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Russ, William Henry

  • Last updated on 8/10/07, 6:28 AM.

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William Henry Russ (1833-1866) was a leading American compiler of chess problems in the 19th century who wrote under the name W. R. Henry.  He was the first person to collect all chess problems published in America and compiled a manuscript collection.  He adopted an 11-year old girl and proposed to her in Brooklyn when she turned 21.  When he rejected him, he shot her four times in the head.  He left her for dead (she survived), then tried to commit suicide by jumping into the river to drown himself.  Unfortunately, the tide was out   and not deep enough.  He climbed out of the river and shot himself twice in the head.  He died 10 days later in a hospital, lacking the will to win.  His chess book, published posthumously, was entitled American Chess Nuts, published in 1868.

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