Morra Gambit – Part 1

We will start from building the good attacking system against the Sicilian defense.
The Morra gambit is the very powerful weapon! The critical position has arisen after

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cd 3.c3!

White is offering the pawn sacrifice for development advantage and to open the “d” and “c” files.Let’s take a look what benefits white could obtain after

3.dc 4. Nc3

White is has one more piece already developed in addition to the actively placed pawn on the e-file. Having clear space advantage and pressure over the most important squares on the chessboard – e4, d4 and d5 white is hoping to develop the initiative by aiming at the center and preventing black’s pieces mobilization.
Let’s take a look what problems black has to face already after only a few more moves:

Sample game #1

4… d6

Black is preparing 5…Nf6 as 4. ..Nf6 is worthless due to the immediately 5.e5! White gains more space and black’s knight must go away.

5. Bc4!

White develops the bishop on the most aggressive and strongest outpost. Thus white also intends the weakest point in the black’s position the f7 pawn.

5. Nf6?!

 Black is continuing his own plan without any doubts, however this offers white to the use of the additional weapon – the development advantage.


For a few seconds this move seems to be a serious blunder – looks like black could capture the pawn without any compensation.

6… de??

A pleasant surprise. Black  greedily captures the pawn, but after the elegant tactical shot

7. Bf7+!

Black has found himself in a difficult situation. By targeting black’s King White obtains a decisive material advantage.

7… Kf7

The only move.
Suddenly the Queen is hanging. This  decides the whole game.


Black resigned
After 6… de?? Nothing could help black. But lets try to move the knight somewhere else.The attempt

6… Ng8?!

 Could be answered by the simple developing

7. Nf3!

 And black is still unable to remove the white’s nasty pawn – after due to the simple 8.Bf7!+ with the similar combination.
Probably the best move seems to be

6… Ng4!? 

 Indeed white might continue


 Aiming at black’s knight g4 keeping the clear initiative after the best try

7… Ne5

(but not 7…Be6? 8.Be6 fe 9.Qg4 or 7…fe? 8. Qg4 and white is winning a piece.)

8. ef + Nf7 9. Nf3

keeping the unpleasant pressure when the immediate 9. Bf7+ leaving black’s King unable to castle.


11 Responses

  1. i had a game that went as follows……
    1.e4 c5
    2.d4 cxd4
    3.c3 dxc3
    4.nxc3 d6
    5.Bc4 nf6
    6.e5 nfd7
    you have any suggestions on what i should do against that?

  2. Hello Jazz!
    Play just 7. Bf7+! Kf7 and 8. e6+ ! now Ke6 fails after 9.Qb3+ Kf6 10. Nd5+ with the force mate .

    8…Ke6 9 ed + White wins back a piece and Blacks King lost the casting rights.

  3. what to play if after 6…… Ng4 and 7. e6 Bc8 takes e6?

  4. but not 7…Be6? 8.Be6 fe 9.Qg4 or 7…fe? 8. Qg4 and white is winning a piece

  5. Hello, I was wondering why you reccomend the Smith-Morra Gambit, as there are ways to get around it (1.e4, c5 2.d4, cd 3.c3, g6 4. cd, d5!), and after moves like 4….e6, it blocks the Bf7 tricks, and leaves a super-solid center for black to work with. I have also read that there is the gambit 1.e4, c5 2. d4, cd 3.f4!?. Is it a viable alternative?

  6. Taking the e5 pawn seems to me to be done more out of not wanting to move the Knight than out of “greed”

  7. yes Sir, I can boogie …


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