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NN vs Domenico Lorenzo Ponziani
? (1769)
King's Gambit: Accepted. Cunningham Defense (C35)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Strange play by both sides. Why not 7.Bxf7+! ?
Sep-28-17  sneaky pete: <FSR> Probably the game score is wrong, but it can't be helped. My guess is that white applied the Italian way of free castling by moving the Rook to f1 and the King to h1 and Ponziani played d7-d5. O-O .. and Kh1 .. for white and d7-d6-d5 for black is just a trick to make it possible for us to see the game here.

If I'm right, after 6.O-O d5 we have this position

click for larger view

and 7.Bxf7+ .. is impossible. But after 7.Bxd5 Bh3 instead of the sheepish 8.Bxb7 .. he should have played 8.Bxf7+ .. (or 9.Bxf7+ .. in the version we have here) with a messy position.

click for larger view

Jul-10-20  sea7kenp: I'm surprised I didn't find this in an "Underpromotions" Collection.
Premium Chessgames Member
  louispaulsen88888888: I think old school castling was no longer around by 1769. In any case, white does play the bishop check in a game from 1790. Ercole del Rio vs. somebody. Look it up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  louispaulsen88888888: D Ercole Del Rio vs Portocarrero, 1790
Jan-25-23  generror: <louispaulsen> In Italy, "free castling" was around until the late 19th century.
Jan-25-23  stone free or die: Apparently, <Tim Harding> is a proponent of free castling, and he also agrees with <generror> about its duration:

<The printing press was obviously important for the spread of the new rules. In Italy, however, the new form of the game was adopted with local modifications that were still in use in that country as late as 1880 (according to Professor Carlo Pagni of Turin, the great historian of chess in Italy). One of these rules, Passar Battaglia ("pass over the battle"), was in effect a negation of en passant; the pawn could not be captured if this rule was invoked.

Free Castling is the rule that interests me. This meant that the king and rook could end up on various squares, e.g. the rook on e1 and the king on h1 for White in kingside castling, or in the case of queenside castling, the King could go to a1 (a8 for Black) or b1 (b8) and the rook to e1 (e8).

I certainly do not advocate Passar Battaglia but I would seriously suggest that Free Castling is a reform that would be well worth adopting to reduce the impact of theory and computers on the game as it is played now. This would send publishers in a scurry to find books of old Italian games as 99.9% of current opening theory would immediately become redundant. >


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