Morra Gambit – Part 7

And finally we will examine the plan with the bishop fianchetto.

Sample Game # 7  

1.e4 c5 2. d4 cd 3. c3 dc 4. Nc3 d6 5. Bc4


 Black is going to develop the bishop on the long diagonal h8-a1

6. Nf3 Nf6  

Prepares further castling, though this attempt has a defect. White could destroy this plan by the well-known motive:

7. e5!

The standard hit, after


The killing blow is coming

 8. Bf7+!

And black is lost.

Sample Game # 8  

1.e4 c5 2. d4 cd 3. c3 dc 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. Bc4 g6 6.Nf3 Bg7 

Planning after d6 and Nf6 continue the development. But White could stop this plan by the aggressive pawn’s move


Offering the pawn sacrifice.


7…Bxe5 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Nxe5+ Nxe5 10.Qd5+ Leads to the same line

7…Nh6  8.0-0 0-0 9.Bf4 Nf5 10.g4 Nh6 11.h3 And Black’s position is cramped.

8.Nxe5 Bxe5 9.Bxf7+!

The obvious 9.Qd5 will be met by 9…Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 e6

9…Kxf7 10.Qd5+ e6 [10…Kf6 11.Ne4+ Kf5 12.g4+ wins]

11.Qxe5 Qf6 12.Qg3 

And White is keeping strong attack, when Blacks King lost the castling rights.

Morra Gambit – Part 6

Sample game # 6

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Bc4 e6 6.Nf3 Qc7 7.0-0 a6

Another attempt. Black prevents any business with the Nb5 attack.


This move is the part of the whole setup. The Queen is freeing the place for the King’s rook, which gets ready to start the pressure over the “d” file. 


A careless move. Black would do better to prevent white from the next aggressive operation. I would recommend 8… d6 as the best response.  


A very interesting move leading to a very sharp battle.
 Here you could see another point of the effective 8.Qe2! White gains more and more space, when the black’s counterplay is based on the direct assault over the e5 square.

9…Ng4 10.Bf4!


 At the same time white increases his piece activity, but also brings more power over the e5 and d6 squares.  
Black is almost forced to play 10…f6, when 10…Be7 11.h3 Nh6 12.Rd1 with the further Ne4! Leads to the huge positional advantage for white.  
Now white can’t capture the pawn on f6 at once after 11.ef? Simply because the strong recapture 11…Qf4!
The pawn e5 divides black’s position on two separate parts! The Queenside is completely out of the loop about anything that’s happening on the King’s side.

One of the most important principles of the positional game was discovered and approved by the first World Champion W. Steinitz. “The one who has advantage has to attack under the threat of wasting this Advantage.”
Using the bad position of the black King, which is still stuck in the center, white comes with a nice tactical blow, which immediately demolishes black’s position:


The final accord. The knight is aiming at the black Queen, that forces him to accept the  sacrifice. After 11…Qa5 12.ef there is no way to stop 13.Nc7+



 Getting rid of the e6 pawn – the “e” file has been opened and that allows white to come up with the massive strike. 

12.exf6+ Nce5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Qxc4

Seems that black is still alive, however after


The smoke has totally cleared up. Black’s position is lost after either 15…Bg7 16.Qh5+ with a mating attack or 15.Qe2 16.ghQ that leads to huge material loses.

Black resigned






Morra Gambit – Part 5

Sample game # 4

Black could try to develop its Queenside bishop after a6 and b5.

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 a6

Black is intending b5 and Bb7, nevertheless white continues in the same style and develops its bishop to the best square.

5.Bc4! b5??

But black is oblivious to the white’s threat. After the standard 6.Bxf7+ black is losing:

6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxa8

Winning the rook on a8. Black resigns 1-0


Sample game # 5

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

The safest setup. Black is blocking the dangerous diagonal – where we have seen so many catastrophes on f7 square.

White has no immediate threats, though in the Morra gambit you don’t need to look after a casual combination.

