Ohh dear what is Klick (U know?, the guy that started this post) to make of all this confusion, he asked a simple question and must now be more confused than ever. Tsk, tsk.

Klick, to make a long story short, the books have always considered the Smith Morra to be dubious, and various books have reccommended various different 'Refutations'. Now here is the stunner, despite what any of the books say, and despite its poor theoretical status, if you choose to accept this gambit and hang on to it you will have to defend well and be alert to haul in the full point.

My personal feeling is that the Smith Morra is junk, but that is my bias. Defending against this gambit successfully in practice below master level is by no means a trivial matter, and since it is not seen very often at Master level the would be defender has no reliable point of reference to emulate.

The e z thing to reccommend is to bail out with 3...Nf6, transposing to the Alapin, but this reply may not suit those who do not have 3...Nf6 in their Repertoire against the Alapin. Before continuing, I think it needs to be said that the Sicilian is a fearless complex counter attacking system, and if the prospect of facing the Morra is so terrifying then perhaps one should not consider playing the Sicilian at all. Virtually all the mainlines of the Sicilian are a labyrinth of almost unfathomable complications, the best one can do is take a deep breath and plunge right in. Eventually the tactical themes and typical play will begin to be assimilated as u play and gain more experience with your chosen system.

Research my posts, as somewhere on this forum I outlined in detail a study plan on how to come to grips with the Sicilian in a systematic and painless way. If u can't find it lemme know.

Now, if you must accept this gambit I think that the line that IM Jeremy Silman advocates is a very good one. I do not claim that it's any better or worse than other accepted lines of the Smith Morra, but its easy to play and very reliale:

[Event "Mar del Plata"]

[Site "Mar del Plata"]

[Date "1962.??.??"]

[Round "12"]

[White "Parma,Bruno"]

[Black "Eliskases,Erich Gottlieb"]

[Result "1/2"]

[Eco "B21"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 d6 6.Bc4 Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Qe2 a6

9.Rd1 Bd7 10.Bf4 e5 11.Be3 Nf6 12.h3 0-0 13.Rac1 Rc8 14.Bd5 b5 15.a3 Na5 16.Nd2 Be6

17.b4 Nc6 18.Nb3 Qd7 19.Rc2 Bd8 20.Qd3 Ne7 21.Bxe6 Qxe6 22.Nd2 Rc6 23.Rdc1 Bb6 24.Bxb6 Rxb6

25.Nf1 d5 26.exd5 Nfxd5 27.Nxd5 Nxd5 28.Rc5 Nf4 29.Qf3 Rd6 30.Rd1 Rxd1 31.Qxd1 f5 32.Kh2 e4

33.Qd4 Nd3 34.Rc7 Qe5+ 35.Qxe5 Nxe5 36.Ne3 f4 37.Nd5 Nc4 38.Re7 Rf5 39.Nc3 e3 40.fxe3 fxe3

41.Nd1 Kf8 42.Re4 Nxa3 43.Nxe3 Rf7 44.Rd4 Ra7 45.Rd3 Nc4 46.Nxc4 bxc4 47.Rd8+ Ke7 48.Rc8 a5

49.bxa5 Rxa5 50.Rxc4 1/2

[Event "SLO-ch sf"]

[Site "Slovenia"]

[Date "1994.??.??"]

[Round "0"]

[White "Pinter,Andrej"]

[Black "Podlesnik,Bogdan"]

[Result "0-1"]

[Eco "B21"]

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 a6 7.0-0 d6 8.Qe2 Be7

9.Rd1 Bd7 10.Bf4 e5 11.Be3 Nf6 12.h3 0-0 13.b4 Nxb4 14.Rab1 b5 15.Rxb4 d5 16.Bxd5 Bxb4

17.Bxa8 Qxa8 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.exd5 Bd6 20.Ng5 Bf5 21.Qf3 Bg6 22.h4 h6 23.h5 Bxh5 24.Qxh5 hxg5

