Last week we started our little journey into chess history. We want to look at the most important classical games. The ones that moved chess theory and broadened the general understanding of the game. In my opinion no chess player can call himself really educated (in the chess sense of course) if he doesn't know at least some of these games.
There are not many chess players who could compete with the legendary Gioacchino Greco by their input into the theory of our game. Most of Greco's analysis is valid even today, almost 400 years later. And the next game is a very convincing refutation of the bad 2...f6? defense, which by the way is very popular on chess.com (I judge by the games of my students who play here frequently).
(Just like in most of my articles I give you a chance to test your chess skills, so the games are given as a Quiz. Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list".)
The next game features the famous trap in the Queen's Gambit Accepted. When I was a kid, I was so excited after learning it that I immediately switched to 1.d4 from my usual 1.e4 hoping to trap someone. Unfortunately I quickly realized that the trap is so well-known that it was very naive on my part even to hope that there are still chess players who are not aware of it. So after a while I switched back to 1.e4
The following game is probably the earliest example of a very common combination known as "the Greek Gift Sacrifice."
As you can see Greco was a very talented tactician (and the founder of the so-called Italian School of chess). The next cute combination with unexpected 'smoothered' mate is another proof of his combinational gift.
If you are under the impression that all these games have only a historical value, please look at the next game. GM Wolfgang Unzicker convincingly demonstrates why it is very important to know chess classics.