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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) History of the 'Morra' Gambit (Read 23388 times)
Djy
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #28 - 09/20/11 at 19:01:13
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Dragonslayer wrote on 09/19/11 at 15:51:43:
The Langrock book has a drawing on the cover which I have seen referred to as depicting Pierre Morra. Is this true?


Yes true
  

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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #27 - 09/20/11 at 13:32:01
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One could likewise argue that 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.cxd4 Nc6 belongs to the Caro-Kann (3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nc6 5.cxd5 Qxd5) while 3...g6 4.cxd4 d5 5.exd5 Nf6 is usually called the Panov-Botvinnik Attack.
  

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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #26 - 09/20/11 at 09:53:02
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About c3 sicilian and Morra gambit transposing, I had the impression that  2 .. Nf6 was mainline in Alapin sicilian. Several black repertour books against c3 sicilian recommends d5 instead to get more life in the position but thats an other story. Mainline in Morra starts with taking the pawn but if a game transposes to c3 sicilian via a Morra order I would not disagree if it gets inserted into a Morra database Smiley. The Morra move order has also an advantage that declined with d5 instead is less strong than c3 sicilian with d5.

The categorisation comes from the fact that the position is more often reached via a 2 c3 move order than a Morra move order.

About Morra, it is even possible to transpose to French by playing meeting c3 via e6 cxd4 d5 even thorught an early exchange of c pawns are possible in whites favor. I surprised an opponnet with about the same rating with e6 a won a nice game in 1999 but I have not repeated it since.

There are more funny categorications in chess openings with a similar theme.
After for example 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 Bb4+ it is a Bogo indian. But after 4 Nc3 we have a Nimzo Indian and after the reply b6 we have a Queens Indian.
« Last Edit: 09/20/11 at 11:13:53 by bragesjo »  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #25 - 09/19/11 at 15:51:43
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I really don't care what the name is. I have used both Smith-Morra and simply Morra myself.
What I don't understand is why everyone is always insisting that a declined Morra leads to the Alapin. You could just as well claim that ...cxd4 in the Alapin leads to the Morra.
E.g.: 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.cxd4 now people will tell you this is a c3/Alapin Siclian. But the Alapin line is 1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 and here there are 3 more popular moves than 4...cxd4. Even after 4...Nf6 5.Nf3 (or dxc5) cxd4 is way from the most popular move. In fact ...cxd4 is often inaccurate.
I understand that some people consider the Morra inferior to the Alapin hence they consider all positions that occur from both as belonging to the Alapin, when in reality some of them occur more frequently and logically from the Morra and some even from the Queen's gambit.
Yes, the Morra declined with Nf6 is something very different from the accepted kind but you could say the same thing about the 2...Bc5 declined King's gambit (which also comes from the Vienna and Bishop openings) versus the 3...g5 accepted.
But really this is all nitpicking. The Morra starts with the moves 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 period.
More information on Morra would be more interesting than semantics and classifications.
The Langrock book has a drawing on the cover which I have seen referred to as depicting Pierre Morra. Is this true?
  
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MNb
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #24 - 09/17/11 at 18:06:50
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Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/17/11 at 12:53:53:
As I said I really would like him to play far more games with the gambit (in his accepted form). He try to but didn't succeed ... so sad.

After all, I'm probably too much irritable whith my beloved gambit ...

Eehh, yes. I really don't care if you continue to call that beloved gambit Morra-Smith Gambit.
But I do care about facts. After ...dxc3 Matulovic scored a whopping 89% according to my database out of 9 games. His only loss was against Kotov, which is not really something to be ashamed of. Matulovic won with it in at least one important tournament:



Matulovic,M - Bradvarevic,A [B21]
JUGch Sombor (7), 1957



What's more, the combination with 13.Nd5 is theoretically significant until today.
I don't think the Morra Gambit has very often been played on a higher level with success.
  

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Michel Barbaut
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #23 - 09/17/11 at 12:53:53
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@Dragonslayer

I understand, but what about Matulovic contribution to the Morra-Smith gambit ? 5 games seems too little , at least for me.
I disagree with you following : Dragonslayer wrote on 09/17/11 at 10:36:44:
@Michel Barbaut.
Sorry but MNb is right on this one. Offering the gambit is clearly the objective criterion otherwise you might say I never played e.g. The King's gambit if all my games went 1.e4 e5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nc3 which is the Vienna.
Which is rather silly.


