Over at The Paris Review Daily, I wrote about the 18th-century chess playing automaton known as The Turk:
The Turk became a spectacular attraction, thrilling, baffling, and terrifying viewers across Europe and America for decades. His victims included Benjamin Franklin, Catherine the Great, and Napoleon. In one account of that match, Napoleon, in perhaps telling fashion, moved first—despite the fact that the Turk was playing white—and then attempted illegal move after illegal move until the Turk, fed up with these shenanigans, swiped the pieces off the board with a stiff wooden arm.
Check it out!