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Italian chess players dominated the game during the first two centuries of the modern game.  The players included Pedro Damiano (1500?-1544), Paolo Boi (1528-1598), Giulio Polerio (1550-1610), Leonardo da Cutro (1552-1597), Alessandro Salvio (1570-1640), Pietro Carrera (1573-1647), Gioacchino Greco (1600-1634), Giovan Lolli (1698-1769), Domenico Ponziani (1719-1796), and Ercole Del Rio (1720-1800).   Correspondence chess may have started in Italy when Venetian and Croatian merchants played chess by dispatches around the mid-17th century.  In 1836, correspondence games were published for the first time in Italy by Giuseppe Gasbarri of Florence.  The first postal game played in Italy on record was held in 1875-76 between the chess clubs of Ferrara and Livorno.  The first chess game by telephone in Italy was played in 1880 in Livorno.  The first telegraphic chess match in Italy was held in 1897 between the Milan Chess Club and the Chess Club of Palermo.  The first Italian chess correspondence tournament began in 1895 and ended in 1899.  The winner was Francesco Abbadess from Palermo.  In 1898, the first Italian chess federation, the Unione Scacchistica Italiana, was formed.  It was disbanded in 1914.  In 1982 the Italian Chess Federation refused to allow one of its best players, Stefano Tatai, to play on the Italian Olympiad team.  Tatai was 44 and seven time national champion.  The Italian Chess Federation only wanted members that were age 30 or younger to represent Italy.  The result was a very poor showing at the Olympiad.  The 1980 Italian championship was delayed until 1981 because of an earthquake.

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