Chess in 1760
by Bill Wall, 2021

Books by Bill Wall
On February 13, 1760, at age 33, Philidor married Angelique Heinriette Elizabeth Richer (1736-1809) in Versailles. She was the daughter of Francois Joseph Richer, Superintendent of Music of the Dukes of Orleans and Chartres, and Marie Elizabeth Leroy. He had 5 sons and 2 daughters with her. He never taught chess to his children. The children may have learned chess on their own. In one anecdote, Philidor entered the house and saw two of his children playing chess. After watching the game after a few moves were made, he said to his wife, "Ma chere amie, our children have fairly succeeded in making chess a game of chance." (source, Allen, The Life of Philidor, 1865, p. 54)

Philidor's wife sang, occasionally as a concert soloist, and played keyboard instrument. Her three brothers were all musicians. Often, Philidor's wife, and sometimes one or more of his brothers-in-law, rehearsed Philidor's musical compositions for him so he could hear how they sounded, since he himself neither played and no longer sang. (source: Metzner, Crescendo of the Virtuoso, 1998)

In 1760, Philidor composed the music for the opera comique Le quiproquo, ou Le volage fixe, (The Misunderstanding, or the Fixed Flight). It premiered at the Comedie-Italienne, Hotel de Bourgogne on March 6, 1760.

In 1760, Philidor composed the music for the opera comique Le Soldat Magicien, (The Magician Soldier). It premiered at the Fair of St. Laurent in on August 14, 1760.

In 1760, Jean-Jaques Rousseau (1712-1778) played chess with Prince of Conti at Rousseau's apartment at Mont-Louis, Montmorency, winning at least two games. [sources: Murray, A History of Chess, 1913, p. 861, Chess World, 1865, p.228 and Vauleon, Reading Jean-Jacques Rousseau through the Prism of Chess, 2019, p. 35]

In 1760, Denis Diderot (1713-1784) wrote Le Neveu de Rameau, (Rameau's Nephew).  In it, he describes taking shelter in the Cafe de la Regence and watching chess being played.  His book was first translated by Goethe and first appeared in German rather than French. He wrote, "In all weathers, wet or fine, it is my practice to go towards five o'clock in the evening to take a turn in the Palais Royal ... If the weather is too cold or too wet I take shelter in the Regency coffee house. There I amuse myself by looking on while they play chess as skillfully as in Paris and nowhere in Paris as they do at this coffee house; 'tis here you see Legal the profound, Philidor the subtle, Mayot the solid; here you see the most asounding moves and listen to the sorriest talk, for if a man be at once a wit and a great chess player like Legal, he may also be a great chess player and a sad simpleton like Joubert and Mayot."

In 1760, Ahmad Bek al-Kaiwani died. He was a Arab poet who wrote a number of Arabic poems on the game of chess. [source: Murray, A History of Chess, 1913, p. 182]

In 1760, Modense writers wrote that there was a Spainsh rule in which a Bare King ending was counted as a half-win. [source: Murray, A History of Chess, 1913, p. 833]

In 1760, Neue Konigliche L'hombre, was published in Hamburg. It described chess rules ad castling as a solitary leap of the King. [source: Murray, A History of Chess, 1913, p. 833]

In 1760, the abbe Jean-Joseph-Therese Roman (1726-1787) wrote a poem, des Echecs, about chess and Philidor. [source: The Chess World, 1868, p. 119]

In 1760, Hiram Cox (1760-1799) was born. He was a chess historian. He came up with the theory that the origin of chess was a four-player game that originated in India in approximately 3000 BCE. This theory has since been debunked. Cox obtained his knowledge of Burmese chess during his residence at the court of Amarapura.

In 1760, the 12th edition of Mr. Hoyle's Games, was published in London, which had a section on chess.

In 1779, George Host, a Danish traveler, wrote a book entitled Efterretninger om Marokos of Fes, in which he accounted how chess was played in 1760 in Morocco. [source: The Chess Monthly, 1858, p. 59]

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