THE TURK Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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The Turk was a chess-playing machine of the late 18th century, promoted as an       
automaton but later proved to be a hoax. Constructed and unveiled in 1770 by the   
Austrian-Hungarian Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734-1804) to impress the Empress         
Maria Theresa, the mechanism appeared to be able to play a strong game of chess     
against a human opponent, as well as perform the knight's tour, a puzzle that       
requires the player to move a knight to occupy every square of a chessboard once   
and only once.                                                                     
Publicly promoted as an automaton and given its common name based on its           
appearance, the Turk was in fact a mechanical illusion that allowed a human         
chess master to hide inside and operate the machine. With a skilled operator,       
the Turk won most of the games played. The apparatus was demonstrated around       
Europe and the Americas for over 80 years until its destruction by fire in 1854,   
playing and defeating many challengers including statesmen such as Napoleon         
Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin.