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Agnel, Hyacinth

Hyacinth R. Agnel (1799-1871) was a professor (taught French) and Army Colonel at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a chess problemist.  In 1845, he formed the first chess club at West Point.  He is the author of a chess book with perhaps the longest title:  The Book of Chess containing the Rudiments of the Game, and Elementary Analysis of the Most Popular Openings, Exemplified in Games Actually Played by the Greatest Masters; Including Staunton’s Analysis  of the King’s and Queen’s Gambits, Numerous Positions and Problems on Diagrams, Both Original and Selected; Also a Series of Chess Tales, With Illustrations Engraved From Original Designs, The Whole Extracted and Translated From the Best Sources.  The book was written in 1847 by Agnel and published in 1859 by D. Appleton and Company of New York.  The book is 509 pages long.  In 1848, he wrote Chess for Winter Evenings.   It was later called Agnel’s Book of Chess.  Agnel was on the Committee on the Chess Code during the First American Chess Congress.  He was a frequent chess opponent of General Winfield Scott.  He died in 1871 and is buried at West Point.

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