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Alexander McDonnell
Number of games in database: 107
Years covered: 1825 to 1835

Overall record: +35 -48 =14 (43.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 10 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (19) 
    B21 B32 B30
 King's Gambit Accepted (13) 
    C33 C37 C38
 Evans Gambit (6) 
    C51 C52
With the Black pieces:
 Evans Gambit (19) 
    C51 C52
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (15) 
 Giuoco Piano (6) 
 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

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

(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 107  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Captain Evans vs McDonnell 1-0201825LondonC52 Evans Gambit
2. McDonnell vs NN 1-0281828EnglandC38 King's Gambit Accepted
3. Captain Evans vs McDonnell 1-0201829LondonC51 Evans Gambit
4. McDonnell vs NN 1-0171830London000 Chess variants
5. McDonnell vs J Finch 1-0151830Casual000 Chess variants
6. McDonnell vs Harrison 1-0221830Casual000 Chess variants
7. NN vs McDonnell 0-1521830CasualC20 King's Pawn Game
8. McDonnell vs NN 1-0241830CasualC33 King's Gambit Accepted
9. McDonnell vs A D'Arblay 1-0271830Casual000 Chess variants
10. McDonnell vs J Finch 1-0261830Casual000 Chess variants
11. F Lavagnino vs McDonnell 0-1291830London around000 Chess variants
12. McDonnell vs NN 1-0211830CasualC30 King's Gambit Declined
13. McDonnell vs NN 1-0241830Casual000 Chess variants
14. McDonnell vs W M Popert 1-0191830England000 Chess variants
15. McDonnell vs NN 1-0181830Casual000 Chess variants
16. W Fraser vs McDonnell 0-1251831MatchC53 Giuoco Piano
17. McDonnell vs W Fraser 1-0371831MatchC53 Giuoco Piano
18. McDonnell vs W Fraser ½-½741831MatchC00 French Defense
19. W Fraser vs McDonnell 1-0541831MatchC53 Giuoco Piano
20. McDonnell vs W Fraser 1-0371831MatchC00 French Defense
21. La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell ½-½591834London m4 ;HCL 18C20 King's Pawn Game
22. La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell 0-1361834London m4 ;HCL 18D20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
23. La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell ½-½931834London m4 ;HCL 18D20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
24. La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell 0-1471834London m3 ;HCL 18D20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
25. McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais 0-1591834London m3 ;HCL 18C38 King's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 107  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 3 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-14-13  LIFE Master AJ:

[Event "Match Game"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "1834.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "McDonnell, A.."]
[Black "La Bourdonnais, L.."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C33"]
[PlyCount "35"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceDate "2013.03.14"]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. Bc4 g4 5. Nc3 gxf3 6. O-O c6 7. Qxf3 Qf6 8. e5 Qxe5 9. Bxf7+ Kxf7 10. d4 Qxd4+ 11. Be3 Qg7 12. Bxf4 Nf6 13. Ne4 Be7 14. Bg5 Rg8 15. Qh5+ Qg6 16. Nd6+ Ke6 17. Rae1+ Kxd6 18. Bf4# 1-0

Submitted this game today ...

Mar-14-13  thomastonk: <LIFE Master AJ> The game is on this website, please see here: McDonnell vs NN, 1830. Moreover, I have found it with the same information in other databases. So, it seems wrong to name McDonnell's opponent as La Bourdonnais as long as there is no contemporary source presented (and personnally I assume that no such source exists, because those times are very well-researched).

In this database there are 86 games between McDonnell and La Bourdonnais, and at least one of them is already known to be non-authentic for a while, but nobody at cg seems to have the bravery to delete it: McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1835.

Mar-14-13  thomastonk: <LIFE MASTER AJ> I have now found a contemporary source for the game: William Greenwood Walker, "A selection of games at chess played at London by the late Alexander M`Donnell, Esq.", London 1836. It is contained in chapter 1 ("Games at which Mr. M`Donnell gives the odds of a rook") as fourth game on page 3. McDonnells opponent is named "Mr. R********". No year is given there.

William Greenwood Walker was McDonnell's admirer, to whom we owe the games of the matches between McDonnell and La Bourdonnais, because he recorded the moves.

Mar-14-13  LIFE Master AJ: <Thomas> Chernev gives this as being an authentic game, that was good enough for me ... see the link that I gave for more details.
Mar-14-13  LIFE Master AJ: I also have a big black <hardback> book on this match ... I forget who it is by, but I am mentioned in many places in that book, especially in the notes and the references.

Maybe this is one for Winter. If he decided that this was not an authentic game, I would not argue with him.

Mar-14-13  thomastonk: <LIFE Master AJ> Edward Winter is a devotee of primary sources ( Chernev is no primary source for that game, but William Greenwood Walker very likely is. You can easily find his book at Google books and check it yourself. But, if you need Winter's decision to be convinced, then I would like to ask you to send him a message.

<ToAll> There is a book (not a black one) called "De la Bourdonnais versus McDonnell, 1834: The Eighty-Five Games of Their Six Chess Matches, with Excerpts from Additional Games Against Other Opponents" by Cary Utterberg, McFarland 2005, 404 pages. Can anybody provide additional information from this one?

Mar-14-13  LIFE Master AJ: I have the book by Cary Utterwood ... mine is a hardback and it IS Black!

The publisher often does them in different colors. [For example, I have seen Soltis's book ("100 Best," same publisher) in black, red AND green; and all hardback covers. This was sitting on a book display at a chess seller in a tournament in Virginia some 5-10 years back. NOTE - I did not play, I was there because it was a scholastic event.] It (Soltis's book) is also (now) available in paperback, although it does have a slightly different title.

Live and learn.

