Lewis, William (d.1855?) (DNB00)

LEWIS, WILLIAM (d. 1855?), writer on chess and chess-player, played in 1821 a match at Paris with Des Chapelles, the leading player in France previous to De la Bourdonnais, receiving the odds of the pawn and one move. Lewis won the first game in twenty-seven moves, the second and third being drawn (W. G. Walker, Selection of Games at Chess, 1836, p. 273). Subsequently he settled in Nassau Street, Soho, London, and was well known as a teacher of chess. Among his pupils was Alexander McDonnell [q. v.] Some beautiful games, in which Lewis gave his pupil a pawn and move and generally won (though it is said that McDonnell could afterwards have given the same odds to him or any other English player), are given in Walker's ‘Thousand Games’ (pp. ix, 82–4). Lewis is believed to have died on 8 Feb. 1855 at New Cross (Gent. Mag. 1855, i. 442.) Lewis was the author of numerous works on chess, mostly elementary in character. The chief of these are: 1. ‘A Treatise on the Game of Chess,’ 1814, 8vo; reduced for Bohn's Series, 1858. 2. ‘Oriental Chess, or Specimens of Hindostanee Excellence in that celebrated Game,’ London, 2 vols. 12mo, 1817. Taken largely from ‘Les Stratagêmes des Echecs,’ Strasburg, 1802. 3. ‘Greco's celebrated Treatise on Chess, with numerous Remarks … by W. L.,’ 8vo, 1819. 4. ‘Carrera's Treatise on Chess, to which is added the Art of Playing without seeing the Board,’ 8vo, 1822. 5. ‘A Selection of Games at Chess played at the Westminster Chess Club between M. L. C. De la Bourdonnais, the best Player in France, and an English Amateur of first-rate Skill’ (McDonnell), London, 8vo, 1835. 6. ‘Fifty Games at Chess, played by the Author and some of the best Players in England, France, and Germany, to which is added an Account of the Village of Stroebeck, Germany, and of the Game practised there,’ London, 8vo, 1835.

[Lewis's books in Brit. Mus. Library; Chess Players' Chron. i. 9, &c.; A. van der Linde's Geschichte und Litteratur des Schachspiels, ii. 4–6; Lowndes's Bibl. Man., ed. Bohn, p. 1355.]

T. S.