|Moves||1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6|
|Named after||Gioachino Greco|
|Parent||King's Knight Opening|
The opening is categorized as ECO code C40.
Of the several plausible ways Black has to defend his e-pawn, 2...Qf6 is considered one of the weaker choices, since the queen is developed prematurely and can become a target for attack. Also, the black knight on g8 is deprived of its most natural square. There is, however, no obvious refutation of this opening; White's advantage consists mainly of being able to develop more smoothly.
Although it is a popular opening choice by novice players, it has also been used by players who, according to International Master Gary Lane, "should know better".
Greco himself illustrated the following amusing line against this defense in 1620:
Morphy vs. McConnell, 1849
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Qf6?! 3. Bc4 Qg6 4. 0-0 Qxe4 5. Bxf7+ Ke7
- 5...Kxf7?? 6.Ng5+ wins the black queen.
6. Re1 Qf4 7. Rxe5+ Kxf7
8. d4 Qf6 9. Ng5+ Kg6 10. Qd3+ Kh6 11. Nf7# 1-0
- 7...Kd8 8.Re8#
Morphy vs. McConnell, New Orleans 1849:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Qf6 3. Nc3 c6 4. d4 exd4 5. e5 Qg6 6. Bd3
- 6.Qxd4! gives White a big lead in development.
6... Qxg2 7. Rg1 Qh3 8. Rg3 Qh5 9. Rg5 Qh3 10. Bf1 Qe6 11. Nxd4 (see diagram)
- ... and Morphy was better.
Paulsen vs. Busch, Düsseldorf 1863:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Qf6 3. Bc4 Nh6
- Making some sense, since Black is able to respond ...Qxh6 if White were to play d4 followed by Bxh6.
4. 0-0 Bc5 5. Nc3 c6 6. d4! Bxd4 7. Nxd4 exd4 8. e5 Qg6 9. Qxd4
- And again, White is ahead in development.