# Greek gift sacrifice

In chess, the Greek gift sacrifice (or classical bishop sacrifice) is a typical sacrifice of a bishop by White playing Bxh7+ or Black playing Bxh2+.

Greek gift sacrifices, or the threat of them, occur relatively frequently in play, especially at the lower levels. One of the most famous examples of the sacrifice is found in the game Edgard Colle versus John O'Hanlon, Nice 1930. Less commonly, a Greek gift sacrifice may be the prelude to a double bishop sacrifice, as seen in the game Lasker versus Bauer, Amsterdam 1889.

## Illustration

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
After 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Nf3 Bb4 6.Bd3 0-0??, the Greek gift sacrifice wins.

The position after the moves 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Nf3 Bb4 6.Bd3 0-0?? (see diagram) is a simple case where the Greek gift sacrifice works. White can play 7.Bxh7+! Kxh7 8.Ng5+ to force Black to give up the queen to prevent mate:

• 8...Kh8 9.Qh5+ Kg8 10.Qh7#
• 8...Kg8 9.Qh5 Qxg5 (9...Re8 10.Qxf7+ Kh8 11.Qh5+ Kg8 12.Qh7+ Kf8 13.Qh8+ Ke7 14.Qxg7#) 10.Bxg5 wins the queen.
• 8...Kh6 9.Nxe6+ wins the queen.
• 8...Kg6 9.h4 and there is no satisfactory way to meet the threat of 10.h5+ Kh6 (10...Kf5 11.Qf3#) 11.Nxf7+, winning the queen.
• 8...Qxg5 9.Bxg5 wins the queen.

Black could play 7...Kh8 instead, but due to poor king safety, it also leads to a lost position:

• 7...Kh8 8.Ng5 g6 9.Qg4 Qe7 10.Qh3 Kg7 11.0-0 Nc6 12.Nge4 f6 13.Bh6+ Kf7 14.exf6 Nxf6 15.Ng5+ Ke8 16.Bxg6+ Kd8 17.Bxf8 Qxf8.

These variations are typical of many Greek gift sacrifices, though the outcome is not always so clear-cut.