|Dec-08-04|| ||Leviathan: Giovanni Leonardo di Bona "il Puttino" (the little boy) (~1550-1597)|
He was still a kid, when he happened to play against the great Ruy Lopez in Rome. He had quite a talent for his young age, but his more experienced opponent still defeated him easily.
He decided to go to Naples where he trained for two years, helped by an uncle, and became strong enough to challenge the other italian champion: Paolo Boi (also known as "il siracusano"). Even if there are no documents to tell us precisely how the match went, we know that the young "puttino" played very well but was honourably defeated once again.
After the match, he came back to his birthplace, Cutro, where some very bad news awaited him: his brother had been captured by some Saracen pirates. In order to save his brother, Leonardo challenged the pirates' chief in a game of chess. The chief accepted and got defeated: Leonardo came back with his brother and 200 ducats (which was a considerable amount of money).
In 1574 he started to travel around europe: he visited Genoa and Madrid, where he met an old fellow: Ruy Lopez. The Leonardo-Lopez match took place in 1575. The king Phillip II, was impressed by Leonardo's skills and offered him the fortune and glory he deserved.
After a happy period, he received a letter from Italy telling him that his wife was dying. He ran back home, but arrived too late. Disheartened, he went back to Spain and eventually arrived to Portugal.
There he was asked by the king of Portugal to play against a famous Arab player, whom he easily defeated.
He came back to Italy even more rich and famous. But once again his happiness didn't last for too long: he never reached 50 - he has been poisoned by an envious stranger in 1597.
Only a few of his games reached us, but we know he played chess in a different way than his contemporaries (all vivacious attackers): he had a slow, positional style and he always prefered solid strategies than stunning combinations.
|Dec-30-05|| ||Karpova: <Leviathan>
Thanks very much for this interesting biography!
|Jan-19-06|| ||TheAlchemist: One game I found that is atributed to him (similar opening to NN vs Greco, 1620):|
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.Bxg8 Rxg8 4.Qh5+ g6 5.Qxh7 Rg7 6.Qh8 Qg5 7.Qh3 fxe4 8.Nc3 Qf5 9.Qe3 d5 10.Ng5 Bh6 12.h4 Qxc2 13.f4 Re7 14.fxe5 d4 15.Qxd4 Nc6 16.Qc3
click for larger view
16...Nxe5 17.Qxc2 Nd3+ 18.Kf1 Re1#
|Apr-11-06|| ||Quintiliano: "Leonardo di Bona" and "Leonardo da Cutrie" are one and the same person. Gio' Leonardo di Bona was born in Cutro, Calabria, Italy. As a young boy he lost a match to Ruy Lopez, but did get even years later in Madrid. Not unlike Bobby Fischer in Rejkiavik, he lost the first two games of the successful match.|
|Jul-15-09|| ||whiteshark: Niente senza gioia!|
|Jul-30-10|| ||vonKrolock: <"The italian player Giovanni Leonardo di Bona (1552-1597) was called "il Puttino" (little boy) because he became famous as a chessplayer when he was only 8."> Yes, and:|
<"<PUTTO plural Putti, a nude, chubby child figure, often with wings, frequently appearing in both mythological and religious paintings and sculpture, especially of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Derived from personifications of love, or Eros figures, in Greek and Roman art, putti came to be used to portray cherubim in Italian paintings of the 15th century, especially those of the Madonna>
... right, and since he was very young and talented when raised to fame, the soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo was <O Puto Maravilha> for his Portuguese fans ...
|Sep-20-10|| ||rapidcitychess: Very interesting bio of this guy.|
|Feb-17-11|| ||myschkin: . . .
"... Why should the souls of the heroes always dwell in darkness ?—" Let them ride around us in clouds; let them shew their features in war." Of Dr. Salvio [ ~ Alessandro Salvio ] himself, and Italian players of rather a later date, we may take another opportunity to speak. Let the Neapolitan's own voice now be heard :
During the pontificate of Gregory XIII., of pious and blessed memory, there was dwelling in Rome a young man, by name Giovanni Leonardo Di Bona da Cutri. He was short in stature, of mild and pleasant manners, and from this was known as II Puttino (" the little lad"). Leonardo had been sent by his parents to the City of the Pope, to study the law ; but took up a preference for Chess, in which his progress was so rapid, that notwithstanding his extreme youth, he speedily acquired a degree of force which enabled him to conquer every player in Rome. ..."
source: "Chess & chess-players: consisting of original stories and sketches" by George Walker (London, 1850, p.334ff)
|May-12-14|| ||offramp: If only he could be teleported to the present day! He'd need just a few minutes to learn the modern moves, rules and opening & endgame theory then he'd be off like a rat-up-a-drainpipe winning game after game after game against these <so-called> super-grandmasters AND he'd do it blindfold and with a time handicap AND at knight odds!|
|Dec-30-16|| ||AlbertodaCruz: feliz 2017 para todos, com muita saÚde.|