Offering the gambit is a part of the criterion, if you wonder why, just ask yourself what happened if all his opponents went 1.e4,c5  2.d4,cxd4  3.c3 and followed with 3..Nf6 ? In this case we wouldn't never speak about the Morra-Smith, isn't it ? So most of his games has nothing to do with M-S gambit.
And you're variation about the Vienna has a lot of similarity with the KG ?
The 2.c3 sicilian has nothing to do with the Morra-Smith.

As I said I really would like him to play far more games with the gambit (in his accepted form). He try to but didn't succeed ... so sad.

After all, I'm probably too much irritable whith my beloved gambit ...


  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #22 - 09/17/11 at 10:36:44
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@Michel Barbaut.
Sorry but MNb is right on this one. Offering the gambit is clearly the objective criterion otherwise you might say I never played e.g. The King's gambit if all my games went 1.e4 e5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nc3 which is the Vienna.
Which is rather silly.
  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #21 - 09/16/11 at 22:24:53
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Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/16/11 at 16:14:05:
I can't defend the name of the opening but you can "attack it" , not a very objective opinion ...

?? As far as I am concerned you can defend the name Morra-Smith Gambit as much as you want. I won't comment if you use it either. I only attack your arguments ....
Morra Gambit, Smith-Morra Gambit, Morra-Smith Gambit, as long as I understand what someone means it's all fine with me.

Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/16/11 at 16:14:05:
Next time, more informations  (only !) about the gambit !

Nice. Have you checked those threats already? I would like it if you had some improvements for White (well, or for Black too).
  

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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #20 - 09/16/11 at 20:59:52
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Yes Jonassson and Schackbulletinen förlag is indeed swedish.

Basman book and common language in Sweden however only calls it Morra Gambit.
  
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Michel Barbaut
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #19 - 09/16/11 at 16:14:05
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MNb wrote on 09/16/11 at 01:54:49:
Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/15/11 at 23:02:33:
Are all the 21 games about the accepted variation ?

@MNb : I don't think this is a relevant question or argument. Matulovic was willing to play the Gambit in 21 games.

If you start a game following 1.f4,e5 and told me it's a From gambit after 2.e4, isn't there something wrong ?
If you start the game playing 1.c4 does it mean that it's an english one ? Sure not !! You have to wait a little moves before saying that.
If I was wrong all Matulovic games would be classified with the ECO code B21 (Morra-sMith gambit) and not B22 (2.c3 Sicilian), whatever the first moves are !
If you want to convinced yourself that he played 21 Morra-Smith gambit, so sad.
The resulting positions are completely differ
ent, of course, when you accept the pawn on c3 and when you don't !


Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/15/11 at 23:02:33:
If you really believe that playing about 20 games justified to attach a name to an opening ...

@MNb : No, I brought it up to refute your argument pro Smith. Name attaching to openings quite often has nothing to do with justice.
If you take your own argument seriously you should back Matulovic.

Once again, I don't think that playing no more than 5 games with an opening give you credit to attach your name to it. Do you remember that Ken Smith wrote several books about this gambit ? (He should have published one more titled "Random writings in the SMith-Morra Gambit" with history, anecdotes, ond so on, but he died before being able to finish his book) Published a lot of analysis (even payed analysis by GM) ? Played it far more tha Matulovic himself ? Popularize it than noone else !! Do you know anyone else doing that in the same way ? I'm sorry but not Matulovic (but I really would like him doing so !)
And the fact that Smith was not strong as Matulovic is completely irrelevant with such a programme he did !

If , all this do not suffice to prove that he could attach his name to the opening ...

I hope to publish, one day, a book on the subject, as I collected all I can found on it since more than 20 years now ... but don't be afraid I will never add my name to the gambit  Wink



Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/15/11 at 23:02:33:
Unfortunately, most of the games by Smith were not recorded

@MNb: Matulovic being from Jugoslavia you can bet quite a few Morra Gambit games from him were not recorded either. Moreover if you think playing many, many games with an opening justifies renaming 75% of the openings have to be renamed.

Probably right, if not sure, but your argument he switched to 1.c4 is irrelevant and I prove it with facts ! So I really believe he lost fait after his loss against Kotov (1958)

Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/15/11 at 23:02:33:
2) Most GMs don't accept the pawn on c3 and transpose to a 2.c3 sicilian !

