Giambattista Lolli

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Giambattista Lolli
Full name Giovanni Battista Lolli
Country  Italy
Born 1698
Nonantola, Italy
Died 4 June 1769

Giambattista Lolli (1698 in Nonantola, Italy – 4 June 1769) was an Italian chess player. Lolli was one of the most important chess theoreticians of his time. He is most famous for his book Osservazioni teorico-pratiche sopra il giuoco degli scacchi (English: Theoretical-practical views on the game of chess), published 1763 in Bologna.[1] He was one of the Modenese Masters. The checkmate pattern "Lolli's mate" involves infiltrating an opponents fianchetto position using both a pawn and queen, and is named after Giambattista Lolli.


Lolli Gambit
a b c d e f g h
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
f7 white bishop
h7 black pawn
e4 white pawn
f4 black pawn
g4 black pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
h1 white rook
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Moves 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+
Origin 1620
Parent Open Game
Synonym(s) Wild Muzio Gambit

Lolli's book contains analyses of chess openings, in particular the Giuoco Piano. Against the Two Knights defense, the line 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6. d4 is named the Lolli Variation. In the King's Gambit the variation 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ is designated the Lolli Gambit. It illustrates the Italian masters' style of uncompromising attack, which clearly differs from the rather more strategic considerations taken by, for example, the French chess player Philidor. However, it is considered obsolete as Black can obtain the advantage by 5...Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke8 7.Qxg4 Nf6 8.Qxf4 d6, and White does not have enough for the piece. (The Muzio Gambit, 5.O-O, is more promising).[2]


In addition, the book contain listings of 100 chess endgames. One of these positions was used by Wilhelm Heinse in his novel Anastasia und das Schachspiel (English: Anastasia and the game of chess).[3] This Lolli Position is from the pawnless endgame of a rook and bishop versus a rook. Although this endgame is a draw in general, White to move wins in this position (Benko 2007:154). Lolli also studied some defensive fortresses and the queen versus pawn endgame.

Lolli position
a b c d e f g h
b8 black rook
c4 white bishop
d4 white king
g2 white rook
c1 black king
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to move wins
with 1.Kc3 or 1.Kd3


  1. ^ Lolli, Giovanni Battista (1763), Osservazioni teorico-pratiche sopra il giuoco degli scacchi (in Italian), Bologna: in the printing office of Saint Thomas Aquinas 
  2. ^ Korchnoi, Victor; Zak, V. G. (1974). King's Gambit. Batsford. ISBN 9780713429145. 
  3. ^ Heinse, Wilhelm (1803), Anastasia und das Schachspiel (in German), Frankfurt am Main: Varrentrapp und Wenner, ISBN 978-3-598-51146-2