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Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant vs Howard Staunton
Staunton - Saint-Amant Casual Series (1843), London ENG, rd 5, May-05
Sicilian Defense: Kramnik Variation (B40)  ·  1-0



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sac: 46.Ng3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-07-06  forcedmatefanatic: The Saint should have settled for the stalemate.
Apr-10-08  Knight13: What the hell is 59...Kg8?? Too many blunders in this game by both players.
Sep-04-08  Kink: Hey Forced. Why would a player want to settle for a stalemate over a win?
Nov-24-10  FlameHeart: Why not 59...Rxg6 ?
Feb-04-12  Knight13: <FlameHeart: Why not 59...Rxg6 ?> Because it leads to Stalemate. Black wanted to win, not be satisfied with a draw (although ... Rxg6 was the best move in that position). Travel back to move 42 and you'll see what kind of a win he threw away -- it must have been painful. 59... Kf8 60. Qf6+ Kg8 61. Qe6+ and 60... Rf7 61. Qh8+ . There's no way out of it.
Nov-16-12  brankat: Why is the variation employed in this game (played 130 years before Vlad's time) called: Kramnik variation :-)

Perhaps St.Amant-Staunton would have been more appropriate.

Dec-16-12  poorthylacine: Choose losing in an ugly way rather than accept the draw of an after all original stalemate? Hard to believe!
I think 59... Kg8 was just an horrible blunder which threw away not only the game but even the match, because the next game would be the last one!
Dec-16-12  psmith: <Knight13> So, I traveled back to move 42 and did not see a win for Black. White was winning after 42. Nf4+, not Black, as far as I can see. In the game line at move 46 White has a forced mate with 46. Qd7. I don't see any really significant improvements for Black between moves 42 and 46. Can you explain what you had in mind? White blundered with 46. Ng3+ and then had to be creative to come up with the stalemate draw.

Maybe you meant move 32? But then we need to see how there is a win for Black there (though his position does look pretty).

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: 53...Rg8? looks like a losing move. Now, instead of 54.Qh7+, which should have drawn with a stalemate, White may be winning after 54.Qe5 R4g7 55.Qxf5+ Ke8 56.Kh6 Re7 57.h5 Rf8 58.Qg6+ Rff7 59.Kg5 a5 60.Qg8+ Rf8 61.Qb3 Re2 62.Qb8+ Kf7 63.Qb7+ Re7 64.c7 Rg8+ 65.Kh4.
Feb-06-15  Errrrrrr: 46. Qd7 wins outright. White chooses the blunder Ng3 instead :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pioneer27: I recently finished reading Cary Utterberg’s book on the famous De La Bourdonnais-McDonnell matches of 1834 and so I’ve moved onto another famous match in 1843 between Staunton & Saint-Amant. I like these old games.

As others have commented, this game definitely ended strangely. Why didn’t Staunton play 59. . . Rxg6 and stalemate White? I remember reading awhile back that sometimes a stalemate would be considered a win for the player who was stalemated. So I did a little research and here is what I found:

According to Davidson in A Short History of Chess (Ch. 8), there was a time in Europe when the result of a stalemate was in dispute. Quoting from his book:

“Consider the situation in which White is the ‘winning player’ in that he has many major pieces still on the board, while Black has only his King plus a few blocked pawns. In that situation, stalemate has at one time or another been:

1) A victory for White.
2) A victory for Black!
3) Disallowed entirely---creating a stalemate is illegal. 4) Black forfeits a move and White gets to play again.”

Davidson goes on to point out
that in Britain, # 2 was in vogue
perhaps into the mid 19th century. He does point out that in 1808, the London Chess Club’s official rules made stalemate a draw. And in Jacob Sarratt’s New Treatise on Chess (1828), p. 24 & 53, he recommended that a stalemate should be treated as a draw. You would think that Staunton would have been aware of this, but perhaps . . . .

If Staunton was thinking a stalemate would be counted as a loss, I guess he just decided to lose in a different way. I, of course, don't know for sure. I was wondering if anyone else had any insight into this.

Mar-30-20  njuguna: they had so many blunders, missing mate in 1, free Queen, maybe they were in time trouble
Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: <Pioneer27>: commenting the 6 games of this match in "Le Palamède", Saint-Amant writes about the 59 th move of Black: " Il est inutile de s'appesantir sur une pareille inadvertance. La T devait prendre la D et comme le R noir était PAT, c'était une partie remise." (Volume 6, page 221). Meaning: "It's useless to comment such a blunder. The Rook should have taken the Queen, and the black King being then stalemate, it was a drawn game"... So, it seems the rules about stalemate were already the same in 1843... And in 1834 already too, I guess so, but I did not yet check it by watching again all the games played between La Bourdonnais and Mc Connell where stalemate really occurred, or at least could happen as a threat ...
Sep-25-22  offramp: It's a stunning end.

click for larger view

Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant had made a huge mistake at move 46. He had lost a knight, now he was fighting for survival.
Then is this desperate position he discovered a clever stalemate. Deus Ex Machina:
59. Qg6+!!= <<CHECK!!>.
If 59....Rxg6 <IT'S PAT!>
Staunton now made a ginormous clinker:
59...Kg8??? which foregoes the immediate draw, <LOSES> a rook. and <allows an IMMEDIATE PROMOTION> by the c-pawn AND allows a drastic <MATE-IN-8>.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <offramp> Oh G-d... Nerve-wracking ending indeed.

One can see the logic of the blunder 46.Nh5-g3??

click for larger view

Think about it. White cannot catch a rook with queen checks as long as they are connected, so he played 46.Ng3, breaking up the rook connection. It immediately threatens the rook on g8 AND it threatens to win the g1 rook with 47.Qc7+ followed by 48.Qb6+. Then, 46...Rc8 loses to the easy 47.Qe7+

But 46... R8xg3+! and the joke was on him. He forgot the number one rule of chess safety: The blunder check.

Black then got greedy and thought the heavens had favored him and stubbornly refused to accept the clever stalemate... But there is no salvation for his disconnected rooks this time.

And this was before the era of chess clocks, right? What's the explanation, absolute exhaustion?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: What I don't get about blunders like 59....Kg8 is that Staunton and St. Amant were playing without clocks. I mean, I understand, I sympathize, I'm sure poor Staunton was ready to fall out of his chair after Qg6+. But he could have just sat on his hands and endeavored to regain his sangfroid.

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