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The Turk (Automaton) vs Augustus Zerega
Private Exhibition (1845) (exhibition), New York, NY USA, Oct-??
Russian Game: French Attack (C42)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-03-20  jnpope: The Spirit of the Times appears to erroneously identify the operator as Charles H. Stanley...

<The <Automaton Chess-player>, now on exhibition, is identical with that noticed in the "Spirit of the Times," Oct. 25, 1845. On occasion of the private exhibition there referred to, Mr. C. H. Stanley, then Chess editor of this journal, was the operator, and Mr. A. Zerega, one of our strongest players, was his opponent. The game was admirably conducted on both sides, but the reader can guess who won!>
-New York Spirit of the Times, 1859.07.02

But in checking the Spirit of that date Stanley seems a little miffed that he was left out of the loop regarding the appearance of the automaton...

<We are in receipt of various communications having reference to the appearance of an Automaton Chess-Player in this city. We learn, indeed, that a private exhibition has already been given, and that arrangements are now in progress, for introducing the Automaton to the acquaintance of the public. We much regret, that in consequence of an omission on the part of the proprietor of this very ingenious invention, to acquaint us with his intended exhibition, we are under the necessity of copying its description from our contemporary, the "Morning News" […]>
-New York Spirit of the Times, 1845.10.25

And Stanley would get his own performance within two weeks and would publish his own game against Walker's Turk...

<Played against the "Automaton" by Mr. C. H. Stanley, at a private exhibition lately given at the Warehouse of its inventor, Mr. Walker, Painoforte maker, Broadway.>
-New York Spirit of the Times, 1845.11.08

The Turk vs C Stanley, 1845

Mr. Walker would appear to be Daniel Walker, who was also instrumental in building the first Turk knock-off in 1827 with Phineas Bennett...

<The American Automaton is the joint production of Walker and Bennet, mechanics, in Ithica [sic; Ithaca], New York; and was constructed in that Village.>
-Philadelphia Monthly Magazine, v1 n4, 15 January 1828, p199

This would give us three (if not four) Turks operating in the US:

Kempelen's original (model 1769)
Bennett & Walker (model 1827)
Walker (model 1845)

The 1769 model would end up in a Philadelphia museum and be destroyed by fire in 1854.

The 1827 model was allegedly purchased and destroyed by Maelzel to remove the competition (sometime prior to 1835).

The 1845 model (along with Walker) would turn up at the First American Chess Congress in 1857 and would appear to be on exhibit in 1859 per the Spirit.

There may have been a fourth Turk according to the following report:

<There are three Automaton Chess Players now in the U. S. Two natives and one emigrant.>
-Middlebury National Standard, 1827.06.05, p3

I have not been able to find any additional information regarding a third Turk operating in the US in 1827.

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