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than that his substitute should tell him what piece his antagonist had moved, and Sacchieri could direct what step was to be taken on his side, - holding at the same time conversation with the company. If any dispute arose about the place where any piece should be, he could tell every move that had been made, not only by himself but by his antagonist, from the beginning of the game ; and in this manner incontestably decide the proper place of the piece.”
Verci says he played to perfection on four chess-boards.
Sokeiker, an Arabian author, speaks of several Arabians who played at Chess blindfold, and of others who played at two boards at the same time. In the year 970, a Greek, named Jusuph Tchelebi, who had travelled through India and Persia, and seen many kingdoms, played at: Chess at Tripoli, in Syria, blindfold. The chess-mén which he used were very large, and he played, not by naming the moves, but by feeling the men, and placing them in the squares, or taking them off, as occasion required.
The Indians are very expert at Chess, and it rarely happens that an European can contend with them.
The celebrated Philidor, who studied Chess when very young under M. De Legalle, the best player in France, soon equalled, and at length beat his master, and to the day of his death remained unrivalled.
He was first induced to turn his mind to the playing without seeing the board by M. De Legalle asking him whether he had made the attempt? to which he replied, that as he had calculated moves, and even whole games, in bed, he thought he could do it, and immediately played a game with the Abbé Chenard, which he won without seeing the board, and without hesitating upon any of the moves.
Finding he could readily play a single game, he offered to play two games at the same time, which he did at a coffee-house; and of this party, the following account is given in the French Encyclopédie :
- We had at Paris a young man of eighteen, who played at the same time two games at Chess without seeing the boards, beating two antagonists, to either of whom he,
though a first-rate player, could otherwise only give the advantage of a knight. We shall add to this account a circumstance, of which we were eye-witnesses : In the middle of one of his games a false move was designedly made, which, after a great number of moves he discovered, and placed the piece where it ought to have been at first.
On the 8th of May, 1783, he played three games at once without seeing either of the tables. His opponents were, Count Bruhl, Mr. Bowdler (the two best players in London), and Mr. Maseres. He beat the Count in an hour and twenty, minutes, and Mr. Maseres, to whom he gave the king's bishop's pawn, as well as the move, which he allowed to the others, in two hours ; Mr. Bowdler reduced his game to a drawn battle in an hour and three quarters.
The 10th of May, 1788, he played three games with Count Bruhl, Mr. Nowell, and Mr. Leycester, and beat each of them; to the former he gave the move, and to the latter two the king's bishop's pawn and the
The 13th of March, 1790, he played three games more, with the Honourable H. S. Conway, Captain Smith, and Mr. Sheldon, beating them, though giving the move to each. With Mr. Conway he saw the board. He went through the whole with astonishing accuracy, and often corrected mistakes in those who had the board before them. Philidor sat with his back to the tables, and some gentleman present, who took his part, informed him of the moves of his antagonist (unless he himself called them), and then by his direction, played his pieces as he dictated. * The idea of the intellectual labour that he was suffering at first suggested painful sensations to the spectators, which, however, were soon dissipated, as he seldom paused above half a minute, and seemed to undergo little mental fatigue, being somewhat jocose through the whole, and uttering occasionally many pleasantries that diverted the com
6. When the intrinsic difficulty of the game is considered, as well as the great skill of his adversaries, he not having inexperienced, but some of the best players in Europe to contend with, who of course conducted it
with the most subtle complications, this exertion seems nearly miraculous, and deserves to be recorded as a proof, at once interesting and astonishing, of the power of human intelligence.
In 1751, Philidor went to Berlin, under the hopes of playing with the King; who, however, declined it. The King saw him play several times at Potsdam, but did not play with him himself: there was a Marquis De Varennes, and a certain Jew, who played even with the King, and to each of these Philidor gave a knight, and beat them. .
The best chess-players who were living in England, during the last century, were Mr. Cunningham, Lord Sunderland, Lord Godolphin, Lord Elibank, Count Bruhl, the Honourable Henry Conway, Lord Harrowby, Mr. Bowdler, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Cargyll, Sir Abraham Janssen, P. Stamma, Dr. Black, Dr. Cowper, and Mr, Salvador.
In 1740, Philidor played a match of ten games with Stamma, giving him the move, allowing a drawn game to be a lost one, and betting five to four on each game. With