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Lewis, William

William Lewis was born in Birmingham, England on October 9, 1787.  He was a chess player, author and organizer.  In 1817 he wrote Oriental Chess.   He took a job as the operator of the Turk chess automaton in 1818 to 1819.  In April,1821, Lewis went to Paris to play a match against Alexandre Deschapelles.  Three games were played, in which Deschapelles gave Lewis the odds of a pawn and move.  Lewis won one game and drew two games.  In 1822, he wrote Elements.  In 1823, he lost a match against La Bourdonnais, with one win and four losses.  He headed the London Chess Club team in their correspondence match with Edinburgh in 1824.   In 1827, his chess room folded when Lewis went bankrupt after investing in the piano business.  He authored several chess books.  In 1827 he wrote Chess Problems.  Prior to this, chess problems were called chess positions or chess situations.  He called himself the ‘Teacher of Chess.’   Alexander McDonnell  became a pupil of Lewis in 1825.  In 1831 and 1832, he wrote Progessive Lessons.  In 1832, he wrote Fifty Games.  In 1835, he wrote A Selection of Games and Chess for Beginners.  In 1838, he wrote Chess Board Companion.  It ran for nine editions.  In February, 1838, an article in the London newspaper Bell’s Life by George Walker referred to William Lewis as ‘our past grandmaster.’  It was the first time the term grandmaster was used to indicate a top chess player.  In 1844, he wrote Treatise.  He died on October 22, 1870 in England.

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