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Gioachino Greco
Number of games in database: 79
Years covered: 1590 to 1625

Overall record: +79 -0 =0 (100.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 King's Gambit Accepted (19) 
    C33 C34 C37 C38 C39
 Giuoco Piano (12) 
    C53 C54
 Bishop's Opening (6) 
 King's Pawn Game (5) 
 Philidor's Defense (4) 
With the Black pieces:
 King's Pawn Game (6) 
    C40 C20
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Greco vs NN, 1619 1-0
   NN vs Greco, 1620 0-1
   NN vs Greco, 1625 0-1
   Greco vs NN, 1620 1-0
   Greco vs NN, 1620 1-0
   Greco vs NN, 1620 1-0
   Greco vs NN, 1620 1-0
   Greco vs NN, 1620 1-0
   Greco vs NN, 1620 1-0
   Greco vs NN, 1620 1-0

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   NN Needs Fredthe... Reinfeld, Chernev, Horowitz, by fredthebear
   TJoker's KP Laughed at Fredthebear's Remarks by fredthebear
   Яяoи caяa by CharlieLuciano
   Il Greco by Halit4
   Il Greco by Runemaster
   riomanati's favorite games by riomanati
   Grecovian Piano by fredthebear
   SuperGMCheckIIIau's favorite games by SuperGMCheckIIIau

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(born 1600, died 1634, 34 years old) Italy

[what is this?]

Gioachino Greco, also known as Il Calabrese, was born around 1600 in Celico, Italy near Cosenza in Calabria. In 1619, Greco started keeping a notebook of tactics and games, and he took up the custom of giving copies of his manuscripts to his wealthy patrons. In 1621 Greco took off to test himself against the rest of Europe, visiting Paris and later, London. He spent the last years of his life at King Philipp IV's court and died in the West Indies, seemingly from a disease that he contracted there around 1634. He bequeathed his earnings from chess to the Jesuits.

He published his analysis of the contemporary chess openings (Giuoco Piano, Bishop Opening, King's Gambit, etc.) in the form of short games around 1625. In 1656, shortly 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.(1)

1) Wikipedia article: Gioachino Greco
2) Wikipedia article: Francis Beale (writer)

Last updated: 2017-04-19 04:45:15

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 79  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Greco vs NN 1-0111590RomeC40 King's Knight Opening
2. NN vs Greco 0-1161590RomeC40 King's Knight Opening
3. Greco vs NN 1-081619RomeB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
4. NN vs Greco 0-1131620Miscellaneous GameC50 Giuoco Piano
5. Greco vs NN 1-0171620Miscellaneous GameB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
6. Greco vs NN 1-0181620Miscellaneous GameC34 King's Gambit Accepted
7. Greco vs NN 1-0211620Miscellaneous GameB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
8. Greco vs NN 1-0101620UnknownC33 King's Gambit Accepted
9. Greco vs NN 1-0111620Miscellaneous GameC41 Philidor Defense
10. Greco vs NN 1-0191620Miscellaneous GameC23 Bishop's Opening
11. Greco vs NN 1-0131620Miscellaneous GameC33 King's Gambit Accepted
12. Greco vs NN 1-0101620Miscellaneous GameA02 Bird's Opening
13. Greco vs NN 1-091620Miscellaneous GameC53 Giuoco Piano
14. Greco vs NN 1-0111620Miscellaneous GameC40 King's Knight Opening
15. Greco vs NN 1-0161620Miscellaneous GameC38 King's Gambit Accepted
16. NN vs Greco 0-1151620Miscellaneous GameC23 Bishop's Opening
17. Greco vs NN 1-0171620Miscellaneous GameC53 Giuoco Piano
18. NN vs Greco 0-1501620Miscellaneous GameC02 French, Advance
19. Greco vs NN 1-0201620Miscellaneous GameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
20. Greco vs NN 1-0111620UnknownC33 King's Gambit Accepted
21. Greco vs NN 1-0211620Miscellaneous GameC41 Philidor Defense
22. Greco vs NN 1-0221620Miscellaneous GameC23 Bishop's Opening
23. Greco vs NN 1-0241620Miscellaneous GameC33 King's Gambit Accepted
24. Greco vs NN 1-0201620Miscellaneous GameC54 Giuoco Piano
25. Greco vs NN 1-071620Miscellaneous GameC53 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 79  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Greco wins | Greco loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-04-17  Petrosianic: You forgot to mention the fact that he was such a good player even though he only played 79 games in his whole life. If we're going to be silly, at least take it to the logical conclusion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Two games from 1590, then all the rest 30 years later!!! you folks here are so gullible!!!
May-05-17  Petrosianic: One sure thing about Joshka, when he makes a mistake, he always doubles down on it rather than being big enough to admit and correct it. (In this case, the mistake being that the database contains 100% of a player's games). It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't make so MANY.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: It must have been mentioned before but recently I've been reading how poor Greco's opponent were.

