Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Tragic Life And Short Chess Career of James A Leonard, 1841-1862

James A. Leonard (November 6, 1841 Ireland – September 26, 1862 Annapolis, Maryland) was a young American chess master, who grew up as a son of poor Irish immigrants in New York City. He learned to play chess at age 16 or 17. Before his 20th birthday, he was already famous for his fierce attacking play and prowess at blindfold chess, at which he played as many as ten games simultaneously.

In 1862, he fought for the Union in the American Civil War. He was captured, and while being held as a prisoner of war, died of dysentery before reaching his 21st birthday. Commentators have compared his promise, never realized, to that of American chess giants Paul Morphy and Harry Nelson Pillsbury.

Edgar Winter Chess History on James A Leonard

Wikipedia Link to James A Leonard

Amazon Link to Book on James A Leonard

Chess Cafe Book Review on James A Leonard

Here a few games in ChessFlash Format of James A Leonard





The last game below is a blindfold simuultaneous game.