LE CAFÉ DE LA RÉGENCE
Le café de la Régence vers 1865
Fondé en 1681 sous le nom de Café de la Place du Palais-Royal, il est rebaptisé Café de la Régence en 1718. Durant l’aménagement de la place du Palais-Royal en 1852, il s’installe provisoirement à l’hôtel Dodun, rue de Richelieu. A partir de 1854, le Café de la Régence s’installe définitivement au 161 de la rue Saint-Honoré, dans un immeuble qui venait d’être construit.
Le café de la Régence était mondialement connu pour ses tournois d’échecs, dont l’un mérite d’être cité car il opposa en 1858 l’Américain Paul Morphy à huit excellents joueurs, dont l’un s’appelait Henri Baucher et semble avoir été précisément le fils de François. En voici la description, extraite de
Q In 1858 the American Paul Morphy won acclaim by playing eight strong opponents at once without sight of the board. After ten hours he won 6 and drew 2, thus breaking Andre Philidor’s record of three blindfold games there in 1783! His secretary F.T. Edge caught the moment:
”Morphy stepped from the arm chair in which he had been almost immovable for ten consecutive hours with having tasted a morsel of anything, even water, during the whole consecutive period; yet as fresh, apparently, as when he sat down. The English and Americans, of whom there were scores present set up stentonian Anglo-Saxon cheers, and the French joined in as the whole crowdmade a simultaneous rush a our hero. The waiters of the café had formed a conspiracy to carry Morphy in triumph on their shoulders, but the multitude was so compact they could not get near him, and finally had to abandon their attempt. Great bearded fellows grasped his hansa, and it was nearly half an hour before we could get out of the café. Père Morel fought a passage through the crowd by main strength, and we finally got into the street. There the scene was repeated, the multitute was greater out of doors than in the café, and the shouting, if possible, more deafering… White: Paul Morphy. Black: Henri Baucher. Philidor Defense 1858 f