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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Smith-Morra (Read 53633 times)
Ben_Hague
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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #14 - 03/24/04 at 05:49:57
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In the lines with a6,e6,Nc6,Nge7 it is probably more accurate to delay d6, or omit it altogether because the bishop is normally fianchetto'd on b7 so d6 just weakens Blacks position. There is an article on this line in NIC yearbook 67 which gives as the main line 1.e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 a6 7.0-0 Nge7 8.Bg5 f6 9.Be3 Ng6 10.Nd4 and concludes that it's probably about equal.
  
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MNb
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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #13 - 03/23/04 at 19:41:28
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According to Michael Jensen, White also faces problems if Black plays the a6, d6, e6, Nc6, Nge7 setup. The big problem for Black of course is that he has to play very accurately indeed. Otherwise White will crush him. But if Black does, he should be fine.
Any Black player who does not want to spend much time studying, might decline with 3...Nf6 of course.
  

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Glenn Snow
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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #12 - 03/23/04 at 16:18:07
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I have to agree with Ben Hague regarding the Fianchetto line versus the SMG.  I don't think White can demonstrate full compensation if Black plays very accurately.
  
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Losetowin
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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #11 - 03/23/04 at 13:26:03
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I played the morra some years ago and as far as i rember the kingside-fiancetto was a weak line because white could play an early e5, simply sacrificing the pawn in order to attack.
  
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Ben_Hague
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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #10 - 12/23/03 at 17:54:00
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I think that the fianchetto variation is an underestimated line, and it wouldn't surprise me if it became the latest trendy refutation. There are a lot of systems in the Morra, and many other offbeat gambits where theory is based on games between fairly weak players, maybe with a bit of analysis by a titled player, and there is a great deal left to be discovered.

Ben hague
  
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M.Nieuweboer
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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #9 - 12/22/03 at 20:49:36
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I have played the Morra Gambit for more than a decade, but abandoned it when
opponents on my moderate level (ELO 1800) started to outprepare me. The basic problem
with the Morra is that Black really has a wide choice, while White has a very predictable
setup. So my advice is to buy a book on this opening and try to find some holes.
For instance, I have always wondered if 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 g6 (might be
more precise than Nc6 5.Nf3 g6 6.h4!?) 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Bc4 Nc6 7.e5 Qa5 8.o-o Nxe5 9.Nxe5
Bxe5 10.Re1 d6 11.Bb5+ Kf8 and 10.Nd5 e6 11.Re1 d6 12.Bb5+ Kf8 are that strong for
White? Best might be 10.Nb5!?
At the other hand I think Black should avoid e6-e5 as White gets lasting compenstion due
to the weaknesses on d5 and d6.
  
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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #8 - 10/15/03 at 05:38:19
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That's the practical choice.  Playing against the Smith-Morra requires a lot of accuracy, so a bit of work has to be done away from the board.  If not too many people play it against you (which is often the case in long time controls), then it makes sense to just avoid it.  But for me, it is very tempting for me accept a sacrifice that I don't think is entirely correct!

For those trying to refute the Smith-Morra, I would highly recommended Ciaffone's book.  The system he recommends requires a great deal of accuracy (deviation from the move orders often leads to disaster), but is not difficult to understand.  Mainly you have to be aware of the tactical reasoning behind the move orders, and the tactics are usually not too difficult to calculate.  But it does take some work and memory.  It's just that it's a lot of time to spend, if no one plays it against you!

Alumbrado has a point in that many of the defences against the Smith-Morra tend to be passive.  One of the drawbacks to several systems is that even if black does defend the pawn, white has a lasting initiative, while black has difficulty make progress, often because he is busy defending his weaknesses.  (For example, this often happens in the classical lines where black has committed to ...e5.)  In the system, Ciaffone recommends, black does not compromise his structure and gradually improves his position while responding to white's short term threats in the center.   Once black has completed his development (usually when ..0-0 and Bb7 have been played and a safe place for the queen has been found), he often gets active counterplay similar to the Najdorf (due to the secure center), but with white a pawn down.  Of course, this is anything but easy to obtain, but if black survives the  storm, he is close to winning out of the opening!
  

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alumbrado
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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #7 - 10/14/03 at 03:41:26
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The more I think about all this, the more I think it just makes no sense to play this way.  I used to notch up point after point with the Morra as White, irrespective of what set-up Black tried.

It is a psychological thing - Black was always trying to weather the storm and would forget to do anything active.  this just allowed white to build up long-term pressure - which for me is what the Morra is all about, for all the pretty tactical shots if Black goes wrong early on.

My advice - forget about fiddling around like this - just play 3...Nf6 and transpose to the 2.c3 lines.  These are fine for Black.  Check out the lines given by Rogozenko in his recent book - especially the ones where black plays ... Nf6-d5, ...e6, ...d6 then ...Bd7-c6.
  

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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #6 - 10/05/03 at 21:52:46
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Bob Ciaffone's handle on ICC is "Coach999".  His finger notes state his book is available for $10.00 now.  I agree with sacanode's assessment of the system recommended in the book.
  
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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #5 - 10/05/03 at 00:06:20
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Bob Ciaffone wrote a book on a line in the Smith-Morra that he called the Finegold Defense where he suggests a Najdorf setup similar to ones suggested in post (but using a different move order).  (Ben Finegold analyzed the line with him.)  If Black can keep his pawn without comprimising his structure in this way, White seems busted.  When analysing the lines in this book, I could n't find any promising ideas for white.  The coverage is this book is thorough (and wordy), but it is hard to come by, since I think it was published independently by the author.      
  

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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #4 - 06/19/03 at 15:13:37
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There is also an interesting line recommended by John Nunn in NCO which runs (after 3...dxc3 4. Nxc3) 4...a6 5. Bc4 (otherwise Black pays 5...b5 and White will never have a bishop on c4) 5...e6 6. Nf3 b5 7. Bb3 Bb7 8. a3 d6 9. 0-0 Nf6 10. Qe2 Nbd7 11. Rd1 Be7 12. Bf4 Qb8 13. Rac1 0-0 14. Ba2 =+ which essentially involves a somewhat defensive setup (at first) for Black in order to keep the pawn and enter a favorable endgame. The long-range bishop can also be useful in engineering an attack. Though I haven't had any practical experience with it appears to be pretty sound.
  
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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #3 - 06/06/03 at 22:20:30
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The line given by Seb has been played before and is covered in the June 2003 column.
  
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SebOnTheWeb
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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #2 - 04/08/03 at 16:42:16
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what do you think about the line :

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 e6 5.Nf3 a6 6.Bc4 b5 7.Bb3 Bb7 8.Qe2 d6 9.0-0 Nd7

A friend tell me what it's a very good line for black but it's not play at high level so... what's the problem ?  Cheesy
  
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Gary Lane
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Re: Smith-Morra
Reply #1 - 03/11/03 at 22:26:14
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Hi,
If you take a close at some of the Smith-Morra games I have commented on then maybe things will become clearer. If not then ask another more detailed question in the forum and I will try to answer it.
  
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Klick
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Smith-Morra
02/27/03 at 17:43:59
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I`ve been thinking about playing the Sicilian, but my friend has put me off the idea: he plays the Smith-Morra. Undecided I don`t want to experiment with all of blacks various defences so I am asking: Is the Smith-Morra considered dubious ??? among the strongest players, and if so: why? Which defence do they opt for as black? If I find some good lines I can consider going for the Sicilian again....
  

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