Chess in 1750
by Bill Wall

Books by Bill Wall, 2021
In 1750, Chess Made Easy: or, the Games of Gioachino Gredo, the Calabrian was published in London with an anonymous author.

In 1750, Philidor frequented the house of the French Ambassador, Gaston de Levis (1699-1757) the Duke of Mirepoix. The duke gave a weekly dinner for chess enthusiasts and Philidor participated in playing a few games. Philidor remained in England for another year until he left for Berlin in 1751. [source: Twiss, Chess, 1787, p. 157]

In 1750, Domenico Ercole Del Rio (1723-1802), known as the anonymous Modenese, published Sopra il giuoco degli scacchi (Practical Observations of the Game of Chess) in Modena. It was the first chess book that introduced the Scotch opening. It contained 110 pages, including some chess games and endings. Del Rio advised his readers to open the game with the Italian opening (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4).

In 1750, Phillip Stamma (1705-1755) of Aleppo, Syria, published a second edition of Essai sur le jeu des Echecs (On the Noble Game of Chess). It was first published in France in 1737. The 1750 book was written in standard notation and was called German notation. It was not well received in England. [source: Hooper & Whyld, Oxford Companion to Chess, 1984, p.227]

In 1750, a new edition of Marcus Hieronymus Vida's (1485-1566) poem, scacchi degli scacchi (On the Game of Chess), was published in Dublin. It was translated in English by Rev. Samuel Pullein (1734-1760) and ran 95 pages. Vida was a bishop of Alba.

In 1750, The Royal Game of Chess was published in London. It was an English translation of Gioachino Greco (1600-1634).

In 1750, Rev. Lewis Rou, pastor of the Huguenot Church in New York from 1710 to 1750 died. He was a chess player and compiled chess references. In 1735, Rou wrote a short poem in Latin about chess players at the New York City coffee houses he frequented. It was published in 1744. It mentioned eight other early chess players in New York. The long-lost publication was discovered in the Library of Edinburgh in Scotland in 2003. The title was "A Prospect of Chess-Play and Chess-Players, at the Coffeehouse, New York." The poem is contained in the appendix to a Scottish manuscript of Poems on Several Occasions by Archibald Home (1705-1744). [source: British Chess Magazine, Jan 1903, p. 1]

In 1750, Philidor gave chess exhibitions for Frederick the Great (1712-1786) in Potsdam.

In 1750, Philidor played 3 games blindfold in Berlin, winning all 3. [source: Murray, A History of Chess, 1913, p. 862]

In 1750, the King's leap ended in Spain and Portugal.1

In 1750, Legal's mate introduced by Legalle de Kermeur (1702-1792) against Saint Brie in Paris. The moves are: 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 d6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bg4 5.Nxe5? Bxd1?? 6.Bxf7+ Ke7 7.Nd5 mate.

In 1750, the rule that restricted the pawn's double move ended. [source: Murray, A History of Chess, 1913, p. 393]

In 1750, the mathematician and chess player Abraham de Moivre (1667-1750) died. He earned his money by playing chess at Slaughter's Coffee House on St. Martin's Lane at Cranbourn Street in London.

In November 1750, the first English edition of Philidor's book, Chess Analysed; or Instructions By which a Perfect Knowledge of this Noble Game May in a short time be acquir'd, was published in London by J. Nourse and P. Vaillant. On pages ix and x, it was written, 'I mean how to play the Pawns: They are the very Life of this Game.' The book had no dedication or list of subscribers like his first edition in 1749. The book was reprinted in 1762 and 1791. The English edition was priced at three shillings. The 1749 French edition was priced at 3 shillings, 6 pence (about $30 in today's currency). The 1750 book was priced at three shillings. [sources: Harding, British Chess Literature to 1914, 2018, p. 236 and General Evening Post (London), Nov 24, 1750]

1 The King's leap allowed the king to jump at the second square vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or move like a knight. So, a king on e1 could jump to c1, c2, c3, d3, e3, f3, g3, g2, or g1. He could jump over an occupied square but not over a square under threat by an opposing piece. He could not capture with this leap, nor jump to escape a check. He could still jump if he had been put in check earlier, but not while he was in check.

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