Philip Stamma, c.1705–55, Syrian-born chess pioneer. He lived in France and Italy before settling in England c.1737. There he attained a reputation as a fine chess player, popularized the game by introducing modern chess technique, and became known for his primer Essai sur le jeu des échecs (1737, tr. The Noble Game of Chess, 1745, and Stamma on the Game of Chess, 1818). A master of strategy, particularly of the endgame, he was known as well for his famous loss (1747) to François-André Philidor.