The Anonymous Modenese

  • GM Julio_Becerra
  • | Aug 4, 2010

Domenico Ercole del Rio (c. 1718 - c. 1802) was born in Guiglia, Italy, and was
a lawyer and author. He published a legendary chess book in 1750 under the
pseudonym "Anonymous Modenese” which was the basis of a work by Giambattista Lolli thirteen years later. He also wrote “The War of the Chessmen” and “The Incomparable Game of Chess”. He composed many chess problems.

There are two especially brilliant eras in the history of Italian Chess. The first one, occuring at the close of the sixteenth and beginning of the following century, was distinguished by the establishment of the celebrated “Neapolitan Club,” by the remarkable contests between the chess men of the Italian and Iberian peninsulas.

The second golden age comprises the latter half of the eighteenth century. Its centre of glory was the city of Modena and its chief ornaments were Ercole del Rio, known as the “Anonymous Modenese,” Domenico Lorenzo Ponziani, sometimes styled the “Autore Modenese,” and the friend and colleague of both, Giovanni Battista.

Del Rio died in Modena, Italy and he is considered to be the founder of the Italian School of Chess!

The giant building that chess is has been cemented by many chess lovers and today I wish us to enjoy together the chess creations produced by that beautiful mind that was Domenico Ercole del Rio.















  • 6 years ago


    Now lets compare these problems with the daily puzzles...

  • 6 years ago


    sweet problems, nice when you can solve a puzzle or two when trusting your gut.  I will definately be checking out the mentioned books. 

  • 6 years ago


    Very nice problems!!! Good article. Thanks.

  • 6 years ago


    Supersweet  article and can any one tell me where I could get more information on the books in the article

  • 6 years ago


    This man was a genius!!

  • 6 years ago


    I didn't solve them all but the ones I did I thourghly enjoyed them.

  • 6 years ago


    Brilliant puzzles.
    They are not the most complicated - but the ideas behind them are genious.

    Prove you don't need a material advantage to win the game.

    it's all about your strategie. If you're going to lose material - it's because you did want to.

    Very instructive.

  • 6 years ago


    Nice puzzles ! I resolved them all! very instructive!!!!!

  • 6 years ago


    this is insane

  • 6 years ago


    Its great to see some guy from 1750 would've crushed me.  Sweet!

  • 6 years ago


    Geniale !

  • 6 years ago


    these puzzles are mind blowing

  • 6 years ago


    Wow. :)

  • 6 years ago


    First-rate article.

  • 6 years ago


    Old skool skills. Bet he was far from anonymous back in the day. Compositions, perhaps?

  • 6 years ago


    Marvelous combinations, a must-see for every  chess enthusiast

  • 6 years ago


    What 64idiOt said: "Absolutely brilliant. Thank you."

    Btw: any chance, GM Becerra, given the excellence of your articles, of doing some chess videos??

  • 6 years ago


    bladdy 'el that i-tie ha' skills!

  • 6 years ago


    Absolutely brilliant. Thank you.

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