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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Morra Gambit ...Bd7 (Read 18809 times)
SWJediknight
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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #21 - 07/28/10 at 18:15:02
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This is true, 2.Nf3 and 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3 is possible.  That move order contains a significant problem though if White doesn't want to be led into an Open Sicilian: 2...d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3 Nf6 is strong, 5.e5 (probably best, 5.Bd3 dxc3 leaves the bishop misplaced) 5...dxe5 6.Nxe5 and now 6...Nc6, 6...e6 or 6...Qa5 and Black is probably a bit better.  I've never trusted that line for White, so if using this move order (or the one below) I usually meet the ...d6 lines with 4.Nxd4.

I've also looked into the move order 2.d4 cxd4 3.Nf3 and 4.c3 which comes to the same thing.   This move order entices the dubious 3...e5 4.c3 (similar to the idea 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Nf3, encouraging the anti-positional 3...c5) but again Black has 3...d6 transposing to the line above.  Also if White wants to use that order to reach an Open Sicilian then 2...a6 is an effective response.
  
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Markovich
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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #20 - 07/28/10 at 17:02:19
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Yes, a hearty welcome, Hans Langrock, to our humble forum! 

The whole thing about the Morra is that it can be offered not only on the third move, but the fourth: e.g. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 (which is how I have always played the Sicilian) 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3.  So Black's answer to the Morra depends on what move he makes after 2.Nf3.  I, for example, must opt for a method that situates Black's pawn on e6.

  

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MNb
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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #19 - 07/28/10 at 11:22:02
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TopNotch wrote on 07/28/10 at 03:56:42:
I suppose a Morra player need be also quite expert in the equal lines following 2...Nf6.

Tops Smiley


No. Morra players hardly ever meet 1.e4 c5 2.d4 Nf6. In about one of four games Black plays 3...Nf6 though, which has been common knowledge at least since 1980.
  

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TopNotch
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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #18 - 07/28/10 at 03:56:42
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Maybe we can get Lenderman or Esserman to post something on this Gambit here as well.

Looking at the Chessbase Site just moments ago I noticed Lawrence Trent has a new CBFT out on The Smith Morra, so it would seem the resurrection of this thread is timely.

I suppose a Morra player need be also quite expert in the equal lines following 2...Nf6.

Tops Smiley
  

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Hannes Langrock
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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #17 - 07/10/10 at 01:17:15
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BPaulsen wrote on 07/08/10 at 22:38:19:
Off-topic:

A big welcome to Hannes Langerock, I'm a big fan of your CBM articles, especially your Petrosian 594B7A6E77687E751B01 articles in CBM 132/133.


I am happy that you like the articles (and that someone actually reads them).
  
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BPaulsen
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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #16 - 07/08/10 at 22:38:19
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Off-topic:

A big welcome to Hannes Langerock, I'm a big fan of your CBM articles, especially your Petrosian QID articles in CBM 132/133.
  

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Hannes Langrock
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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #15 - 07/08/10 at 19:06:52
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Djy wrote on 07/07/10 at 12:38:00:
Ouah! Hannes Langrock himself on the forum cool Cool and very interesting line Thanks you!


Thanks for these nice words. After a break of 4 years, I decided to defend the Morra case again, I just couldn't help myself  Smiley



MNb wrote on 07/08/10 at 01:06:08:
The reason I never have looked seriously at this is that White;s results have been disastrous in the past.


For the same reason (+ some general assumptions about exchanging pieces being a pawn down) I had dismissed 12.Nd5 in the past. But Deep Rybka 4 was so persistent in claiming that it's the best move, that I had to go deeper eventually.
By the way, White's performance in this line improves significantly after the move 14.Rac1.
  
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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #14 - 07/08/10 at 01:06:08
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The reason I never have looked seriously at this is that White;s results have been disastrous in the past. Langrock's main line actually has been tested:

Poenitz,S - Reiners,C [B21]
BdF corr BdF, 1996

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.0–0 Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.Rd1 Bd7 10.Bf4 e5 11.Be3 Nf6 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.Bxd5 0–0 14.Rac1 Rc8 15.a3 Kh8 16.b4 Qe8 17.Nd2 f5 18.exf5 Bxf5 19.f3 Nd8 20.Rxc8 Bxc8 21.Ne4 Qa4 22.Qd3 Bf5 23.Rb1 Bg6 24.b5 Bf7 25.Rb4 Qa5 26.Bg5 Qc7 27.Bxe7 Qxe7 28.bxa6 bxa6 29.Ra4 Qa7+ 30.Kf1 Qc7 31.Rxa6 Bg6 32.a4 Qc1+ 33.Kf2 Bxe4 34.Bxe4 Nf7 35.Ra8 Rxa8 36.Bxa8 Qb2+ 37.Kg3 Qb4 38.Qf5 Qe1+ 39.Kh3 g5 40.Qe4 Qd2 41.Qc4 d5 42.Bxd5 Nd6 43.Qb3 g4+ 44.fxg4 Qh6+ 45.Kg3 Qf4+ ˝–˝
  

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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #13 - 07/07/10 at 12:38:00
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Ouah! Hannes Langrock himself on the forum cool Cool and very interesting line Thanks you!
  