25.Bxg5 f6 26.Bh6 Qb7 27.Qg4 f5 28.Qg6 Rf6 29.Qe8+ Kh7 30.Bg5 Qf7 31.Qd8 Be7 32.Qd7 Qh5

33.Rd3 Qxg5 34.Qxe7 Qc1+ 35.Kh2 Qf4+ 36.Kg1 Rh6 37.Rh3 Qc1+ 38.Kh2 Rxh3+ 39.gxh3 Qe1 40.Qh4+ Kg6

41.d6 Qd2 42.Qe7 Qxf2+ 43.Kh1 Qe1+ 44.Kh2 Qd2+ 45.Kh1 Qc1+ 46.Kg2 Qc2+ 47.Kh1 Qb1+ 48.Kh2 Qxa2+

49.Kg1 Qb1+ 50.Kh2 Qc2+ 51.Kh1 Qc1+ 52.Kh2 Qf4+ 53.Kg2 Qd2+ 54.Kh1 Qe1+ 55.Kh2 Qf2+ 56.Kh1 Qf1+

57.Kh2 Qe2+ 58.Kh1 Qd1+ 59.Kh2 Qc2+ 60.Kh1 Qb1+ 61.Kg2 Qb2+ 62.Kh1 Qa1+ 63.Kg2 Qa2+ 64.Kg1 Qa1+

65.Kh2 Qb2+ 66.Kg1 Qc1+ 67.Kh2 Qd2+ 68.Kg1 Qe1+ 69.Kh2 Qe2+ 70.Kh1 f4 71.d7 Qe1+ 72.Kh2 Qg3+

73.Kh1 Qxh3+ 74.Kg1 f3 75.Qd6+ Kh7 76.Qd2 Qg3+ 77.Kf1 f2 78.Qxf2 Qh3+ 79.Ke1 Qxd7 80.Qh2+ Kg6

81.Qxe5 a5 82.Qe4+ Kf6 83.Qh4+ g5 84.Qh6+ Kf5 85.Qh3+ g4 86.Qh5+ Ke4 87.Qg6+ Kd4 88.Qb6+ Kd3

89.Qg6+ Kc3 90.Qf6+ Qd4 91.Qc6+ Qc4 92.Qf6+ Kb3 93.Qd8 Qe4+ 94.Kd2 a4 95.Qg8+ Qc4 96.Qg5 Qd4+

97.Ke1 a3 98.Kf1 Qc4+ 99.Kg1 a2 100.Qe3+ Kb2 101.Qd2+ Kb1 0-1

[Event "IECC"]

[Site "IECC email"]

[Date "1998.??.??"]

[Round "0"]

[White "Camper,Donald Lynn"]

[Black "Bliznyuk,Andrey"]

[Result "0-1"]

[Eco "B21"]

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 d6 5.Bc4 e6 6.Nf3 a6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Qe2 Nc6

9.Rd1 Bd7 10.Bf4 e5 11.Be3 Nf6 12.h3 0-0 13.g4 Be6 14.Bd5 Bxd5 15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.Rxd5 Rc8

17.a3 b5 18.Rad1 Qc7 19.b4 Rfe8 20.Nh2 Nb8 21.Nf1 Nd7 22.Ng3 g6 23.g5 Qb7 24.R5d3 Rc4

25.h4 Rec8 26.h5 Rc3 27.Qg4 Rxd3 28.Rxd3 Rc4 29.hxg6 hxg6 30.Bd2 Bf8 31.Qf3 Nb6 32.Be3 Na8

33.Bd2 Nc7 34.Be3 Ne6 35.Qd1 Qc6 36.Qg4 Rc3 37.Qd1 Be7 38.Ne2 Rxd3 39.Qxd3 Bxg5 40.Bxg5 Nxg5

41.Nc3 Ne6 42.Nd5 Qc1+ 43.Kg2 Kg7 44.Qf3 Qg5+ 45.Kf1 Nd4 46.Qg3 Qxg3 47.fxg3 Ne6 48.Kf2 Kh6

49.Nf6 Nc7 50.Kf3 Kg7 51.Nd7 f6 52.g4 Kf7 53.Nb6 Ke6 54.a4 d5 55.axb5 axb5 56.Nc8 dxe4+

57.Kxe4 f5+ 58.gxf5+ gxf5+ 59.Kd3 0-1

[Event "Prokojevsk2"]

[Site "Prokojevsk"]

[Date "1998.??.??"]

