Learning from an ooooooold game

1/22/2005 – In his Playchess.com lecture Monday night Dennis Monkroussos shows us an exciting game from the early 1800s, between Louis Charles de la Bourdonnais and Alexander McDonnell. It's a chance to learn something new about the Sicilian Defense...

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Dennis Monokroussos writes: The original and primary inspiration for this series was to present great, historic games that today’s chess fan has probably overlooked. Ideally, the games are interesting in their own right, of historic importance, introduce players whose games are worth a further look, and of course, give the fan something to apply to his or her game. This week’s game features the two greatest players (probably) of the early 1800s: Louis Charles de la Bourdonnais (also sometimes written “de Labourdonnais”) and Alexander McDonnell. The two played a long series of matches with Labourdonnais coming out on top and our show features perhaps the best-known of those games. Labourdonnais essays a line of the Sicilian which has only come into fashion recently (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5!?), which in contemporary master play is almost always met by 5.Nb5. Many amateurs play 5.Nxc6, however, and one might well wonder: what’s wrong with that capture? This week’s show will help answer this very pertinent question, as Black gratefully accepts the large central phalanx and uses it with a vengeance! So do join us this week for the remarkable, picturesque finish, but also to learn something new about the Sicilian Defense – more than you might expect…

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Mondays at 9 p.m. EDT, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Tuesday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

Dennis Monokroussos is 38, lives in South Bend, IN (the site of the University of Notre Dame), and is writing a Ph.D. dissertation in philosophy (in the philosophy of mind) while adjuncting at the University.

He is fairly inactive as a player right now, spending most of his non-philosophy time being a husband and teaching chess. At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S., but quit for about eight years starting in his early 20s. His highest rating was 2434 USCF, but he has now fallen to the low-mid 2300s – "too much blitz, too little tournament chess", he says.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for seven years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

Here are the exact times for different locations in the world

Addis Ababa Tue 05:00 Hanoi Tue 09:00 New York Mon 21:00
Adelaide * Tue 12:30 Harare Tue 04:00 Odesa Tue 04:00
Aden Tue 05:00 Havana Mon 21:00 Oslo Tue 03:00
Aklavik Mon 19:00 Helsinki Tue 04:00 Ottawa Mon 21:00
Algiers Tue 03:00 Hong Kong Tue 10:00 Paris Tue 03:00
Amman Tue 04:00 Honolulu Mon 16:00 Perth Tue 10:00
Amsterdam Tue 03:00 Houston Mon 20:00 Philadelphia Mon 21:00
Anadyr Tue 14:00 Indianapolis Mon 21:00 Phoenix Mon 19:00
Anchorage Mon 17:00 Islamabad Tue 07:00 Prague Tue 03:00
Ankara Tue 04:00 Istanbul Tue 04:00 Rangoon Tue 08:30
Antananarivo Tue 05:00 Jakarta Tue 09:00 Reykjavik Tue 02:00
Asuncion * Mon 23:00 Jerusalem Tue 04:00 Rio de Janeiro * Tue 00:00
Athens Tue 04:00 Johannesburg Tue 04:00 Riyadh Tue 05:00
Atlanta Mon 21:00 Kabul Tue 06:30 Rome Tue 03:00
Baghdad Tue 05:00 Kamchatka Tue 14:00 San Francisco Mon 18:00
Bangkok Tue 09:00 Karachi Tue 07:00 San Juan Mon 22:00
Barcelona Tue 03:00 Kathmandu Tue 07:45 San Salvador Mon 20:00
Beijing Tue 10:00 Khartoum Tue 05:00 Santiago * Mon 23:00
Beirut Tue 04:00 Kingston Mon 21:00 Santo Domingo Mon 22:00
Belgrade Tue 03:00 Kiritimati Tue 16:00 Sao Paulo * Tue 00:00
Berlin Tue 03:00 Kolkata Tue 07:30 Seattle Mon 18:00
Bogota Mon 21:00 Kuala Lumpur Tue 10:00 Seoul Tue 11:00
Boston Mon 21:00 Kuwait City Tue 05:00 Shanghai Tue 10:00
Brasilia * Tue 00:00 Kyiv Tue 04:00 Singapore Tue 10:00
Brisbane Tue 12:00 La Paz Mon 22:00 Sofia Tue 04:00
Brussels Tue 03:00 Lagos Tue 03:00 St. John's Mon 22:30
Bucharest Tue 04:00 Lahore Tue 07:00 St. Paul Mon 20:00
Budapest Tue 03:00 Lima Mon 21:00 Stockholm Tue 03:00
Buenos Aires Mon 23:00 Lisbon Tue 02:00 Suva Tue 14:00
Cairo Tue 04:00 London Tue 02:00 Sydney * Tue 13:00
Canberra * Tue 13:00 Los Angeles Mon 18:00 Taipei Tue 10:00
Cape Town Tue 04:00 Madrid Tue 03:00 Tallinn Tue 04:00
Caracas Mon 22:00 Managua Mon 20:00 Tashkent Tue 07:00
Casablanca Tue 02:00 Manila Tue 10:00 Tegucigalpa Mon 20:00
Chatham Island * Tue 15:45 Melbourne * Tue 13:00 Tehran Tue 05:30
Chicago Mon 20:00 Mexico City Mon 20:00 Tokyo Tue 11:00
Copenhagen Tue 03:00 Minneapolis Mon 20:00 Toronto Mon 21:00
Darwin Tue 11:30 Minsk Tue 04:00 Vancouver Mon 18:00
Denver Mon 19:00 Montevideo Mon 23:00 Vienna Tue 03:00
Detroit Mon 21:00 Montgomery Mon 20:00 Vladivostok Tue 12:00
Dhaka Tue 08:00 Montreal Mon 21:00 Warsaw Tue 03:00
Dublin Tue 02:00 Moscow Tue 05:00 Washington DC Mon 21:00
Edmonton Mon 19:00 Mumbai Tue 07:30 Wellington * Tue 15:00
Frankfurt Tue 03:00 Nairobi Tue 05:00 Winnipeg Mon 20:00
Geneva Tue 03:00 Nassau Mon 21:00 Zagreb Tue 03:00
Guatemala Mon 20:00 New Delhi Tue 07:30 Zürich Tue 03:00
Halifax Mon 22:00 New Orleans Mon 20:00

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