Ercole Del Rio Domenico (22.05.1802)

Ercole-Del-Rio-DomenicoA leading member of the Modena School of theorists in Italy, Ercole del Rio was a lawyer by profession and was the first of his school to publish a work giving the principles and analytical pratice of the school. This was in 1750 and the book bore the title Sopra il giuoco degli Scacchi, Osservazioni pratiche d’anonimo Autore Modenese (On the game of chess, practical observations by an anonymous Modenese author). This slim volume of 110 pages, aimed at advanced players, was a significant imptovement of previous books because it was well arranged and accurate. The book contained many problems that were fine for that period. It was surprisingly advanced for its time and was the first work to give the Scotch Game: 1. e4-e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4, and also the 3… a6 defense in the Ruy Lopez. Ercole del Rio’s work formed the basis of the more elaborate Giuoco de Scacchi that Lolli, another Modenese was to publish thirteen years later. Shortly before his death he completed another work. La Guerra degli scacchi, the manuscript of which is in the J.G. White collection in the Cleveland Library, Ohio. In 1984 Christopher B. Becker published the Italian text, with extensive translation and comments, under the title The War of the Chessmen.