Chess in 1770
by Bill Wall, 2021

Books by Bill Wall
In 1770, James Cochrane (1770-1830) was born in England. He was a civil servant and active chess player in India and England. He was a co-author of a book on the Muzio Gambit.

In 1770, Peter Pratt (1770-1835) was born. He was a chess author.

In 1770, a chess club was formed at the Salopian Coffee House at Charing Cross in London. It became the new headquarters of the London chess players, overtaking Slaughter's Coffee House.

In 1770, Essai sur le Jeu des Echecs was published in Hamburg. This was an edition of Philipp Stamma's (1705-1755) treatise.

In 1770, Wolfgang von Kempelen's Turk was exhibited at Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna at the court of Marie Theresa, the Empress of Austria. The illusion took the form of a man in Turkish costume seated at a desk with a chess board in front of him. Doors and panels were opened up to show no one was concealed in the desk. Inside were mechanical wheels and pulleys that made it look like the inside of a clock. The Turk was then wound up and set in operation to play chess or perform the knight's tour. Against all comers, it would play chess with its left hand and win 99% of the time.

In 1770, Thomas Jefferson received a chess set from the French court. In February 1770, his home was destroyed by fire, along with most of his books, including his chess books.

In 1770, Voltaire (1694-1778) played chess with the Abbe Roman at Fernay.

In 1770, Philidor considered himself a marchand-mercier, a type of entrepreneur working outside the guild system of craftsmen. That's how he signed his occupation on the baptismal certificates of his children.

On February 26, 1770 Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote a letter to M. de Saint-Germain and mentioned that chess was his only amusement. Rousseau called chess "the touchstone of human intellect." Rousseau did not like to gamble. He played at the casino once while in Venice, but was too bored to go on. He said, "Chess, where one does not bet, is the only game that gives me pleasure."

On June 24, 1770, Jean-Jacques Rousseau returned to Paris. He was often seen strolling in the Luxemburg Gardens, going to the theater, or playing chess at a cafe (Cafe de la Regence or Cafe de Procope or Rue de la Comedie) on the evenings he did not go to the theatre. He visited the Cafe de la Regence many times and may have played Philidor several times. The Cafe de la Regence was a resort of philosophers and literary men, where D'Alembert and Diderot met almost every day. Rousseau would usually order a pitcher of beer and challenge players to a game of chess, and if they did not know how to play chess, then he would challenge them to a game of checkers.

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