Gioachino Greco (c. 1600 – c. 1634) was an Italian chess player and writer. He recorded some of the earliest chess games known. His games, all against anonymous opponents ("NN"), were quite possibly constructs (Hooper & Whyld 1992), but served as highly useful tools for spotting opening traps.
Gioacchino Greco was also known in Italy as "il Calabrese", which means "the Calabrian". Some sources quote that his parents were Greeks and that he had been born at Celico, a village near Cosenza (Murray 2012:828).
|This section uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
Greco was a remarkable chess player between Ruy López de Segura and François-André Danican Philidor, and authored a famous manual containing many traps and checkmating patterns. As one of the players during the age of "Italian Romantic Style", he studied the Giuoco Piano (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4) and published his analysis in the form of short games around 1625. In 1656, after his death, the manuscripts were published by Francis Beale in London. These games are regarded as classics of early chess literature and are sometimes still taught to beginners.
Among his games/constructions were the first smothered mate:
NN vs Greco, 1620
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O Nf6 5.Re1 O-O 6.c3 Qe7 7.d4 exd4 8.e5 Ng4 9.cxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Qh4 11.Nf3 Qxf2+ 12.Kh1 Qg1+ 13.Nxg1 Nf2# 0–1
and this impressive queen sacrifice:
Greco vs NN, 1619
1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Nf6 7.gxh7+ Nxh5 8.Bg6# 1–0
This composition by Greco uses the theme of the wrong rook pawn:
- Averbakh, Yuri (1996), Chess Middlegames: Essential Knowledge, Cadogan, ISBN 1-85744-125-7
- Gufeld, Eduard; Stetsko, Oleg (1996), The Giuoco Piano, Batsford, ISBN 0-7134-7802-0
- Hooper, David; Whyld, Kenneth (1992), The Oxford Companion to Chess (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-280049-3
- Murray, H. J. R. (2012) , A History of Chess, Skyhorse, ISBN 978-1-62087-062-4