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Gioachino Greco

Gioachino Greco
Full name
Gioachino Greco
Jan 1, 1600 - Jan 1, 1634 (age 34)‎
Place of birth
Calabria, Italy


Gioachino Greco was a 17th-century chess player and author. Born in Calabria in modern-day southern Italy, he was almost certainly the best player in Europe during his lifetime. From what little documentation of his life there is, we know he likely traveled to several major European cities and defeated all of their top local players.

Greco was not the first chess writer, preceded most notably by Pedro Damiano and Ruy Lopez de Segura, but Greco is unique for having included complete game scores. Although he may have invented some of them, they nonetheless give us more insight into Greco’s playing style and strength than anyone else who played chess until Francois Philidor.

Greco wrote in Italian but his work was adapted and translated into other languages, including English and French. The first English translation was a 1656 edition (with now-antiquated spellings), called The Royall Game of Chesse-Play

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