Café de la Régence

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Café de la Regence in the 19th century
The famous chess match between Howard Staunton and Pierre Saint-Amant, on 16 December 1843

The Café de la Régence was a meeting place for chess players in Paris, France. It was the most famous chess meeting-place for over a century. The building was a coffeehouse in the centre of Paris, founded in 1688 and named in 1718. At first, it was under the patronage of the Duc d'Orleans, and attracted a literary crowd.[1]p417

Chess players moved there en masse around 1740. The clientele included amateurs, such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Robespierre, Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon. The leading professionals, Deschapelles, La Bourdonnais, Verdoni and Philidor, were there every day when they were in Paris.[2]p65 Staunton played his match against Saint-Amant there; Paul Morphy played there in 1858, including his match with Anderssen. The café was moved in 1855. The chess room was finally closed in 1916.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Chicco, A. & Porreca, G. 1971. Dizionario enciclopedico degli scacchi. Mursia, Milano.
  2. Hooper D. and Whyld K. The Oxford companion to chess. 2nd ed, Oxford.
  3. Cornil, Etienne. Le Café de la Régence. Les Cahiers du CREB. A 268-page booklet available on-line.[1] Note: at the top of this long document, after the names of the senior officials, is a row of pictures of the front covers of their printed magazine. Cahier 4 is the one on the Régence. You press the link "télécharger le cahier 4", and the text (in French) comes up after a minute or two. It's a collection of previously published information about the Régence.

Other websites[change | change source]

  • Painting by Faven: described in Winter, Edward: Chess Notes #4420 The painting is of a scene in the Café de la Régence in 1910, showing some of its better-known players.