The troops of the Emperor Napoleon Bonapart[1] determinedly march towards Versailles while they listen to the Eroica Symphony nº 3[2] of Beethoven. There, in the palace, awaited two of the many Jadin musician brothers (Hyacinthe[3]  and Louis-Emmanuel[4]).

With the splendid gardens of Versailles as witnesses, Louis Emmanuel plays his harpsichord while Hyacinthe sharpens his piano. They will perform, with the help of other members of their family, the sweeping Fantaisie Concertante in G-minor for the harp, piano and orchestra[5]. For them the sun shines as never before.

Whereas, Napoleon’s troops where in for an Olympic storm. From the sky someone starts throwing thunders. But it is neither Zeus nor Thor who throw them… Who is it? Could it be other gods…? “No! It’s Beethoven, “the revolutionaries shouted in unison. And tatatata[6]. Fate knocked on the door[7]. Four thunderbolts revealed the following message in the tormented[8]  sky: “Abandon your leader!”

Said and done. The troops began to withdraw from the scene. But our emperor, looking forward and determined to win, did not realize his solitude. Thus, completely alone and humbled by Beethoven, he appeared in the palace. Before he even realized, the bassoon of Jean Jadin, father of brothers Hyacinthe and Louis Emmanuel, pointed to his heart. “Let’s make a Deal. You will play a game of chess against Sakon, our newly invented machine. If you win, we will gladly crown you emperor of Versailles. But if you lose… you must leave in exile to the African island of Saint Helena[9].” With an ace under his sleeve, Napoleon did not hesitate to accept, exclaiming loud and clear “Oh Jadin family, you will see that my acclaimed victories before Madame de Remusat and General Bertrand[10] did not arrive by infused science. I will not go back to that island. I will defeat your machine! “

The match between Napoleon and the automaton Sakon[11] turned out to be one of the least clean experiences in the history of the MC Galaxy. Neutral observers, having seen some illegalities, pointed out that both sides used important trickery. The automaton Sakon played like a real wizard[12], while gossipers speculated that Napoleon had received aid, by signals from the sky, of a strong French master[13]. Despite the suspicions, the game was not interrupted. Observers did nothing to stop such ruses. They only concluded that only the most cunning of the two would win.

The game ended dramatically for Napoleon, who played with the black pieces. French Defense, Exchange Variation. Battle matched with too many changes of pieces. Theoretical (draw) endgame. Napoleon must know how to defend Philidor position[14]. Unfortunately, Napoleon never checked Philidor’s[15] studies for being unfriendly and monarchical! So he lost, leaving a mate in the eighth rank. He blamed the poor disposition of the stars. And he left the palace cursing Beethoven. “I will take revenge on you when you cannot hear me!”[16]

The Jadin family invited Beethoven to the feast of celebration, where they would play the straight Sonata for pianoforte in F sharp minor[17]. But the genius of Bonn refused the invitation. He is always above good and evil.


1 Napoleon Bonapart (1769-1821). France.

2 Symphony which Beethoven initially dedicated to Napoleon. But when Napoleon was crowned emperor, it seems that Beethoven, quite angry, removed the dedication.

3 Hyacinthe Jadin (1776-1800). French composer.

4 Louis-Emmanuel Jadin (1768-1853). French composer.

5 Work of Louis-Emmanuel Jadin.

6 Onomatopoeia describing the first four notes of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5

7 If possible, investigate the story behind Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5

8 Tormented heaven/sky (as well as stormy) because Beethoven, as a good afflicted genius, has had direct influence on this. The reader must imagine a heaven “concerned” by the new imperial status of Napoleon.

9 Island of Africa where Napoleon was detained in the last years of his life.

10 Referring to two games attributed to Napoleon.

11 Invented automaton. But it is worth remembering that Napoleon did lose against the false automaton The Turk in 1809.

12 In reference to the Houdini chess module.

13 Some historians argue that some chess matches which were assigned to Napoleon were not in fact played by him, but invented later on to extol his image. Yuri Averbakh contends that it may have been Pierre-Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant, a French master of the 19th century.

14 Philidor position. Endgame of rook against rook and pawn.
15 François-André Danican Philidor (1726-1795). French composer.

16 In reference Beethoven´s deafness impairment.

17 Work of Hyacinthe Jadin.


WINNER: The Jadin family