@MNb : While I do think the Morra Gambit very well could be sound this is a silly argument. Hardly any GM has played the Morra Gambit in serious games, so this shows according to your logic that it's bad.

Ok just check the database, and you will find that GM Vladimir Afromeev (RUS) 2500 has played it scoring scoring 5,5/6, if this gambit was not sound I doubt any GM would play it. If it was unsound how many GM would declined it (most of the time with ...Nf6 leading to a 2.c3 Sicilian) ? Even Anand do it this way some years ago, and he is not an alone one !!!
And how many recommends this way of meeting the gambit ? A lot ! And, according to me, it has some common sense, even if I would take the challenge with Black to take on c3.

If you want to know why GM don't paly it, just check some books ont the gambit (Burgess, Palkovi, Langrock) and you'll find the answer. I can't quote evrything here ...


@MNb : A bit of scepticism doesn't hurt, while overoptimism might.

One of the main quality of a chessplayer I teach is to be objective ...

@MNb : To give you something to digest:
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1266964341/0#0

Food for thoughts ! Thanks!

@MNb :Stigma's post will provide you with useful links. Frankly I am more curious about your analytical contributions than your prolonged defense of Ken Smith.
More historical information about Pierre Morra also would be more than welcome; he remains a quite obscure guy.


I can't defend the name of the opening but you can "attack it" , not a very objective opinion ...

I try to prove with facts and objectivity why I think the best name should be ... if you disagree it's your choice after all.





[quote author=4C5C4F494B5D44412E0 link=1315903095/18#18 date=1316168163]Interesting thread, interesting to learn who Morra actually was. In Sweden the gambit is only called "Morra Gambit" and not "Smith-Morra".

@bragesjo : A little bit strange since one of the first book is « Morra-Smith Gambit »  by  S.Jonasson  edited by Schackbulletinens Forlag in 1971, and I think it's a swedish one, isn't it ? But since 1971, name has, probably, moved a little bit.

Next time, more informations  (only !) about the gambit !




  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #18 - 09/16/11 at 11:16:03
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Interesting thread, interesting to learn who Morra actually was. In Sweden the gambit is only called "Morra Gambit" and not "Smith-Morra".

In the good old days when I played this gambit with both sides and decided to be more serios than just reading a Swedish translated version of Mike Basmans "Chess Openings" that had a good Morra introduction chapter and searched for theory books I came up with the name "Smith-Morra" from the book "Winning with the Smith-Morra Gambit" (as I recall it was a good book).

However a few years later I later switched to open sicilian instead but thats an other story.
  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #17 - 09/16/11 at 01:54:49
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Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/15/11 at 23:02:33:
Are all the 21 games about the accepted variation ?

I don't think this is a relevant question or argument. Matulovic was willing to play the Gambit in 21 games.

Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/15/11 at 23:02:33:
If you really believe that playing about 20 games justified to attach a name to an opening ...

No, I brought it up to refute your argument pro Smith. Name attaching to openings quite often has nothing to do with justice.
If you take your own argument seriously you should back Matulovic.

Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/15/11 at 23:02:33:
Unfortunately, most of the games by Smith were not recorded

Matulovic being from Jugoslavia you can bet quite a few Morra Gambit games from him were not recorded either. Moreover if you think playing many, many games with an opening justifies renaming 75% of the openings have to be renamed.
Finally Matulovic used it with considerably more success than Smith on quite a high level - at four subsequent Jugoslav Championships. You could even argue that in the 1958 championship were so scared that they tended to decline it, like Vaisser does.
Remembering Larsen's comment nobody can maintain Smith scared his opponents at San Antonio 1972.
So again if you take your own argument seriously you should back Matulovic.
For me just Morra Gambit is good enough. As I wrote before, if it's about justice and logic the name should be something like Kieseritzky-Prins-Morra-Tartakower-Matulovic-Flesch-Smith Gambit.

Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/15/11 at 23:02:33:
2) Most GMs don't accept the pawn on c3 and transpose to a 2.c3 sicilian !

While I do think the Morra Gambit very well could be sound this is a silly argument. Hardly any GM has played the Morra Gambit in serious games, so this shows according to your logic that it's bad.
A bit of scepticism doesn't hurt, while overoptimism might.
To give you something to digest:

http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1266964341/0#0

Stigma's post will provide you with useful links. Frankly I am more curious about your analytical contributions than your prolonged defense of Ken Smith.
More historical information about Pierre Morra also would be more than welcome; he remains a quite obscure guy.
  

