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Georges Dermenon
Number of games in database: 2
Years covered: 1864 to 1874

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Last updated: 2019-03-18 17:38:40

 page 1 of 1; 2 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Blackburne vs G Dermenon 0-1291864Blindfold simul, 8bC39 King's Gambit Accepted
2. S Rosenthal vs G Dermenon  1-0361874SimulC46 Three Knights
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Dermenon wins | Dermenon loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Dermenon was apparently the best player in Lyon in the 1860's, and then moved to Paris, where he competed in tournaments at the Cafe de la Regence.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: CORRECTIONAL TRIBUNAL OF PARIS (7th chamber).

Hearing of December 29, 1874.

The accused is Georges-Aimé-Ernest Dermenon, aged forty-seven, and a former inspector of the police. The facts resulting from the prevention are summarized in the following indictment of the public prosecutor

Dermenon, appointed on July 1, 1864, was dismissed from office on August 30, 1874, as a result of the disclosure of the facts that are the subject of this suit. His knowledge of the English language was frequently used as an interpreter by the courts and the administration. He was more particularly charged, as inspector of police, to proceed to the arrest of the English pickpockets which come to exert in Paris their guilty industry.

For some time now, the accused had been suspected of abusing the facilities which his office gave him to maintain suspicious relations with the criminals of this category. It was noticed that he frequented the taverns in which English thieves used to meet, and that when agents appeared there, these thieves, no doubt warned by him by some means, disappeared at once. Mister Souvras, inspector of the security service, received, on the other hand, quite numerous complaints from the pickpockets who accused Dermenon of having several sums of money handed over by promising their support. The Prefecture of Police ordered an inquiry at Depot, St. Lazare, and Poissy's house, which revealed serious facts to. the charge of Dermenon.

The Wilson woman, known as Jane Glaye, actually a woman named Mliion, who was sentenced on March 12, 1870, to fifteen months imprisonment, and then on September 25, 1873 to one year, announced that the accused had been charged with May, 1873, to make her second arrest, then to extract her from the prison, to drive her to the prefecture by car, had stopped with her in front of a cafe, and was sent back by the 18th to pay for their consumption and had kept the excess of this sum over the amount of the expense. During the first investigation, having been repeatedly instructed to extract the daughter Glaye from the depot, he had a ring enriched with a diamond, promising to take care of his business. When he was in charge of extracting it, he dined with her and was given 20 or 30 francs to pay the expense. In the course of 1873, Inspector Garhier, meeting Dermenon in the restaurant held by Mister Noel, noticed that he was carefully examining a ring he had in his hand, trying to make sure that the stone with which it was adorned was a diamond; he told this witness that the ring had been given to him by a woman. The restorer, on his side, remarked the presence, with a good finger, of removing stone, which seemed to have a value of 200 francs at least. Today, the accused claims that the ring seen in his possession was given by an American recognizing steps taken by him to help him find his wife. This fact is, moreover, covered by proscription.

It is certain that the accused was paid 10 livres. & T. by the name of Fleming, brother-in-law of the daughter Glaye, <and given by him a chess game>. Two letters which are attached to the proceedings, and which bear the date of the 19th of June, 1st of July, 1873, show its relations with the pickpockets of France and England.


The court sentenced Dermenon to five years in prison and five years of supervision.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Manchester Evening News, October 11th 1893, p.2 (paragraphing added by me):


There is a remarkable episode to my stay at Fecamp, and to divulge it clearly I must go back some thirty years or more, promising my readers that such a long retrospective glance will not bore them. Many years ago I wrote for the Manchester Guardian a series of very realistic sketches etitled [sic], "The Corporation of British Thieves in Paris." The facts on which my narrative was founded were supplied to me by a Paris detective, whose father had been Professor of French at Sandhurst. That accounts for the detective's speaking English fluently and correctly. He had besides a most delightfully soft, subdued, and harmonious voice when speaking either English or French. I beg the reader to bear that particular in mind. And now to our "ower true tale."

About the year 1860, then a mere lad, not yet of age, I was living in Tours to learn French, where it is best spoken. I was at that time passionately fond of chess, and had already acquired some fame at the Cafe de la Regence in Paris, the headquarters of European chess-players, and American chess-players likewise. On arriving at Tours my first care was to discover a good player, and one evening, in the best cafe of the city, I came across a dashing sergeant-major of Zouaves, who was worthy of my mettle. He had been through the Crimea War, and won several medals on the battlefield. Five years later I found him an habitue of the Cafe de la Regence in Paris, but this time in civilian's dress, and a detective, especially commissioned to watch the British pickpockets in Paris, which did not prevent him from cultivating the noble game of chess. He had risen, in fact, to the front rank of second-class players, and might have got into the first class had he not preferred brilliancy to soundness. He always tried to finish his game by announcing an elegant problem, and usually lost it in a humdrum fashion against an inferior player.

When the Franco-German conflict broke out I went campaigning as war correspondent, and lost sight of Dermenon, that is my hero's name. Shortly after the war I read in a Paris paper that he had been sent to prison for black-mailing English thieves, especially female thieves. His sentence was five years' imprisonment and five years' fixed residence out of Paris. A cruel doom: for he counted 24 years' service in the army and police, and after another year he would have had a right to a pension. All that was now forfeited. But to return to Fecamp. A few evenings ago I went into the cafe annexed to my hotel to have a smoke and a nightcap, and found a well-dressed bourgeois playing chess with a meanly-clad old working-man. I saw with surprise that the old artizan [sic] was a master of the game and able to give his adversary the odds of the rook and knight, if not the queen. By and by the old man spoke; I recognised the soft mellifluous voice of thirty years ago. "You are Dermenon," said I, in an undertone and in English. "I am," he replied in the same language.

When everyone had left except ourselves, he told me that he was the lamplighter of Fecamp, that his time of banishment had long expired, and he might return to Paris if he wished, but he preferred remaining in his humble situation, where he enjoyed the confidence of his chiefs, who knew all about his past, but esteemed him none the less, after his terrible expiation. Indeed, everyone I met, who knew him, sang his praises as an honest man; but what bothered them all was how so cultivated and gentlemanly spoken a man came to be a poorly-clad lamplighter. "It is his passion for chess-playing," I explained to them. I played a Ruy Lopez with him, which I lost, a Scotch gambit, that I won, and an Evans gambit that was drawn. I then made him a small present and we parted.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: That's a great find.

This may be our Dermenon too:

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Dermenon> sounds like something you'd find in a bathroom cabinet.

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