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Atwood, George

George Atwood was born in 1746.  He was an English mathematician and lecturer at Cambridge.  In 1776, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London.  William Pitt the Younger, British Prime Minister, was one of Atwood’s former students.  He gave Atwood a position as a personal secretary and an office in the Treasury.  His job title was Patent Searcher for the Customs.  In the 1784, he created the Atwood machine for verifying experimentally the laws of acceleration of motion.  In 1787, he joined the London Chess Club.  From 1787 to 1800, he recorded his own games and the games of others, including Francois Philidor, played at the London Chess Club.  On June 20, 1795, he took part in Philidor’s last blindfold performance.  Philidor played his last game of chess, against Atwood, on June 29, 1795 at the Parsloe’s Club.  In 1798, he defeated Joseph Wilson in a match (3-0).  In 1799, he, again, defeated Wilson in a match (3-0).  When George Atwood died on July 11, 1807, he left his chess notebook to Joseph Wilson.  When Wilson died in 1833, George Walker bought Atwood’s notebook.  In 1835, Walker, based on Atwood’s chess notebook, wrote Selection of Games at Chess, actually played by Philidor and his Contemporaries, published in London.  The book contained 47 of Philidor’s games.

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