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Bourdonnais, Louis-Charles Mahe de La

Louis-Charles Mahe de La Bourdonnais (1795-1840) was a French master and strongest chess player of his time.  He learned chess in Paris in 1814 while attending school.  He was undisputed champion of France in the 1820s.  In 1821, he was able to beat his chess teacher, Alexandre Deschapelles.  In 1834 he played a series of six matches with England’s strongest player, Alexander McDonnell, and won with 45 wins, 13 draws, and 27 losses.  The final match was abandoned as La Bourdonnais had to return to France to deal with his creditors.  In 1836 he became editor of the world’s first chess magazine, Le Palamede.  He died in London of dropsy and was buried in Kensal Green cemetery.  He was buried near McDonnell.

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