Le Palamède Française, 1865-1866

R:
a:
6×#3-5 (2 pr.)
b:
4 studies or end-games (1 pr.)
 
J:

E. L. Lequesne, Duclos, Boiron, Rosenthal and Ch. Petit

(This list is according to the report printed in Le Palamède Française. The list printed in the announcement is given in the notes below.)

C:

1865-03-15 (French composers) / 1865-03-31 (others) ; (later extended to 1866-01-01 for studies)

A:
a:
1 pr.  D. Lamouroux (Motto: Bonne chance!)
 
 
2 pr.  C. Bayer (Allez, enfants!)
 
 
 
1 hm  P. Klett (Trois problèmes)
 
 
2 hm  J. Kohtz & C. Kockelkorn (Aut Cæsar aut nihil)
 
 
3 hm  J. Berger (Ambassadeurs de mon esprit)
 
 
Section B was apparently not concluded.
 
S:
Le Palamède Français, v. 1 (Sep. 1864–1865):
i. 7 (Mar. 1865), p. 289: P. Journoud leaves the post as editor.
 
Le Palamède Français, vol. 2 (1865):
i. 13 (Sep. 1865), p. 1–19: report (see notes below)
i. 13 (Sep. 1865), p. 40–45: prize-winning problems
i. 14 (Oct. 1865), p. 87–90: 1 hm problems
i. 15 (Nov. 1865), p. 135–137: 2 hm problems
 
Le Sphinx, vol. 1 (1865):
i. 12 (1 Oct. 1865), p. [177]: Declaration by Journoud.
i. 13-14 (15 Oct.–1 Nov. 1865), p. [193]–205: Article Révélations
 
N:
The original announcement identified the committee of judges as: Devinck (chairman), Lequesne (secretary), Laroche, Ch. Lahure, P. Journoud, Kolisch, Guibert and Preti. (P. Jornoud was the editor of Le Palamède Francais, and Ch. Lahure its publisher.)

The final report was signed by Lequesne, who acknowledged the help from Duclos, Boiron, Rosenthal and Ch. Petit only. The report appears to be undated, but it was presented and accepted on August 25, 1865, in a meeting led by Ch. Lahure, and attended by Lequesne, Ch. Petit, Duclos and Boiron, at which the awards were formally decided. Notes from this meeting are included in the report (p. 18–19). There is no reference to the original judges, or any explanation of why they had been replaced.

In section A of the tourney, 30 sets are reported on. Two sets contained fewer than 6 problems, and were excluded from competition. Many of the remaining sets contained more than 6 problems—sometimes much more: one set contained 40 problems.

Three sets were received for section B: the committee decided to extend this section to 1866-01-01. But by that time Palamède Francais was no longer active.

The set awarded 1st honorary mention is reported as having 6 problems, but 9 problems are published in Le Palamède Français as having won that award. Three of those problems (prb. 92–94) are also labelled as not taking part in the competition. This makes their status rather unclear: if they did not take part in in the tourney, why are they reported as having been awarded an honorary mention? As they are printed in the last regular issue, it might be a mistake that was not identified or corrected.

Le Palamède Française ceased publication with its 16th issue, dated December 1865. It contained only pending solutions and a table of contents for both v. 1 and v. 2.

As far as known, section B of the tournament was not concluded.



The following is an attempt to briefly summarize what happened after the tourney report was published. The story is complex, and the rather one-sided sources express a fairly high level of moral indignation, which may obscure important details. In general, the original sources are to be preferred for all additional details not covered here.

The central allegation appears to be that Lamouroux' set was found to be faulty after it had been given the first prize but before it had been published. Instead of revising judgement and giving the first prize to K. Bayer, the faulty problems were corrected post factum, with the active involvement of at least one person of the editorial board of Le Palamède Française.

The article Révélations in Le Sphinx contains an undated letter from L. von Bilow asking that the verdict should be nullified. He lists the following five points as reasons:

1. The committee of judges had been changed without notification.
2. The new judges had ignored the opinion of the only capable judge who bothered to examine the problems seriously [Duclos].
3. In the first-prize set four of nine problems were faulty.
4. The identity of the first-prize winner was known to the judges before the verdict was decided.
5. Problems in the winning set had been corrected after judgement with the help of Rosenthal.

v. Bilow also includes supporting testimony from Duclos (one of the new judges), Kolisch (who was on the original list of judges, and who had met Lamouroux, Rosenthal and Petit at Cafe de la Régence, when they were trying to correct a problem that Kolisch later recognized as one of Lamouroux' winning set, and who had also asked the publisher for an explanation, but without getting any response), and from Rosenthal (who describes how he cooked two of Lamouroux' problems after the award had been decided but not yet published, and also helped with corrections prior to publication).

No response from the tourney committee (which included the publisher) seems to have appeared. As already noted, Le Palamède Française ceased publication a month or two later. No response from D. Lamoroux is known.

Awards

Section A: Direct Mates

1 Prize: D. Lamouroux

1

#4

2

#4

3

#4

4

#5

5

#5

6

#5

2 prize: C. Bayer

1

#3

2

#3

3

#4

4

#4

5

#5

6

#5