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Philidor's Opponents


Count Hans Brühl

Count Hans Brühl was born in Wiederau, Germany on 12/19/1736. He became Minister of Saxony but lived in London. He was interested in music and astronomy, even built an observatory. It's quite likely that he originally met Philidor through their mutual interest in music, but he was also a fairly strong chess player and a regular opponent of Philidor. 20 of the 30 games of Brühl that have survived were played againt Philidor (which may also be the very reason they survived) He died in London on 6/9/1809
In 1782 Philidor played a 2 game blindfold simul with Count Brühl and Thomas Bowdler. In 1783 Philidor,played a 2 game blindfold simul with Count Brühl (and Thomas Bowdler and possibly George Atwood).
Here is Brühl's game:

[Event "blindfold simul - 3 boards"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "1783.05.08"]
[Round "-"]
[White "John Brühl"]
[Black "Andre Philidor"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 c6 3. Qe2 d6 4. c3 f5 5. d3 Nf6 6. exf5 Bxf5 7. d4 e4 8. Bg5 d5 9. Bb3 Bd6 10. Nd2 Nbd7 11. h3 h6 12. Be3 Qe7 13. f4 h5 14. c4 a6 15. cxd5 cxd5 16. Qf2 O-O 17. Ne2 b5 18. O-O Nb6 19. Ng3 g6 20. Rac1 Nc4 21. Nxf5 gxf5 22. Qg3+ Qg7 23. Qxg7+ Kxg7 24. Bxc4 bxc4 25. g3 Rab8 26. b3 Ba3 27. Rc2 cxb3 28. axb3 Rfc8 29. Rxc8 Rxc8 30. Ra1 Bb4 31. Rxa6 Rc3 32. Kf2 Rd3 33. Ra2 Bxd2 34. Rxd2 Rxb3 35. Rc2 h4 36. Rc7+ Kg6 37. gxh4 Nh5 38. Rd7 { 38.Rc6 } 38... Nxf4 39. Bxf4 Rf3+ 40. Kg2 Rxf4 41. Rxd5 Rf3 42. Rd8 Rd3 43. d5 f4 44. d6 Rd2+ 45. Kf1 Kf7 46. h5 e3 47. h6 { 47.Rd7 } 47... f3 { threatening 48...Rd1 mate }

Thomas Bowdler

Thomas Bowdler was born in 1754 and died in 1825. It seems he was a doctor and frequented the Strand club on St. James, where he was considered one of the strongest players. He contested Philidor in several games. In his 3 game blindfold simul of 5/08/1783, Philidor won 2 and drew 1. Bowdler's was the drawn game after 51 moves (and 1 hour and 45 minutes) Philidor had the black peices in all three games - the 2 wins were even odds but in Bowdler's game, Philidor removed his f7 pawn.
Bowdler played against Philidor in another blindfold simul on 5/28/1783 and won. It's uncertain if this game was even or not. Bowdler played Philidor in a match of 5 games in April of 1788. Philidor gave him odds of the f7 pawn and the move. Bowdler won 1, lost 2, drew 2. Bowdler played Philidor one more time in 1789. Philidor gave him odds of the f7 pawn, but not the move, and won in 40 moves. Unfortunately, Bowdler also attained a different sort of fame. According to
Wikipedia he had become (in)famous as the editor of a children's edition of William Shakespeare, the Family Shakespeare, in which he "endeavoured to remove every thing that could give just offence to the religious and virtuous mind." and His name lives on in the eponym bowdlerization (adjective bowdlerized), to describe the process of censorship by arbitrary deletion of "objectionable" material from a work of literature to "purify" it, rather than banning the work outright.

Other players who either player Philidor or were at least contemporaries include:

Henry Jennings (1731-1819), a renowned collector of Art. in 1777 he eloped with Elizabeth Katherine Nowell, and took her surname, Nowell, as his in order to be eligible for her inheritance.

Frances Maseres, a lawyer who produced 20 books on mathematics, history and other subjects.

Field-Marshal Henry Seymour Conway
(1721-1795), patented a type of a furnace for the use of brewers and distillers and wrote essays.

Richard Twiss (1747-1821), an English writer who made 16 sea voyages, recording what he saw. While his travel books weren't particularly well received, his book, Chess, published anonymously in 1787 (with a second volume published in 1789), and it's later supplement, Miscellanies, published in 1805 were a Compilation of all the Anecdotes and Quotations that could be found relative to the game of Chess; with an account of all Chess-books that could be procured.





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