The Development of Chess Style - download book
The first stage of growth is the most difficult and lasts the longest: so it was in the story of chess.
The primitive chessplayer lived, so to speak, from hand to mouth. He made his move and hoped for the best. It was a matter of excursions with the pieces, punctuated by pleasant little episodes such as winning a piece or giving check especially giving check, which had a rare fascination for the early players. But systematic play was virtually non-existent; what happened on the board was largely a matter of chance.
Progress first manifested itself in the extent to which players were able to profit from more or less fortuitous opportunities; and in this respect the most typical figure from the early days of chess was Greco.
The following two games are taken from the manuscript written by Greco about 1025. The author evidently possessed an incisive power of combination and ability to see clearly into complicated situations. His manuscript consists largely of a collection of pretty tactical devices to which, however, the best defences were often not taken into consideration. They show one player going all out for mate while the other plays to win as much material as possible. These are chess fairy-tales on the age-old theme of the conflict between riches and honour; and very attractive fairy-tales they are, albeit somewhat primitive to present-day sensibilities.
The Calabrese, Gioachino Greco, was born about 1600 and died not later than 1634. He was the first great genius in the story of modern chess. His life was short, but the examples which he worked out set the pattern for a hundred years; some live on to the present day as an integral part of chess theory.
Author: John Nunn, Max Euwe
Title: "The Development of Chess Style"
Number of pages: 83
Size: 6 Mb