Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 28 May '09 10:14
    Hi Chaps

    A supplement to the previous Morra Gambit thread.

    According to my DB This trap has caught 21 players OTB since 1982.
    Quite a few of them over 2000.

    I know an Edinburgh player who caught two with it within 2 weeks.
    One in tournament and again in a league game.

    White to play. he cannot save his Queen and answer the threat of
    Nxf3+ and Qxh2 mate in one move.



    White's mistake is the reaction move 9.h3?? 9.Nb5 is better.

  2. 28 May '09 10:34 / 1 edit
    Hi

    I have had an occurrence of this trap exactly once, when I played the Morra myself for a while. Of course I did not play h3? but g3 - and went on to lose anyway...

    There is also a wonderful variation that is very painful for Black, where he is trampled by two Knights. I will dig it up and report back.
  3. 28 May '09 10:41
    Two games:



    Or...

  4. 28 May '09 12:35
    I mentioned the Black trap as I suspect a few players may try out
    the Morra (Morphy's Uncle's Gambit - see Morphy thread) and thought
    I'd bring it to their attention as it scores quite high OTB.
  5. 28 May '09 18:53 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Hi Chaps

    A supplement to the previous Morra Gambit thread.

    According to my DB This trap has caught 21 players OTB since 1982.
    Quite a few of them over 2000.

    I know an Edinburgh player who caught two with it within 2 weeks.
    One in tournament and again in a league game.

    White to play. he cannot save his Queen and answer the threat of
    Nxf3+ a c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Nxc3 Nc6 5. Nf3 e6 6. Bc4 Qc7 7. Qe2 Nf6 8. O-O Ng4 9. h3 Nd4[/pgn]
    Here's some analysis from a thread I posted about 2 years ago:

    Avoiding Siberian trap disaster 9.h3??

    Lets see if white can exploit the black plan in the Siberian trap, as Korch suggested. It might seem rather specialized, looking at ways to refute a trap in a gambit opening that many players aren’t even familiar with, but chances are if you’re playing someone who knows the Smith-Morra then they may well be aware of the Siberian!

    There were 3 alternate 9th moves suggested for white:
    9.Nb5!
    9.Nd5?!
    9.g3


    so, to recap:
    1.e4 c5
    2.d4 cxd4
    3.c3 dxc3
    4.Nxc3 Nc6
    5.Nf3 e6
    (differs from main line …d6)
    6.Bc4 (white follows his main line move order anyway)6…Qc7
    7.0-0 Nf6
    8.Qe2? Ng4!

    the trap is set:




    As mentioned earlier, 9.h3??, although a natural looking move, (especially OTB) is a big mistake.

    Instead:

    9.Nb5!

    This does indeed look like a good reply. Let’s follow what I think is a likely line:
    Obviously the move attacks the queen & also threatens further infiltration into Black’s camp by Nc7 or Nd6. An earlyish Nc3-Nb5 move is a typical way of adding a further threat in the Morra in the main line.
    9…Qb8 most likely I think, as it keeps the threat on the open b8-g3 diagonal alive & also still aims at h2 threatening an instant checkmate if white moves the Nf3.
    10.h3 NOW you can kick the knight away, because your knight on b5 prevents Nd4 & the resulting queen loss. 10…a6 I think this is quite likely, as black may not be able to tolerate the Nb5 pressure, even though he will lose the exchange by a pawn.
    11.hxg4 Nxb5 12.Bxb5 and white has equalised 12…Be7 allowing the safety of a kingside castle.
    13.Rd1 white must attack the ½ open d-file 13…0-0 although the black king is reasonably secure, white looks pretty good here:


  6. 28 May '09 18:54 / 2 edits
    Secondly:

    9.Nd5?!

    This option is a bold use of the pin on the e-pawn to attack the black queen 9...exd5 10.exd5+ & attacking Nc6 also 10…N(c)e5 attacks white’s Bc4 with the queen, so 11.Bb3 staying on the f7 diagonal & also defending d5 11…Be7 stops the pin on Ne5 & allows the ks castle. 12.Bf4 looks good here, pinning Ne5 against the queen this time! 12…d6 defends the knight & removes the pin. 13.h3 forcing the Ng4 away. Play here looks ok for both, but white needs to consolidate being a piece down by using the rooks to attack the open c-file & the d or e-file also, but it could go either way with 1 small mistake.
    With careful play from black though, white could be in trouble.




    Finally:

    9.g3

    This breaks the black threats on the b8-h2 diagonal. I think many players may play 9…Be7 in reply, going for king safety.
    10.Bf4 attacking the queen & asserting white’s new dominance on the diagonal 10…Qb6
    11.R(a)d1 taking the ½ open central file 11…0-0 & 12.h3 attacking that knight
    and white looks to have good chances:






    In summary:

    On the face of it 9.Nb5! looks like a solid, attacking response to the Siberian trap threat. White can possibly get the gambit pawn back, at the expense of a fairly safe black king position.

    9.Nd5?! is rather risky, at least in the line I tried above, but black must delay king safety & deal with some tactical exchanges. Very attacking play from white which could turn sour if he can’t find ways to keep the pressure up.
    Maybe there is a better line here & a more convincing way to use the move?

    9.g3 this line can lead to promising play for white, although his king does look rather exposed with g3 & h3 pawn pushes.

    However, any option can be risky for white, best avoided altogether if you ask me!
    Better to play 6.Bf4 after 5…e6 or maybe even an early & bold 6.e5 or, if you insist with playing with fire, 8.Bg5 in the trap line, instead of the rather dubious but habit-formed 8.Qe2 which leads to the trap & the 3 options above.
  7. 28 May '09 19:08
    Good posts Squelch - though as I type this the chances are
    spmebody, somewhere on this planet is playing 9.h3?