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Pandemic: The Board Game
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When arguably the two most famous American-born gaming icons, Bobby Fischer and Gary Gygax, passed away within less than two months, I thought it might be neat to create a geeklist about some others.

(I guess I sort of got carried away with the idea. Oh, well. I had fun with it.)

Did I make any mistakes or miss anyone, especially those from other countries?

Minimum requirements:

1. A year of death (and hopefully a month and day), except possibly for those who died over 500 years ago with proper estimated dates.

2. The person should have been a game designer, a famous game player, a game artist, a game company founder or executive, or have some minimal notoriety such as a wikipedia entry, a somewhat prominent obituary, an important book or magazine entry, or something similar. (Those solely connected with video games should not be included and only those with prominent role-playing game connections should probably be included. Those who had a negative influence such as by banning games should also probably be excluded.)

(And no, I'm not going to rearrange the list alphabetically...)

Other similar database geeklists:

Gaming icons and popular figures who indirectly inspired various games
Chess Icons R.I.P.
Card Game Icons R.I.P.
Famous (non-game) Artists on the Geek
Famous (non-game) Fiction Writers on the Geek
Famous (non-game) People on the Geek
Comic Artists on the Geek
Veterans on the Geek
Most Prolific Game Designers
Designer/artists in all five databases
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1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [41] | 
1. Board Game: Senet [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:6132] [Average Rating:5.92 Unranked]
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Merknera (born and died c. 3000 BC) was buried in a tomb that contained drawings of the game Senet. Other depictions of Senet have been found in the tombs of Hesy (c. 2686 - 2613 BC) and Rashepes (c. 2500 BC).
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2. Board Game: Dominoes [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:16228]
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Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut (1341 BC - 1323 BC) was an Egyptian Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty during the period known as the New Kingdom. The oldest known domino set was found in Tutankhamen's tomb, among the ruins of Thebes. Tut was also buried with the board game Senet.
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3. Board Game: David & Goliath [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2058]
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King David (c. 1040 - c. 970 BC) was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible. His life story inspired a few games. Historically he has been depicted as the King of Spades on a French deck of playing cards.
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4. Board Game: The Odyssey of Homer [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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Homer (? - c. 750 BC) was an ancient Greek poet whose poems the Illiad and the Odyssey greatly influenced games set in this era.
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5. Board Game: Alexander the Great [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:4861]
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Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III of Macedon (July 20, 356 BC - June 10, 323 BC) was a Greek king of Macedon whose successful military adventures inspired more than a dozen games. Historically he has been depicted as the King of Clubs on a French deck of playing cards.
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6. Board Game: Hannibal [Average Rating:5.56 Unranked]
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Hannibal (247 BC - c. 183 BC) was a Carthaginian military commander whose name and story inspired many popular games.
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7. Board Game: Julius Caesar [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:10869]
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Gaius Julius Caesar (July 13, 100 BC - March 15, 44 BC) was a Roman military and political leader who helped transform the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. His life story inspired several games. Historically he has been depicted as the King of Diamonds on a French deck of playing cards.
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8. Board Game: Cleopatra's Gambit [Average Rating:5.39 Unranked]
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Cleopatra VII Philopator (January 69 BC – 30 BC) was a Hellenistic ruler of Egypt whose life inspired a few games.
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9. Board Game: Nuts! [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:9168]
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Publius Ovidius Naso, also known as Ovid (43 BC – 18 AD) was a Roman poet who wrote about the Roman game of "Nuts". Romulus Augustus, the last Roman Emperor, played the game as a child. There are also a number of bas-reliefs depicting children playing this game. The rules of the game appear to have been lost in time. However, this marble-type game still may exist in some form. The oldest marbles that have been found date to 3000 BC. These were a group of rounded semi-precious stones that were buried with an Egyptian Child at Nagada. The British Museum has marbles from Crete that date from between 2000 and 1700 BC, and marbles also have been found in ancient North American earthen mounds. However, the word "marbles" was not used in England until 1694 when toy marbles fashioned from imported German marble stone began to appear.
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10. Board Game: Tabula [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:12916]
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Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, also known as Claudius I (August 1, 10 BC – October 13, 54 AD) was the fourth Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and the first Roman Emperor to be born outside of Italy. He was known to be fond of the gambling game Tabula. Around the year 50, he wrote a history of the game. His imperial carriage was even equipped so that he could play the game while travelling.
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11. Board Game: The Life of Paul [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Saint Paul the Apostle, also known as Saul of Tarsus, (c. 5 AD - c. 67 AD) was one of the most notable of early Christian missionaries. His life inspired a few board games.
