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Giovanni Leonardo di Bona da Cutri
Leonardo Defeats Lopez in Madrid, Spain, 1575

Giovanni Leonardo di Bona da Cutri

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Giovanni Leonardo di Bona or Giovanni Leonardo da Cutri (both given names can also be seen in the reversed order Leonardo Giovanni) (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, but then in 1575 He defeated Ruy Lopez in Madrid. From 1566–1572, he traveled 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 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 traveled 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, Leonardo, 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.