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Smith-Morra Gambit

Smith-Morra Gambit

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The Smith-Morra Gambit against the Sicilian Defense (1 e4 c5 2 d4 cxd4 3 c3 dxc3 4 Nxc3!?) is perhaps not common in grandmaster chess, but at club level it can be a very potent attacking weapon.  The gambit is named after two players, Pierre Morra from France (1900-1969) and Ken Smith (1930-1999) of the Dallas Chess Club, who popularized it to the masses by writing nine books and fifty articles about it.

At grandmaster level, the Nge7 variations are seen as best play against it - but at the recent US Open in Orlando, one of the world’s top grandmasters, Loek van Wely of The Netherlands, proved to be the highest-profile victim yet for the Smith-Morra, as he lost in a spectacular attacking game to IM Marc Esserman. 


1 e4 c5 2 d4 cxd4 3 c3 dxc3 4 Nxc3!?

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