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Rice, Isaac

Isaac Rice (1850-1915) was the inventor of the unsound Rice Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 g4 5.Ne5 Nf6 6.Bc4 d5 7.exd5 Bd6 8.O-O).  He spent $50,000 subsidizing Rice Gambit events.  He was a millionaire, president of the first company to make rubber tires, organized the first taxi service in New York, and one of the earliest developers of the submarine.  He was a lecturer at Columbia University, then began the practice of railroad law.  He was the founder of General Dynamics (Electric Boat Company) and sold the British Royal Navy its first submarine in 1901.  He built the U.S. Navy’s first submarine.  He was a chess patron and sponsored many chess tournaments and players in the early 20th century.  The Rice Mansion was designed in 1900 and complete in 1903.  Isaac Rice called it Villa Julia, after his wife (a physician).  He had a fully equipped chess room made out of solid rock.   Rice lived at Villa Julia from 1903 to 1907.  The mansion was later an Orthodox Jewish school.  The mansion is at the corner of Riverside Drive and West 89th Street in New York.  He was born in Bavaria.

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