De la Bourdonnais versus McDonnel, 1834
404 pages, paperback, McFarland, 2. edition 2012, first edition 2005
About the Book
The meeting of Louis Charles Mahe de la Bourdonnais and Alexander McDonnell at London’s Westminster Chess Club in 1834 was notable for a number of reasons. Hard-earned reputations were zealously protected, and masters of equal standing had seldom faced each other on even terms. The chess world was watching closely, but it was the actions of spectator William Greenwood Walker, who recorded each move of the 85 games, that has had the greatest impact.
This recording and publication of game scores from a series of matches between masters was a first in chess history: The event gave birth to modern chess theory. Once based upon composed exercises studied in isolation, theory now became concrete and measurable. Practice replaced contrivance, and tactics could be studied and honed in light of the avalanche of match records that followed.
McDonnell and de la Bourdonnais played six matches in 1834. This book offers biographies of the two and illuminates their times--and then the 85 games are analyzed using modern theory; there are numerous diagrams and previously published commentary. The merits of the openings, middle- and endgame maneuvers of the two are weighed. Nine appendices present selected games against other opponents; excerpt a contemporary account of the games’ ambience; provide other interesting documents; present several statistics; and provide a schematic of mistakes made by both contestants. Bibliography, notes, indexes.
About the Author
Cary Utterberg lives in Golden Valley, Minnesota. He has held the National Master title with the U.S. Chess Federation since 1985.
About the Author
"fine work...remarkable...marvelous"--The Washington Post
"wonderful book...highly recommend"--IM John Donaldson (JeremySilman.com )
"four stars"--Chess Horizons
vii Game-by-Game Table of Contents
005 On the Spelling of the Two Opponents' Names
037 A Note on the Games
043 Match One: de la Bourdonnais 16, McDonnell 5, Drawn 4 Games 1 to 25
115 Match Two: McDonnell 5, de la Bourdonnais 4, Drawn 0 Games 26 to 34
139 Match Three: de la Bourdonnais 6, McDonnell 5, Drawn 1 Games 35 to 46
181 Match Four: de la Bourdonnais 8, McDonnell 3, Drawn 7 Games 47 to 64
242 Match Five: de la Bourdonnais 7, McDonnell 4, Drawn 1 Games 65 to 76
281 Match Six: McDonnell 5, de la Bourdonnais 4, Drawn 0 Games 77 to 85
311 Conclusion: The Statistics
319 Appendix 1: Selected de la Bourdonnais Games
337 Appendix 2: Selected McDonnell Games
355 Appendix 3: Opening Theory, Then and Now
379 Appendix 4: Collected Games of Deschapelles
382 Appendix 5: Statistical Data
389 Appendix 6: Preface to Lewis's A Selection of Games at Chess
390 Appendix 7: Foreword to Bledow's Fünfzig auserlesene Schach-Partien
391 Appendix 8: Preface to Greenwood Walker's Games by the Late M'Donnell