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La victoire est brillante mais l'échec est mat!  Coluche
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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #12 - 07/05/10 at 23:53:50
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Morra threads shouldn't be dead, so I'm trying to put some life into this one.  Smiley

I believe that among the ...Bd7 lines the Eliskases line (4...Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.0-0 a6 8.Qe2 Be7 9.Rd1 Bd7 10.Bf4 e5 11.Be3 Nf6) is the only really critical one.
The most interesting answer seems to be 12.Nd5!?. This exchanges a piece, but after 12...Nxd5 13.Bxd5 White has a dominating bishop on d5. The main line continues 13...0-0 14.Rac1 Rc8 15.a3! (gaining space at the queenside)
Now Black's only active plan seems to be 15...Kh8 16.b4 f5, but then after 17.exf5 Rxf5 18.Nd2! the knight is going to e4 and White has nice compensation for the pawn.
According to my database the whole line with 15.a3 has been played 9 times (7x in corr games) with both sides scoring 4,5 points.
After playing the line in more than a dozen online blitz games and doing some analysis with Rybka, I think it is objectively equal, but easier to play for White (especially OTB).   
  
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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #11 - 01/05/08 at 01:33:42
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Stigma wrote on 12/29/07 at 09:43:55:
As for wins against the Morra, sadly I have yet to face a White player who had bothered to study it in detail, they are usually just untheoretical hackers. If that trend continues I expect the points to keep rolling in!  Wink


This has been my experience also.

Tops Smiley
  

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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #10 - 01/05/08 at 00:08:39
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Thanks for this very informative reply. I stand guilty of sloppy research, I had simply overlooked the existence of this part 7 in CCN 94! It looks very useful, certainly it is nice to have a source that is more thorough than Palkövi and more White-friendly than Silman.

So it appears that Black can be very confident of his chances after 12.Rd2 0-0 13.Rad1, with both 13...h6 and 13...Rc8 looking promising for him? I have a lot of ideas to chew on now (12 b4!? MNb, 12.h3 Senador, 12.Nd5 Zelic, and 12.a3 Rc8 Equidistance [by transposition]), so I will try to stay away from this thread until I have some serious analysis to contribute!

Just some quick thoughts on Senador-Nanjo (12.h3 0-0 Bg5): I like Black after your suggestion of 17...Na5!, but maybe earlier White could have tried 15.Rxd6!? Qc7 (again those double-attack ideas, with ...Nd4 threatened) 16.Rxf6 (or 16.Qd2!? Rfd8! 17.Rxf6) gxf6 17.Nd5 which at the very least looks scary for Black to face over the board.

As for 13...Ne8 the time-loss involved makes me a bit skeptical, shouldn't White be able to drum up at least enough compensation somehow? In CCN 94 the point is made (if I read it right) that by Bg5xe7 White exhanges off his good bishop for Black's bad one, but Be7 is also a typical case of "a bad bishop protecting a good pawn" (according to rebel strategic thinker Mihai Suba). When I play these positions as Black I think of Be7 as the one defensive piece that single-handedly holds the fort on d6, often allowing Black's other pieces to operate on either side of the board (maybe this is just a matter of taste though).

That's why I would love to avoid having to deal with Bg5 altogether, and I have wondered if Black can simply meet the slow 12.h3 with his own slow 12...h6, but of course White can consider both 13.Nh4 and 13.Nd5 a la Zelic in reply and... I need to analyse some more  Wink
  

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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #9 - 01/04/08 at 14:33:06
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Yes I always wondered that too, since I play this variation with Black  Wink

Actually the lines with ...Bd7 were covered in two ways:

1) Via the move-order 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cd4 3.c3 dc3 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bc4 a6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.h3 e6 9.Qe2 Be7 10.Rd1 Be7 (CCN 91) Here 11.Bg5 is good.

