La Bourdonnais

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Louis de La Bourdonnais
The only known likeness of La Bourdonnais.
Full nameLouis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais
DiedDecember 1840(1840-12-00) (aged 44–45)
London, Great Britain

Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais[1] (1795–1840) was probably the world's best chess player around 1830.[2] Born in Réunion, he followed Deschapelles as the top professional at the Café de la Régence, Paris.

La Bourdonnais beat the British player Alexander McDonnell, who was the son of a doctor in Dublin. At this time McDonnell was based in London, and had taken chess lessons from William Lewis, the top London professional at the time. The two matches between La Bourdonnais and McDonnell were played at the Café de la Régence in 1834. This series was a total of 85 games.

Both men died soon afterwards, La Bourdonnais of dropsy.

He died penniless in London in December 1840.[3] He was forced to sell his possessions, including his clothes, to pay his creditors. He is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, London.[4][5]

References[change | change source]

  1. His name is rendered "Labourdonnais" in some sources.
  2. Hooper D. & Whyld K. 1996. The Oxford companion to chess, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280049-3
  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. Sergeant, Philip W. 1934. A century of British chess. David McKay, p39.
  5. Walker, George 1850 (1850). Chess and chess-players. London: C.J. Skeet.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)