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Paul Rudolf von Bilguer
P Bilguer 
Wikimedia Commons  
Number of games in database: 25
Years covered: 1835 to 1840

Overall record: +12 -8 =2 (59.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Pawn Game (8) 
    C44 C40
With the Black pieces:
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   P Bilguer vs K Schorn, 1839 1-0
   P Bilguer vs Von der Lasa, 1839 1-0
   P Bilguer vs Von der Lasa, 1838 1-0
   Von der Lasa vs P Bilguer, 1839 0-1

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(born Sep-21-1815, died Sep-16-1840, 24 years old) Germany

[what is this?]
Paul Rudolf von Bilguer was born in Ludwigslust, Germany. He was the son of the Mecklenburgian Colonel and Commander A. L. von Bilguer and Luise (née von Hahn-Charlottenthal). His father was stationed as a Captain in Ludwigslust, when Paul Rudolf was born. He had four siblings, among them two older brothers.(1)

Bilguer was educated in a Pageninstitut in Schwerin, Germany from 1829 onwards. Under the guidance of Colonel Scheffer, he excelled at mathematics and also showed talent in other disciplines. He spend his leisure time with music and chess. He had learned chess at a very early age from his father. He deepened his chess studies later in Neu-Ruppin, Germany and was inspired by Angerstein in Brandenburg and Ludwig Bledow in Berlin.(1)

Bilguer wanted to study law. A military career became preferable due to the circumstances. He joined the Prussian 24th Infantry regiment in 1833, as his family wished. At that time, the regiment was stationed in Neu-Ruppin, later in Lübben and then back again in Neu-Ruppin. In August 1834, he became a lieutenant. He hadn't developed more enthusiasm for the practical duty, though, much to the chagrin of the stiff battalion commander Chlebus. Bilguer felt drawn to a more scientific activity. In order to achieve this goal, he went to the war academy (Kriegsakademie) in Berlin in autumn 1837. He soon became more and more valetudinary and he had to return to his garrsion and leave military. This was granted on 10 April 1839.(1)

Bilguer returned to Berlin and occupied himself with literature and chess. He wrote Das Zweispringerspiel im Nachzuge, which was published in 1849. He also published articles in several journals anonymously. He didn't earn much money thereby, though. He had overestimated his physical powers, his chest troubles (Brustleiden) having weakened his constitution too much. His condition worsened and he died in Berlin shortly before his 25th birthday.(1)

Bilguer was a member of the Berlin Chess Club, one of the 'Berlin Pleiades'. He was a strong player and very good analyst and was the author of the famous Handbuch des Schachspiels. Unfortunately, his early death at the age of 24 prevented his seeing its first publication in 1843.

This first edition as well as the four that followed were edited by his friend Baron Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa, who named Von Bilguer alone as author. It contained comprehensive analyses of all opening variations then known, plus a section on the history and literature of chess.


(1) Reinhold Schmidt, Zur Erinnerung an Rudolf von Bilguer, Deutsches Wochenschach, issue 37, 14 September 1890, pp. 308-309

