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Philidor, François-André Danican

François-André Danican Philidor, 1726–95, French chess player and composer, b. Dreux. The last in a line of well-known 17th- and 18th-century musicians, he was a celebrated composer, mainly of more than 20 operas, e.g., Tom Jones (1765). He was also the unofficial world chess champion of his era (1747–95). Among his most famous chess victories were against Philip Stamma (1747) and Count Hans Bruhl (1783). Philidor was the author of the influential and widely translated Analyse du jeu des échecs (1749), the first manual of the game to explain openings, the middlegame (with a particular emphasis on the pawns), and the game's overall strategy. He is most commonly associated with the endgame's Philidor position and with the tactics called Philidor's Defense and Philidor's Legacy.

See biography by G. Allen (1858, repr. 1971).

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