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NN vs Gioachino Greco
Rome (1620), Rome ITA
Latvian Gambit: Mayet Attack. Poisoned Pawn Variation (C40)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-25-08  jovack: Why are both sides so bad... There have been plenty of excellent players from past ages. They went after material as if the objective of the game were to score points.

Let's say the game somehow reached the 8th move. White could have easily taken the lead with a simple trade of queens (8. Qg5+). But no, white needs to try and set up a pointless trap to win the rook by taking the pawn. This blunder surrendered a critical tempo allowing black to infiltrate white's camp.

The best part of this, is he could have won the rook anyways after removing black's queen. 8. ... Qxg5
9. Bxg5 Be7 <better than knight, black must open up 10. Bb3 (could retreat anywher, I like b3) Bxg5
11. Nf7+, wins rook

the game is still unclear as black will most likely gain the 2minor piece vs 1 rook+pawn advantage but if he wanted the rook that badly, that was how to do it.

Regardless, both players are epic fail.

Jan-25-08  Tomlinsky: The game may not have even involved two players. A lot of Greco scores are studies that he conducted over 400 years ago. Study material was a bit thin on the ground back then not to mention the printing press was only 150 years old at the time.
Jan-26-08  wolfmaster: Black's attack was bad and White's attack was worse.
Feb-12-08  chasmichael: Surely after NxR.... Nh6 traps the Knight? I am playing this variation against an 18 yr old whippersnapper who claims to have a speed chess rating of over 2400; I am a tired nearly 64 year old teacher with a drooping rating of just under 1700, but I intend to beat this lad playing Bxg6 as White (the colour of my hair!)
Feb-12-08  EdwardChisam: This line is a hair-raising line for both sides that is sometimes played even today. Usually black does not play 9.... Qxc1, but rather 9...c6.

White could have forced a draw with 10. Nf7+ Ke8 11. Nd6+ Kd8 12. Nf7+, etc.

Feb-12-08  sigi: Some time ago I looked at this line and came to the conclusion that 9...c6? loses (e.g. 10.Nc3 Kc7 11.Bf4 Qxa1 12.Nxd7! ) and 9...Qxc1! leads to unclear positions. The Bc1 is more important for White's attack than the Ra1.
Feb-12-08  EdwardChisam: I know that the overall verdict of the line is that white gets a clear advantage, bordering on winning, whether you try 9... c6 or 9.... Qxc1. However, this is a good gamble for OTB as black if you really know the lines, who is going to figure this all out if they don't know it?
Mar-02-08  TommyC: Greco was not born in 1590. This game does not sparkle in his style particularly, either. Nor is it in the database. Is it mistakenly affiliated?
Aug-10-08  just a kid: Two attacks lead to White's demise.
Jan-03-09  WhiteRook48: this game was played before Greco was born! 10 years before in fact. How'd this get into the database?
Dec-19-09  SBC: The only "Greco Counter-gambit" games I could find in a Calabrian were:

Game LXX (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 3. Nxe5 Qe7 4. Qh5+ g6 5. Nxg6 Qxe4+ 6. Kd1 Nf6 7. Qh3 hxg6 8. Qxh8 Ng4 9. Qh4 Ne3+ 10. dxe3 Qxh4)

Game LXXI (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 3. Nxe5 Qe7 4. Qh5+ g6 5. Nxg6 Qxe4+ 6. Kd1 Nf6 7. Qh3 hxg6 8. Qxh8 Ng4 9. d3 Nxf2+ 10. Kd2 Qg4 11. Be2 Qf4+ 12. Kc3 Qb4#) [and three variations beginning with move 11]

Game LXXII (3. e4xf5) - an entirely different line.

I don't think the above game was from Greco, but rather a mis-attributed game probably created from the well-known Lu Muller - Paul Keres Latvian Gambit game which follows almost the exact same moves, until the very end.

L Muller vs Keres, 1934

May-10-10  JonathanJ: isn't 11.Nd6+ drawn?
Dec-27-10  BLarsen1967: <SBC> Thank You for posting the 2 greco games ! It's such great entertainment & art whenever El Greco takes on No Name (but,sadly,I doubt it any modern 2800 player would steer into the Greco Variation,they hardly play even the normal main line LG,I guess they're just too less demonic)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Comment by Richard Harrell in <Chess Life>, Feb. 20, 1948, concerning the game Charles Joachim vs. Joe T. Gilbert, US Open, 1947:


A brand new defense to the Greco, and apparently sound, although fantastically complicated. Unfortunately this discovery is accidental, as Joachim evidently did not realize the import of his move.">

I'm submitting the game, but here it is for the record:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Bc4 fxe4 4.Nxe5 Qg5 5.Nf7 Qxg2 6.Rf1 d5 7.Qh5 Nf6 8.Qe5+ Kxf7 9.Qxc7+ Be7 10.Be2 Bh3 11.Kd1 Bg4 12.Ke1 Bxe2 13.Kxe2 Qf3+ 14.Ke1 Nc6 15.c3 Rhe8 16.Rg1 Rac8 0-1

Jan-24-12  Knight13: <JonathanJ: isn't 11.Nd6+ drawn?> Yes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: When in Rome, do as the Romans do!

<Phony Benoni> Here's 'your' game: Charles Joachim vs Joe T Gilbert, 1947

Feb-21-17  Marcelo Bruno: It must exist an error at the first game of this collection: if Greco was born in 1600, how could he play in 1590?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: A: He was way ahead of his time.

Go Greco.

Apr-10-17  Yigor: ChessOK evaluations: 2...f5 (Latvian gambit, +0.76) 3. Bc4 (Mayet attack, +0.37) fxe4 4. Nxe5 Qg5 (+0.60; Polerio-Svedenborg 4...d5 is better) 5. d4 (+0.07; the fork 5. Nf7 is better) Qxg2 (poisoned pawn) 6. Qh5+ g6 7. Bf7 Kd8 8. Bxg6 (Duke of Courland variation). Stockfish shows that this variation is a pure theoretical draw!

PSCC: 2Eef (Latvian gambit) --> 6Ef3e --> 6Ef3e2D --> 6Ef3e2D --> 6EGf3e2D (poisoned pawn)

Premium Chessgames Member
  louispaulsen88888888: White should just take the draw with 11.Nd6+ Even Stockfish grabs the rook on h8 but that only risks losing. Did I just do that? Criticize the supercomputer’s move? Yes I did! Also I agree that it seems to be the Keres game mentioned above, not NN vs. Greco.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ziryab: As <SBC> noted, this game is likely not one of Greco's. Chessbase Mega 2020 has it attributed to Greco, but it is absent from <The Oxford Encyclopedia of Chess Games> (1981). In Peter J. Monté, <The Classical Era of Modern Chess> (McFarland 2014), it is credited to Giovanni Leonardo Di Bona da Cutri through 4.Nxe5, but there is no reference to 4...Qg5 in Monté's text. If Monté did not find it, it is not in any of Greco's extant manuscripts and likely not credited to Greco prior to the emergence of databases.

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