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Allgaier, Johann

Johann Baptist Allgaier (1763-1823) was the author of the first chess book published in German, Neue theoretisch-praktische Anweisung zum Schachspiel.  It was published in Vienna in 1795.  Johann Baptist intended to become a Catholic priest, but while travelling to Poland, discovered chess and became a player and a chess author.  He went to Vienna to become a professional chess player and was the strongest chess master in Vienna.  He was the first operator of the Turk automaton.  He operated the Turk when it beat Napoleon Bonaparte in 1805 in Wagrum, Austria.  He served as quartermaster accountant in the Austrian Imperial army from 1798 to 1816.  He acted as chess tutor to the Emperor’s sons.  In 1811, he reprinted his book with the openings in tabular form.  This was an innovation and still used today.  He died of dropsy, the accumulation of excessive watery fluid outside the cells of the body (Deschapelles and La Bourdonnais also died of dropsy).  The Allgaier Gambit is 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Ng5.  Allgaier published analysis on it in 1819.

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