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Kermur Sire De Legal vs Saint Brie
"18 & Legal" (game of the day Dec-10-2019)
Paris (1750) (unorthodox), Paris FRA
Philidor Defense: General (C41)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: The original "Legal's Mate" !! This is "required reading" for chess players of any level.

I think Saint Brie should have stuck to making cheese. :)

Oct-02-02  kaffas: That is Poetry in motion !!!!!!!
Oct-08-02  mac2383: Who would pass up a Queen for the taking! I think i would have been easily sucked into this opening too....
Oct-28-02  Bears092: I, for one, would when there is a forced mate.
Mar-24-04  ruylopez900: I would have been sucked in if it was a skittles/blitz games, but in a serious game I would wonder why he did that and probably figure it out (come one, it can't be too hard, what kind of compensation would a guy want for a queen?!?!?!)
Apr-07-04  iron maiden: Even after 5...dxe5, though, 6. Qxg4 just regains the piece with the extra pawn and the better game.
Apr-08-04  nikolaas: I used this trick on yahoo against someone operating under the name azz_delhi. It was very short: 1.♙e4 ♙e5 2.♘f3 ♙d6 3.♙d4 ♙f6 4.♘c3 ♗g4 5.♗c4 ♘c6 6.♙xe5 ♙fxe5 7.♗d5 (speculating on black's following move - which is a blunder) 7....♘d4 8.♘xe5 ♗xd1 9.♗f7+ ♔e7 10.♘d5#
Jun-22-04  BaranDuin: But even if black does not take the queen black has a won position
Jun-22-04  vonKrolock: i'm searching for the name of the author(middle xviii-th cent) of following verses: "Les Philidor, les Légal, à ce jeu
Sont aujoud'hui les plus grands capitaines
Figurez-vous les Condés, les Turennes:
L'un est brilliant, rapide, plein de feu
L'autre combine, observe et risque peu;
L'un a l'attaque impétueuse et vive,
L'autre savant, circonspect et profond,
Est dans son camp fort pour la défensive
Auprès de lui l'ennemi se morfond"
(ps: my favourite chess quotation, and i dont know the author!)
Jun-22-04  Calli: Brie later invented a soft creamy cheese. The French loved le formage so much, he was declared a saint . The rest is history. ;->
Jun-22-04  vonKrolock: lol, Calli - we read from various poets and writers that Légal was a fine Chesplayer and gentleman, and we have just this little game from him (well, to organize a database if all the players records were so...)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Whatever cheese he made or did not make-St Brie felt "bleu" after this one. lol
Oct-19-04  Apocalypse79: Wow.. It's a good example for a beginner like me... hehe...
Jan-03-05  filipecea: It is reputed that Legal touched his Knight on f3 and then immediately took his hand away. He was reminded of the 'touch-move' rule and after pondering for some time played:

5. Nxe5 Bxd1??

The rest we all know very well!

Jan-03-05  SBC: <vonKrolock>

<i'm searching for the name of the author(middle xviii-th cent) of following verses: "Les Philidor, les Légal, à ce jeu Sont aujoud'hui les plus grands capitaines
Figurez-vous les Condés, les Turennes:
L'un est brilliant, rapide, plein de feu
L'autre combine, observe et risque peu;
L'un a l'attaque impétueuse et vive,
L'autre savant, circonspect et profond,
Est dans son camp fort pour la défensive
Auprès de lui l'ennemi se morfond">

I wish I could help, but I've never seen this before. It seems to have been a French writer or poet who was also a frequenter of the Café de la Régence.

Were Voltaire or either Jean-Baptiste or Madame Suard poets?

Or Diderot? who wrote such things as:
"If the weather is too cold or too rainy, I take refuge in the Regency Café. I like to watch the games of chess. The best chess players in the world are in Paris, and the best players in Paris are in the Café de la Régence. Here, in Rey's establishment, they battle it out—Legal the Profound, Philidor the Subtle, Mayot the Solid. One sees the most surprising moves and hears the stupidest remarks. For one can be an intelligent man and a great chess player, like Legal, but one can also be a great chess player and a fool, like Foubert and Mayot." ( )

I'm even having some trouble with the translation (into English) particulary with "les Condés" and "les Turennes".

I also don't understand "les Philidor" and "les Légal" in that "les" is plural and each name is singular.

Jan-04-05  vonKrolock: <SBC> Thanks for the link to an English translation of "Diderot's Nephew" - I knew it in French in a xixth Century Edition that included a critical text, also in French, whose author is a German writer that played a rôle in its -Diderot's famous dialogue appeared postumouslly- diffusion (Goethe himself!)

