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Essential conditions for a Greek gift sacrifice

Nov 29, 2021 · Last updated: Nov 30, 2021 ·
Posted in weblog#diversions
Categories: chess

Checklist to make sure the Greek gift sacrifice will work in a certain position:

  1. The opponent has castled kingside.
  2. You must have a bishop that can sacrifice itself for the h7/h2 pawn.
  3. The pawn must not be defended by any piece other than the king.
  4. You must have a knight that can hop into the g5/g4 square that can give a check in case the king takes the bishop.
  5. The g5/g4 square must be protected. Otherwise the knight can just be taken by the opponent's queen.
  6. You must have a queen that can land itself in h5/h4 to threaten checkmate. The only way to prevent checkmate is for the opponent is to give up the queen for the knight, or to protect the h7/h2 square.
  7. The opponent must not have a way to protect the h7/h2 square directly with a bishop on the h7-b1/h2-b8 diagonal. This is the condition that is forgotten the most.

An example of a position where the greek gift sacrifice is possible:

greek gift