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A great video especially getting away with the knight of f6 which I've heard and seen can be bad.
What is the link to the Morra site reffered to at end of lecture ? Thank you.
I actually spent the last full week exploring the position here after (playing at least 12 moves for each alternative to avoid computer bias). I actually also do not see any strong alternative for white or at least a bit challenging for black even if the position is equal. Mark, you may have the simpliest yet most solid line for black. I am depressed. I may have to actually start studying the expensive Sicilian (sic)...
Mark Can you clarify on the early kf4. Are you mentioning about this position?
I am Morra player (though quite modest): I would not play an early e4-e5. One of the thing I have noticed is that if you are a Morra player you have played this variations hunderds (or thousands) of time. If you are a Sicilan player you encounter the Morra from time to time but not that often. Slight edge to white in experience, that compensates also the pawn down, especially when playing rapid or blitz for club/social players. My best advice: do not underestimate this opening.
Give me a line you think is good for white and let's analyze it.
In response to Sputnick, white is not the only one allowed to study this stuff. Accepting gives black an extra pawn, something Korchnoi used to enjoy in positions worse than these. Korchnoi had a monster lifetime score against Tal :) Black's ambition after declining with Nf6 is to reach a draw. Why not win a pawn and have all three results possible?
GM Nigel Short said believing in Morra compensation is like believing in Santa Claus, which is a little harsh. Black must be accurate, but isn't this true in any opening? I like the "Mecking/Evans" defense and think it's logical. Computers tend to agree. White has space, but it's offset by black's extra center pawn. I saw in some recent books authors liked an early Bf4, but that blocks the "Sozin" motifs of f2-f4-f5. Generally speaking black can respond with h7-h6!? and even follow up with g7-g5!? to transpose to the classic black win, Smith-Evans.
This series was about accepting, which I believe is fine for black. Declining with 3... Nf6 is fine (see Sevillano-DeFirmian as a very important game in the declining line). However, accepting is more principled. It's funny that in many lines, *black* can actually get an attack!
I am always suprised why 5... d6 is taken as granted whereas e6 could be largely envisaged (even recommended by computer).
I haven't looked at it with a computer but after the supposed erroneous Nxf3 the claim that bxa6 spoils it is...questionable. Nxh2 looks pretty darn scary for white. f3 loses the queen Ba4+ ke7 doesn't change things and if the q moves to say c2 then nf3! (Qh4 is a mate threat) I don't see how white survives. - NO I was completly wrong black is busted in that line, lol oh well.
Around 13:37, after Nxf3 bxa6, why doesn't Rxb3 work?
so many variations in chess. That's why chess is recommended (in our family) for mental build-up.
Great little series so far.Nice teaching style!
Can't Black answer 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cd4 4.c3 with 4...Nf6 again?
GM Jacob Aagaard has devoted a 50-page article on the ...Nf6/d6/e6 system as anti-Alapin/Morra system in his "Experts against the Anti-Sicilian" publication. He proposes different variations than GM Delchev in his "Safest Sicilian" repertoire book.
Both systems seem mighty good to me- white has no advantage, no tricks, and no fireworks- he must play chess to survive.
@ sputnick: Esserman in his book suggests against this setup Tiviakov's 7.a3 (he also briefly deals with 7.Bc4 as "equal"), but he does not mention at all the simple and effective plan suggested by Aagard: 7...Nc6 8.Bd3 de5 9.de5 g6, which seems mighty fine for Black. He only covers mediocrely the other Black plan (...Bd7-Bc6 and ...Nd7) which is not regarded very highly by Aagaard.
What is Esserman's response to this?
Following up on my prior comment, I think the following delayed Morra might be interesting: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3!? With the pawn on e6, Nf6 is not quite as good. At least Rozentalis and Hartley say in Play the 2.c3 Sicilian (p. 132) that "we don't think this is black's best plan." And if black accepts the gambit here with 4...dxc3 does white have much against this ...e6 defense?
I totally agree with with IM pfren that 3...Nf6 is an entirely adequate reply to the Morra. In fact, 3...Nf6 is why I decided not to play the line with white. Why bother to learn all of the gambit theory when black can decline it AND be totally equal? Thus, for someone like me who has not yet had the time to learn all of the open Sicilian theory, Bb5 is the answer. It may not give white much in the Moscow variation lines, but at least white has not wasted all that time on all that Morra theory!
Isn't 3...Nf6 perfectly adequate for Black?
Why should he memorize long, complex lines, and not just play chess?
3...Nf6 kills two birds with one shot (the Morra and the Alapin). The lines suggested by Esserman in his book give white absolutely nothing.
Sure, Black does not try refuting the gambit with 3...Nf6. But he has a fully equal, unbalanced game, and fair chances to positionally outplay white.
di IM Mark Ginsburg
IM Mark Ginsburg continues his series on how to deal with the Smith-Morra Gambit by showing how Black should tackle some early sidelines in the Evans Defence. How to respond to Lenderman's early e5 lunge (the Nf6-g4-e5 & Bd6-e5 maneuvers!), what to play against Bc1-f4 (counterattack with Nf6-h5!) and Bc1-e3 (an early Nf6-d7!), it's all explained in this video, which also includes some instructive computer lines.
Intermedio | Avanzato
Sicilian Defense: Smith-Morra gambit (B21)
Correlato: Part 2
Gioca le posizioni chiave contro il Computer
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IM Mark Ginsburg
Mark learned chess at age 6 but only at age 13 was he informed that tournaments existed! He received the International Master title at age 22 and had a peak USCF rating of 2578 in 1993. Mark has twice been the Manhattan Chess Club Champion, and has also played quite a bit overseas in Belgium, Holland, England, and Switzerland. Mark has a PhD in Information Systems from NYU. Mark currently resides in Tucson, AZ and has been Co-State Champion of Arizona twice. Chess is a difficult proposition to teach because it combines logic and imagination, but Mark believes that if logic is applied then imaginative ideas work better. This belief comes through in his teaching style and practices...
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