The verses are quoted in a text, included in the 1916 (8th Ed.) of the "Bilguer",(the last, famous 'Schlechter' edition), in an introdutory text by O. Koch, who declares that the Author of the strophe is unknown Well, we can speculate about an authorship from some of the best known French writers, why not...

LES: whithout the alexandrine need to have a predeterminated number of syllabes, this form would be hard to explain - even so, the singular could be defended - "Le Philidor etc" - but i understand the form actually adopted as a reverberation of the phrase "Les Philidor, Légal, Condé, Turenne" - an enumeration of eminent Chess-players and Generals...

Jan-04-05  euripides: Voltaire wrote both plays and epigrams in verse, I think. But I doubt it's by him.

Someone who visited Paris in the 1780s or thereabouts and brought home an elegant chess set was Thomas Jefferson - the chess set if on display at Monticello. But I guess it's probably not him.

I sense some allusion to the contrast between Oliver and Roland in the Chanson de Roland. But that doesn't help much either.

There were a number of French poets in the eighteenth century writing socially oriented poems in poems of rhyming couplets of short line length. I happen to own an anthology and possible names include Gresset and Bernis. But the work of theirs I have seen is not as vividly informative about contemporary specifics as these couplets.

Jan-04-05  SBC: <vonKrolock>

I've always wanted a Handbuch des Schachspiels, especially Schlechter's edition (though I'm not so choosy). But I don't read German. Have you ever heard of an English translation?

So, Condé and Turenne are person's names? For some reason, I had thought that Turenne might have something to do with a Rook. I think it must have had more to do with the hefe-weise I was drinking! But I do think I see what you mean about the "les"... making it more poetical than grammatical.

If Condé and Turenne were Generals, was it the author's intent to imply that Philidor was the Condé of chess, while Légal was the Turenne of chess?

(poetry can be difficult in one's native language and impossible in a language one barely understands... but often worth the effort)

Jan-04-05  SBC: <euripides>

<Someone who visited Paris in the 1780s or thereabouts and brought home an elegant chess set was Thomas Jefferson - the chess set if on display at Monticello.>

<bishopberkeley> gave a link (on the Morphy page?) several months ago to a photograph of Jefferson's chess set at Monticello. It might have been the Monticello site. I don't remember it mentioned anywhere (though I could be wrong, of course) that it had come from Paris. That makes it all the more interesting. Thanks.

<I sense some allusion to the contrast between Oliver and Roland in the Chanson de Roland>

The Song of Roland (in English) has always been one of my favorite poems (along with the Iliad, the Aeneid and Beowulf) but I haven't read it in a while. I was glad just to be reminded of it. Thanks again.

I still tend to think that the author of the poem was either a poet or a writer of some sort as well as an habitué of either the Café de la Régence or the Café Maugis.

Jan-04-05  vonKrolock: <SBC> Yes, Turenne was known as very methodic and carefull General, and Condé as bold, rash, temerary (the bio i linked says simply "egotistical, imprudent, and stubborn." ) - As a further explanation, the Chess personalities are singular, while the military ones (les Condés, les Turennes) more likely to be emulated - a little hypothesis about the difference (the final 'S's) remarked in the couplets...

The Bilguer - photocopíed Editions of the first and also of the last (8th) above mentioned are available in German (Edition Olms, Zurique) - I have no notice about translations (for the while - a search is possible, surely)

<euripides> Yes, i also discarded Voltaire as a candidate Author - Pastor O. Koch, who presented the poem in my source, abstained of developing a theory on Authorship

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: By the way, the game here is wrong. In the real in Legal-Brie game Legal blundered an Brie didnt see it, so the game was re-moved so like shown here. The real game was very bad:1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 d6 3.Nf3 Nc6 (this move is not listed in the later editions of the game, because it destroys the biggest masterpiece of the 18th century) 4.Nc3 Bg4 5.Nxe5?? Bxd1? (after 5...Nxe5 Legal´s name would be forgotten) 6.Bxf7+ Ke7 7. Nd5#.
May-01-05  halcyonteam: This is a classical game, very instructional. I happen to play it once with a friend of mine.
May-08-05  Milo: Hmm... is this a duplicate? No kibitzing...

Anyhow, I propose we use this page to discuss the greatest move ever played I vote for 47...Bh3 in Topalov vs Shirov, 1998

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: <chessgames> I would like to ask, whether you are sure, that this is the ORIGINAL game? I'm asking, because I have already seen it like this, or with 3...Bg4 and 4...g6 (and even a6). Anyone else?
May-08-05  Milo: There is another copy of this game, but with 3...Bg4 and a later ...g6 instead of ...Nc6. As someone pointed out, in this game, 5...Nxe5 would be embarrassing.
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