Chess in 1748
by Bill Wall, 2021

Books by Bill Wall
On February 5, 1748, Elias Stein (1748-1812) was born in Forbach (near Strasburg), France. He was a Dutch chess master, teacher to Dutch royalty, and chess writer.

In 1748 Francois-Andre Danican Philidor (1726-1795) returned to Holland from London, England, and started writing L'analyse du jeu des Eschecs (Analysis of the Game of Chess). Philidor went out to find subscribers for the book before it was published to pay for publishing costs.

On October 18, 1748, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was signed, ending the War of the Austrian Succession. Lord Sandwich was the chief British negotiator for much of the talks. Lord Sandwich was also a chess player and was one of the early subscribers of Philidor's treatise on chess.

In 1748, Philidor travelled to Aix-la-Chapelle (now Aachen, Germany). About this time, he received an invitation from John Montagu (1718-1792), Lord Sandwich, to visit the English camp at Eyndhoven, a village between Maestricht and Bois-le-Duc in the Netherlands, where he met and played chess with Prince William, the Duke of Cumberland (1721-1765), the son of King George II. [source: Twiss, Chess, 1787, p. 157]

Lord Sandwich, subscribed to 10 copies of Philidor's book. The Duke of Cumberland subscribed to 50 copies! The English army officers subscribed to 119 copies. The moves were written out as full sentences. This was the first real chess book since Greco's manuscripts were compiled and printed in the 1600s.

In 1748 Virginia tavern regulations allowed chess to be played in taverns. [source: Ely, Property Rights in American History, 1997, p. 410]

In 1748, the 8th edition of Edmond Hoyle's Games was published in London. It contained the rules and advice for playing chess.

In 1748, a German translator met Osman Effendi in Vienna. Effendi was an envoy from Tripoli, and played chess with the German translator. Effendi said that in Tripoli, chess was played for a stake (especially among Jews), and that you could win a game of chess by 'baring' the opponent's King. Chess was also played on unchequered cloths. [source: Murray, History of Chess, 1913, p. 356]

In 1748, Voltaire (1694-1778) and Emperor Frederick II (1712-1786) of Prussia played chess by correspondence.

In 1748, Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) played chess for relaxation in Berlin. He wrote to others that most people in Berlin played chess poorly. [Calinger, Leonhard Euler, Mathematical Genius in the Enlightenment, 2016, p. 238]

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