Wikipedia article: Paul Rudolf von Bilguer

 page 1 of 1; games 1-25 of 25  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. P Bilguer vs Angerstein 0-1191835corrC24 Bishop's Opening
2. Von der Lasa vs P Bilguer ½-½371837BerlinC33 King's Gambit Accepted
3. Von der Lasa vs P Bilguer 1-0131837Berlin m1D20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
4. P Bilguer vs Von der Lasa 0-1261838BerlinC24 Bishop's Opening
5. P Bilguer vs Von der Lasa  ½-½561838BerlinC53 Giuoco Piano
6. P Bilguer vs Mayet  1-0211838BerlinC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
7. P Bilguer vs Von der Lasa 1-0251838BerlinC44 King's Pawn Game
8. Bledow vs P Bilguer 1-0331838BerlinC23 Bishop's Opening
9. Bledow vs P Bilguer 1-0261838UnknownC51 Evans Gambit
10. Von der Lasa vs P Bilguer 0-1281839BerlinC33 King's Gambit Accepted
11. P Bilguer vs Ribbeck  1-0261839BerlinC45 Scotch Game
12. P Bilguer vs Von der Lasa 0-1471839UnknownC40 King's Knight Opening
13. P Bilguer vs Von der Lasa 0-1281839BerlinC53 Giuoco Piano
14. P Bilguer vs Von der Lasa 1-0501839BerlinC44 King's Pawn Game
15. P Bilguer vs Von der Lasa 1-0241839BerlinC44 King's Pawn Game
16. P Bilguer vs Von der Lasa 0-1331839BerlinC40 King's Knight Opening
17. P Bilguer vs Von der Lasa 1-0241839BerlinC23 Bishop's Opening
18. Von der Lasa vs P Bilguer 0-1301839?C30 King's Gambit Declined
19. Von der Lasa vs P Bilguer 0-1231839?C23 Bishop's Opening
20. P Bilguer vs K Schorn 1-0201839BerlinC44 King's Pawn Game
21. P Bilguer vs NN 1-0201840?C51 Evans Gambit
22. P Bilguer vs Huber Schulze 1-0221840BerlinC44 King's Pawn Game
23. P Bilguer vs NN 1-0291840Simul, 3bC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
24. P Bilguer vs Crelinger 0-1361840Simul, 3bC53 Giuoco Piano
25. P Bilguer vs NN 1-0381840Simul, 3bC44 King's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 1; games 1-25 of 25  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Bilguer wins | Bilguer loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Paul Rudolph von Bilguer (1815-1840) was an author of famous "Handbuch des Schachspiels". Its first edition (1843) was completed after Bilguer's death by Baron Tassilo Von Der Lasa
Feb-18-03  refutor: i won if there is an opportunity of picking up a copy of that somewhere, for historical purposes...i imagine it would cost a pretty penny. it would be interesting for someone to do a translation today to english and algebraic just to see how much theory has chanced in 160 years
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka:, I have submitted a few games of Bilguer via your PGN Upload Utility.
Apr-29-06  sigi: What is the spelling of Bilguer's second Christian name? <Rudolf> or <Rudolph>? The German Wikipedia writes <Rudolph> but that doesn't mean anything. A more reliable source seems to be the catalogue of the "Deutsche Bibliothek" where Paul <Rudolf> von Bilguer is the author of the "Handbuch".
Apr-29-06  Calli: <sigi> I think Rudolf is correct. All the editions of "Handbuch" spell his name that way. See, for instance, the latest Olms reprint:
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: It was nice of von der Lasa to keep Bilguer's name on the Handbuch for so long.
Sep-21-10  BIDMONFA: Paul Rudolf von Bilguer

VON BILGUER, Paul Rudolf

Sep-21-10  brankat: One of the pioneers of Chess Theory. A talented young man, lost to Chess and Life way too early.

R.I.P. Herr P.R. von Bilguer.

Sep-21-10  Antiochus: Here we have another four games of Bilguer:

[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1838.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Paul Von Bilguer"]
[Black "Karl Mayet"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C35"]
[PlyCount "41"]
[EventDate "1838.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 Be7 4. Bc4 Bh4+ 5. g3 fxg3 6. O-O gxh2+ 7. Kh1 d6 8. Bxf7+ Kxf7 9. Nxh4+ Nf6 10. d4 Bh3 11. Rf3 Bg4 12. Rxf6+ Qxf6 13. Qxg4 Qf1+ 14. Kxh2 Qxc1 15. Nc3 Qxa1 16. Qf5+ Ke8 17. Qc8+ Ke7 18. Qxc7+ Ke8 19. Qc8+ Kf7 20. Qxb7+ Ke8 21. Nf5 1-0