These games are from the book 'The Chess Games of Greco' by Hoffmann which is misleading as Hoffman himself states these games were made up.

From the preface of Hoffmann's book.

"Of his contests over the board, unhappily, no records remain; but he left to succeeding generations a legacy in the shape of a collection of imaginary games...."

Nowhere in the book does Greco give his name or any other name. It is always 'White' and 'Black.'

He analysed the opening and closed with usually a sparkling finish for effect and was showing us what wonderful things could be done with the chess pieces.

We actually owe him a great deal. His book printed round about 1620 helped keep chess alive and fired the imagination and inspiration of all who read it for a few 100 years.

Jun-30-17  Christoforus Polacco: My opinion is - almost every Greco's brilliancy can be compilation of a few similar games played before against his not too strong oponents who were defeated by phenomenal Calabrese at real games. For example ten years ago my friend made such typical error like NN : 1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 f6 ??? 5.N:g5 and black's position is lost. The same mistakes are cloned by centuries :)
Jun-30-17  Christoforus Polacco: ANNEX. But one real game (or 'compiled' game) can be a source of a few another compositions. For example the real is my game above and black's real answer was : 5.... fg and next white's 6.Qh5+ with fast mate in a few moves. In such situation Greco usual analysed another sensible possibilities : 5....Nh6 6.Qh5+ Ke7 7.Nf7 Qe8 8.Qc5+ d6 9.Q:c7 etc. That analysis could emerge sooner or later at real Greco's game or ... never :) But I suppose Greco played a lot and also had a lot of occasions to test his theory in practice. I think that is the secret of Greco's method and his games agaist NN. We can say - NN is Greco's 'collective opponent' from quite veritable contests.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Joshka> you seem to be the only person on this site who <always> gets this wrong: <...these are all arranged, faked, ect.>

If you mean ect to be "et cetera" then the abbreviation is etc.

If you are referring to electro-convulsive therapy then you have been right all along and I apologise.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Gioachino Greco facts:

- Deep Mind AlphaZero self-destructed when it heard it had to play against Greco

- Greco can mate with a king and two knights vs a king

- Greco can win against a tablebase from a losing position

- Greco once played a blindfold simul against Morphy, Capablanca, Alekhine, Tal, Fischer, Kasparov, and Carlsen, playing with just his king and one pawn against each. He won each game in under 10 moves.

- Greco can perform a triple check

- Greco can play 1. f3 and 2. g4 and still go on to win

- Greco is actually still alive. Death stopped coming for him because he was tired of being wiped off the board like a rank amateur.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: More Gioachino Greco facts:

- Some chess players can play blindfolded. Greco can play blindfolded bound and gagged in a straightjacket hanging upside down in a tank of water with 200 kg weights tied to each of his legs, and still escape before Harry Houdini can.

- Steinitz claimed he could give God pawn and moves odds and win. When asked about Greco, though, he fell silent.

- Greco has completed the Knight's Tour on an infinite chessboard. Thrice.

- Greco has never bothered to win the world championship for the same reason that Magnus Carlsen never bothered to win the championship of your local elementary school - too small scale and not worth his time.

- Greco was already at Grandmaster level when he was an embryo

- The first game of chess Greco played was against the doctor who delivered him, seconds after it happened. He won in 4 moves.

- Greco has only been checkmated once. He went on to win the game anyway.

- Greco was unanimously coronated as the God of Chess. As a romantic gesture, he decided to give the title to his then-girlfriend Caissa instead. Today, he still refuses to return her calls, telling her to 'git gud' first.

