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  1. 19 Mar '06 22:16
    Lately, I've been having some trouble with the Smith-Morra and Alapin. I think the main problem is the lines that my book suggests. Fritz evaluates many of the resulting positions as +1.15 and more. Of course, I was hoping for equality out of the openings, so this is not at all convenient. Considering that the book is written by GMs who have won many tournaments, I don't know how they can recommend such a terrible position for black players.

    So, how do you counter the Smith-Morra and Alapin?
  2. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    19 Mar '06 22:38
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    Lately, I've been having some trouble with the Smith-Morra and Alapin. I think the main problem is the lines that my book suggests. Fritz evaluates many of the resulting positions as +1.15 and more. Of course, I was hoping for equality out of the openings, so this is not at all convenient. Considering that the book is written by GMs who have won many tour ...[text shortened]... h a terrible position for black players.

    So, how do you counter the Smith-Morra and Alapin?
    What's wrong with black's position? White's a pawn down and has some initiative, but all black has to do is defend accurately. If white plays as accurately as Fritz you can report them to the games moderators.
  3. 19 Mar '06 22:52 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    What's wrong with black's position? White's a pawn down and has some initiative, but all black has to do is defend accurately. If white plays as accurately as Fritz you can report them to the games moderators.
    No, I haven't played any Smith-Morra or Alapin games on RHP. I'm not talking about correspondence games. It's also not that White plays as accurately as Fritz, it's just that the opening book I have suggests some poor lines for black.

    For example:

    1. e4 c5 2. c3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. cxd4 d5 5. exd5 Nf6 6. Bb5+ Nbd7 7. Nc3 Bg7 8.d6 exd6 9. Qe2+ Kf8 10. Nf3 Nb6 11. O-O h6 12. Bf4 Be6 13. Rfe1 Kg8

  4. 19 Mar '06 22:58
    Or this one:

    1. e4 c5 2. c3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. cxd4 d5 5. e5 Bg7 6. Nc3 Nc6 7. Bb5 f6 8. exf6 exf6 9. Nge2 Be6 10. Nf4 Bf7 11. O-O Nge7 12. Bxc6+ bxc6 13. Na4 O-O 14. Nc5 Qc8 15. Re1 Re8 16. Qd3 g5 17. Ne2 Bg6 18. Qc3 Nf5




    Maybe I just don't know how to play their lines well and that's why I think they aren't so good. But really, do you guys think these are solid lines?
  5. 19 Mar '06 23:26
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    Or this one:

    1. e4 c5 2. c3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. cxd4 d5 5. e5 Bg7 6. Nc3 Nc6 7. Bb5 f6 8. exf6 exf6 9. Nge2 Be6 10. Nf4 Bf7 11. O-O Nge7 12. Bxc6+ bxc6 13. Na4 O-O 14. Nc5 Qc8 15. Re1 Re8 16. Qd3 g5 17. Ne2 Bg6 18. Qc3 Nf5


    [fen]r1q1r1k1/p5bp/2p2pb1/2Np1np1/3P4/2Q5/PP2NPPP/R1B1R1K1 w - - 0 19[/fen]

    Maybe I just don't know how to play their lines we ...[text shortened]... that's why I think they aren't so good. But really, do you guys think these are solid lines?
    Starting the Sicilian by John Emms:

    The Morra Gambit is especially trappy but Black should be fine if he gets through the first few moves unscathed.

    I see you have 2...g6 . This book doesn't cover it. I don't know much about it but is that a good move or did you just play in in blitz?

    Here's what I got:

    1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 Nf3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Qe2 Be7 9.Rd1 e5! 10.h3 0-0

    White scored 48% here according to Mega Database 2002, Over 6000 games in this position.

    So Black is fine once he gets this far and avoids the earlier traps.
  6. 20 Mar '06 00:19 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by RahimK
    Starting the Sicilian by John Emms:

    The Morra Gambit is especially trappy but Black should be fine if he gets through the first few moves unscathed.

    I see you have 2...g6 . This book doesn't cover it. I don't know much about it but is that a good move or did you just play in in blitz?

    Here's what I got:

    1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 Nf3 d ...[text shortened]... mes in this position.

    So Black is fine once he gets this far and avoids the earlier traps.
    Thanks a lot for that line RahimK. I will give it a try. It does look as if it is easier to handle:



    As for the moves I have listed in my last two posts, these are the exact moves that Chess Openings for Black Explained recommends.

    I don't like them too much, but I also have rarely faced the Alapin or Smith-Morra. What do you think?
  7. 20 Mar '06 02:19
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    Thanks a lot for that line RahimK. I will give it a try. It does look as if it is easier to handle:

    [fen]r1bq1rk1/pp2bppp/2np1n2/4p3/2B1P3/2N2N1P/PP2QPP1/R1BR2K1 w - - 1 11[/fen]

    As for the moves I have listed in my last two posts, these are the exact moves that Chess Openings for Black Explained recommends.

    I don't like them too much, but I also have rarely faced the Alapin or Smith-Morra. What do you think?
    You're mixing the openings. The 2..g6 lines are Alapin.
    Rahim's example (no ...g6) is Smith-Morra. They're totally different.
    ..g6 is common for black in the alapin.
    ...g6 is less common and IMO less good in the Morra.
  8. 20 Mar '06 03:27
    Originally posted by Regicidal
    You're mixing the openings. The 2..g6 lines are Alapin.
    Rahim's example (no ...g6) is Smith-Morra. They're totally different.
    ..g6 is common for black in the alapin.
    ...g6 is less common and IMO less good in the Morra.
    I don't know much about the line, I was just posting what the book said but

    1.e4 c5 2.c3

    I suggest you play 2...d5 . There's also 2...Nf6 both are good.

    But after 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 Play the line I gave.

    I don't like 2...g6 especailly after 2.c3 when you can just hit back with the breaking move d5 which black is always trying to get in for the sicilian.
  9. 20 Mar '06 04:48
    My book transposes so that the same position is reached from the Alapin or Smith-Morra.
  10. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    21 Mar '06 15:02
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    My book transposes so that the same position is reached from the Alapin or Smith-Morra.
    g6 is probably too loosening against the Smith-Morra, white gets a strong attack for the pawn. Black should adopt a Scheveningen type set up: Game 1212030.
  11. 21 Mar '06 18:23 / 1 edit
    I play the Morra Gambit and the line which I find most annoying is

    1.e4 c5
    2.d4 cxd4
    3.c3 dxc3
    4.Nxc3 e6
    5.Nf3 Bc5


    The e6 move is critical to blunt White's light-squared bishop on the Italian diagonal. Getting the bishop out allows Black a freer game than having it shut in behind a Scheveningen pawn structure.

    I just checked my database, and in fact Black scores exceedingly well from this position.

    Edit: Typo.
  12. 22 Mar '06 02:02
    Against the Alapin, I just transpose to the French by doing 1. e4 c5 2. c3 e6 3. d4 d5 if possible. For the Morra, yeah I would try and follow Rahim's line.