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Mikhail Chigorin - The Rise of Russia

Mikhail Chigorin (12 November 1850 – 25 January 1908) was a leading Russian chess master. He began the tradition of the Soviet chess machine that would take a vice-like grip on world chess in the 20th Century.

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Johannes Zukertort - The Romantic Champion

Johannes Zukertort (7 September 1842 – 20 June 1888) was a leading chess master of German-Polish origin. He was probably the best attacking player in the world for most of the 1870s and 1880s. He lost to Wilhelm Steinitz's positional style in the World Chess Championship 1886.

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Joseph Henry Blackburne - The Black Death

Joseph Henry Blackburne (10 December 1841 – 1 September 1924) was known in chess circles as the The Black Death. He was the best chess player in Britain during the second half of the 19th Century. He only learned to play chess at 18 but still played professional chess for half a century.

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Paul Morphy - Pride and Sorrow of Chess

Paul Morphy (June 22, 1837 - July 10, 1884) was a US chess master and one of the most important figures in chess history. Known as the Pride and Sorrow of Chess, he humbled all who faced him only to give up the game at a young age.

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Henry Bird - Master of Bizarre

Henry Bird (14 July 1829 – 11 April 1908) was an English chess player and writer. He wrote a book titled Chess History and Reminiscences. Although he wasn't a professional chess player he lived and breathed the game. He would play anyone, anywhere, any time.

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Daniel Harrwitz - The Great Improvisor

Daniel Harrwitz was a Prussian chess master. He was a leading chess player in the 19th Century with a draw against Adolf Anderssen and he also pushed Paul Morphy hard in a match.

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Adolf Anderssen - The Immortal One

Adolf Anderssen (July 6, 1818 - March 13, 1879) was a German chess magician. He was the world's leading chess player from 1851-58 and 1860-66, giving us gems such as the Immortal Game and the Evergreen Game along the way.

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Howard Staunton - The Chess Piece Sculptor

Howard Staunton was an English chess master who was the world's strongest player from 1843 to 1851. He gained this recognition through his 1843 victory over Saint Amant. He developed his own famous style of chess pieces, still used today.

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Pierre Saint Amant - The Perennial Challenger

Pierre Saint Amant (12 September, 1800 – 29 October, 1872) was a leading French chess master. He gained noteriety by going down in a match against Englishman Howard Staunton in 1843 in an unofficial match for the World Chess Championship.

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Alexander McDonnell - The Merchant of Belfast

Alexander McDonnell (1798–1835) was an Irish chess master, who contested a series of six matches with the world’s leading player Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais in the summer of 1834.

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