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Alexander McDonnell
  
Number of games in database: 117
Years covered: 1827 to 1835

Overall record: +35 -47 =14 (43.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 21 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (19) 
    B21 B32 B30
 King's Gambit Accepted (13) 
    C33 C38 C37
 Evans Gambit (6) 
    C51 C52
With the Black pieces:
 Evans Gambit (18) 
    C51 C52
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (15) 
    D20
 Giuoco Piano (6) 
    C53
 King's Pawn Game (4) 
    C44 C20
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834 0-1
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834 0-1
   McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834 1-0
   McDonnell vs NN, 1830 1-0
   McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834 1-0
   McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834 1-0
   McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834 1-0
   McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834 1-0
   McDonnell vs NN, 1835 1-0
   McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 6th Casual Match (1834)
   La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 2nd Casual Match (1834)
   La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 3rd Casual Match (1834)
   La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 4th Casual Match (1834)
   La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 5th Casual Match (1834)
   La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 1st Casual Match (1834)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Blunder check: Alexander McDonnell by nimh
   Selected 19th century games by atrifix
   zumakal blunders archivadas5 by zumakal
   Ideas by LaBourdonnaisdeux


Search Sacrifice Explorer for Alexander McDonnell
Search Google for Alexander McDonnell


ALEXANDER MCDONNELL
(born May-22-1798, died Sep-14-1835, 37 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]
Alexander McDonnell was born in Belfast, Ireland. A player of GM strength, he initially studied chess under William Lewis in the 1820s and from June to October 1834 contested six matches against Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais. Although he lost by an overall score of (+27, =13, -45), the high standard of play did a great deal to raise the profile of chess in both France and England. McDonnell died in 1835 of Bright's Disease (now known as acute or chronic nephritis) and is buried in Kensal Green cemetery in London.

Wikipedia article: Alexander McDonnell


 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 118  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Captain Evans vs McDonnell 1-0201827LondonC52 Evans Gambit
2. McDonnell vs NN 1-0281828EnglandC38 King's Gambit Accepted
3. McDonnell vs Captain Evans  0-1401829Odds match000 Chess variants
4. Captain Evans vs McDonnell 1-0201829LondonC51 Evans Gambit
5. J Worrell vs McDonnell  1-0351829Blindfold odds simul, 2b000 Chess variants
6. J Worrell vs McDonnell  0-1381829Blindfold odds simul, 2b000 Chess variants
7. McDonnell vs W Lewis  ½-½531829Odds game000 Chess variants
8. McDonnell vs Captain Evans  0-1691829Odds match000 Chess variants
9. McDonnell vs W Lewis  0-1331829Odds game000 Chess variants
10. McDonnell vs W Lewis  0-1421829Odds game000 Chess variants
11. McDonnell vs W Lewis  0-1491829Odds game000 Chess variants
12. McDonnell vs W Lewis  1-0361829Odds game000 Chess variants
13. McDonnell vs W Lewis  0-1591829Odds game000 Chess variants
14. McDonnell vs Captain Evans 0-1871829Odds match000 Chess variants
15. McDonnell vs Harrison 1-0221830Casual000 Chess variants
16. McDonnell vs J Finch 1-0151830Casual000 Chess variants
17. F Lavagnino vs McDonnell 0-1291830London around000 Chess variants
18. NN vs McDonnell 0-1521830CasualC20 King's Pawn Game
19. McDonnell vs NN 1-0241830CasualC33 King's Gambit Accepted
20. McDonnell vs A D'Arblay 1-0271830Casual000 Chess variants
21. McDonnell vs J Finch 1-0261830Casual000 Chess variants
22. McDonnell vs NN 1-0211830CasualC30 King's Gambit Declined
23. McDonnell vs W M Popert 1-0191830England000 Chess variants
24. McDonnell vs NN 1-0181830Casual000 Chess variants
25. McDonnell vs NN 1-0171830London000 Chess variants
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 118  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | McDonnell wins | McDonnell loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-20-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Today, I probably have a couple of thousand books, I don't even try to count them any more. (Something like five bookcases full. Some shelves, have stacks in back and rows in front ... and just about all of them have stacks - that go nearly to the ceiling - on top.)

However, I can still clearly remember when I only had around 15-20 books in my library. (This was back in the early 1970's.) A few favorites were:

#1.) "The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played." (Chernev)

#2.) "The Complete Chessplayer." (Reinfeld)

#3.) "1000 (best) Short Games of Chess" (Chernev)

#4.) "Capa's Best Endgames," (Chernev).

