Greco Defence

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Greco Defence
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
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 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
f6 black queen
e5 black pawn
e4 white pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
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
Moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6
ECO C40
Named after Gioachino Greco
Parent King's Knight Opening
Synonym(s) McConnell Defense

The Greco Defence (or McConnell Defense), named after Gioachino Greco (c. 1600 – c. 1634), is a chess opening beginning with the moves:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Qf6

The opening is categorized as ECO code C40.


Discussion[edit]

Of the several plausible ways Black has to defend his e-pawn, 2...Qf6 is considered one of the weaker choices, since the queen is developed prematurely and can become a target for attack. Also, the black knight on g8 is deprived of its most natural square. There is, however, no obvious refutation of this opening; White's advantage consists mainly of being able to develop more smoothly.

Although it is a popular opening choice by novice players, it has also been used by players who, according to International Master Gary Lane, "should know better".

Examples[edit]

Greco line[edit]

Greco himself illustrated the following amusing line against this defense in 1620:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Qf6?! 3. Bc4 Qg6 4. 0-0 Qxe4 5. Bxf7+ Ke7

5...Kxf7?? 6.Ng5+ wins the black queen.

6. Re1 Qf4 7. Rxe5+ Kxf7

7...Kd8 8.Re8#

8. d4 Qf6 9. Ng5+ Kg6 10. Qd3+ Kh6 11. Nf7# 1–0[1]

McConnell game[edit]

Morphy vs. McConnell, 1849
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black pawn
e6 black queen
e5 white pawn
g5 white rook
d4 white knight
c3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 11.Nxd4

Morphy vs. McConnell, New Orleans 1849:[2]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Qf6 3. Nc3 c6 4. d4 exd4 5. e5 Qg6 6. Bd3

6.Qxd4! gives White a big lead in development.

6... Qxg2 7. Rg1 Qh3 8. Rg3 Qh5 9. Rg5 Qh3 10. Bf1 Qe6 11. Nxd4 (see diagram)

... and Morphy was better.

Busch game[edit]

Paulsen vs. Busch, Düsseldorf 1863:[3]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Qf6 3. Bc4 Nh6

Making some sense, since Black is able to respond ...Qxh6 if White were to play d4 followed by Bxh6.

4. 0-0 Bc5 5. Nc3 c6 6. d4! Bxd4 7. Nxd4 exd4 8. e5 Qg6 9. Qxd4

And again, White is ahead in development.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Opening Lanes Gary Lane, Chesscafe.com, 2001, last question on the page.
  2. ^ Benjamin, Joel; Schiller, Eric (1987). "Greco Defence". Unorthodox Openings. Macmillan Publishing Company. pp. 91–92. ISBN 0-02-016590-0. 
  3. ^ Schiller, Eric (1998). "McConnell Defense". Unorthodox Chess Openings. Cardoza Publishing. p. 287. ISBN 0-940685-73-6.