Sarah's Chess Journal

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         The History and The Culture of Chess

 F. de l'A and a Triumvirate

I am one third of a triumvirate.

Our mission is to identify Morphy's opponents. Each of us brings our individual sets of strengths, weaknesses, passions, interests, capabilities and resources to the table. I've been learning a lot.

Much of what we do amounts to the equivalent of exploratory surgery. We dig and probe just to see what we come up with. Here is an example:


Philip Sergeant, in his book Morphy's Games of Chess lists a consultation game (Game LXXX) between Morphy (black) and the team of St. Amant and F. de l'A. Of course we all know St. Amant, but who is this F. de l'A ?

Sergeant, in his later work, Morphy Gleanings (or Unknown Morphy as it's even later titled), revises this with :
"P. 150, Game LXXX. 'Bell's Life in London' gives initials of St. Amant's partner as ' B' "

So, we learn that "F. de l'A" is now "M. F. de B".

Using the assumption that the "M." stands for Monsieur, one of our members searched for any chess player during Morphy's time with "F. de B" as his initials who might have been available in Paris of Nov. 1858.

He found one name: Florimond de Basterot or Alfred Jacques Florimond, Comte de Basterot.

As coincidence would have it, Basterot was about to travel to America where St. Amant had traveled just six years before. Both men wrote a book on their respective American adventures. But Basterot also wrote other books. This one was on chess and clearly shows that Basterot knew Morphy. While it doesn't explicitly place him as St. Amant's teammate during the game in question, circumstantial evidence makes the likelihood almost a sure thing.

In his book Traité Élémentaire du Jeu des Échecs,  Basterot gave a puzzle which he claimed to have observed Morphy attempting, with some difficulty and taking about an hour, to solve:


 White to move and mate in three.



Sarah's Serendipitous Chess Page
The Life and Chess of Paul Morphy
Sarah's Chess History Forum

Chess - in  general

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Chess History

Mark Week's History on the Web
Chess Journalists of America
Chess History Newsgroup
Hebrew Chess
Chess Tourn. & Match History
Super Tournaments of the Past
La grande storia degli scacchi
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My Chess Biographies

Carlos Repetto Torre
Gioacchino Greco
Henry Thomas Buckle
La Bourdonnais
Francois Andre Philidor
Philidor's Opponents
Rashid  Nezhmetdinov
Rudolf Charousek
William E. Napier
G. H. Mackenzie
Lisa Lane
Karl Schlechter
Prince André Dadian
Henry Thomas Buckle
Joseph Blackburne
Isodore Gunsberg
James Mason
William Lewis
George Walker
Augustus Mongredien
Adolf Anderssen
Saint Amant
Daniel Harrwitz
Samuel Boden
Johann  Löwenthal
Howard Staunton
The Duke of Brunswick
Charles Henry Stanley
Louis Paulsen
Jacob Henry Sarratt
Alexander McDonnell
Joszef Szen
Vincent Grimm
John Cochrane
George Atwood
del Rio, Lolli, Ponziani
Arpad Elo
Sultan Khan

My Historical Explorations

    Seeds to the Renaissance
    The Catalysts
    Chess Literature
    Chess Players

    Sofonisba Anguissola
    Schaccia, Ludus by Vida
    The Black Death
    Da Vinci
by William Jones
    Aristotle's Children

Chess Automatons
The Origins of Chess
Chess History is a Pain!
Girl Chess I
The Forgotten Philidor



Franklin's Morales of Chess Pandolfini's Comandments
Six Chess Vignettes
Fischer's 10 Greatest
My Life as a Chess Criminal Celebrities Playing Chess
Mis/Dis Information
Morphy's Brilliant Moves
What is Chess
Schachdorf Ströbeck

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