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NN vs Gioachino Greco
"Happy Smothers' Day" (game of the day May-08-2005)
? (1625)
King's Gambit: Panteldakis Countergambit. Greco Variation (C30)  ·  0-1


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Given 95 times; par: 33 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-10-05  Jaymthetactician: But Kasparov's analysis on this game is better then the actual game! Even according to Fritz! Anyone want to analyse 3.Bc4 in this game? I feel it is better then the game.
May-10-05  Jaymthetactician: The surprise to me is that they found any good moves almost 400 years ago.

Well, the openings we know of today are the result of common sense.

May-18-05  Jaymthetactician: On Kasparov's analysis:

1. e4 e5
2. f4 f5
3. exf5 Qh4+
4. g3 Qe7
5. Qh5+ Kd8
6. fxe5 Qxe5+
7. Qe2 Qxf5 (7.Qe2! suggested by Kasparov)
8. d3 Nf6
9. Bh3 Qd5
10. Nf3 Bc5 is supposedly -.25 better for black though.

and Kasparov's origninal suggestion would bring:

7. Qe2 Qxf5
8. Bh3 Qxc2
9. Nc3 Nc6
10. Nf3 Nh6
11. Rf1 d6
12. Bg2 which is supposedly -.92 better for black!

computers however suggest 8.Ne2?, but I cant help but think that even the game continuation is better, as after feeding that to a computer it gives:

7. Be2 Nf6
8. Qf3 Bc5
9. Nc3 Re8
10. Nh3

I think it's hilarious how this NN patzer spotted a more accurate move then chesslab.

Computer's suggestion:

7. Ne2 Nf6
8. Qf3 Bc5
9. Nbc3 Re8
10. d3

I used to say exf5 was blunder, but in reality is best.

