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Giovanni Leonardo di Bona da Cutri

Giovanni Leonardo di Bona da Cutri

Sep 13, 2015, 10:27 PM 2

Giovanni Leonardo di Bona or Giovanni Leonardo da Cutri (both given names can also be seen in the reversed order Leonardo Giovanni), known as il Puttino (Italian "Small Child") (1542–1587) was an early Italian chess master.

Giovanni Leonardo was born in Cutro, Calabria. He studied law in Rome. In 1560, he lost a match to Ruy López in Rome. From 1566–1572, he travelled and played chess in Rome, Genoa, Marseille, and Barcelona. He had played many times against Paolo Boi in Italy and they were regarded as being equal in strength, and the two strongest players in the world in the mid 1570's.

Giovanni Leonardo di Bona won the first known international tournament in the history of chess at Madrid in 1575, thereby becoming the top chess master of the time. After his success at the Court of Spain, Leonardo travelled to Lisbon, where he tested his chess skill against Moro II, the eminent chess champion of King Don Sebastian, of Portugal. Again, he emerged victorious.

The King was generous with his rewards. After this triumph, Giovanni Leonardo di Bona, having been called the wandering knight by King Don Sebastian, left Portugal to return to Italy and settle in Naples where he became the chess master for the Prince of Bisignano.

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