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Loyd, Sam

  • Last updated on 8/8/07, 1:50 PM.

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Sam Loyd (1841-1911) was the most famous American chess composer.  He was 14 when his first chess problem was published by a New York newspaper.  As a 16 year old, he served with Paul Morphy as a contributor to Chess Monthly.  When he was 17, he invented a puzzle called "Trick Mules Puzzle," which he later sold to Phineas T. Barnum for $10,000.  In 1878, he published Chess Strategy, a book of 500 chess problems that he created.  He modified an Eastern board game and popularized it as Parcheesi.  He was known as "The Puzzle King."  He served as president of the New York Chess Club and organized the first international tournament on American soil.  He composed about 3,000 chess problems.  He owned a chain of music stores and was also a magician and ventriloquist.   He produced over 10,000 puzzles in his lifetime.

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