The Smith Morra Gambit- Hopefully Refuted
This week’s opening is a well-known gambit in the Sicilian Defense, the Smith Morra Gambit. This gambit is reached after 1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3!? White offers a pawn for a lead in development and to open lines for his pieces. This isn’t completely sound, and really isn’t seen on the highest level. However, in club level and internet blitz, this is seen frequently. Black is often forced to defend positions in unfamiliar territory, so this system does carry some bite. As a Sicilian player, I have faced this opening and I have had some troubles and lost a lot. I finally won vs. this system a few days ago, but my position was much worse for much of the game. This article will give what I think is black’s best defense.
Okay, so here is the basic theory:
Okay, now for some examples. Even though I’m trying to give you a repertoire for black, I want to seem somewhat neutral, because some people reading this may play this with white. So, I will give a win and a loss.
This first example is a perfect example of the minefield black is forced to walk through; the slightest and seemingly unimportant inaccuracy can be black’s downfall.
This next game shows that if black can survive white’s onslaught in the early middlegame, he can generally look forward to a pleasant endgame.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s column on the Smith Morra Gambit. This opening is a real clash of styles. If you’re white you play an exciting game, filled with attacks and sacrifices. If you’re playing black, you have a tough road ahead of you, but remember that it will be your time to shine in the endgame if you survive white’s attack. I’m confident black can!