Pedro Damiano

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pedro Damiano
Full name Pedro Damiano
Country  Portugal
Born 1480
Odemira, Portugal
Died 1544
Front page of his book

Pedro Damiano (in Portuguese, Pedro Damião; Damiano is the Italian form, much like the Latin Damianus) was a Portuguese chess player who lived from 1480 to 1544. A native of Odemira, he was a pharmacist by profession. He wrote Questo libro e da imparare giocare a scachi et de li partiti, published in Rome, Italy, in 1512; it went through eight editions in the sixteenth century. Damiano describes the rules of the game, offers advice on strategy, presents a selection of chess problems (see diagram), and analyzes a few openings. It is the oldest book that definitely states that the square on the right of the row closest to each player must be white. He also offers advice regarding blindfold chess principally focused on the need to master notation based on numbering the squares 1-64 (Murray 1913, 788–89).

In this book Damiano suggested chess was invented by Xerxes which would be the reason why it was known in Portuguese as Xadrez and in Spanish as Ajedrez. In fact, these words come from Sanskrit caturaṅga via Arabic šaṭranj.[dubious ]

Chess openings[edit]

In his opening analysis, he suggests that after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 the reply 2...Nc6 is best and 2...d6 (now called the Philidor Defence) is not as good. Damiano rightly condemned 2...f6 as the worst reasonable defence (Black can play 2...Qh4 or 2...Qg5 which is worse), but ironically and deceptively this opening has been given his name (Damiano Defence). He states that 1.e4 and 1.d4 are the only good first moves and that 1.e4 is better. He examines the Giuoco Piano, Petrov's Defence, and the Queen's Gambit Accepted.

Chess problems[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black king
b8 black rook
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
e4 black queen
b2 white rook
f2 white queen
a1 white king
b1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White mates in three
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
e8 black queen
f8 black rook
g8 black king
g7 black pawn
f6 black pawn
g6 white pawn
e2 white pawn
d1 white queen
f1 white rook
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White mates in five[1]


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Although this position has no white king, it is that way in the reference, A History of Chess

References[edit]