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A Defense to the Smith-Morra Gambit?

  • #41
    GagarinGambit wrote:

    Actually black has two transposition options: not only the Alapin after 1.e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 Nf6 (or 3... d5), but also the French or the open Sicilian with 1. e4 c5 2. d4 e6. Now, 3. Nf3 leads to the e6 Sicilian, while 3. c3 d5 4. e5 is the advance variation of the French. Granted, most Sicilian players wouldn't feel comfortable playing the French, but that's also true about most Morra Gambit players.

    3...d5 is not good, since Black has already taken on d4 and c3 is available for the b1 knight.

    1.e4 c5 2.d4 e6?! is also not terribly good due to 3.d5, which is not the most desirable Schmidt-Benoni for Black.

  • #42

    Thanks for the comment pfren. I wasn't aware of the 3.d5 transposition (and perhaps it's not common knowledge at all, as I had a 2100 reply 2..e6 in an OTB game recently), I'd better look into it.

  • #43
    McNastyMac wrote:

    ghostofmaroczy, so true. I played it as black last friday on an otb tournament and won, it must be extremely frustrating to have the attack stopped and then win with the extra pawn you gave black. :)

    Now for an ego-crusher go analyze the game and see all the mistakes your opponent made that let you off the hook. Better yet post it here so we all can analyze it.

    It's no more frustrating to lose playing gambits than losing normally.I actually think it's less frustrating since even if you lose with the Smith-Morra you know you went for it and played fun, exciting chess.

    A lot of endgames with just an extra pawn are drawn. Thus if black makes a mistake he loses, while if white makes a mistake he often still gets a draw.

    Perhaps some IMs and GMs who are condescending of the gambit are so because they're jealous that at their level where people never make mistakes they can't play them. Instead they must play things like the Berlin Wall defense.

  • #44

    FriendlySquid, just did so yesterday. The game was, in fact, pretty awful. I made a couple of (luckily) small mistakes, and ended up very very back in development (like he had everything but the rooks and a knight playing, and I had a pawn on a6 and another on e6). However, the placed the rooks on the e and d files instead of d and c, and that lifted up a lot of pressure. And finally, he lost a pawn on a knight move, he miscalculated and in between move. But my coach said it was a very mediocre game...
    The best of all, the score. Smile 

  • #45

    Congratulations on the win, and sorry if I seemed a bit touchy, I just get defensive of my gambit openings since people are wrongly being condescending to them all the time.

    When I first started chess I read and heard from so many people that "The Smith-Morra gambit is an unsound opening, etc" that I started to view this gambit with condescension too. Then as I analyzed my wins against it I saw there was almost always that moment in the game where white would suddenly get a big spike of advantage, just that my opponents were often missing this opportunity.

    As I recall, at least once this spike of white advantage was because they could have done a bishop sacrifice on d5, and this was on a game where I had played e6 as I used to use the Nge7 lines before switching to what I use now, the kingside fianchetto variation.

  • #46

    This is kind of a Smith-Morra, with the gambit on c3.

  • #47

    #49 is how NOT to play the Morra as white (4.c3?! Nf6! and white has no convenient way to defend the e4 pawn, leaving aside the meek 5.Qxd4).

  • #48

    Use the Chicago defense with the rook lift and you should use the extra pawn.

  • #49

    You should accept the gambit and do the chicago defense or you should transpose into the alpain sicillian

    يجب أن تقبل هذه المناورة والقيام الدفاع شيكاغو أو يجب تبديل في sicillian alpain

  • #50

    Check out chessbases opening book text using Knight to E7. Black has a huge winning percentage compared to different lines.

  • #51

    last USCF rated game I ever played was a smith morra vs a former Illinois Chess Champion.  Earlier in the tournament I drew with a smith morra vs a 2415 player and beat an expert. 

    However, I would not be surprised if there is a refutation to that gambit.


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