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Philidor, Francois-Andre Danican

Francois-Andre Danican Philidor (1726-1795) was the best chess player of the 18th century.  His father, Andre (1647-1730), was the royal music librarian who had 20 children, partly by marrying a third wife over 50 years younger than him.  Andre was a child of that third marriage when his father was 79. In 1744, at the age of 18, Philidor was able to play two players blindfolded.   In 1748 Philidor introduced the modern rule of numbering each moves and its reply with the same number.  In 1749, at the age of 23, he published L’Analyse du Jeu Des Eschecs (Chess Analysed).  The book formed the basis of the first Russian work on chess.  Philidor was the first writer to explain the reasons for particular moves.  In 1750 he was giving chess exhibitions for Frederick the Great was able to play 3 games blindfolded.  Philidor wrote that pawns were the soul of chess.  He wrote 23 operas

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