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Michel Barbaut
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #16 - 09/15/11 at 23:02:33
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@ Djy
Thanks for the games, some interesting ones !!

@MNb
Are all the 21 games about the accepted variation ? I have some too by Matulovic and most of them transpose to the 2.c3 Sicilian (after ...Nf6 -the most played- and ...d5)
If you really believe that playing about 20 games justified to attach a name to an opening ... so what about a man who played more than one hundred games with it ? Unfortunately, most of the games by Smith were not recorded  Cry
In the Megadatabase 2011, there are 2071 recorded games by GM Matulovic, 1073 with white among which  988 are classified from B00 to C99 and so only no more than 56 games for everything else, so I really believe that he lost faith with the gambit ! And I hope to find where I read this too,from an old revue but I can't remember now exactly which one.

@ Phil
Why do I believe this gambit to be correct ?
There are several reasons ...
1) Actually, there is no refutation of the gambit
2) Most GMs (or books if you prefer, write for the black side ) don't accept the pawn on c3 and transpose to a 2.c3 sicilian !!!!
3) Most of the rest take the challenge on c3 but add something like this "this gambit is dangerous and should be taken seriously" Just check books (or video) by Gufeld, Browne and the latest QC book by Ftacnik

I really like the following :

- In 1994, during the French championship in Chambéry, the G.M Anatoly Vaisser was given a simul. And when it was ended, we discussed with the G.M, I took advantage of it to ask him what he thought about  the gambit Morra (that he had massacred on one of the chessboards near to me me). His answer (add the Russian accent) demonstrate very well what strong players think of this gambit:

- M.B : «  What do you think about the Smith-Morra gambit ? »
- A.V : «  … the Morra gambit … black takes the pawn  … and, at least, has a draw »
- M.B : « Which variation do you play against it ? »
- A.V : « ..I … I don’t take the pawn ... I play 3…Nf6 » (!!!)

Smiley Nice answer, isn't it ?

To be continued  Wink
  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #15 - 09/15/11 at 20:46:06
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The last Thematic event ICCF (Final) with strong player
white score : +9,=16,-5 not to bad.
http://www.iccf-webchess.com/EventCrossTable.aspx?id=19721



  

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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #14 - 09/15/11 at 15:12:14
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Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/14/11 at 23:00:10:
2) Matulovic played not to much Morra (Smith) gambit and gave it up in 1958 .... not too much faith to it

I beg your pardon? You call 21 games (+14, =5, -2) not too much?! I don't know why Matulovic gave it up. It might have nothing to do with the Morra Gambit itself, as he switched to 1.c4.

Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/14/11 at 23:00:10:
Next time I hope to prove this gambit is sound, sorry Phil but I disagree with you and Patrick ...

You might check a few threads in this section, as Djy and I have had fun with this. Now I'm too lazy, but there is some analysis to be found on the topical 6...a6; on the Queenside Expansion (without ...Nc6); on the ...Bd7 lines and on the ...Nge7 line Esserman used to crush Van Wely.
At the moment I don't feel like digging up these threads; maybe later.
  

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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #13 - 09/14/11 at 23:00:10
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MNb wrote on 09/14/11 at 21:25:33:
Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/14/11 at 20:09:21:
For me the Morra-Smith gambit is : 1.e4,c5  2.d4,cxd4  3.c3,dxc3  4.Nxc3 (ok it's an accepted one) but the game you give is only a 2.c3 Sicilian ...

Of course, but only because Smith choose so.

Sure Benkö was not the first to play the Benkö-Gambit, but he certainly was the first to play it with success and on a regular base. This is a common argument. So still both Morra and Matulovic have stronger claims.
I do know that such claims are not always granted. Fact is though that the name Morra Gambit is very common (just check Wikipedia in various languages) and that there is not a strong argument to attach Smith' name.
We're not going to rename the King's Gambit after Chigorin and Spielmann either, are we? They both played ánd wrote about 2.f4.


Interesting thoughts but I'm not convinced :

1) The french Wikipedia quote "(Smith) Morra gambit" ...

2) Chigorin & Spielmann wrote about the King's Gambit .. OK, but were they alone ones to wrote about it ? I doubt as it was a major opening at that time.

2) Matulovic played not to much Morra (Smith) gambit and gave it up in 1958 .... not too much faith to it  Cry

3) How many wrote so much about the gambit ?
Smith is alone in this case ! He popularized, studied and published a lot on it ... like Benkö with it's own gambit !!

