When Coffee Houses and Chess were Chic - Annotated Game - Sicilian

Oct 31, 2007, 12:45 PM |

Paris 1800s', a slow Closed Sicilian, White Fighting for breathing room. All the while enjoying good coffee. What more could you want? (ahhhhhhhhhhh, if only I were there)

Coffee houses and chess were chic.  

De Saint-Amant vs Staunton, Howard

Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant visited London in 1843, as a wine
merchant. Numerous games were played in thousands of coffeehouses. Chess was only played at chic places. He played an informal match against Staunton for
one guinea in the St. George's Chess Club and won with 31/2-21/2. This had
great consequences: the Great Chess Match between England and France was
organised at a stake of Q 100 or FF 2500. They played in the great hall of the
Cercle des Echecs in the Cafe de la Regence from 14 xi until 20 xii 1843.
Staunton had an overwhelming start with 71/2/8. Then it took long until the
deciding eleventh victory was scored (+11, =4, -6). A third match would be
played in 1844, but Staunton had to return home due to pneumonia.   Fischer
regards Staunton as one of the best players in the history of chess, as an
innovator of the openings.