Paolo Boy in a sketch from a British book (before 1898)
|Full name||Paolo Boi|
|Died||1598 (aged c. 70)|
He was born in Syracuse, Sicily (now Italy) and he was brought up for the church under the belief that Paolo would become a pope and a saint, because of a prediction, but Paolo himself formed different plans, he start to learn chess and a few years later he do an escape to Greece, then to Saragossa and return to Sicily as a great chess player.
He had played several times against Giovanni Leonardo Di Bona in Italy and the two chess players were considered equal. Then Paolo Boi and Giovanni Leonardo Di Bona won the strongest chess player of their time, the famous Spanish grandmaster Ruy Lopez, at the first known international Chess tournament in the court of Philip II of Spain at Madrid, in 1575. As a result, they became the strongest chess players of the era and henceforth the two were called the "Light" and "Lustre" of the noble game.
The chess treatises created by Boi were not preserved. A small number of his chess games have survived to our time, such as his party’s debut against the chess player Shovara, which gained fame, but only the first fourteen moves have survived.
He was the first who, without seeing the board, played three games at once, and at the same time conversed with other parties upon different topics. In France, Catherine de Medici, who was also an adept at Chess, showered favours upon him; and in Portugal he had the honour of having the King Don Sebastian for his adversary. Paolo Boi reached a happy old age, as long as he lived he never found a master, he held exclusively the sceptre of Chess.
Boi died in Naples. Historian H. J. R. Murray says he was poisoned by jealous rivals. Other sources say he caught a cold when hunting and died as a result of it. His body was buried in the church of Saint Francisco di Paolo; Prince Stigliano and many of the Neapolitan nobility followed him to the grave.
- May 16, 1999. "Boi, Paolo". Chess Encyclopedia. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
- Lange, Max (1974) , "Paolo Boi and Paul Morphy", The Chess and Genius of Paul Morphy (2nd ed.), Hippocrene Books, Inc., p. 378, ISBN 978-0882541822, retrieved 4 May 2020
- Chessgames.com, Scovara vs Paolo Boi (C53), 1575.
- Murray, H. J. R. (1913), "Boi, Paolo", A History of Chess, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-827403-3
- Hooper, David; Whyld, Kenneth (1992), "Boi, Paolo", The Oxford Companion to Chess (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-280049-3