Chess in 1747
by Bill Wall, 2021

Books by Bill Wall
In 1747, Hirsch Baruch wrote Schach-Tractat which included the modern rules of chess. The 16-page pamphlet was published in Berlin.

In 1747, Francesco Saverio Brunetti (1693-1760?) published Giuochi delle Minchiate Ombre Scacci, Et altri d'Ingegno (Games of Minchiatre, Ombre, Chess and other games of skill). The 128-page book was published in Rome.

In 1747, the work of Cardinal Melchior de Polignac (1661-1742) Anti-Lucretius, a philosophical Latin poem, was published after his death in Paris. It describes a game of chess in 15 lines.

In 1747, Francois-Andre Danican Philidor (1726-1795) was in Rotterdam. Philidor saw in the possession of a coffee-house keeper, a set of solid silver chess men, which were made for Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736). Philidor said it was the most valuable chess set he had seen. The chess men were made by the celebrated painter Vander Werf, who worked 18 years in carving them. The pawns were "eight Negroes and eight Whites, of various ages." (source: Twiss, Chess, 1787, pp. 3-4)

In 1747, Philidor went to London and started playing chess at Slaughter's coffee-house, St. Martin's lane (the building was demolished in 1844). Philidor was invited by Sir Abraham Janssen (1720-1795), a strong English chess player. Janssen introduced Philidor to Lord Francis Godolphin (1678-1756), Lord Sunderland (1706-1758), Dr. Black, Mr. Cargill, Dr. William Cowper (1701-1767), John Salvador (1716-1786), and Phillip Stamma (1705-1765). [source: The Chess Player's Magazine, June 1867, p. 166]

At Slaughter's he beat Phillip Stamma of Aleppo, Syria. Philidor won 8 games, drew one game, and lost one game. Philidor took Black in every game. None of the games were preserved. Stamma worked for the British government as a translator of dispatches in the Oriental languages. Stamma was the inventor of the algebraic notation system. [source: Murray, History of Chess, 1913, p. 862]

In 1747, Philidor beat Abraham Janssen (1720-1795) at Slaughter's with 4 wins and 1 loss. Janssen was then the best chess player in England. (source: "Biographical Sketch of Philidor," The Saturday Magazine, June 19, 1841, pp. 237-239, and "Philidoriana," The Chess Player's Chronicle, 1879, p. 50)

In 1747, John Manners (1696-1779), the third duke of Rutland, invented a new variant of chess. He used a 10 by 14 squares board and introduced two new pieces. The first new piece was called the Concubine, possessing the power of a rook and a knight. His other new piece was called the Crown Castle, possessing the power of a rook and a king.

Sir Abraham Janssen taught the Duke of Rutland's Chess to Philidor. At the time, the best players in this variant were Janssen, Stamma, Dr. William Cowper, and John Salvador. In less than 3 months, Philidor was to beat them all in this chess variant, even giving them odds of a knight. [source: Murray, History of Chess, 1913, p. 862, footnote 4]

From 1747 to his death in 1795, Philidor was considered the unofficial chess champion of the world.

In 1747, Francis Wheatley (1747-1801), was an English portrait and landscape painter. In 1795, he painted a scene from Shakespeare's The Tempest, Act V, Scene 1, Ferdinand and Miranda playing chess.

On April 26, 1747, Richard Twiss (1747-1821) was born in Rotterdam. He was an English writer, known for books on travel and chess. In 1787, he wrote Chess, published anonymously.

On July 4, 1747, Remi Furcy Descarsin (1747-1793), a portrait painter, was born. He painted Le Bien Aime, Portrait of Dr. C. Playing chess with Death.

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