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3. Napoleon Bonaparte


Napoleon was a famous French political leader and military commander and the first Emperor of France.

He controlled a large portion of Europe for over a decade. He was a great leader and a commander, and could rapidly dictate a series of complex commands to his subordinates, while keeping in mind where major units were expected to be at each future point, like a chess player calculating positions a few moves ahead.

He was fond of playing chess and perhaps the most famous victim of the chess hoax known as The Turk, an apparently mechanical chess-playing machine animated by a player hiding inside.

He was visiting Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna in 1809 and challenged the “machine”. In a surprise move, he took the first turn instead of deferring to the Turk, as was usual.

Then, he attempted an illegal move, to which the Turk simply returned the piece to its original spot and continued the game, as was its habit.

Napoleon played the same move a second time and the Turk removed the piece from the board entirely and took its turn. When Napoleon persisted a third time, the Turk swept its arm and knocked all the pieces off the board. Napoleon was reportedly amused and resigned after nineteen moves.

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3. Napoleon Bonaparte


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