22-12  wildrookie: Napoleon was a great general and a great patzer!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: what di you call a Frenchman who dives unto a granade?

Napeleon Blownaparte.

Aug-06-13  GumboGambit: <During this game, the Turk was operated by Johann Allgaier>

What ??????

Next thing youll say is that theres no Santa Claus!

Aug-09-13  Nina Myers: "Du sublime au ridicule il n'y a qu'un pas."


Nov-28-13  Eduardo Bermudez: Napoleon's chess style was not polished
Jul-10-14  Ke2: Lol so the classic "Scholars Attack" is actually Napoleon's? His strength in the other 2 games on CG seems higher than this terrible game (and refusal to resign). And this game is much more likely to be real than those 2.
Mar-31-15  siegbert: playing on after losing ones queen is still seen a lot today especially with internet chess!
May-29-15  siegbert: Yes 11 Nf3 does terminate the game there and then. If white takes queen comes out check and mate. If not the queen is gone for a knight.
Apr-09-20  belmanoir: I've read that there isn't really any contemporary evidence for this game; the Automaton definitely met Napoleon and objected to his cheating in their first game, but the second game appears in the tale much later and may have been fabricated. If anyone's interested I can dig up my source...
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: The earliest source for this game appears to be the Illustrated London News, 1844.11.30, p352. Staunton acknowledges receiving the game from W. S. Kenny (author of Practical Chess Grammar, 1817) the week prior. As Kenny was a contemporary of Johann Allgaier perhaps he acquired the game directly from "The Turk"?

Also, the game in the ILN ends at 19.Ke2 and indicates Black gave mate in four moves, so it probably ended: 19...Qg2+ 20.Kd1 Nf2+ 21.Ke1 Qxh1+ 22.K-either Qd1#. The position after 19.Ke2 is a mate in 6, assuming best play by White, which is what appears to be tacked on here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Staunton didn't take over at the <ILN> until February 1845. Neither Harding or Townsend are able to positively identify his predecessor - described in November 1844 as a 'distinguised member of the London Chess Club,' but Harding cites Whyld as speculating it might have been George Walker. The handover doesn't seem to have been amicable.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Good catch. Looks like I was off by four months on attributing the column to Staunton. That's what I get for starring at the British Miscellany and CPC for far too long... :-P
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It's easy to become confused in the mists of early chess history. In his <British Chess Literature to 1914>, p.198, Harding notes a two month break in the publication of the <CPC> at the end of 1842, claiming that Staunton was busy in Paris with his match against Saint-Amant. But, of course, the match took place at the end of 1843.

Harding's chapter on Staunton in his earlier <Eminent Victorian Chess Players> made no such blunder.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: <MissScarlett: ... but Harding cites Whyld as speculating it might have been George Walker. The handover doesn't seem to have been amicable.>

Walker seems like a longshot as he appears to be critical of that column being in need of improvement in an answer to a correspondent asking if he knew "who does the Chess in the Illustrated London News" (Bell's Life in London, 1843.10.15, p2).

I just happened to stumble across that tonight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Harding, again from <BCL> on the <ILN>: <The first anonymous columns ran in volumes 1-3 from 25 June 1842 to 30 December 1843 but with missing weeks and a two-month break before 15 October 1842. There were only occasional articles in 1844 until a new column began on 16 November, but Staunton's editorship commenced on 22 February 1845....>

It's conceivable then that whoever ran the column until the end of 1843 wasn't responsible when it kicked off again in November. But I agree it would be curious if Walker was running both important columns simultaneously. Perhaps it was just a throwaway suggestion by Whyld based on little more than the acrimony between Walker and Staunton.

Sep-16-20  TheBish: Ironically, Napoleon was "blown apart" in a miniature.
Jan-08-23  generror: As my (or rather Stockfish's, of course) closer look at Napoleon Bonaparte vs Madame De Remusat, 1804 revealed, Napoleon was by no means a good chess player. The great thing about this game is that here, Napoleon played an "automaton", which was not in too great a danger to suffer childish retaliations for winning against him. (In her mémoirs, Mme de Rémusat mentions that Napoleon played illegal moves and got away with it because nobody dared to protest.)

Actually Napoleon can be glad he didn't lose the game in 18 moves, because after his third queen move in the opening, <10.Qe1??>, he can be mated after the pretty obvious<10...Qg5> (D)

click for larger view

<11.g4 Nxh3+ 12.Kh1 Qh4 13.Bxf7+ Kxf7 14.Qe3 Nf4+ 15.Kg1 Qxg4+ 16.Qg3 Qxg3+ 17.Kh1 Qg2#>

But Allgaier misses it, and both also miss it on their next move, but Allgaier finds another nice and easy win with <11...Nxh3>, and after Napoleon's blundering <12.Kh2??> it's a forced mate in 8 anyway. Allgaier strays from the line a few times, but Napoleon is nice enough to help him out every time, so the game is finally over quick we can now spend our time more productively by analyzing some real chess.

At least it's appropriate that Napoleon got a fittingly sucky opening named after him.

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