Author: William Lewis (1787-1870)
Publisher: W Simpkin and R Marshall
iv+108+2 ad pages. Royal octavo (9 1/4" x 5 3/4") bound in quarter grey paste board over grey boards. From the Lothar Schmid chess library. Rimington Wilson library and the author's personal copy. (Whyld and Ravilious 1832:4, Biblioteca van der Liind 3142, Kiel Chess Kat. 3874) First edition.
William Lewis was the leading English player in the correspondence match between London and Edinburgh in 1824, won by the Scots (+2 = 2 -1). Later, he published a book on the match with analysis of the games. Lewis visited Paris along with Scottish player John Cochrane in 1821, where they played with Alexandre Deschapelles, receiving the advantage of pawn and move. He won the short match (+1 =2). When De La Bourdonnais visited England in 1825, Lewis played about 70 games with the French master. Seven of these games probably represented a match that Lewis lost (+2 -5). Around 1819 Lewis was the hidden player inside the Turk (a famous automaton), meeting all-comers successfully. He suggested to Johann Maelzel that Peter Unger Williams, a fellow ex-student of Sarratt, should be the next person to operate inside the machine. When P. U. Williams played a game against the Turk, Lewis recognised the old friend from his style of play (the operator could not see his opponents) and convinced Maelzel to reveal to Williams the secret of the Turk. Later, P. U. Williams himself took Lewis' place inside the machine.
James Wilson Rimington-Wilson (1822-1877) was one of the great collectors of books about chess, as well as books about other games and sports. He was a strong amateur chess player and records of some of his games survive, including a victory over Wilhelm Steinitz, the first official world champion of chess. Rimington-Wilson developed an extensive gaming library, which was maintained and perhaps added to by his son, Reginald Henry Rimington-Wilson (1852-1927). After the death of R. H., his son Captain H. E. Rimington-Wilson (1899-1971) ordered the sale of the library by auction at Sotheby's. It was the Quaritch firm that purchased the vast majority of the Rimington-Wilson lots at Sotheby's. They offered the books in two catalogues shortly after the sale.
Lothar Maximilian Lorenz Schmid (1928-2013) was a German chess grandmaster. He was born in Radebeul near Dresden into a family who were the co-owners of the Karl May Press, which published the German Karl May adventure novels. He was best known as the chief arbiter at several World Chess Championship matches, in particular the 1972 encounter between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky at Reykjavic. He was also an avid collector of chess books and paraphernalia. It was reputed that he owned the largest known private chess library in the world, as well as a renowned collection of chess art, chess boards and chess pieces from around the globe.
Lothar Schmid's label to front pastedown along with Rimington Wilson's hand written comments. New spine, corners bumped, front hinge beginning to tear, some occasional foxing. Note in pencil to rear pastedown else very good with a unique provenance.