So I really think it's worth adding his name.
Morra-Smith gambit what else ?

P.S : Morra-Smith and not Smith-Morra because the french player was the first to studied it seriously so it was the reason I prefer the first one … and because we’re both French !
 
Next time I hope to prove this gambit is sound, sorry Phil but I disagree with you and Patrick ...
  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #12 - 09/14/11 at 21:25:33
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Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/14/11 at 20:09:21:
For me the Morra-Smith gambit is : 1.e4,c5  2.d4,cxd4  3.c3,dxc3  4.Nxc3 (ok it's an accepted one) but the game you give is only a 2.c3 Sicilian ...

Of course, but only because Smith choose so.

Sure Benkö was not the first to play the Benkö-Gambit, but he certainly was the first to play it with success and on a regular base. This is a common argument. So still both Morra and Matulovic have stronger claims.
I do know that such claims are not always granted. Fact is though that the name Morra Gambit is very common (just check Wikipedia in various languages) and that there is not a strong argument to attach Smith' name.
We're not going to rename the King's Gambit after Chigorin and Spielmann either, are we? They both played ánd wrote about 2.f4.
  

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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #11 - 09/14/11 at 20:09:21
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For me the Morra-Smith gambit is : 1.e4,c5  2.d4,cxd4  3.c3,dxc3  4.Nxc3 (ok it's an accepted one) but the game you give is only a 2.c3 Sicilian ...
Ken Smith wrote more than anyone else about the gambit, analysis and books. More than Pierre Morra himself  Cry
So I believe that both names attached to this opening seems the right one.
After all, Pal Benko did not invent the gambit that bears is name, Philidor never played his opening, and so on ...
As I said before a never ending story ....

To be continued ....
  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #10 - 09/14/11 at 15:57:39
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Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/14/11 at 07:43:05:
Morra Gambit : “… a widely used name … Pierre Morra (1900-1969) wrote analysis of the gambit which was published at Nice in 1945 … at a time when there was no general acceptance of another name”

It's pretty obvious that there was no general acceptance of another name in the late 40's. But do you and/or Zinser have more explicit information on Morra's published analysis?

Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/14/11 at 12:30:29:
as I’m French I prefer Morra-Smith Gambit just like the 1981 book by Janos Flesh “Morra (Smith) Gambit”

That has not so much to do with you being French.
Rolf Schwarz, 1980.
Paul Boersma, 1981.
Sport-Verlag Berlin, around 1985.

The name Morra Gambit (ie without Smith) seems to be one of the few subjects the whole old continent agrees on. Frankly I don't think Smith' claim very strong: he did not invent it, he was not the first to play it on a regular base, he was not the first to apply the standard plan of castling, Qe2 and Rd1, he was not the first to publish analysis. The following remarkable game is not the first one played in the USA:

Westbrock,J - Smith,K [B22]
USA Open Cleveland (12), 16.08.1957



Myers' conclusion is based on quicksand.
  

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Michel Barbaut
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #9 - 09/14/11 at 12:30:29
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@ Phil Adams : I agree it's Sylvain Zinser , I write too quickly ....

My opinion about the gambit is the following :

-      Tartakower was the first strong player to used it at high level

-      Pierre Morra was the first to write analysis about it and to play it in correspondence

-      Milan Matulovic is a Grand Master who played it regularly but gave it up, apparently, after his loss against Kotov at Zagreb in 1958.

-      Ken Smith was an American Master who played the gambit more often than anyone else, and especially wrote and published a lot of analysis and several books on it

So, I agree  with the late Hugh Myers that “Everything considered Smith-Morra Gambit is the best choice" but as I’m French I prefer Morra-Smith Gambit just like the 1981 book by Janos Flesh “Morra (Smith) Gambit”

Concerning the evaluation of the gambit I'll give more opinions (including GM) soon, and some of them are a little bit surprising.

I will show you that "Gambit is not a crime !"  Wink

To be continued ....
  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #8 - 09/14/11 at 11:44:19
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Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/14/11 at 07:43:05:
@ Michel Barbaut: from which year is that Sylvain Sinzer quote?
MNb : Sinzer traduction of Gufeld “Morra Gambit” book is from 1984. The most recent game in this book is from 1981 .

