Personal Mona Lisa of Napoleon Bonaparte

Personal Mona Lisa of Napoleon Bonaparte

Gserper
GM Gserper
Dec 26, 2010, 12:00 AM |
30 | Tactics

All chess players regardless of their strength have their own chess gems.  NapoleonBonaparte was not an exception and also had his own Mona Lisa. He played it not long before his death in his exile on Saint Helena.  Here is the game:

(Just like in most of my articles I give you a chance to test your attacking skills, so the games are given as a Quiz.  Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list".)

 

Despite the mistakes, the game is truly remarkable considering the final combination and the fact that it was played by non-Masters almost 200 years ago.
Here is another little combination played by the Emperor in happier days of his life:
Call me a cynic,but I have my doubts that the first game (vs. General Bertrand) was really played.  Yes it is a well-documented fact that Napoleon Bonaparte liked to play chess but I find some inconsistency there. Some of the moves played by White in both games we just saw definitely look like a beginner's play. Nevertheless, he executes a combination which is way above a beginner's level. If after looking at these two games you still have any doubts that Napoleon was a true chess beginner, let me show you the next game which was documented by witnesses.
It is not surprising that the Chess Automation (a.k.a. The Turk) won easily since it is a well known fact that Johann Allgaier who was sitting inside the Turk was a strong Master.  But look at the Napoleon's play. 2.Qf3?, 5.a3? and some other moves clearly indicate the beginner's level of Napoleon.
Unfortunately, we have many games allegedly played by famous people that turn out to be a hoax. Whenever you see games played by Lenin, Stalin or the Pope, you should know that those are fake.  None of the games played by those famous people were ever recorded.  If you see a real game played by a celebrity, then most probably it will look like this one:
But fortunately, we have exceptions and some famous people were really good chess players.  Next week we'll try to find out who was the strongest chess player amongst celebrities.
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