Sunday 27 September 2020

Was the fix in?

 A number of my older chess books contain amusing anecdotes dated many years before. As these books do not often include sources for these stories, it could be assumed that some tales have been either invented, or are exaggerations of real events.

One story is about an early form of match fixing between Ruy Lopez and Giovanni Leonardo. In a match to decide the best player in the world (in 1575), Leonardo threw his first two games, only to come back and win the match 3-2. In looking for more background on this story I did discover discrepancies about the venue (Madrid or Rome), but more importantly, if Leonardo was trying to throw some games, he could have been a bit more subtle about it.

Lopez de Segura,Ruy - Leonardo,Giovanni da Cutri [C30]
Ruy Lopez Rome, 1560

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