The Smith-Morra Gambit... Accept or Refute?

  • #1

    I am an aggressive sicilian defense player, and I have heard about this gambit. I learned two different lines in the Smith-Morra Gambit: The Smith-Morra Gambit Accepted, or the Smith-Morra Gambit Declined.

     

     

    The question is: Which option will give black a more playable position, Accepting the Gambit, or Refuting it?

  • #2

    there are many more ways to decline, I play g6 then the d5 counterthrust.

    depends what "playable" is to you.. like you said you like to attack so maybe you dont like to defend

  • #3

    Personally I don't like the The Smith-Morra Gambit.

  • #4

    I never accept.  Usually they don't really know what they're doing either after that. 

  • #5

    Accepting this gambit seems to be a bad idea. I was beaten by it two days ago, where I accepted and didn't play actively enough. A drubbing I'll never forget!

  • #6

    I can't resist accepting gambits and trying to keep my position solid. I love material.

  • #7
    Cutebold wrote:

    Accepting this gambit seems to be a bad idea. I was beaten by it two days ago, where I accepted and didn't play actively enough. A drubbing I'll never forget!


    I don't think you can judge how good something is theoretically solely from your own experience! Theoretically black is supposed to eventually get an edge if I remember correctly, but you have to be confident that you won't fall for the traps and know how to play when a pawn up but without the initiative.

  • #8

    Oh, I meant it seems to be a bad idea for me! Since I don't know the theory, playing the tamest continuation without a forest of complications is the best for me. Maybe I'll give it a look over - it's somewhat popular where I live.

  • #9

    as Elubas says, and the end of the day black should be better..

     

    but for 2 lower rated players, accepting leads to a very natural position for white, and its a much bigger strain for the black player. if white fails theyre usually trying to force a draw in an endgame, where if black fails its checkmate

  • #10

    The right thing to do is to accept the gambit, make sure you play a6, d6, e6 and also that White will never be able to push e5 under favourable conditions (that's the key idea in this gambit, if White can push e5, he has threats  and an easy game). The best thing you can do is to use the search function, this gambit has been discussed here in depth several times.

  • #11

    GM's do not play it and have called it unsound. I believe them. If you have time to study the opening, learn the lines and accept.

  • #12

    There are other ways to decline the gambit.

  • #13
    Elubas wrote:

    I can't resist accepting gambits and trying to keep my position solid. I love material.


    I'm a material glutton too.  lol.  I'm trying to learn to behave.

  • #14

    The only way to refute a gambit is to accept it. That is especially true here, because if black knows his theory white eventually ends up being a pawn down for pretty much nothing.

  • #15

    Accept the gambit! Smile

  • #16

    The move order you show is the Morra Gambit, which never caught on because Black can equalize with the declining 3...d5, and White has nothing.

    The "Smith-" part comes from Ken Smith, publisher of the old Chess Digest magazine and other chess periodicals and pamphlets, who made the gambit his own by adopting instead the basic Open Sicilian move order of 2 Nf3 and 3 d4, and only after 3...cxd4 played 4 c3.  He claimed a White edge against 4...d5 and 4...d3, and a free and easy development after 4...dxc3  5 Nxc3 with Bf1-c4, Qe2, 0-0, and Rfd1 to follow, trying to balance playing for e4-e5 with playing against Black's often weak Pd6 while not giving up the c-file for the normal counterplay.

    Smith's friend and collaborator, GM Larry Evans, did not agree and insisted Black is just a pawn up for a single tempo, which is not enough to defeat a Scheveningen set-up.  Smith played in the Church's GM event at San Antonio 1972 (won by Karpov, Portisch and Petrosian) and tried his gambit against several GMs.  In the tournament book, Larsen criticized Keres for playing 1...e5 against Smith "because facing this opponent 1...c5 wins a pawn!"

  • #17

    What did Smith play against 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 ? 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3?! allows 4...Nf6! as a strong reply Frown

  • #18

    Pedantic and wrong, IMO.  I remember getting Chess Digest when Ken Smith was editor, and I don't recall him ever advocating an e4-Nf3-d4-c3 move order.  It's not like you could've missed it, either, he was tireless in his enthusiasm for the opening.

  • #19

    white plays 2.d4 I would play Nf6.

  • #20
    gbidari wrote:

    GM's do not play it and have called it unsound. I believe them. If you have time to study the opening, learn the lines and accept.


    GM Milan Matulovic

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