The Turk

The Turk, also known as the Mechanical Turk or Automaton Chess Player (German: Schachtürke, “chess Turk”‘ Hungarian: A Török), was a fake chess-playing machine constructed in the late 18th century. From 1770 until its destruction by fire in 1854, it was exhibited by various owners as an automaton, though it was exposed in the early 1820s as an elaborate hoax.[1] Constructed and unveiled in 1770 by Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734–1804) to impress the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, 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 exactly once.

The Turk was in fact a mechanical illusion that allowed a human chess master hiding inside to operate the machine. With a skilled operator, the Turk won most of the games played during its demonstrations around Europe and the Americas for nearly 84 years, playing and defeating many challengers including statesmen such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin. The operator(s) within the mechanism during Kempelen’s original tour remains a mystery. When the device was later purchased in 1804 and exhibited by Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, the chess masters who secretly operated it included Johann Allgaier, Boncourt, Aaron Alexandre, William Lewis, Jacques Mouret, and William Schlumberger.

Description via Wikipedia

Playing White vs NN (1770)

something seals machine to finger 
deserts (deserts) lock and worm or 
some vault, desert below path 

shaken therapist, a sand 
and temptation, cast or seashell 
grows scrawny movement

Playing Black vs Napoleon (Schoenbrunn (1809))

memorized wink and possessed core

steadies or blackens vertical yelp

preacher laughs and decrepitly
clothes moderate noone or
cause keys cause or bookshelf


Playing Black vs. Strickland (London (1820))

texture memorizes or cores 
and combs and aromatically steadies 
switch darkens and makes limb 
or obediently absolves and absolves 
darkens a pebbled absolution 

sublime preacher, passive curiosity among 
any soldier and dead centre 

centre blends boundlessly and quietly

Playing Black vs Hook (1820)

any path, hour softly centers 
horizontal violin a yelping straightaway 

the halved radar pathologically secretes 
dark negative or pulsing remainder 

memorized violin and any permanence 
onto person and molecule or 
any companion

Playing Black vs John Cochrane (London (1820))

Where is the made-up centre?
Toward wink 

Where is this limbed mathematics?
What is each bound limb?

horizon delicately yelps automatic plaster 
negative ownership toward estimated centre 

each violin, each pebbled ocean 
personably assures joint cord