Sunday, September 23, 2007

Regal Games from the Realms of Yore - Benjamin Franklin and André Danican Philidor

Today, in our Sunday series Regal Games from the Realms of Yore, we feature Benjamin Franklin - one of the most talented and remarkable men from the annals of history. It should come as no surprise that Franklin was a chess player. Bill Wall has done an admirable documenting information concerning Benjamin Franklin's life long involvement with chess at his web page Benjamin Franklin and Chess by Bill Wall and John McCrary, past president of the USCF and the US Chess Trust has authored an interesting PDF document Chess and Benjamin Franklin: His Pioneering Contributions

That got me thinking whether or not there are any games on record as having been played by Benjamin Franklin. The answer appears to be "no." So, as a substitute I shall have to offer a game by Captain Smith vs François André Philidor, London, England 1790, Bishop's Opening: Berlin Defense (C24), 0-1 which features "a good sample of Philidor's ideas about pawns; plus a nice mating combination at the end." Franklin had the opportunity of meeting and playing chess with Philidor, probably the greatest chess player of the 18th century, at the famous Café de la Régence in Paris.

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