#5.) "The Chess Companion," (Chernev).

#6.) A Pamphlet on Staunton's Games. (I forgot who did it, I won this as a prize at a chess tournament, I lost it many years ago.)

#7.) A Dover reprint (soft cover, blue)of Paul Morphy's Games.

The rest were all opening books ... ... ... (King's Indian, Dragon, Benoni, two on the Grunfeld, etc.)

At one time, I had literally memorized all the (complete) games in the first two books, several friends (Bruce Andersson and David Kurjan) who knew me in my High School days can attest to this.

Mar-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: See also a few of my comments on:
McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1835, as they are relevant here.
May-22-13  brankat: A very fine master Mr.McDonnell.
May-22-13  thomastonk: From "The Belfast News Letter", Oct 2, 1835:

"Chess - Death of Mr. M`Donnell - The amateurs of chess in this country have to regret the loss of Alex. M`Donnell, Esq. who died last week at the early age of 37. This gentleman was not only the best chess player in the united kingdom (sic), but the best our country has possessed since Philidor. His talents were not, however, confined to this one pursuit, but appeared equally to grasp and command a variety of subjects, difficult of attainment to ordinary minds. He was the author of several valuable works on political economy, West India commerce, and foreign trade in general, and his style, which was remarkable perspicuous, illuminated his comprehensive views with great felicity. By the Westminster and London Chess clubs, of which he was a member, this melancholy bereavement of their best player is felt as a domestic misfortune. It was Mr. M`Donnell who played the long series of games, amounting to nearly 100, with Mons. de la Bourdonnais, in the Westminster Chess Club, about a year past. Mr. M`Donnell for many years held the high situation of secretary to the West India Committee at the Dock-house in Billiter-square, London, and was the son of Dr. M`Donnell, of Belfast."

May-22-13  thomastonk: From "The Hull Packet", Oct 2, 1835:

"Chess - The amateurs of chess in this country have to regret the loss of Alexander M`Donnell, Esq., who died last week at the early age of 37, after a short illness. This gentleman was not only the best chess player in the United Kingdom, but the best our country has possessed since Philidor. Indeed Philidor was a Frenchman, though the greater part of his life was spent in England, it may be fairly said that Mr. M`Donnell was the greatest English player upon record."

<Here the text continues about his talents, books etc. like the obituary above.>

"The chess world will not soon forget him, and by the Westminster and London chess clubs, of which he was a member, this unexpected and melancholy bereavement of their best player is felt as a domestic misfortune. It was Mr. M`Donnell, who played the long series of games, amounting to nearly 100, with Mons. de la Bourdonnais, in the Westminster chess club, about a year past. His excellence as a chess-player was associated with a kindly spirit, of the finest quality. He was always ready for the field, not only to play, but to instruct ; and in this respect nothing could exceed the patience with which he would communicate information to the less advanced amateur. To eulogize his skill in the science is needless - he leaves none behind him whose names are worthy of being written on the same page. In his life he was beloved, in his death he is deeply lamented. Mr. M`Donnell for many years held the high situation of secretary of the West India committee at the dock-house in Billiter-square, and was the son of Dr. M`Donnell, of Belfast. He died at his residence in Tavistock-square, and his remains are interred in the cemetery an the Harrow-road."

May-22-13  KlingonBorgTatar: Albeit for a brief period of time, McDonnell was the world's best player or proto world champion from the time he won the second match from de la Bourdonnais till he lost the third match of their series. He was leading the unfinished sixth and final match when he was taken away from this world and who knows what the result could have been had he lived a few weeks longer. Paul Morphy considers the games of these two gentlemen the finest chess ever and went as far to annotate15 of them. There is a picture of McDonnell in Edward Winter's site.
May-22-13  ketchuplover: Pieces out.
May-23-13  thomastonk: <KlingonBorgTatar: ... what the result could have been had he lived a few weeks longer.> The 6 matches were played in the summer of 1834, McDonnell died one year later.

