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François André Philidor
Number of games in database: 51
Years covered: 1749 to 1795

Overall record: +17 -3 =4 (79.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 27 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Gambit Accepted (8) 
    C35 C38 C33
With the Black pieces:
 Bishop's Opening (5) 
    C23 C24
 Sicilian (4) 
    B20 B21
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Philidor vs NN, 1749 1-0
   Andrew Smith vs Philidor, 1790 0-1
   J Bruehl vs Philidor, 1783 0-1
   Philidor vs NN, 1790 1-0
   Philidor vs NN, 1790 1-0
   NN vs Philidor, 1749 0-1
   Philidor vs NN, 1790 1-0
   Philidor vs J Bruehl, 1789 1-0
   Philidor vs NN, 1790 1-0
   Sheldon vs Philidor, 1790 0-1

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Philidor by Runemaster
   a-1749 by wina
   1 by gr2cae
   early games by wwall
   Chess Prehistory by Joe Stanley
   Blunder check: Francois Andre Philidor by nimh
   lotussutra's favorite games by lotussutra
   equanimus' favorite games by equanimus

   NN vs Philidor, 1749

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(born Sep-07-1726, died Aug-31-1795, 68 years old) France

[what is this?]

François-André Danican Philidor was born on September 7th, 1726, in Dreux France. He was both a chess and musical prodigy--his first musical composition was played before King Louis XV when he was only 11 years old. He was taught chess by Kermur Sire De Legal, who initially gave him rook odds, until the young Philidor became too strong for his teacher.

In 1744 Philidor played two chess games blindfolded simultaneously in public in Paris, a feat never before known to have been accomplished. In 1749 his "Analysis of Chess" was published in London, the first chess book to explain the openings, the middlegame, and the general strategy of chess. The book claimed that Les pions sont l'ame du jeu, a phrase that became widely known as 'the pawns are the soul of chess', a maxim known to chessplayers ever since.

His name is associated with the endgame commonly called the Philidor position, which is among the most important fundamental endgame positions.(1) Philidor's name is also associated with a fundamental chess tactic commonly known as Philidor's Legacy, a smothered mating pattern involving a queen and knight. However this is only a traditional name, as the tactic first appeared in print by a book by Luis Ramirez de Lucena.

He passed away in London, England in 1795.

(1) 100 Endgames You Must Know, Jesus Maria De La Villa Garcia, New in Chess.

Wikipedia article: François-André Danican Philidor; List of Operas by Philidor: Wikipedia article: List of operas by Philidor; YouTube recording of Philidor's Sancho Pança (1762) / Opéra-bouffon in one act / Opera LaFayette:

Last updated: 2017-09-07 00:36:28

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 51  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. NN vs Philidor 0-1321749Analyse du jeu des ÉchecsC41 Philidor Defense
2. Philidor vs NN 1-0401749UnknownC20 King's Pawn Game
3. Bernard / Carlier vs Philidor 1-0321780Miscellaneous Game000 Chess variants
4. T Bowdler vs Philidor ½-½511783London blind simB20 Sicilian
5. Maseres vs Philidor 0-1581783Blindfold Simultaneous000 Chess variants
6. J Bruehl vs Philidor 0-1471783Blindfold simulC23 Bishop's Opening
7. J Bruehl vs Philidor ½-½441787LondonC23 Bishop's Opening
8. Philidor vs J Bruehl 0-1201788London000 Chess variants
9. Leycester vs Philidor 0-1241788blind sim.000 Chess variants
10. J Bruehl vs Philidor 0-1441788London m/7C38 King's Gambit Accepted
11. Leycester vs Philidor 0-1351788Odds London000 Chess variants
12. Leycester vs Philidor 0-1291788Odds London000 Chess variants
13. Leycester vs Philidor ½-½791788London000 Chess variants
14. Philidor vs J Bruehl ½-½491788London000 Chess variants
15. Nowell vs Philidor 0-1601788London Blind Simul000 Chess variants
16. Philidor vs J Bruehl 1-0481788London000 Chess variants
17. Philidor vs Joseph Wilson 1-0441789London000 Chess variants
18. Philidor vs Cotter 1-0221789London000 Chess variants
19. Philidor vs J Bruehl 0-1391789London000 Chess variants
20. Philidor vs J Bruehl 1-0281789London000 Chess variants
21. Philidor vs J Bruehl 1-0191789London000 Chess variants
22. Philidor vs NN 1-0231790UnknownC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
23. G Jennings vs Philidor 1-0451790London Blind000 Chess variants
24. Philidor vs NN ½-½241790UnknownC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
25. Philidor vs NN 0-1401790UnknownC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 51  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Philidor wins | Philidor loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <It is well-known that chess and music go well together, and many are those who have achieved unusual proficiency in both> - Tartakower.
Jan-22-15  jnpope: Does anyone know of any chess database program that can correctly play through games at rook odds where the player castles toward the missing rook, such as in the following game? Note: slashes reversed in the FEN for posting.

