With new research revealing facts unrecalled for two centuries, this is a richly detailed account of the astonishing 18th century chess-playing machine in human form known as "the Turk," Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen's amazing Automaton that held the world spellbound for 85 years beginning in 1770.
The Turk was actually manipulated by a man housed in a hot box, working by candlelight - but the secret was kept for decades. The hidden director (who had to play a very good game) had to keep track of the position, move the pieces with the pantograph arm apparatus, nod the head, roll the eyes, cover up sneezes and coughs, and work the mechanism that spoke the word, "Echec!", This work contains a detailed discussion of the sizeable body of literature surrounding the Turk, along with an extensive analysis of its hidden operation. A collection of games played by the Turk, many, again, unknown for 200 years, is also included, along with numerous games by the Turk's various hidden directors that are known to have played elsewhere.