Dec-12-05  DeepBlade: The coolest mating patterns
-Smothered mate (including Queen sac)
-Queen sac, normal mate
-mate with minor piece(s)
-mate with 0-0 of 0-0-0
Feb-14-06  Whitehat1963: What a great little puzzle from the Player of the Day after 15. Nf3!
Feb-25-06  McCool: That was a nice Queen sacrafice.
Jan-02-07  Sibahi: Ouch!!
Apr-04-07  realbrob: One of the first recorded examples of the smothered mate, I guess.. Fascinating! Is 2..f5 a good move?
Apr-28-07  ketchuplover: What about 5. fxe4 ?
Oct-04-07  wolfmaster: Only NN would fall for this one.
Jan-28-08  wolfmaster: The true Philidor's(or is it Greco's?) Legacy.
Jan-28-08  Petrosianic: Not quite. It goes back even farther than Greco. The earliest Smothered Mate shows up as far back as Lucena's 1497 book. Not sure how Philidor got his name on it. He probably had a better agent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Somebody threw this Panteldakis Countergambit at me the other night, and it was a big surprise. Fortunately for me, his name wasn't Giaochino Greco.
Aug-18-09  tentsewang: What a genius Greco!
Oct-16-09  WhiteRook48: 15 c3 is the best chance
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: I have first learned of THE GREAT SMOTHERED MATE - as Mr. ADDICTION-TO-CHESS has labeled that constellation in his corresponding game collection - by studying a German-language book on famous matches, a fine compilation that had been composed by Martin Beheim-Schwarzbach. The first match in the collection is a brilliancy by Our God Morphy, please see Morphy vs Schrufer, 1859 , and that was the first time that I have ever seen the constellation of the SOMTHERED MATE. I was deeply impressed, so I tried to learn the moves of that match by heart, and I deeply hoped for that I would ever get the chance to execute a final blow like that too. And the miracle took place one year later when I got that chance, FOR REAL! Well, the circumstances were quite murky, but in the end, there it was coming up, that GREAT SMOTHERED MATE ... B Koester vs R Gralla, 1971 ... :-) ... And only many years later I have found out that it had not been my beloved Morphy who had first executed that knock-out by combined force of Queen and Knight on the board, but this match here of legendary Greco round about 1625 ... with some extra trick, since Greco does not execute the capture of the opposing King in some shady corner of the battle ground - as it has been the case in Morphy vs Schrufer, 1859 and in B Koester vs R Gralla, 1971 - but in full daylight, under the treacherous shining Sun of the South ... :-) ... And not enough with that, there is something strange with that match ... - since Greco's constellation happens to constitue some crazy parallel to Chinese Chess XIANGQI! How come? Well, in the Asian 2200-years-old version of the MOTHER OF ALL BATTLE GAMES the opposing Commanders-in-chief are forced to stay in their HQs in the center of the board, therefore - if you want to knock-out the chief by smothered mate - then you have to do it similar to the way Great Greco has done it. Therefore the smothered mate in XIANGQI looks similar to Greco's matrix from 1625, an amazing parallel in those two worlds apart, the World of Chinese Chess and the World of Western Chess. Me, I have once got the chance to execute a smothered mate in Chinese Chess just the way Greco has done so on a different board - by attacking and killing Red General (that is the corresponding piece to White King) by leading a Black Squadron via Black's left flank against the right wing of Red (that is to say: "White" ...) Palace!! It is One World, the World of Chess - be it Chess the Chinese Way or Chess the Western way ... :-) ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: Maybe you doubt that there could be a kind of parallel between the Western Chess-style smothered mate in NN vs Greco, Italy 1625,and a position of smothered mate in Chinese Chess more than 350 years later?! Then have a look at the final position of a match of XiangQi, having been played in Hamburg, Germany, between Daniel Koll (Red) and Rene Gralla (Black) in 2003, please check out the German-language feature "Die Mattkrallen der Shaolin" at, by scrolling down until the end of the feature and by comparing the positions on the last two diagrams! A strange case of replay ... bridging the gap between different worlds that are separated by hundreds of years ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: Even the girls know how to brutally finish off their opponent's King by THE GREAT SMOTHERED MATE, just have a look at an incidence during the Chess Olympics at Calvia 2004: S Duron vs V Garcia-Castro, 2004 ... and again it is the Black army that strikes that way ... 379 years after NN vs Greco!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: Anybody interested in knowing how the Master himselfhas assessed the GREAT SMOTHERED MATE? In case that you either speak German or you do not hate to work with a translating device: Greco's treatise has been re-edited by the Edition Olms, by publishing an edition by Hirschel on Greco dating from 1784 (German title: "Das Schach des Herrn Gioachino Greco Calabrois und die Schachspiel-Geheimnisse des Arabers Philipp Stamma"), please see the German-language interview with Mr. Manfred Olms, and there is an annex of chess that discusses the GREAT SMOTHERED MATE too, please see , Greetz, Nightsurfer
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: The strange coincidence between Grecos's SMOTHERED MATE in Italy way back in 1625 and a rather absurd parallel case in Chinese Chess 378 years later in Northern Germany - please compare the synopsis at - makes one wonder about the diversity of chess and the advantes and disadvantges of the different versions of chess. And there is even one expert - the outspoken Professor David H. Li from Washington DC - who pretends that Chinese Chess is superior to our mainstream chess, please read "Give up Western Chess ...!", part I of the (English-language) interview with Professor David H. Li at ! At least the wide-spread training in Chinese Chess that is common among kids in China may be the reason for the remarkable success of Chinese players on the international stage of mainstream chess these days, the foregoing point has been made by Professor David H. Li in part II of his interview, please check out !
May-06-11  jbtigerwolf: People are rubbishing Black's play, but I will try this myself. I won the other night with the Falkbeer, even though I didn't understand it!

But this Panteldakis thing looks okay. The fact that Black's play looks worse than it is sits fine with me. You can see the threats and attacks possible if White plays inaccurately.

I have to be honest I like this. That idea of 7.Qe2 and then 8.d3 looks good for White, but still no problems for Black. I like it.

Jun-22-11  Llawdogg: Double check, queen sacrifice, smothered mate!
Oct-04-15  The Kings Domain: Gotta love the games of Greco, whether they were actually played or composed by him there's no denying their instructiveness and fun. With his games one can perhaps conclude that the origin of modern Chess strategy was born.
Feb-15-16  Ulhumbrus: 11...Rxh1 displaces White's queen from f3 and her cover of the g3 square, making possible the check 12...Qg3+
Mar-06-18  schnarre: ...Greco sneaks it in once more!!
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