[Round "0"]

[White "Yankin,Vadim"]

[Black "Isupov,Vladimir"]

[Result "0-1"]

[Eco "B21"]

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Qe2 Be7 8.0-0 a6

9.Rd1 Bd7 10.Bf4 e5 11.Be3 Nf6 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.Bxd5 0-0 14.h3 Rc8 15.Nd2 Nb4 16.Bxb7 Bb5

17.Qg4 Rb8 18.Bh6 Bf6 19.Bd5 Nc2 20.Rac1 Nd4 21.Bc4 Bd7 22.Qg3 Rxb2 23.Nb3 Be6 24.Nxd4 exd4

25.Bxa6 Rxa2 26.Bd3 Qa5 27.h4 Kh8 28.Bg5 Be5 29.f4 Bf6 30.Bxf6 gxf6 31.Bf1 Rg8 32.Qd3 Qh5

33.f5 Qxh4 34.fxe6 Qf2+ 35.Kh1 Rxg2 36.Rc8+ Kg7 0-1

[Event "Oz.com qual blitz"]

[Site "Internet ICC"]

[Date "2000.03.05"]

[Round "7"]

[White "Al Sayed,Mohammed"]

[Black "Zaremba,Andrie"]

[Result "0-1"]

[Eco "B21"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 e6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Qe2 a6

9.Rd1 Bd7 10.Bf4 e5 11.Bg3 Nf6 12.Bh4 Bg4 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Qe3 Nd4 15.Be2 Nc2 16.Qd2 Nxa1

17.Rxa1 0-0 18.Nd5 Be6 19.Bc4 Bxd5 20.Bxd5 Qb6 21.g4 Rac8 22.g5 Be7 23.h4 Kh8 24.Kg2 f5

25.gxf6 Bxf6 26.Ng5 Bxg5 27.hxg5 Qd4 28.Qe2 g6 29.Rd1 Qb6 30.Rd3 Rc5 31.a3 Qd8 32.Qg4 Rc2

33.Rf3 Kg7 34.b4 Rxf3 35.Kxf3 Qf8+ 0-1

[Event "Cvitanovic mem"]

[Site "Split"]

[Date "2004.05.01"]

[Round "1"]

[White "Zelic,Mladen"]

[Black "Pataki,Gyozo"]

[Result "0-1"]

[Eco "B21"]

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 d6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Qe2 a6

9.Rd1 Bd7 10.Bf4 e5 11.Be3 Nf6 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.Bxd5 0-0 14.b4 Nxb4 15.Bxb7 Bb5 16.Qd2 Rb8

17.Qxb4 Rxb7 18.a4 a5 19.Qb3 Bc6 20.Qc4 Bd7 21.Bd2 Qa8 22.Rdc1 Be6 23.Qc3 Ra7 24.Qd3 f6

25.Rab1 d5 26.exd5 Bxd5 27.Rb5 Rd8 28.Nh4 Bf7 29.Qe2 Ba3 30.Rcb1 Rc8 31.Be3 Rac7 32.Qg4 Rc4

33.Qh3 Qc6 0-1

The main theme of the above system is to delay the development of Nf6 until the appropriate moment. The moves e6, d6, a6, Bd7 and in particular Be7 are all played prior to Nf6 so as to minimise the impact of an eventual Bg5 and in many cases if white does get this move in, it is usually at the cost of at least two tempi. Some of the games listed above do not make full use of Black's most precise move order, nevertheless they give some indication as to what to expect in this line.

I would recommend you source a copy of Silman's book 'Winning With the Sicilian Defence' revised 2nd edition, therein he explains in great detail the ins and outs of the above system.

Adios

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