Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais

Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais (1795 – December 1840) was a French chess master, possibly the strongest player in the early 19th century.

Louis de La Bourdonnais
The only known likeness of La Bourdonnais
Full nameLouis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais
DiedDecember 13, 1840(1840-12-13) (aged 44–45)
London, Great Britain

Early life edit

La Bourdonnais was born on the island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean in 1795. He was the grandson of Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais. He learned chess in 1814 and began to take the game seriously in 1818, regularly playing at the Café de la Régence.[1] He took lessons from Jacques François Mouret, his first teacher,[2] and within two years he became one of the best players of the Café.

Chess career edit

La Bourdonnais was forced to earn his living as a professional chess player after squandering his fortune on ill-advised land deals. He played in an era before a World Chess Championship was established, but was considered to be perhaps the strongest player in the world from 1821 — when he became able to beat his chess teacher Alexandre Deschapelles — until his death in 1840. The most famous match series in that time was the series against Alexander McDonnell in 1834. These matches of 85 games were analyzed by Kasparov in his book My Great Predecessors.

Death edit

He died penniless in London on December 13, 1840,[3] having been forced to sell all his possessions, including his clothes, to satisfy his creditors. George Walker arranged his burial a stone's throw from his old rival Alexander McDonnell at Kensal Green Cemetery.[4][5]

Notable games edit

McDonnell vs. La Bourdonnais
Final position after 37...e2

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ The Oxford Companion to Chess – David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld (1992) p. 56
  2. ^ Le Palamède edited by Saint-Amant (1847) p. 211
  3. ^ Crescendo of the Virtuoso: Spectacle, Skill, and Self-Promotion in Paris during the Age of Revolution. Paul Metzner, Berkeley: University of California Press, c1998 1998.
  4. ^ Philip W Sergeant, A Century of British Chess, David McKay, 1934, p. 39.
  5. ^ walker, George (1850). Chess and chess players. London: C. J. clay pigeon shooting.

References edit

External links edit

Louis-Chales Mahe de la Bourdonnais