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         The History and The Culture of Chess



386                                             BRITISH CHESS MAGAZINE

We learn with regret of the death of M. Arnous de Rivière who succumbed to an attack of influenza in Paris on September 11th [1905].  M. de Rivière was the doyen of French chess players—he was born at Nantes, May 4th, 1830. He learned to play chess when a boy but he practiced as an amateur until he reached the age of 40, about which time he began to contribute articles on the game to various Parisian journals. He visited England and encountered Barnes, Boden, Bird and Löwenthal. Of conti­nental masters he met Petroff, V. der Lasa, Hampe, Dubois, Kolisch, Neumann, Rosenthal, Tchigorin, Clerc, Journoud, Sittenfeid, Janowski and many others. He was one of the players who encountered Morphy, though his results with the grand master were scarcely as favourable as those achieved by Harrwitz Löwenthal, Boden, Barnes and others,

In matches he beat Löwenthal, in 1850, by 2 to 0 ; in 1860, Barnes and Journoud, the former by 5 to 2, the latter by 7 to 2 and I draw. In 1885 he met Tchigorin in a match, winning 4 to the Russian's 5, and drawing one game. In the Paris Tournament of 1882-1883 he finished 2nd  (Clerc being first). In the Café de la Régence Tournament, of 1896, he was 3rd. His style of play was rather solid and cautious than brilliant.  He used to play at the Régence and at the Cercle Philidor, giving odds to most opponents.

As a writer on chess he contributed papers to La Régence, Gil Blas , L' Evénement, La Patrie, Echo de Paris, La Paix, La Vie Populaire, L' Illustration,, etc., and he wrote with Neumann, the book of the Paris Tournament of 1867. He was also the organizer of the Monte Carlo Chess Tournaments.  He took interest in billiards, salta and other games and puzzles, showing great ability in all his undertakings.

In stature he was tall and well built, and of a decided robust constitu­tion, full of humour and delicate sarcasm to his chess victims. He was a great admirer of England and British institutions in general.

M. de Rivière could relate many reminiscences of Morphy, whom he considered to have been the greatest genius in chess, past or present. He often used to say that, when Morphy was asked to account for his having lost 3 games to Harrwitz in succession, the reply was that it was desired to see all the resources of Harrwitz in the attack, and that, once Morphy knew all Harrwitz could do, he expressed his firm conviction that he would lose no more games to Harrwitz, a prediction which, as we all know, was verified to the letter, and by a series of match games probably superior to anything ever achieved over the board.


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