<Paul Morphy considers the games of these two gentlemen the finest chess ever ..> Such statements were often made in the 1840s by earlier authors. Morphy begun the series of commented games with a compliment, and called the games "beautiful models of chess strategy". But prior to that he had already presented his true intention: "True, they have been published before ; but no satisfactory analysis has, to our knowledge, ever been appended to them." His comments do not follow the tradition to praise everything both men played. He clearly distinguished between the good and the bad parts of their games. The opening play, and in particular McDonnell's, is several times harshly criticized. Here is one example: "The great fault to be with M'Donnell's play in all these Sicilian and French openings, as also in the Queen's Gambits, is loss of time, which, against such a powerful antagonist as Labourdonnais, could ill be afforded by any player."

<... and went as far to annotate15 of them.> More than twice times as much: games annotated by Morphy.

<There is a picture of McDonnell in Edward Winter's site.> Mr Winter's feature article entitled "Alexander McDonnell" begins with these words: "No picture of Alexander McDonnell has ever been found, ...". But at the end of that article one can find at least an old picture of his grave.

From your user profile: <"I am a former director of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines. Used to be rated at 2200. Just retired from my chemistry and engineering career but just 'unretired' from chess!> Good to know. I am sure, you'll understand that I don't like to correct sloppy statements in this way. So, with due respect, I would like to ask you to be more careful with the facts. Thanks.

Nov-19-14  LarsenBentYou: Not to nitpick, but how do we know McDonnell was GM strength?
Oct-07-15  The Kings Domain: Does anyone know if an image of McDonnell survives? I have yet to come across one.
Oct-07-15  Sally Simpson: Hi K.D.

Always try Edward Winter if stuck.

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

The very first line.

"No picture of Alexander McDonnell has ever been found."

Oct-07-15  The Kings Domain: Sally Simpson: Thanks.
Nov-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: McDonnell made his fortune in the West Indies, while La Bourdonnais was born in Reunion. Does this tell us something about the colonial economy of the early 19th century - and the social background of chessplayers - or is it just coincidence?
May-05-16  Christoforus Polacco: McDonnell - one of the greatest chess ''gods''... He died too early....
May-22-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Alexander McDonnell.
May-22-16  offramp: He would only need a week's revision on opening theory and he would be World Chess Champion.
Jun-09-16  Christoforus Polacco: <offramp> I understand McDonnell very well beacause I play very often unsound openings because I like them :) What is unsound is playable :) - probably Tartakower said it. For example : 1.e4 e6 2.f4 ?! McDonnell liked too such extravagant openings. On the higher level of chess programme I lost many times (sometimes only I won or draw) this variant of declined Morra Gambit : 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cd 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.cd d6 ?! 7.Bc4 Nb6 8.B:f7+ ?! but anyway it's very exciting play.
Nov-10-16  TheFocus: Besides, I'm trying to catch up to <cormier>!!
May-08-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Courtesy of chesshistory.com>

In which sense? Provided by or with the official permission of?

May-08-22  Sally Simpson: This appears to be a better picture of McDonnell.

https://www.irishamerica.com/wp-con...

from 'The Mighty McDonnells' https://www.irishamerica.com/2018/1... were they state:

"Belfast-born Alexander McDonnell (1798-1835) proclivity for chess won him notoriety for challenging the world’s leading player of the time, Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais, in 1835. Opening a match with a twist on the King’s Gambit ensured the duration of McDonnell’s legacy: his method has been coined “the McDonnell Gambit.”

May-08-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Bet you've never seen this picture of John Cochrane leaving <O J Simpson's Divan> after an all-nighter:

https://cbsnews3.cbsistatic.com/hub...

The photo is undated but my researches indicate it was probably taken in 1841.

May-22-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Who the F uploaded the sketch of Rev. G. A. MacDonnell (again)?!

https://www.chesshistory.com/winter...

I'm not a violent man, but at this point we should chain the heretic in the town square and pelt 'em with chess pieces until they are bloodied up a bit.

May-22-22  Sally Simpson: Although "No picture of Alexander McDonnell has ever been found."

We can use that one, claim it's genuine and charge people a fee to use it.

May-22-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Even if it was his photo, I don't like this <Courtesy of> stuff as if permission was asked to use this photo.

I have done this <courtesy of> too, but only with Wikimedia Commons photos.

May-22-22  Z free or die: <Courtesy of ...> should be reserved for cases where explicit permission was needed, or perhaps where the photo was submitted by a user (e.g. I believe <wannabe> contributed quite a few contemporary photos).

All photos should be sourced, from contemporaneous sources (i.e. historical journals, newspapers, etc) if possible. I tried encouraging this many years ago when I had more patience with the <CG> photo upload process.

.

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