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A Letter from Lewis
April 2007


                     To the Editor of the Chess-Player's Chronicle.
Sir,-- A paragraph which appeared in a Sporting Newspaper of Sunday last, purporting to be in reply to inquiries of a Correspondent, has been pointed out to me, in which my name is introduced, and some assertions are hazarded concerning the result of my play with De la Bourdonnais and Mr. M'Donnell, every particular of which is a falsehood. The veracious scribe who has ventured with so much flippancy to decide upon the relative skill of the leading Chess players during the last quarter of a century, is please to assert that --
"Mr. Lewis never played but seven games with De la Bourdonnais;" that, after playing three games at the pawn and move with Des Chappelles, "Des Chappelles wanted to renew the match, and offered to give increased odds, but Mr. Lewis declined ever again playing with him;" and that, "At the time of M'Donnell's being at his greatest strength, Lewis had already quitted the Chess circle, and publicly owned his inferiority."
Now, Sir, in the first place, with N. De la Bourdonnais, instead of seven, I played about seventy games. Secondly, on the occasion of my having the pleasure of playing with Des Chappelles, he politely gave me the option of encountering him upon equal terms, or of taking trifling odds; and, after I succeeded in winning the match which we played at the pawn and move had circumstances enabled us again to meet, we should doubtless have played even. M. Des Chappelle was far too courteous and well-bred to insist on giving odds in opposition to the wishes of his adversary.
Respecting my play with Mr. M'Donnell, (with whom I lived for many years on terms of intimacy, and who was one of my earliest and most constant pupils,) it is well known I continued to give the pawn and move, up to the last game I had the gratification of playing with him; and I should certainly have felt no hesitation in yielding th0se odds to him at any period of his short lived but brilliant career. -- Apologizing for troubling you upon this matter apparently so unimportant, I beg to subscribe myself, Sir,
                                                                                        Your's obediently,
                                                                                                      William Lewis
12, Chatham-place, Blackfriars.


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