London, South Kensington
22 November 2002
[GRECO, Gioachino] The Royall Game of Chesse-Play, sometimes the recreation of the late King with many of the nobility, illustrated with almost an hundred gambetts, being the study of Biochimo, London: Henry Herringman, 1656. Small 8° (140 x 90mm.). Engraved portrait of Charles I, woodcut title border and diagram. (Frontispiece creased, dampstain to margins throughout). Later calf gilt, the upper cover with central gilt motif flanked by the initials 'E G,' within a double roll-tooled border, the spine in five compartments, with a gilt diamond motif in each. (Upper and lower joints broken, extremities rather worn). Wing G1810.
Greco was a native of Calabria, the same province of Naples that had produced the chess masters Giovanni Leonard and Michele di Mauro. He first began keeping a manuscript of games when in Rome. Murray states that his manuscript became one of the most important productions in the literature of chess. However, as neither the manuscript nor the early printed versions of Greco's games were annotated, the principles which the games illustrated were not properly grasped for several generations. cf. Murray pp. 827-30, 840.
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