... Continuation :
Morra Gambit : “… a widely used name … Pierre Morra (1900-1969) wrote analysis of the gambit which was published at Nice in 1945 … at a time when there was no general acceptance of another name”

Matulovic Gambit : Milan Matulovic (Yugoslavia, born in 1935) played it many times in tournament, starting by at least 1953.

Smith-Morra Gambit : Ken Smith (1930-1999) accepted the name “Morra gambit”, and then attached his name to it.

So what is the best choice  ? Maybe a never ending question …

To be continued ...


Most internet sources give the author's name as "Sylvain Zinser", not "Sinzer", e.g.

http://www.libfly.com/sylvain-zinser-auteur-99522.html

and that is also how he appears in the FIDE list.

As an aside, recently in the Boston Globe the now retired GM Patrick Wolff, who used to play the Morra himself in his youth, commenting on the game Esserman-van Wely (1-0), characterised it thus:

"The Smith-Morra accepts a theoretically inferior position for marvelous over the board opportunities."

- which struck me as pretty accurate.
  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #7 - 09/14/11 at 07:43:05
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@ Michel Barbaut: from which year is that Sylvain Sinzer quote?
MNb : Sinzer traduction of Gufeld “Morra Gambit” book is from 1984. The most recent game in this book is from 1981 .

... Continuation :
Morra Gambit : “… a widely used name … Pierre Morra (1900-1969) wrote analysis of the gambit which was published at Nice in 1945 … at a time when there was no general acceptance of another name”

Matulovic Gambit : Milan Matulovic (Yugoslavia, born in 1935) played it many times in tournament, starting by at least 1953.

Smith-Morra Gambit : Ken Smith (1930-1999) accepted the name “Morra gambit”, and then attached his name to it.

So what is the best choice  ? Maybe a never ending question …

To be continued ...
  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #6 - 09/14/11 at 00:51:50
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Several of the Matulovic games can be found in Rolf Schwarz' book (1980) on the Morra Gambit too. My database contains 21 of them.

@ Michel Barbaut: from which year is that Sylvain Sinzer quote?



Matulovic,M - Segi,L [B21]
JUG, 1953

  

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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #5 - 09/13/11 at 21:00:01
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Phil Adams wrote on 09/13/11 at 17:11:45:
According to Gligoric and Sokolov in their 1967 book on the Sicilian, Matulovic introduced this gambit into "modern master play" in games played between 1953 and 1958. Matulovic was born in 1935.

Yes I know these games (in ken Smith / bill Wall book 1992).
  

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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #4 - 09/13/11 at 17:30:53
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Name of the gambit …
In the preface of the book « Le gambit Morra » Grasset-Europe Echecs, Sylvain Sinzer (the traductor) said “ The merit to imagine this gambit is coming from the French player Pierre Morra … the idea of the pawn sacrifice is from  the XIXth century … and first play by the Vienna players, but in memory of the first theoretical discovery and research about it, the name of Morra was awarded to it”
In the Myers Opening Bulletin (New MOB 2 exactly) January-March 1993, Hugh Myers discussed the history of the name  in 4 pages.
Here is a short summary :

Morphy Gambit : “…old, but understandably obsolete.” Morphy played the sacrifice but only in response to the e7-e5 move, or to cover check  :
France , 1958 : 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.Bc4 Be7 [4...Bb4+ 5.c3 dxc3 6.bxc3 Bc5 7.Nxe5 Morphy-Preti, 1–0 (24)] 5.c3 d6 6.Qb3 dxc3 7.Bxf7+ Kf8 8.Nxc3 Morphy-Journoud, 1–0 (17)


Tartakower Gambit : or “Tartakower-Morra gambit” as in MCO 1965
“ He was the first grandmaster to analyse the gambit and to play its modern variation …  1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Bc4 d6 6.Nf3 e6 7.0–0 Nf6 8.Qe2 a6 9.Rd1 Qc7 : Tartakower-Müller, simul 1912… he continued to occasionally play it in strong tournaments on into the 1950’s, as against Najdorf and Glioric in 1948-50"

To be continued …
  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #3 - 09/13/11 at 17:11:45
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Djy wrote on 09/13/11 at 16:32:10:
Many thanks to Michel Barbaud