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Sun Ce (175 – 200) was a military general and warlord during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era. His game against Lu Fan is purported to be the first Go game to be recorded move for move, although many scholars doubt this authenticity.
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Lu Fan (? – 228) was an officer who served in the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms era of China and later became the governor and commander-in-chief of Yang province. Some believe that he gained his fame by instructing military general and warlord Sun Ce that his opening move was poorly chosen.
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14. Board Game: Tabula [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:12916]
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Flavius Zeno, also known by his original name Trascalissaeus, (c. 425 - 491) was an Eastern Roman Emperor. Most knowledge of the game of Tabula has been derived from a game session that he played in the year 480.
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15. Board Game: Shatranj [Average Rating:6.74 Unranked]
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al-Farazdaq, also known as Hammam ibn Ghalib Abu Firas, (c. 641 - c. 729) was an Arab poet who around 728 may have made the first reference to chess by mentioning the baidaq, or pawn, of shatranj in a poem.
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16. Board Game: Charlemagne [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:10793]
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Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great (747 - January 28, 814) was a European king and emperor whose life inspired various games. Historically he has been depicted as the King of Hearts on a French deck of playing cards.
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17. Board Game: Chaturanga [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:11401]
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al-Adli ar Rumi (800 – 870) was in the 9th century a seemingly unbeatable player of shatranj, a game that was the predecessor to modern European chess. Around 840, he wrote what was essentially the first book to analyze chess in-depth along with the Indian game of Chaturanga. He was the first person to classify chess players and to categorize openings. He also described a variation of chess played with dice. He was possibly of Turkish descent.
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18. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:425] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
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Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari (c. 838 - February 17, 923) was a Persian historian who around 920 mentioned a chess incident in 802 between Emperor of Byzantium Nicephorus and the Caliph Huran ar-Rashid. He also mentions how the caliph al-Mutazz was playing a game of chess when a messenger brought in the head of his rival, al-Musta'in, and how the caliph paid no attention to this until the chess game was over.
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19. Board Game: Shatranj [Average Rating:6.74 Unranked]
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Abu-Bakr Muhammad ben Yahya as-Suli (c. 880 – 946) was an Arab shatranj player who along with physician Abu l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad as-Sarakhsi co-authored a book of openings for shatranj. He was the strongest shatranj player of his era. One of his shatranj puzzles remained unsolvable for over a thousand years!
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20. Board Game: A History of Chess [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn íbn Ali al-Mas'udi, also known as Abu al-Hassan Ali ibn al-Husain ibn Ali ibn Ali ibn Abdullah al-Masudi (c. 896 - September 956) was an Arab historian and geographer who was known as the "Herodotus of the Arabs". He wrote a history of chess in India and Persia. He described 6 different variants of chess, including Astrological Chess, Byzantine Round Chess, Circular Chess, and Cylinder Chess. He also wrote how in India the chess pieces were sometimes made of ivory and how the losers in a chess wager could lose money or something more such as a finger or hand.
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21. Board Game: A History of Chess [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Abu'l-Faraj ibn al-Muzaffar ibn Sa'id al-Lajlaj (900 - 970) wrote a book of chess problems around 920. He may have been the first person to analyze and publish chess openings. The oldest chess game comes from a match between as-Suli and al-Lajlaj.
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22. Board Game: Viking [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:9078]
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Cnut the Great (c. 990 - November 12, 1035) was a Viking king of Denmark, England, Norway, and parts of Sweden. He is said to have ordered Earl Ulf to be killed after a disagreement about a chess game when the earl knocked over the board and stormed off when he accused the king of making an illegal move.
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23. Board Game: Chaturanga [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:11401]
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Abu'r-Raihan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Beruni, also known as Alberuni (September 15, 973 – December 13, 1048) was a Persian polymath, scholar, teacher, physicist, anthropologist, psychologist, astronomer, chemist, geographer, geodesist, geologist, mathematician, pharmacist, physician, theologian, historian, traveler, and a critic of alchemy and astrology who around 1030 provided a description of a four-handed game of Chaturanga played with dice.
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24. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:425] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
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Pope Nicholas II, also known as Gerard de Bourgogne (? - July 27, 1061) used to play chess as the Bishop of Florence. Around this time the monk and cardinal Saint Peter Damian essentially convinced the Vatican to ban the game because of this.
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25. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:425] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
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Petrus Alphonsi, also known as Moses Sepharadi (1062 – 1110) was a Jewish-Christian Spanish writer, astronomer, and polemicist was a physician to King Alfonso VI of Castile. His work Disciplina Clericalis listed chess among the seven skills that a good knight must acquire.
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