Yes, if Chernev said the game was a McDonnell - La Bourdonnais; that is good enough for me. This W. Greenwood is an absolute nobody in my book, and without having actually seen the book, I would say that his quotation is much less than reliable. Chernev, on the other hand, is pretty well respected by most everyone that I have come in contact with.

BTW, Winter's has a column, (; he is often published on the Chessbase website and anyone can write him with a question. If you care, perhaps you should drop him a line ...

Mar-14-13  TheFocus: Let's see. Greenwood recorded the games and put out his book.


In this case, Chernev is not the best source. Not in this or in many other cases. His books are full of factual errors.

Mar-14-13  LIFE Master AJ: Of course, you are the supreme expert on that ... (errors - esp. those in print?).
Mar-14-13  TheFocus: Well, AJ, I have corrected enough of your errors.
Mar-15-13  thomastonk: <AJ> Okay, I have seen "only" two editions of Utterberg's book: a paperback from 2012 and a library binding from 2005, both green, but very different. If there is a black one, too: my mistake!

<Yes, if Chernev said the game was a McDonnell - La Bourdonnais; that is good enough for me.> I would like to explain to you in a friendly way why we won't improve this database or our knowledge on chess history in this way. Former generations had much less opportunities to read primary sources, and hence the authors - most of them no historians - wrote from their memories or filled gaps even by speculation. If we rely on these secondary sources, then we collect all their mistakes, and if we proceed in the same way, we will be someday on Winter's site as another bad example, too. But, nowadays most chess books and magazines from the 19th century can be read online, and so everybody can check the details himself, assumed he is willing to spend some time. Otherwise, cg is a good place to find someone who is willing and has even fun doing this.

<Live and learn.> I'm not a native speaker, but if this has an arrogant undertone, then I dislike it. Please don't forget that you submitted a doubtful game, and that you neither found it here, nor in another database nor in a primary source, and that you didn't knew who William Greenwood Walker is.

Mar-15-13  LIFE Master AJ: Been involved with chess since before you were born ... forgotten more about chess than you will ever know ...
Mar-15-13  TheFocus: <Been involved with chess since before you were born> Being involved with chess for a long time does not make you an authority. In your case, it has only made you arrogant.

W.G. Walker was at these McDonnell - La Bourdonnais matches and recorded them for history. What part of that do you not understand? That makes him the expert and Chernev a secondary source.

Try as you might, AJ, YOU cannot rewrite chess history.

Mar-15-13  TheFocus: And before you dismiss <thomastonk> as a no-nothing, you might want too know that he has been cited in Winter's <Chess Notes> for his historical discoveries.

As have I.

Have you been cited at Winter's column? Have you added to chess history?

This is the same Winter of whom you said you would accept his authority.

Mar-15-13  TheFocus: <And before you dismiss <thomastonk> as a no-nothing, you might want too know that he has been cited in Winter's <Chess Notes> for his historical discoveries. As have I.

Have you been cited at Winter's column? Have you added to chess history?

This is the same Winter of whom you said you would accept his authority.>

I meant to say "know-nothing".

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <TheFocus> That's, um, nothing-we can all make mistakes and it is hardly worth a mention.

Here's another vote for <thomastonk>: he's a decent guy and a positive contributor to this site.

At least you were not a member of the Know-Nothing Party!

Mar-17-13  LIFE Master AJ: And since Chernev is one of my all-time favorite authors, anyone who takes a dig at him will only earn my eternal contempt.

True story - 1970's, young man hitchhikes to San Fran for a chess tournament. After several nights ... sleeping on a bench and such ... he is taken in by none other than Chernev.

I personally saw ... with my own eyes ... walls covered with chess books and magazines ... he must have had thousands of them. He could go to any one of them and pull out a problem and show it to you.

He lived, ate and breathed chess. So - when some DING-DONG on this site says Chernev was a un-educated puke who made lots of mistakes ... and did not know beans about chess ... he is only showing his own total and complete IGNORANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will take Chernev's word over yours ... any day today, and twice on Sunday. Is that clear enough for you?

Mar-17-13  LIFE Master AJ: BTW ... back in the 1930's or so, Chernev was probably in the TOP TEN players in the good, ole USA.
Mar-17-13  LIFE Master AJ: And if you need PROOF, I would suggest Soltis's book on the History of the U.S. Championships. (Lots of cross-tables, educate yourself.)
Mar-17-13  LIFE Master AJ: And if you want to settle the argument, write Winter.

ChessBase, USCF, (me) [and many others!!!] consider him to be the final authority on such matters.

If you don't then I would suggest you are <again> just full of hot air ... but we all know that this is par for the course.

Mar-17-13  TheFocus: Poor <AJ>. Someone points out that you were wrong, even provide evidence, and you respond with insults. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

I did a search at <Chess Notes>, and not surprisingly, your name doesn't turn up. So much for Winter citing your pages.

My name shows up. <thomastonk>'s does. But not yours. Hmmm. I wonder why?

Mar-17-13  TheFocus: And, let me point out that <Winter> does not hold Chernev as the most trust-worthy of sources in:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: <Been involved with chess since before you were born ... forgotten more about chess than you will ever know ...>

Let's see

Thomas Niessen

Highest rating achieved in database: 2495.

A J Goldsby

Highest rating achieved in database: 2283

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: So <thomastonk>'s alterego is Thomas Niessen ?

I didn't know that. That's what I like about this site, the pleasant revelations that sometimes occur.


Mar-19-13  LIFE Master AJ: BTW - one more addendum. Although he never personally gave me lessons, I became master probably because of Chernev's books. Chernev's books on "The Most Instructive Games of Chess" and also the one on Capa's best endings ... at one time, I had memorized many of these games.I am sure I would never had become a master, if not for the writings of Chernev.
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