[Event "<Ra1,Pc7>"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Philidor"]
[Black "Atwood"]
[Result "0-1"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "rnbqkbnr\pp1ppppp\8\8\8\8\PPPPPPPP\1NBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

[PlyCount "94"]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d6 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.Bc4 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.d3 exf4 7.Bxf4 Qb6 8.Bxf7+ Ke7 9.Bb3 Na5 10.Nbd2 Re8 11.Qe2 Kd8 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Qxf3 Be7 14.0-0-0 Rhf8 15.Be3 Qc7 16.Ba4 Nd7 17.Qe2 a6 18.b4 Nc6 19.Kb2 Bf6 20.d4 Kc8 21.Bc2 b5 22.a4 Qb7 23.Bd3 Kc7 24.Ra1 Rb8 25.Kc2 bxa4 26.Bxa6 Nxb4+ 27.cxb4 Qxb4 28.Rb1 Qa3 29.Qc4+ Kd8 30.Rxb8+ Nxb8 31.Qc8+ Ke7 32.Qc7+ Nd7 33.Bb5 Rd8 34.Bf2 Bg5 35.Qc3 Qxc3+ 36.Kxc3 Bxd2+ 37.Kxd2 Ra8 38.Bh4+ Ke8 39.Kc2 h6 40.Be1 Ke7 41.e5 d5 42.Bb4+ Ke6 43.Kb2 Nxe5 44.dxe5 Rb8 45.Ka3 Rxb5 46.Kxa4 Rxb4+ 47.Kxb4 Kxe5 «Chess Studies: Comprising One Thousand Games, 1844, p51» 0-1

Even though they start out with the correct position, both ChessBase and the Arena software I have will create a rook out of thin air after White castles.

Mar-19-15  vonKrolock: The complete opera "Tom Jones" sung in English and performed in 1995 at the Stockholm theatre that was reopened in 1766 (!) after a fire seriously damaged it three years before ... In three acts, respectively

This work can be appreciated as a piece of theatre with music in the elegant style of Philidor, who wants to compare with the original French text, can find video trailers of the Lausanne performance (already in this century) here ...

... and a pair of excerpts staged last year in Montpellier here

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <A pawn, when separated from his fellows, will seldom or never make a fortune> - Francois-Andre Danican Philidor.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <It is always advantageous to exchange your king's bishop pawn for the king's pawn, since this leads to the seizure of the centre and, in addition, to the opening of a file for the rook>. - Francois-Andre Danican Philidor.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <If a poor musician had come upon him ... The extreme kindheartedness and absence of Philidor knew no resistance to the appeal for charity, and precluded all discrimination of means. He gave whatever he could lay his hands on - coat, hat, shoes ...> (on Philidor) - George Allen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Uh, I thought <CG> only used ascii-characters in the player names, right?!

Guess not.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Philidor once said: "Pawns are the soul of chess."

He also said: "Fish eyes are the windows to the sole."

Premium Chessgames Member

Composer, master, securities fraudster?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Affiliates of Philidor involved in the case have names like Isolani and Lucena, some of which are accused of concealing their relationship to Philidor. This is where a little chess erudition would come in handy.
Feb-26-16  ketchuplover: He belongs in the world chess hall of fame imo. Should have been the first member too.
Apr-11-16  RookFile: I played over some of his games, and think he was stronger than Steinitz.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Philidor, who once said, "I have a Pawn stuck to the sole of my shoe."
May-03-17  bobmeadley: Philidor's games in his 1749 first edition are considered by many to be unreal games. Or 'manufactured' for his book. There are only 9 and the Aleppo Gambit game looks like one between Philidor and Stamma. But this is my speculation. Does anyone have any proof either way?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <bobmeadley>: <Does anyone have any proof either way?>

Of course not. You can't speculate blindly about something centuries later, and then expect to find proof of the speculation. If there were proof, the matter would have been settled long ago and the speculation would never have happened at all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: In 'Analyse du jeu des Échecs' 1749, Philidor <analysed> 9 openings.
May-27-17  bobmeadley: To Petrosianic. Von der Lasa stated in his Supplement in Allen that the 1749 games were manufactured and as we have no early Philidor games would it not be a good thing if those games were given a 21st century examination? There are many finds today in many fields that change views of the past surely?
Jun-07-17  mifralu: Rousseau -- Philidor (played in Paris at the Café Procope)

click for larger view

Jean-Jacques Rousseau announced mate in nine moves!

<1. fxg6+ Kh8 2. g7+ Kg8 3. gxf8=Q+ Kxf8 4. Qg7+ Ke8 5.Nxd6+ Rxd6 6. Qg8+ Kd7 7. Qxf7+ Kd8 8. Qc7+ Ke8 9. Qe7# 1-0>

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Is it because he's French that he's fuppofed to be peft Chefs-player in the World?

C.N. 5095


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <jnpope> it would be nice if you used forward-slashes in your FEN (from the game above)!


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <jnpope>, ah, I see you noted the forward/backwards slash issue - still, adding an extra space is easier to undo.

(When, oh when, is <CG> going to get a verbatim mode).

As for chess programs which can play over such games - with weird castling - my Q-side/K-side program allows you to play it over by hand (not by reading in the PGN however).

I'm not sure how useful that is, but it does allow one to play over the game on a computer screen (sans engine at the moment).

Sep-07-17  ketchuplover: Happy birthday young man. All chess games played today begin with your opening imo.
Sep-07-17  The Kings Domain: The true father of modern Chess.
Jan-26-18  Kaspablanca: His name was Francois Andre Danican, Danican was his last name whereas Philidor was his nickname.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Kaspablanca: His name was Francois Andre Danican, Danican was his last name whereas Philidor was his nickname.>

Yes. It is from the French <Philo d'or> which means <lover of gold>. He really liked gold, apparently.

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