[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "1839.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Paul Von Bilguer"]
[Black "Ribbeck"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C44"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "1839.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Bc5 5. O-O h6 6. c3 dxc3 7. Nxc3 d6 8. a3 a6 9. b4 Ba7 10. Nd5 Be6 11. Bb2 Rh7 12. Qc2 g6 13. Rfe1 Qd7 14. Bf6 Nge7 15. b5 axb5 16. Bxb5 Ng8 17. Rac1 Bc5 18. Bd4 b6 19. Bxc5 bxc5 20. Nb4 Nge7 21. Nxc6 Nxc6 22. Nd4 Ra6 23. Nxc6 Rxc6 24. Qa4 Ke7 25. Bxc6 Qd8 26. f4 1-0

[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1840.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Paul Von Bilguer"]
[Black "Huber Schulze"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C44"]
[PlyCount "43"]
[EventDate "1840.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Bb4+ 5. c3 dxc3 6. O-O Nf6 7. a3 Ba5 8. b4 c2 9. Qxc2 Bb6 10. e5 Ng4 11. Bb2 O-O 12. h3 Nh6 13. Nc3 d6 14. Rad1 Nf5 15. Ne4 Be6 16. Neg5 Qe7 17. exd6 cxd6 18. Rfe1 h6 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Rxe6 Kh8 21. Qxf5 Rxf5 22. Rxh6# 1-0

[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1838.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Ludwig Bledow"]
[Black "Paul Von Bilguer"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C23"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "1838.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 f5 3. d3 Nf6 4. Nf3 fxe4 5. dxe4 Nxe4 6. Qd5 Nd6 7. Nxe5 c6 8. Qf7+ Nxf7 9. Bxf7+ Ke7 10. Bg5+ Kd6 11. Bxd8 Kxe5 12. f4+ Kf5 13. Bg5 Bb4+ 14. c3 Rf8 15. Bb3 h6 16. Bc2+ Kg4 17. Bd1+ Kf5 18. g4+ Kg6 19. Bc2+ Kf7 20. Bh4 Be7 21. Bg3 d5 22. f5 Nd7 23. Nd2 Bf6 24. Nf3 Re8+ 25. Kf2 Nc5 26. Rhe1 Bd7 27. b4 Ne4+ 28. Rxe4 dxe4 29. Bb3+ Kf8 30. Bd6+ Be7 31. Ne5 g5 32. f6 e3+ 33. Kg1 1-0

Sep-21-10  NARC: refutor:

A friend of mine stumbled over the latest edition (a badly damaged copy) and got it dirt cheap. He gave it to me since he figured I was more likely to check out 100 year old variations (he is a casual player himself). The book was just lying around in my apartment until a spring day 2006 or 2007, a teenage girl went past my window in a bright veil and I went so happy that I took that book, a Michael W Lucas book on OpenBSD and a collection of T.S Eliot poems and went to the libraries. Handbuch and OpenBSD book I gave to the university library in Umea, and the T.S Eliot collection I gave to a high school library. is a link to the university library I gave it to, I checked in their database and they still have it. I don't know if they have repaired it.

Sep-21-10  NARC: refutor: If I remember things right the edition I had was already in algebraic. Most interesting lines were Evans gambit
and King's Gambit.
Dec-15-11  Antiochus: [Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1840.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Paul Von Bilguer"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C51"]
[PlyCount "39"]
[EventDate "????.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 f5 6. cxb4 fxe4 7. b5 Na5 8. Nxe5 Qg5 9. d4 Qxg2 10. Qh5+ g6 11. Bf7+ Kf8 12. Bh6+ Nxh6 13. Qxh6+ Ke7 14. Qg7 Qxh1+ 15. Ke2 c6 16. Qxh8 Qc1 17. Nd2 Qxa1 18. Nxe4 Qb2+ 19. Kf3 Qa3+ 20. Kg2 1-0

Sep-21-12  brankat: Herr P.R. von Bilguer will always be remembered!
Sep-21-13  offramp: A century before Facebook - Handbook.
Sep-21-13  Abdel Irada: <offramp: A century before Facebook - Handbook.>

You mean to say you weren't a member of the original

Sep-21-13  Abdel Irada: Twenty-four is *very* young. Does anyone happen to know how Bilguer died?


