Search - List of Books by William Lewis
William Lewis (1787—1870) was an English chess player and author.
Total Books: 48
Born in Birmingham, moved to London where he worked for a certain period as a merchant. He was a student of Jacob Sarratt, but later he showed himself rather ungrateful towards his master. Around 1819 he was the hidden player inside the Turk and suggested to Johann Maelzel the name of Peter Unger Williams as the next person to operate the Automaton. William Lewis and Peter Unger Williams were both students of Sarratt. When P. U. Williams played a game with the Turk, Lewis recognized the old friend from his style of play (the operator could not see his opponents) and convinced Maelzel to reveal to him the secret of the Turk. Later, P. U. Williams himself took Lewis place inside the machine.
Along with Cochrane visited Paris in 1821, where they played with Deschapelles receiving the advantage of pawn and move. He won the short match (+ 1 = 2).
Lewis career as an author began with the translation of the works of Greco and Carrera, which were published respectively in 1819 and 1822. Although he considered the book written by his former teacher Treatise on the Game of Chess in 1808 a "poorly written book", Lewis published a second edition of it in 1822 in direct competition with the review published in 1821 by the widow of Sarratt, who, in this way, wanted to improve her economic situation rather precarious after the death of her husband. In 1843, many players contributed to a fund to help the old widow, but Lewis' name is not on the list of subscribers.
It was the leading English player in the correspondence match between London and Edinburgh in 1824, won by the Scots (+2 = 2 -1). Later, he published a book on match with analysis of the games. In the period 1834-1836 he also is part of the Committee of the Westminster Chess Club, who played and lost (-2) the match by correspondence with the Paris Chess Club. The others were his students McDonnell and Walker, while the French lined up Boncourt, Alexandre, St. Amant and Chamouillet. When De La Bourdonnais in 1825, visited England, Lewis play about 70 games with the French master. Seven of these games, probably, represented a match that Lewis lost (+2 -5).
He enjoyed a considerable reputation as a chess player in his time. The weekly magazine Bell's Life in 1838 called him a Grand Master of chess, a term used for the first time in that circumstance.Starting from 1825 he preserved his reputation by the same means that used Deschapelles in France, he refused to play anyone on even terms. In the same year founded a Chess Club where he will gave, among other, lessons to Walker and McDonnell. He declared bankruptcy in 1827 because of a bad investment on a patent for the construction of pianos and the club was forced to close. The next three years were quite difficult until in 1830 he got a job that assured to him a solid financial security for the rest of his life. Thanks to this job, he could focus on writing his two major works: Series of Progressive Lessons (1831) and Second Series of Progressive Lessons (1832). The first series of the Lessons were more elementary in character, and designed for the use of beginners; the second series, on the other hand, went deeply into all the known openings. Here, for the first time we find the Evans Gambit, which is called after its inventor, Capt. Evans. When he realized that he could not give an advantage to the new generation of British players, Lewis withdrew gradually from active play (the same thing he Deschapelles after his defeat against De La Bourdonnais).The work of Lewis (together with his teacher Sarratt) is oriented towards the rethinking of the strictly Philidorian principles of play in favor of the Modenese school of Del Rio, Lolli and Ponziani.After his retirement, he wrote other chess treatises, but his isolation prevented him from assimilating the ideas of the new generation of chess-players. For this reason, Hooper and Whyld in their Oxford Chess Companion describe the last voluminous work of Lewis A Treatise On Chess (1844). already obsolete before publication.