I 've this one (include in Senechaud's article)
[Event "Nice"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1951.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Morra, Pierre"]
[Black "Monkiewicz"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B21"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "1999.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. c3 Nf6 5. e5 dxe5 6. Nxe5 Nbd7 7. Qa4 e6 8.
cxd4 Be7 9. Bb5 O-O 10. O-O Nb6 11. Qd1 a6 12. Bd3 Nbd5 13. a3 Qc7 14. Bd2 b5
15. Nc3 Bb7 16. Rc1 Qb6 17. Bg5 Rfd8 18. Nxd5 Rxd5 19. Be3 Rad8 20. Qe2 Bd6 21.
f4 Bb8 22. Bb1 R5d6 23. Rfd1 Ba7 24. Bf2 Nd5?  25. Bxh7+!  Kf8 26. Qh5 g6 27.
Qh6+ Ke7 28. Qg7 Rf8 29. Nxg6+ 1-0

Probably pierre Morra himself with the help of his revue 'L'Echiquier Niçois' have worked for his name . It seem that at the time Matulovic was the name in use in France



According to Gligoric and Sokolov in their 1967 book on the Sicilian, Matulovic introduced this gambit into "modern master play" in games played between 1953 and 1958. Matulovic was born in 1935.
  
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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #2 - 09/13/11 at 16:32:10
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Many thanks to Michel Barbaud

I 've this one (include in Senechaud's article)
[Event "Nice"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1951.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Morra, Pierre"]
[Black "Monkiewicz"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B21"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "1999.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. c3 Nf6 5. e5 dxe5 6. Nxe5 Nbd7 7. Qa4 e6 8.
cxd4 Be7 9. Bb5 O-O 10. O-O Nb6 11. Qd1 a6 12. Bd3 Nbd5 13. a3 Qc7 14. Bd2 b5
15. Nc3 Bb7 16. Rc1 Qb6 17. Bg5 Rfd8 18. Nxd5 Rxd5 19. Be3 Rad8 20. Qe2 Bd6 21.
f4 Bb8 22. Bb1 R5d6 23. Rfd1 Ba7 24. Bf2 Nd5?  25. Bxh7+!  Kf8 26. Qh5 g6 27.
Qh6+ Ke7 28. Qg7 Rf8 29. Nxg6+ 1-0

Probably pierre Morra himself with the help of his revue 'L'Echiquier Niçois' have worked for his name . It seem that at the time Matulovic was the name in use in France

  

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Re: History of the 'Morra' Gambit
Reply #1 - 09/13/11 at 15:25:04
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It would be nice if you could (re)produce some biographical data and a few games. Also I would like to know who decided to attach Morra's name to the gambit. I suspect it's Tartakower.

Edit: I see that there are three games by Morra in the Von Hennig-Schara thread.

Michel Barbaut wrote on 09/13/11 at 15:10:43:
Morra, P- Goupy
Echiquier Niçois, 1956
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. c3 dxc3 5. Nxc3 e6
(5... d6 6. Bc4 a6 7. Qe2 Nf6 8. O-O Bg4 9. Rd1 Qc8 10. Bf4 g6 11. Rac1 Bg7 12. Nd5 Morra-Musso, Nice 1956)
6. Bc4 d6 7. O-O a6 8. Qe2 Nf6 9. Rd1 Qc7 10. Bf4 b5 (10... Be7 11. Rac1 O-O 12. Bb3 Qb8 13. h3 e5 14. Bh2 Nd8 15. Nd5 Nxd5 16. Bxd5 Morra-Petite, Nice 1956) 11. Bxb5 axb5 12. Nxb5 Qa5 13. Bxd6 Bxd6 14. Nxd6+ Ke7 15. Rac1 Nb4 16. Nd4 Rd8 17. N4b5 Ba6 18. Rc7+ Kf8 19. Rxf7+ Kg8 20. Qc4 Bxb5 21. Qxe6 Rxd6 22. Rxd6 Qxa2 23. Rxg7+ Kxg7 24. Qe7+ Kg8 25. h3 Nc6 26.Qxf6 1-0


  

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History of the 'Morra' Gambit
09/13/11 at 09:38:15
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go on in the right section.

Dany Senechaud (with the help of René Bonnave archive and memory)have wroten a very interesting article in Europe-Echecs 562 (jannuary 2007).
he wrote :The Morra Gambit  like many others gambits went through several names: Fleissig,Matulovic, Smith-Morra.

In 1946 pierre Morra create 'L'échiquier Niçois'
In the 50's he quickly rename Matulovic's gambit wich create some contreversy.
Pierre Morra was not a great player but a very good analyst.
IM in correspondance chess

  

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