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Coffeehouse Chess
January 29, 2004
Almost all chess players know of Legal's Mate.

Here's a few words on it's origin:
Kermeur de Legall (or de Kermur, Sire de Légal) was the strongest Parisian player in his day until the rise of his pupil, Philidor between 1741 and 1744. Légal was born about 1702 and died in 1792. As the house player at the Café de la Regence in Paris, he was well liked for his wit in spite of his habit of overindulgence in snuff. His skinny, pale presence was almost a fixture at the Café He is remembered today as the mentor of Philidor and as the creator of the mating pattern named after him and which is evident in his only surviving game:

[Event "casual game"]
[Site "Café de la Regence"]
[Date "1750.??.??"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "De Legal"]
[Black "Saint Brie"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bc4 Bg4 4. Nc3 g6 5. Nxe5 Bxd1 6. Bxf7+ Ke7 7. Nd5#

"... [at the Café de la Regence] the most amazing moves can be seen and the poorest conversation heard, for if you can be a man of wit and a great chessplayer like Légal, you can also be a great chess player and an ass like Foubert and Mayot"
~ Diderot
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