- Greco can win a game in -1 moves

- Greco can calculate combinations so many moves ahead that the board loops back to its starting position.

- Greco sometimes gives time odds: his opponents have as much time as they want, while he starts with 0 seconds on his clock, with no delay or increment. He always wins anyway.

- Greco is banned from chess puzzle solving competitions since, in the first one he entered, he ended up solving the entire game

- The only one ever to draw Greco was the guy who did the sketch of him in the upper right of this page.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Yet more Gioachino Greco facts:

- The developers of the successful 'Play Magnus' app planned to follow it up with the release of a 'Play Greco' app. However it didn't make it past the focus groups when they discovered that all it consisted of was a single screen reading 'you lose'.

- A major scandal rocked the computer chess world championship recently when one of the engines was accused of consulting Greco for moves

- The usernotes of the old ICC user 'Smile' were actually accurate. What he doesn't tell you, though, is that he was Greco's student, and his teacher considered him a disappointment.

- Greco once played an illegal move. It then became legal.

- Mr. Spock once played a game of three-dimensional chess with Greco. When it was over, the Vulcan decided to take up 1-dimensional chess instead.

- Scientists once tried to program a computer based on Greco's brain. The result is what we commonly refer to as 'God'. Greco still gives it queen odds and wins.

- Greco can win games by sacrificing his king

Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: Hey <Darth>. These belong on the Odd Lie page.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Boy, those Nuns could play a mean game of chess...
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: And even more Gioachino Greco facts:

- No one ever won a game of chess by resigning. Except for Greco.

- Alekhine once tried to use Alekhine's Gun in a game against Greco. He countered with Greco's Thermonuclear ICBM.

- Greco once published a chess puzzle with a 1500+ move solution that involved white sacrificing all of his pieces, promoting all of his pawns and sacrificing them, and then promoting his last pawn to a knight to deliver a smothered mate to black's king in the middle of the board. When people complained that the puzzle was too complex and could never have been solved in a human lifetime, Greco revealed that he just took it move for move from an ultrabullet game he played the previous night while he was half asleep.

- Greco, like Fischer, once won a tournament with a score of 11-0. The difference is that the tournament Greco played in only had 10 rounds.

- Greco receives a brilliancy prize every time he takes a breath

- NN used to be a famous and world-renowned player until Greco beat him so badly that he erased his name and identity out of shame.

- Greco's opponents kept inventing new types of odds to try to give them a chance against him. Once they got to King and 62 Queens vs. King and still couldn't win, they finally stopped.

Jan-11-18  Christoforus Polacco: <Darth Stapler> You are mistaken Greco with Chuck Norris ;)
Jan-11-18  todicav23: <Darth Stapler> Very good job! We need more facts about Greco.
Jan-26-18  Kaspablanca: <Christoforus Polacco> Chuck Norris and Mcgyver.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Sally Simpson: It must have been mentioned before but recently I've been reading how poor Greco's opponent were.>

Yes, only two of them even owned a pair of shoes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: 'Tis a shame that Gioachino Greco never played Roman Dzindzichashvili

We would have a ready-made pun - Greco - Roman Wrestling!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi Joshka,

"...who did Greco learn the game from?"

This link:

Takes you to an 1819 translation of Greco's Games by William Lewis.

Lewis says on page vii that Greco "...accidently learned the game of Chess."

How does one accidently learn the game of chess?

Start moving the P's,R's, B's, Q's and K's from a Scabble set on a checkered table cloth?

There are not enough P's you only get two P's per Scrabble Set.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Have decided to do a proper and correct 'History of Chess.' because most of which has gone on before has been over elaborated and is quite frankly wrong.

It' all started in 1485, Greco picked up the ball roundabout 1620 and we have been running with it ever since.


Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Some people claim that Greco's 100% win rate in the database is misleading, as we don't have all of his games. They're right - if we did have all of his games on file, his winning percentage would be even higher.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: An attempt was once made to calculate Greco's ELO rating. It failed, but they did discover the largest known prime number in the process.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe. To Greco, though, it's more of a water droplet.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Modern grandmasters try to memorize opening lines from the top chess engines. The top chess engines try to memorize opening lines from Greco.
Jul-26-19  Chesgambit: Overall 100%
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