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Gioachino Greco vs NN
"Greco Roamin'" (game of the day Nov-10-2004)
Miscellaneous game (1620), ?, rd 41
Bishop's Opening: Lopez Variation (C23)  ·  1-0



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Given 101 times; par: 44 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-02-09  johnlspouge: Monday (Very Easy):

Greco vs NN, 1620 (23.?)

White to play and win.

Material: B for N+P. The Black Kd8 has 1 legal move, to c7, which the White Bf4 would cover, if Nd6 were not in the way. A check with Nd6 is therefore a likely candidate, but all checks with Nd6 presently lead to its capture. The Black Rf8 stops the check Nd6-f7+, but it can be deflected with a pattern similar to Philidor’s Legacy (a smothered mate).

Candidates (23.): Qe8+

23.Qe8+ Rxe8 [Kc7 Qxf8 is ruinous] 24.Nf7#

Feb-02-09  patzer2: For today's easy Monday puzzle solution, White forces a mate-in-two with the Queen pseudo sacrifice 23. Qe8+!
Feb-02-09  Shubes82: I think its great how these old games went all the way to checkmate, although I think part of that must have been because half of these "NN's" didnt realize what was coming. I can just picture this guy after the 24th move, looking for a couple ways to capture the knight or move his king to safety then a "oh, well...i guess thats checkmate."
Feb-02-09  FabrikaLaHun: <johnlspouge: [Kc7 Qxf8 is ruinous]> Is Rxe8 Nf7# much better? :-)
Feb-02-09  goodevans: <FabrikaLaHun: <johnlspouge: [Kc7 Qxf8 is ruinous]> Is Rxe8 Nf7# much better?> Yes. It shows you've recognised the utter hopelessness of the position and have the good grace to allow your opponent the chance to deliver a pretty mate. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Shubes82: I think its great how these old games went all the way to checkmate>

One possible explanation is that this game might not have really been played over the board. We suspect that many (maybe even all) of Greco's games were constructs, where he either invented or adapted a game to show a particular tactical theme.

This could explain why NN walked into the mate rather playing the less pretty (but still losing) 23...Kc7.

Feb-02-09  SmotheredKing: 23. Qe8+, when ...Rxe8 leads to mate by 24. Nf7# and 23. ...Kc7 drops the Rf8, not to mention setting the king up for a discovered check which will claim the queen if not prevented, AND hang the Ne7. In short, 23. Qe8+, 1-0
Feb-02-09  whiteshark: omg, I got it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: <fouard: Why does this thread start with posts from 2004?> Because people have kibitzed here before the game was chosen as Puzzle of the Day. This is quite common.
Feb-02-09  kevin86: Here is a case of Philidor's legacy-before Philly was even born. Maybe it should be called Greco's legacy-except...

Was Greco a real person or a collection of people? Were these games or just compositions?

Like Shakespeare to some,Greco is a real mystery.

A typical Monday puzzle:queen sac followed by mate.

Feb-02-09  Knight101: I didn't see the back rank mate. I would have played 23.Nf6+ hoping to win a rook and trun a positional advantage into a decisive material advantage. Either way Black's position is lost because didn't castle and excessive pawn play during opening, a playing style of 1600. A playing style I have played many a times and been punished for playing.
Feb-02-09  YouRang: An unusual queen-sac smother-mate, but not hard to spot once you see the uncovered bishop seals off c7 as an escape.

Other than that, it appears that NN did a lousy job of opening development. :-p

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: 23 Qe8+ is decisive, and that's enough. NN must have been stunned.

Sure it would have been nice had the reply 23...Kc7 also yielded an instant mate, but we can't have everything, can we?

Feb-02-09  mworld: I went with Nf7+ which wins therook as well. Qe8+ wasn't as clear to me since I apparently missed the mate in 15 that MAJ provided.
Feb-02-09  Kasputin: I saw 23. Qe8+ quickly but wondered if there was a forced mate. Anyway, I can't see anything better and so...

23. Qe8+ and if black plays the automatic ...Rxe8 then 24. Nf7#.

Black can escape mate by playing 23 ...Kc7, but then white can take the f8 rook (or the knight for that matter). White is also threatening Nxb5+ and this double check threatens more material gains (the black queen at c3). White of course could play Nxb5+ before taking the f8 rook (e.g., 23. Qe8+ Kc7; 24. Nxb5+ Kb7 (or ...Kb6); 25. Qxf8 cxb5; 25. Qxe7) and still be well ahead in material. But perhaps it is better to take the rook first and then see what black does. It is hard to see how black can simultaneously save the e7 knight and avoid the threat to the queen.

Feb-02-09  Smothered Mate: As you could probably guess, I got this one quickly.
Feb-02-09  mworld: lol, just played through the whole game and realized Nf7+ of course would just be a draw or another opportunity for Qe8+. so much for that.
Feb-02-09  BKITU: Poor NN. Guy can't catch a break.
Feb-02-09  whitebeach: My earlier brilliant analysis 23. Qe8+ Kc7 24. Nxc8+(??) missed the extremely obvious 24 . . . Rxf4, removing the checking bishop and giving black a semblance of life. The moral of this is never to engage in chess during Super Bowl festivities unless the opponent is even weaker than poor old NN.
Feb-02-09  WhiteRook48: this puzzle was so easy
Feb-02-09  ChessDaZaster: Thank goodness for Mondays. Otherwise I would never get these #($!&$ puzzles.
Feb-02-09  johnlspouge: < <Smothered Mate> wrote: As you could probably guess, I got this one quickly. >

I wish my handle were <Sundays> ;>)

Feb-03-09  TheaN: Monday 3 February


Material: /-\ ♘+♙ / ♗

Candidates: <[Qe8†]>

Saw this one yesterday but didn't have time to post. White's dominant position pay out by either mating Black or winning his only active Rook.

<23.Qe8†!> and Black's reply is forced.

<23....Kc7> after all, White wins by a <discovered protection> of c7 if 23....Rxe8 24.Nf7‡ 1-0: and that all because that same active Rook smothers his own King. After Kc7, however, White should be wary.

<24.Qxf8 > a move like Nxb5†† with the idea of Nxc3 does not work: 24.Nxb5††?! Kb6 25.Nxc3? Rxe8 . Also, 24.Nxc8†?? Rxf4 . Both of the resulting position are not good for Black but not immediately losing. After the simple Qxf8 Black is down a Rook, has no checks and discovered checks with double checks are threatened. It's over.

Time to check.

Jul-07-09  M.D. Wilson: You could see that smothered mate from a mile away.
Apr-20-17  Yigor: Stockfish evaluations (d=24+): 4. f4 (Lopez variation: Delayed KG, -0.06) exf4?! (Delayed KGA, +0.33/+0.53) 5. Nf3 g5? (+1.96) So, 5...g5? is a mistake (white should continue with 6. d4!) 6. h4? (-0.61). A white's mistake if black continues with 6...g4.

PSCC: 2EFe (Delayed KG) --> 6Fe3f*2E (Delayed KGA) --> 6Fe3f*2Eg --> 6Fe3f*2EHg

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