2) The main line with Bd7: 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cd4 3.c3 dc3 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.Rd1 Bd7 (CCN 94) And somewhat embarrasingly I made the same mistake as Pálkövi  Undecided

According with the lines given in CCN, in the last game I would consider after 10. Bf4 e5 11. Be3 Nf6 12. h3 O-O 13. Bg5 to avoid the capture on f6 with 13...Ne8!?
17...Na5 removing the bishop from the diagonal also looks strong.

You will also see that I preferred a plan with Rd2 and Rad1. But in actual fact I made a huge mistake in that line after 10.Bf4 e5 11.Be3 Nf6 12.Rd2 Nf6 13.Rad1 Rc8! 14.Bg5 I only considered 14...Ne8 leading to even chances, which I still believe is correct.
However, I think I seriously underestimated 14...Bg4 (to the point of not mentioning it in the article). If White goes for 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Rxd6 then 16...Qc7! wins the exchange.
On the other hand 15.Qd3 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 Nd4 is not terribly promising.

In the meantime I tried to make 12.Nd5 work and was pleased to see Zelic try it (Zelic-Patak, Split 2004).
  
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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #8 - 01/03/08 at 13:59:36
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I don't think we are being harsh, pointing out these improvements can be useful to White and Black players alike, certainly it would be harsher to have to deal with them over the board.  Besides, Palkövi writing around the year 2000 could have used a reasonably strong engine to check these things.

I recall some excellent articles on the Morra by a certain Jensen in Correspondence Chess News, but I don't think our current Bd7 move order was discussed. I have sometimes wondered what the author might have had in mind...  Smiley

I have recently become aware of some games by the strong Philippinian player Senador where he insists on getting his bishop to g5, and is willing to spend a tempo on h3 to safeguard the d4 square. Right now I am inclined to think this is White's best attempt at real compensation. The first of these games was annotated by Gary Lane on ChessPublishing, by the way:

[Event "Asean Open"]
[Site "Bandar Seri Begawan"]
[Date "2001.??.??"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Senador, Emmanuel"]
[Black "Dang Tat Thang"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B21"]
[WhiteElo "2433"]
[BlackElo "2273"]

1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Nxc3 Nc6 5. Nf3 d6 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O Be7 8. Qe2 a6 9. Rd1 Bd7 10. Bf4 b5 11. Bb3 e5 12. Be3 Nf6 13. h3 O-O 14. Bg5 Be6 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Nd5 Bxd5 17. Bxd5 Rc8 18. a4 Qb6 19. axb5 axb5 20. Bxc6 Rxc6 21. Rd5 Rc5 22. Rad1 Be7 23. Nh2 Rfc8 24. Nf1 Rxd5 25. Rxd5 Rc5 26. Ne3 Bg5 27. Rxc5 dxc5 28. Qg4 Qd8 29. Nd5 g6 30. Qg3 Bf4 31. Qc3 Qd6 32. b3 Bg5 33. Qd3 Qc6 34. Qg3 Bf6 35. Qxe5 Bxe5 36. Ne7+ Kg7 37. Nxc6 Kf6 38. Kf1 Ke6 39. Ke2 b4 40. Nd8+ Ke7 1/2-1/2

[Event "Dato Arthur Tan Malaysian Op"]
[Site "Kuala Lumpur MAS"]
[Date "2007.08.26"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Senador, E."]
[Black "Nanjo, R."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B21"]
[WhiteElo "2380"]
[BlackElo "2165"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]

1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Nxc3 Nc6 5. Nf3 d6 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9. Rd1 Bd7 10. Bf4 e5 11. Be3 Nf6 12. h3 O-O 13. Bg5 Rc8 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Nd5 Be6 16. Rac1 Bg5 17. Rc3 Bh6 18. a3 b5 19. Ba2 Ne7 20. Rxc8 Bxc8 21. Nc3 Qb6 22. Qd3 Nc6 23. Nd5 Qb8 24. g4 g6 25. Nf6+ Kh8 26. g5 Bg7 27. Qxd6 Qa8 28. Bd5 Bb7 29. Nd7 Rd8 30. Bxc6 Bxc6 31. Nfxe5 Bxd7 32. Nxf7+ Kg8 33. Nxd8 Qxd8 34. Qxd7 Qxg5+ 35. Kh1 Bxb2 36. Qe8+ Kg7 37. Rd7+ Kh6 38. Qf8+ 1-0
  

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Re: Morra Gambit ...Bd7
Reply #7 - 01/02/08 at 17:40:09
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Actually some of the holes in Pálkövi's book stem from the Trends in the SMG 2 booklet, where you will find some short analysis to the games N.Regan-Duncan, London 1994. Pálkövi even quotes N.Regan and suggests 14.Qxe3!? so perhaps we should not be so harsh.
  
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