7

I checked my main games database and my book on the Smith-Morra, "The Modern Morra Gambit" by FM Hannes Langrock. I could find no examples of high-level players successfully employing this strategy to launch a kingside attack. The Smith-Morra focuses very strongly on quick central control and development, so it makes good sense to me that white's play will ...


6

When I play the Smith-Morra gambit, I attempt to entice black into playing this move via 3. Nf3: [fen ""] 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.c3 (4. Nxe5? Qa5+) * After 3. Nf3, I haven't announced my intention to play the gambit since it could transpose into mainline Sicilian Defence (although, black's 4...Qa5+ might commit you to it; see my recent question here)....


6

I could not find any master games which included 4. ... e5. Of the amateur games I found, the move produced the worst '%age win' result for Black of all moves listed. (Black's best response? 4. Nf6, being prepared to retreat it back to g8 if White pushes the e pawn. How the Hypermodernists would grin. These are all amateur games, remember... so you'll ...


6

I don't see why you can't just ignore the Queen on a5 for now and play Nf3, followed by Bc4 and 0-0. Then, there is no pin on the c3 pawn anymore and he must take on c3, after which you retake with Nxc3 and you're back into a normal Morra gambit position with his queen oddly placed on a5. If he doesn't take on c3, then you just take back on d4 with a large ...


6

It seems you only give Black extra options compared to the usual 2.Nf3 and 3.d4 Black can reach whichever Open Sicilian he was aiming for. He has made no concession since ...cxd4 was part of the plan anyway. As pointed by BlindKungFuMaster, 3...Nf6 will lead either to an Alapin, or to a harmless sub line of the Nimzo-Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5, ...


5

I've been playing the Smith Morra Gambit for about 5 years and am rated around 2000 FIDE currently. I regularly play the Morra(it is my only response against the Sicilian), and my performance with it is usually 100 or more points above my rating. Thus, the Morra definitely can be played against stronger opposition. However, if you are serious about ...


5

The gambit is perfect for amateurs, the gambit is tricky and could be deadly if Black underestimate White's attacking potential. I've personally used it to beat players around FIDE 2000, so it's fine for you to try.


4

2...cxd4 is the best move because it challenges White for coming up with something. If White just takes the pawn back with 3.Qxd4, Black can easily gain a tempo with 3...Nc6. The gambit starts with 3.c3. White is sacrificing a pawn for rapid development (4.Nxc3 recaptures the pawn with a developing piece), open bishop diagonals (b3-f7 diagonal) and ...


3

To summarize and without going into detailed variations, white has an easy game after e5 and all pieces can have perfect positions. Bc4 with pressure on f7, Nf3 attacking the e5 pawn, and if black is not careful Ng5. Bg5 and Nd5, pinning Nf6 in some variations. Qb3 adding more pressure on f7 and b7. After castling, doubling rooks on the d-file with ...


3

Most reference books will give the main line as 1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Nxc3 Nc6 5.Bc4 e6 6.Nf3 d6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Qe2 0-0 9.Rd1 e5 Followed by either 10.Be3, 10.h3, 10.Bg5, 10.a3 or even 10.b4. They usually evaluate this 'main line' as a dynamic equality. Repertoire books often offer other ideas for Black (with...g6, or ...Ne7, or ...Bb4, or ...a6 ...


2

3....Nf6 avoids the main lines for black because there is no Nc3. Instead you'll probably get something like a c3-sicilian, with 4.e5 Nd5, which is arguably an achievement for black. That's of course also very playable for white, maybe 5.Qd4 or 4.c4 poses some problems, but generally it is not a great idea to give options to your opponent if you don't have ...


2

I wouldn't go for 8...e5 in this position. When black plays e5 in Scheveningen/Najdorf and even in Smith-Morra gambit, it is usually connected with a win of tempo (attacking the knight on d4) or black is forced to do so because white is threatening e5. This simply isn't the case in the position above, as 9. e5 won't do much harm. Finally, the 8...e5 move ...


2

Yes. The Smith-Morra will suffice if you're playing 1600s. If you lose, then your problem is likely not because of the opening. The Smith-Morra gambit is for bottom feeders. You can still be 2000 FIDE and play it. But that's probably the rating threshold where you should switch to a more mainline opening. I've actually seen an 1800 rated player beat a ...


2

I'm rated around 1850 FIDE (approx as converted from the UK system). I play the Morra and it does me just fine - I've drawn against 2000+ players with it and do well against similar rated opponents. So if you enjoy it, play it - professionals excepted that's why we play chess!


2

2...cxd4 isn't vital for black in the sense that all other moves lose, but more in the sense that there is not really a good reason to avoid taking the d4 pawn. It's hard to think of another move that fights for the center control as well as ...cxd4. As for how it benefits white: the point of the Smith-Morra gambit is that it is a gambit; white will ...


1

To be honest, I see very little there, but Re1 also just looks like it is not in the spirit of the opening since it does little to add any pressure to the center. Of course, if black were to play d5, then it would make sense, but black will probably refrain from playing that for quite a while. Bc2 probably should be played there, and follow it up with the ...


1

Just play the main lines. The main lines are the main lines because that's the best chess. Otherwise, you'll get subpar positions. I used to be scared of the Sicilian until I picked up e4 vs the Sicilian by Negi. The first volume is necessary, but I ended up getting all three. Play 3...d6 and you'll either transition into a Smith-Morra or the main lines of ...


1

My experience has been that even stronger players don't like playing against the Smith-Morra because it takes them out of their "book". When the clock is ticking and they have to solve opening problems over the board that they might not be all that familiar with, that's a great equalizer. It takes them out of their comfort zone. If someone's playing the ...


1

Marc Esserman in "Mayhem in the Morra" gives 3 ... Qa5 a ?! and recommends 4 Bd2 followed by 5 Nxc3 giving "An enhanced Morra Accepted". If you play the Morra I can strongly recommend this book. In fact if you don't play the Morra, and don't even play e4 or the Sicilian I can still recommend it, it's one of the most enjoyable chess books out there! If ...


1

After 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 Qa5, 4.Bd2 seems to be a strong reply. There is only one game in the Game Database of ChessTempo (Cotonnec-Dourerassou), however, with 4.Bd2, white immediately tries to take advantage of the (too) early sortie of the black queen. After both 4....dxc3 5.Nxc3 and 4....d3 5.Bxd3, it is clear that white has a good version of 3.......


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