Incidentally, it's interesting to note that of his 19 games in the database, he played 15 against Von Der Lasa, with eight wins, five losses and two draws.

If this is actually representative of these players' head-to-head results, this may be one reason why Von Der Lasa kept his name on the Handbuch for so long, for it would suggest that Bilguer was the stronger player, and it is therefore likely that his analysis figured predominantly in its composition.

Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: try this for <Twenty-four is *very* young. Does anyone happen to know how Bilguer died?> if we assume that the "wasting disease" was not TB (easily identified back then) it may have been beyond the doctors of the time to give a diagnosis. Failing eyesight was also a symptom, and he'd never been a strong chap, apparently. Suggests a lot of possibilities.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Bilguer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Bilguer died at 24 and was a top player, and, even more notably, top theoretician of his time. Chess becoming younger? Nah! Who'd even write a theoretical work at 24 today? Chess always had young players - with notable exception of two "lost generations" after both world wars.
Apr-22-16  SimplicityRichard: <alexmagnus: Chess becoming younger? Nah!...>

I concur. Talk of younger and younger genius in today's world can be summed up by what one of our Kibitzers <visayanbraindoctor> refers to as "narcissistic complex", where we generally feel that we as present day mankind are smarter, better at everything and superior in almost all respects to those who lived before us.

If we take a look at history of over 1000 years, we will find young geniuses in almost every facet of existence; even Jesus was reputed to be a philosopher of the highest order when only a boy. Mozart's musical genius was discovered in his boyhood; so was Morphy's and Capablanca's chess genius.

And therefore I hope to desist in future from this kind of hackneyed and clearly erroneous attitude and talk. Nevertheless, it has been scientifically determined that our IQ as mankind has been rising with increasing knowledge and globalisation. I surmise that it is not that we are more intelligent than those who lived before us, but that we are more knowledgeable as a result of leaps of scientific developments and continual inter-cultural integration. In essence, we are exposed to much more.

On a different note, I have been surprised by the play of these German pleiades especially Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa and Ludwig Bledow. On checking Von der Lasa's Queen's Gambit Accepted games, I was surprised to find play that is incredibly modern! Von der Lasa's King's Gambit games are also incredibly instructive that I can hardly believe that this kind of analysis was there in the early 1800s. I might have to visit Poznan, Poland and take a look at these beautiful manuscripts by Paul von Bilguer and Von der Lasa. Lastly, it is amazing that the Bledow Countergambit against the King's Gambit is an effective counter-attack played to this day.#

Sep-21-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Paul von Bilguer.
May-26-18  zanzibar: What's in a name?


Bilguer planned his "Handbuch" in 1839, and the seven editions appeared in 1843, 18.32, 1858, 1864, 1874, 1879, and 1891. Paul Rudolph von Bilguer was born at Ludwigslust on September 21, 1815, and died at Berlin on September 16, 1840. His ancient family name is said to be Bilger, the "u" being inserted in Switzerland in order to make the pronunciation of the "g" suitable to the French and Italian languages. His friend, Baron Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa, attended to the publication of the first five editions. Lasa was born on October 17, 1818, and is now living at Wiesbaden. (See our Vol. X. p. 559, May 26, 1888.) From about 1830 to 1850 there was an assembly of players known as the "Seven Stars" of Berlin, which consisted of L. Bledow, C. Schorn, B. Horwitz, C. Mayet, W. Hanstein, P. R. von Bilguer, and von der Lasa, and of which the latter is now the only survivor.


tBOP v13 N640 (Apr 18, 1891) 463/493 (15)

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