< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·
|Nov-25-10|| ||goodevans: As a teenager I was for a while interested in the works of Edgar Allan Poe. It was then that I first became familiar with The Turk:|
"But if these machines were ingenious, what shall we think of the calculating machine of Mr. Babbage? What shall we think of an engine of wood and metal which can not only compute astronomical and navigation tables to any given extent, but render the exactitude of its operations mathematically certain through its power of correcting its possible errors? What shall we think of a machine which can not only accomplish all this, but actually print off its elaborate results, when obtained, without the slightest intervention of the intellect of man? It will, perhaps, be said, in reply, that a machine such as we have described is altogether above comparison with <the Chess-Player of Maelzel>. By no means — it is altogether beneath it ..."
from Edgar Allan Poe, "Maelzel's Chess-Player", Southern Literary Messenger, April 1836
Like other examples of his non-fictional essays (e.g. Eureka) this one is a mixture of stunning insight and flawed logic. All quite interesting nevertheless.
|Nov-25-10|| ||David2009: The Turk (Automaton) has been a true inspiration to me.|
<TheTamale:> So for one day only <CG> becomes a turkey?
|Nov-25-10|| ||Xeroxx: Are the exact date of the birth and death of for the turk unknown!?|
|Nov-25-10|| ||SU1989: The biography suggests that the Turk was in America at some point. Is this true?|
|Dec-28-10|| ||SBC: The Turk was indeed in the United States - for about 12 years. It premiered on April 13, 1826 at the National Hotel, 112 Broadway, NY. with a french woman director (as the hidden operator was called) playing endgames only. William Schlumberger, who had contracted to be the director hadn't yet arrived. After Schlumber took over, the Turk played in various place in America over the years. In November of 1837, Maelzel took his act to Cuba. April of the next year Schlumberger contracted yellow fever and died. Maelzel, returning to the United States, caught the same disease and and died off the coast of Charleston on July 21, 1838.
Eventually, a group of people tried to restore and preserve the Turk, but it was destroyed in a fire on July 5, 1854 at the Chinese Museum in Philadelphia where it was warehoused.|
|Jan-13-11|| ||Penguincw: I wonder if The Turk's play is more positional or tactical.|
|May-10-11|| ||SBC: .|
Directors of the Turk - 1769-1854
France and Germany:
Peter Unger Williams
W. J. Hunneman
|May-18-12|| ||whiteshark: Der Gerät|
|Jun-14-12|| ||Phony Benoni: I've just submitted another "game" by the Turk, though it seems a tad fishy to me.|
The game appears in the <New York Spectator> for January 30, 1827, reprinted from the Philadelphia Gazette.
[Site "Philadelphia, Penn."]
[White "Mrs. F"]
[Black "Turk (Automaton)"]
<1.e4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Qf3>
Poor Winawer. He played this move in Winawer vs Von Popiel, 1896, and probably felt he had found an innovation.
<3...Nf6 4.Bd3 c5 5.b3 Bd6 6.exd5 exd5 7.Nxd5 Nxd5 8.Qxd5 0-0 9.Bb2 Nc6 10.a3 Be6 11.Qe4 g6 12.0-0-0 Qd7 13.h3 Bf5 14.Qf3 Bxd3 15.Qxd3 Rae8 16.Nf3 a6 17.g4 b5 18.c4 bxc4 19.Qxc4 Rb8 20.Kb1 Qb7 21.Qc3 Nd4 22.Nxd4 Be5 23.Qxc5 Bxd4 24.Qxd4 f6 25.Qc4+ Kg7 26.Ka2 Rfc8 27.Qa4 Rc2 28.b4 Qd5+ 29.Qb3>
"The hour having passed by Mr. Maelzel politely requested the Lady to continue the game on the following day." (Probably thinking more of Schlumberger's (the operator) endurance than hers.)
<29...Qe4 30.Rhe1 Qc6 31.Rc1 Rxc1 32.Rxc1 Qd6 33.Rd1 a5 34.b5 a4 35.Qxa4 Qd5+ 36.Qb3 Qc5 37.d4 Qg5 38.a4 Qf4 39.Qg3 Qe4 40.Qxb8 Qd5+ 41.Ka1> 1-0
"Mr. Maelzel, at this stage of the game, considering it lost, politely thanked Mrs. F. and observed, that he was fairly beaten.... Mr. Maelzel remarked, that the Automaton had been conquered but three times, once in Paris; once in Boston, and by Mrs. F. of Philadelphia."
A little showmanship there.
Now, "Mrs. F." played a reasonable game without gross blunders, and showed a strong knowledge of how to threaten checkmate. But I think there's little doubt that the Turk threw the game, partially for the sake of gallantry, but more likely to entice more people into trying their luck.
Just look at the first twenty moves or so; the Turk loses a pawn, but demonstrates a better knowledge of how to develop his game. By the time of <21...Nd4?> and <22...Be5??>, he had probably equalized despite being a pawn down.
|Jun-14-12|| ||Phony Benoni: By the way, the newspaper account contained some errors in the score. Within a few days, a reader sent in a correction slip.|
|Jun-30-12|| ||SBC: 10 games by the Turk:
|Jul-12-12|| ||DanielBryant: Does anybody know how The Turk indicated resignation when "it" lost?|
|Jul-12-12|| ||Shams: <DanielBryant> History records that the Turk, faced with a lost position, would first attempt the old "earthquake" ruse of upsetting the board and pieces in a manner meant to look accidental.|
|Mar-24-13|| ||IndigoViolet: Thinking about the Turk: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-...|
|Sep-04-13|| ||MJCB: I already find it hard to concentrate and play in front of a board, what about inside a box! This man (or woman?) was having such an uncommon life, and I would not bet it was a pleasant one. These games allow this person to be both unknown and remembered.|
|Sep-05-13|| ||offramp: I would have hated to be inside it when that fire broke out. Definitely a good time to break the fourth wall.|
|Sep-05-13|| ||Sneaky: <break the fourth wall> Literally!|
|Sep-06-13|| ||offramp: One good thing about lending someone your time machine is that you get it back immediately.|
|Sep-06-13|| ||TheFocus: Usually missing the cigarette lighter.|
|Oct-22-13|| ||Karpova: Baron von Kempelen died on March 26, 1804 at the age of 70.|
Source: 'British Chess Magazine' Almanac, p. 1, March 1882
|Nov-28-13|| ||Richard Taylor: As I said elsewhere I recall (long ago in the 60s) reading about the Turk and I think it was said that Pilsbury played "inside the machine" some times, using his great abilities at blindfold chess: I also (think I read) that he used to consume large amounts of whiskey to get through what was an extreme ordeal cramped inside the Turk's inner parts. |
But perhaps that is one of those misleading stories one picks up.
|Nov-28-13|| ||Richard Taylor: I just checked. Pillsbury wasn't born until 1872.|
|Nov-28-13|| ||YoungEd: Just a few days ago, I started reading a novel called "The Chess Machine" by Robert Lohr (translated from German). It's a fictionalized account of von Kempelen and the operation of the machine. I'm not finished, but it's a fun and well-written story so far! Worth a look if that's your sort of thing.|
|Nov-28-13|| ||chesswar1000: 'the turkey'|
|Nov-28-13|| ||Check It Out: The Turk's innards were stuffed, so to speak.|
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