Captain Evans

| 21 | Chess Players

William Davies Evans was born in Pembroke, Gales, January 27, 1790. Marine by profession since age fourteen, he became sea Captain in 1819 in the United Kingdom Postal Service. By 1818, he had learnt the moves of chess. During his free hours in offshore -as he himself wrote later- he studied chess. It is supposed that in 1824, whilst commanding a steam packet that sailed between Milford in Wales and Waterford in Ireland he invented the gambit for which he became famous and which without a doubt is responsible for many brilliant games in chess history.

The opening grew in popularity and was later championed by virtually every master of the game during that era. Although currently out of fashion, it is still sometimes employed to this date as a surprise weapon, even among the highest caliber of grandmasters.

The opponent of Captain Evans is the well-known Alexander McDonnell, who eight years later would play an epic match of 88 games - of which only 85 have been recorded- against the French player De la Bourbonnais.

Evans died in 1872 and is buried at the Belgian port of Ostend.

The next is possibly the very first Evan’s gambit idea (b4!). I will add another position between the same players, for its historic connotation.

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