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The Smith Morra Gambit is undoubtedly one of my favourite chess openings. Here I want to give you an example of how I used it in a recent game, and why you should try it too!

1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Nxc3 e6 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bc4 d6

Prevents intrusion on e5

7. O-O Nf6 8. Qe2 a6

Secures b5

9. Rd1 Qc7 10. Bf4 Be7

Black is behind in development.

11. Rac1 O-O 12. Bb3 Qb8 13. e5 Nh5 14. Bg5 dxe5 15. Bxe7 Nf4 16. Qe4 Nxe7 17. Nxe5 Nfg6 18. Nd7 Bxd7 19. Rxd7 Ra7 20. h4 Nf5 21. h5 Ne5 22. Rd2 b5 23. Rcd1 h6 24. Nd5 Rc8

Worse is 24... exd5 25. Qxf5 Nc4 26. Re2

25. a3 a5 26. Nf4 Nc4 27. Bxc4 bxc4

Inferior is 27... Rxc4 28. Rd8+ Kh7 29. Nxe6 Rxe4 30. Nf8+ Kg8 31. Rxb8

28. Nxe6

The first critical position: This Knight will be exchanged against four pawns (this is pawn #1)

28... fxe6 29. Qxe6+

pawn #2

29... Rf7 30. Rd7 Rcf8 31. Rxf7 Rxf7 32. Rd7 Qf8

forced!

33. Qd5

With the decisive threat Rd8

33... Ne7 34. Qxa5

This is pawn #3, also threatening Rd8

34... Nc6

34... Rxf2 fails

35. Qd5 Ne7 36. Qxc4

and pawn #4. This was the first part of my plan. Now we have the second critical position.

36... Qc8 37. Qe6

The second part of my plan is to exchange Rooks and Queens. This can easely be done : 37. Qxc8 Nxc8 38. Rxf7 Kxf7 with the drawback that my King is still on g1!

37... Qc1+ 38. Kh2 Qf4+ 39. Kh3 Qf5+ 40. Qxf5 Nxf5 41. Rd8+ Rf8 42. Rxf8+ Kxf8 43. Kg4 Nd6

Now Rooks and Queens are exchanged and my King is on g4!

44. a4 Ke7 45. Kf4 Ke6 46. a5 Kd5 47. b4 Kc6 48. Ke5 Kd7 49. a6 Nb5 50. Kf5 Ke7 51. Kg6 Kf8 52. f4 1-0

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Smith Morra Gambit Opening