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"Вечность есть играющее дитя, которое расставляет шашки: царство (над миром) принадлежит ребёнку". Гераклит

Napoleon’s runaway from Moscow to Paris   



1. Nd2+ Ka2 2. Nc3+ Ka3 3. Ndb1+ Kb4 4. Na2+ Kb5 5. Nbc3+ Ka6 6. Nb4+... "One should have block Napoleon’s way by the Queen, by moving it to а8. Then Napoleon would not be able to run to Paris, but would have been checkmated". 6. ... Ka7 7. Nb5+ Kb8 8. Na6+ Kc8 9.Na7+ Kd7 10. Nb8+ Ke7 11. Nc8+ Kf8 12. Nd7+ Kg8 13. Ne7+ Kh8 14. Kg2# 1-0
А. Petrov, 1824 year.


On November 11, 1812 (old style) Napoleon happened to be on the banks of Berezina river together with the remnants of his army. There were 36 thousand men under arms, 36 thousand unarmed men, 150 cavalry squadron and the sacred squadron (of 500 people). Orders had been issued about the construction of the bridges by Studyanka village. Napoleon managed to mislead the Danube Army Commander Admiral P.V. Chichagov. On November 14 river crossing of the troops began. The temperature was -14°C and there was floating of ice on Berezina river. On Novemebr 16 the attack of Platov and Ermolov began. The losses of the enemy were: 10 thousand people killed and wounded, 15 thousand were captivated.

napoleon 2

On the morning of November 17 the bridges were burned, the frost got down to -27...-30°C. Napoleon retreated to Paris, and the remains of the Grand Army took Vilna town in those inhumane conditions. They were pursued by the army of Admiral V.P. Chichagov , which had a very young ( 21 years old! ) secretary and interpreter - Alexander Sturdza.

In 1847 one well-to-do diplomat, writer on political and religious matters and memoirist, as well as well known philanthropist of the city wrote: "When I knew Inzov for the first time, notwithstanding my young age then, I scrutinized closely and with affection that moral phenomenon of military leader, who was distinguished by his genuine gentleness and rare hearty hospitality of mind and heart, the way he held himself either in Brest-Litovsk, or on the frozen banks of the fatal Berezina, or in the blazes of the camps and villages, or in some shabby hut… 

His erudition, experience and unprecedented constant presence of mind gained him the reputation of knowledgeable military leader. He knew how to fight although he did not like that, he did not care about the dangers and found comfort in reading or in silent complicated chess games in his idle hours. 

Frequently, at all the times of that fatal campaign I found him playing chess with Count Kapodistrias. As they both drowned together in considerations of this eastern game which captures and fascinates one’s attention so much, they both forgot about the other game filled with leaden lots which Napoleon played with them till the end”.


inzov                                   sturdza2

     I. N. Inzov                                                                 A. S. Sturdza

Count Ioannis Kapodistrias, the partner of major General Inzov, arrived to the Danube army by the order of count Rumyantsev in the beginning of June 1812. He was assigned to lead the diplomatic Chancellery of the Admiral. That area was important and involved responsibility.

On the eve of the Patriotic war of 1812 and in the first months of it, the Chancellery actually performed the functions of the middle East and the Balkan departments of the MFA of Russia.

On November 28, Vilna was occupied by Russian troops. The trophies of Chichagov’s army were: 14 thousand of prisoners and 140 guns. Also, there was a van with Napoleon’s Treasury in amount of 11 million francs.

Oh the 2nd of December the Great army amounting to 21 thousand of people crossed the border and entered Kaunas. (The army had 9 guns and 20 thousand of the people was unarmed). Just under the command of Napoleon 220 thousand of picked troops entered Russian territory from Kovno in May. In total there were 608 thousand people with 1242 guns against 200 thousand people with 960 guns from the side of Russian army.

On the eve of the battle of Borodino Napoleon said: «Chess are set, the game will begin tomorrow» (by Lev Tolstoy). On the day of the battle after the first cannon shots the writer shared his observation: «The game began». Then all the way from Berezina to Kovno was the endgame of the «Russian» party of Napoleon.

In 1818 I.N. Inzov became the head of the Custodian Committee for the foreign settlers in the southern region of Russia. He did a lot for the colonists, especially for Bulgarians. Ivan Nikitich Inzov died in Odessa in 1845. When the foremen of the Bulgarian colonies learned about his death they filed a petition asking the authorities about the reburial of the remains of Inzov. Their petition was granted.

Bulgarian colonists carried the coffin with the body of I.N. Inzov on their shoulders all the way from Odessa to Bolgrad. When they came up to the gates of the cemetery in Bolgrad, grateful Bulgarians continued carrying the coffin walking on their knees on the ground covered with flowers.


Ivan Antonovich Kapodistrias made a brilliant career of diplomat in Russia. Trust and favor to him from the side of Alexander I was increasing with time. In September 1815 the king signed the decree about the appointment of Kapodistrias as the foreign affairs secretary of state. He was entrusted with the final summit talks with France. Kapodistrias signed the Paris Peace Treaty of 1815 on behalf of Russia. He became a symbolic figure - the first President of the new post-war Greece.

A number of monuments is set in honor of Kapodistrias, including the monuments in St. Petersburg. The exposition dedicated to this remarkable man is open in the museum "Philike Hetaireia" (“The community of friends”) which represents the branch of the Greek Culture Foundation.

Among so many high-profile celebrities, which loved to play chess, Napoleon I was the most zealous. He was so passionately dedicated to this game that he took a set of chess with him to his every military campaign. There was a table and the set of chess in a cafe Regence in Paris that were demonstrated to the chess fans as the place where lieutenant Napoleon performed his first mini battles. There he played also with the chess machine. Also he played chess while in exile on the St. Elena island. His friends and brothers-in-arms delivered for him to the island the set of chess with the escape plan hidden in one of the figures. But it was never found.