So what prompted this....well it was this.
It’s massive, by the time you finish reading it Chess will have a new history.
The book is even bigger than me!
The book has 900 pages for you to wade through and the first time we
are properly introduced to Gioachino Greco (1600-1634) is on page 830.
In a chestnut shell the Muslims introduced Chess into Europe via three different
channels. Up through Turkey, across the Med into Italy and from North Africa
into Spain. It was in Spain roundabout (according to Murray )1485 that someone
at the Spanish court decided to speed up the game by increasing the moves of the
Bishop and making the Queen what she is today, a Rook and Bishop combined.
The pawn was given two moves on it first go (games use to start 1.e3 e6
2. e4 e5. so to save time the player with the White pieces played 1.e4 right
away and their opponent replied 1...e5. This soon caught on and within a
short span of time all pawns could move two squares. The en passant rule
was introduced to keep in the positional tactic of a pawn on the fifth rank
being able to hold two unmoved pawns at bay and that is the chess of today.
So the next time some Herbert comes up to you and asks...
You can say the game we play today came from the Spanish in 1485.
Various players you may have heard of from this period include Ruy Lopez,
Stamma, Damiano, Paolo Boi, Salvio etc and they did their bit but it was
Greco’s 1620 book of basically opening traps which enthralled the reader
and kept the game on a popular keel at the lower levels because they were
short, sharp, full of joy and gave the reader a feeling of ‘Hey! I could do that.”
I had better clear up the bit about a 1620 book. Greco never wrote a book.
He wrote these traps and games out on loose leaf sheets of paper which he
used to sell to patrons, punters and anyone else who happened to pass by.
After he died these were gathered together and reproduced in various books.
This is one. Note the size. It is how a book should be and not a skyscraper.
It has been said the Morphy and Anderssen honed their tactical skills on the
games created by Greco, you too have been doing the same on Red Hot Pawn.
NN - Gioachino Greco Analysis Game 1620
Often you will see these games listed as Greco v N.N. (not known) but
Not Known is a silly name, how many Mr. Not Known’s do you know?
Everyone agrees these games are made up so let us call them analysis.
This 1620 warning about bringing the Queen out too early fell on deaf ears and to this
day it is still being ignored. Now a game from 2017, the Queen is lost in the same way.
polarbear - bttnpshrx RHP 2017
This 2018 game is move for the move an exact copy of a piece of Greco’s 1620 analysis.
thejoshie - Borgnecro RHP 2018
But the piece of analysis most often used and abused on RHP is this.
This little beauty has 128 Red Hot Pawn victims resigning on move 6
Marko Krale - de nar RHP 2018
However this is Red Hot Pawn and in some cases the lose of an a8 Rook
is a mere flesh wound, a trivial trifle, two RHP games have gone this way.
orcas321 - skpaw RHP 2017
Greco also composed this well known study. Black to play and draw.
I can give you a clue from this 2018 RHP game.
morphy - Elphinstone RHP 2018
(I told you Morphy picked up a trick or two from Greco.)
So with that clue the solution to 'Black to play and draw.' should now be easy.
That ends Part One of the History of Chess. In Part Two I will jump forward
to Francois Andre Danican Phildor (1726-95). Or perhaps not because there
is not much one can say about him. He never invented The Philidor Legacy,
he rarely played the Philidor Defence and nor did he ever say: “Pawns are the
Soul of Chess.” he actually said: “The pawns, they are the very life of the game.”
So that last paragraph will be ‘The History of Chess. Part Two.’
Next week I’ll continue with ‘The History of Chess Part Three.’
The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 179841