The Greek Gift: Lecture by GM Ben Finegold

In this lecture, GM Ben Finegold explains The Greek Gift and analyzes a few games. This lecture was recorded December 17, 2017 in the U1400 Class at CCSCATL..

Games Discussed:
Avrukh, Boris vs. Ramesh, Ramachandran, Ubeda (2001)
Greco vs. NN (1620)
Rufus vs. Dufus
Finegold, Ben vs. 1500 Player

Originally posted on the CCSCATL channel, but moved here for channel consolidation.

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39 Comments

  1. Omg I was dying laughing this entire video πŸ˜‚

  2. Hey Ben! I won a game today after playing the Greek gift. I knew it was going to work because Black's light squared bishop could not participate. Learned it from this video!

  3. Those kids we hear in the video are lucky, I wish I had Ben Finegold as a chess teacher when I was their age! Ben's jokes must fly over their heads for now, but they'll be able to look back on these lessons when they get older and appreciate their teacher even more. For now, I'm sure they think he's a bit weird because they don't get what he's saying πŸ˜‚

  4. "When you play moves like a6, you don't live long " This is so true i believe , for if someone lived long playing that , he would have his name associated with the opening. Since it s not the case, every one that played 1… a6 must have died young ! "truth hurts " ? πŸ™‚

  5. Ben talking about en passant being complicated reminded me of a funny(ish) story that I'd like to share with y'all. I was in the county jail once (I only mention that because it's relevant to the story), and I almost got into an actual fistfight with someone over the en passant rule.

    I had white and had already castled short, so he started pushing his H pawn, with the intention of destroying my pawn structure and opening up a line to my king. I played a couple of general improving moves while he played h5 and h4, and then when he played h3, I responded with the obvious g3, stopping the progress of his H pawn without having to capture it with my G pawn and open the G file in front of my king.

    When I played g3, he tried to take my pawn en passant by putting his H pawn on g2!

    I tried to explain to him that that isn't how the rule works, and he insisted that it is. In his mind, you're never allowed to move a pawn past another pawn without the opponent having the opportunity to capture it. He thought en passant was possible any time you advanced a pawn past another pawn.

    So then I tried to make him understand by explaining why the en passant rule exists. I explained that when chess was first invented, you could only move your pawns one square, even on their first move, meaning that in order to play e4, you had to play e3 first; that would've been a two-move maneuver. After a while, they realized that this was wasting a whole bunch of time, so they changed the rule to allow a pawn to move two squares on its first move. This change, though, was only intended to speed up the opening, so they had to add the en passant rule to keep from changing other rules or aspects of the game.

    He wasn't interested. He insisted that I was trying to cheat him, and that I was too embarrassed to admit that I had somehow overlooked his very clear intention in pushing his H pawn. I tried to get other people who play chess to explain it, and he wouldn't listen to them, either. And because we were in jail (see, I told you it was relevant) we had no internet access to actually look up the rule.

    The argument finally ended when I told him that his attempted en passant capture wasn't a valid move, and if he kept insisting that it was, we would just have to abandon the game. His response was to knock the board and all of the pieces (which I had spent a lot of time making) off the table and into the floor, while shouting various obscenities about me cheating and being bad at chess and being too proud to admit I made a mistake.

    It genuinely almost ended in violence. Over a chess rule dispute. πŸ˜‚

    Also…make sure that you know that, according to grandmaster Finegold, "not doing stuff is important, but knowing the importance of which is more important is more important. Not getting checkmated is the most important."

    You got that?πŸ˜‚

  6. Damm I've reached this position a lot of times..

  7. 37 years old i feel like the kid in the back of the class

  8. Actually, Daffy duck asked the abominable snowman what are the distinguishing characteristics of a bunny rabbit, and bugs bunny used the answer to convince the snowman to take Daffy hostage. Ben tried to make an analogy, and as we all know….

  9. I thought my favorite topic was the Greek Liver Attack

  10. first. this is the greatest moment of my life. (ive had a tough life)

  11. Funny thing is that position in the first game where black castled has been reached 1700+ times of Lichess. Bxh7+ was played 570 times. πŸ€£πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™

  12. There’s good and there’s not good, fifth is not good

  13. Bro almost made me think he did new lectures 😭

  14. Don't ask who the whistle blows for, it blows for thee

  15. I wonder if people keep calling it "the greek gift" because they think it has something to do with the greeks, or if they just translate the surname of the player "Gioacchino Greco". It shouldn't be called "The Greco gift"? I mean, I do not call Ben "Beniamino OroBene" …

  16. I could be wrong, but I know Miles had diabetes, so I suspect his early death had more to do with that, than how he played chess. Or do you mean to suggest that risky chess causes diabetes?

  17. The Greek gift comes from the great player of the past Gioachino Greco (Greco = Greek)

  18. π•Ώπ–π–Šπ•Ώπ–”π–π–Žπ–ˆπ•­π–Žπ–˜π–π–”π–• says:

    That "let me hook you up" line at 21:35 cracked me the fuck up!πŸ˜‚ πŸ’”

  19. This dude literally googled en passant for us. Holy Hell!

  20. 14:40
    "Did anybody ever tell you to walk your king up the board in the opening ?"
    "Yes !!"
    "No."

  21. Thanks for showing the game I played vs Greco in 1620.

  22. Im watching this in santorini… terrible

  23. 9 times out of 10 Finegold is hilarious!

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