You have to follow the main principles of the opening as: fast development, control over the center and a tactical combination will bear itself!

 6.Nf3 Qc7 7.0-0 Nf6

Why does black omit 7…d6, what is the point of this?

Black is waiting for 8.Qe2 – the most natural continuation, which could be met by the 8…Ng4!? Preparing a fine trap. Now if white plays the obvious 9.h3?? Unexpectedly comes the beautiful 9.Nd4! Black distracts the only defender of the h2 square – the white knight f3, which leads to the inevitable mating construction.

White is obligated to eliminate the knight 10.Nd4 and 10.Qh2! Checkmate! No help either is 10.Qd3 Nf3! nor 10.Nb5 Nf3! and 11.Qh2 is coming.

9.Rd1 Doesn’t fix the problem, since after 9… Bc5! White can’t comfortably protect f2.
White has a problem: How to stop Nd4? How to improve the position?
The next energetic move sets the control over the d4 square and gains the initiative: 

8.Nb5! Qb8 9.e5!

White is going to sacrifice another pawn but the main purpose is the unprotected c7 square.

9… Nxe5

Doesn’t help 9…Ng4 10.Bf4! Nge5 11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.Rc1 d6 13.Bxe5 dxe5 14.Nc7+ Qc7 15.Bb5+ and white wins the Queen)  

10.Nxe5 Qxe5 11.Re1

Black keeps moving his Queen, while white just increases his development advantage move by move by bringing more and more pieces into the attack.  


Black’s pieces are under nasty pressure and virtually all restrained to the back rank!  


The decisive move.
Suddenly black has no good defenses against the incoming 13.Bf4! move,
I suppose at the moment black is lost already.

12…d6 13.Bf4 e5

The only way to stop Nd6, actually white has such a huge development advantage then the following combination is natural as a baby’s smile:  


White ruins black fragile shelter with the simple rook sacrifice.
Black has to accept the rook but after 14…de 15.Be5 the Queen is trapped.

Black resigned

Morra Gambit – Part 4

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cd 3.c3 dc 4. Nc3 d6 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.Nf3 Nf6 7.e5!


 7…de 8. Qd8!  

So.. With no better choice the Queen has to be captured with the knight.

B.) 8… Nd8

 Now white could capture the pawn after 9.Ne5, the nice mobilization allows even more powerful aims.  

9. Nb5!   

White intends Nc7 winning the full rook. Black suddenly has no good answers.

The attempt to cover c7 after  9 …Kd7??, simply leads to the mate after 10. Ne5 Ke8 11. Nc7 checkmate.

After 9… Ne6 white immediately eliminates the knight after 10.Be6 Be6 and invades on c7 square with the decisive fork 11. Nc7+! Winning the rook.
No help either is 9… Be6 – black is hoping for 10. Be6? Ne6 covering the c7 square, nevertheless white wins easily after 10. Nc7! Kd7 11.Na8 Bc4 for a short while look like black is fine – the Na8 is trapped and black could hope to capture it soon. But here came the surprise 12. Ne5+! With the check – the Bishop c4 is lost.
The only precise defense

9… Rb8

indeed after


 white creates the threat Nc7 checkmate.

10… e6

 now white could simply take the pawn 11.Na7 or continue the attack after

12. Nc7+ Ke7 13.b3! 

 Gaining more development due the mating threat Ba3!
Lets just evaluate the position. White has completed his development, when the black pieces are just on the back rank. Thus white easily exploits an ugly position of the King on e7 by increasing their pieces activity and keeping an unpleasant pressure.
The main conclusion:
In the Morra gambit black has to be extremely careful. One slip could cause an immediate disaster as I have shown above.

Morra Gambit – Part 3

Sample game #3

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cd 3.c3 dc 4. Nc3 d6 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.Nf3

So. as we saw in the game 2 black can’t activate the bishop at once but what’s wrong with

6… Nf6!?  

 With the previous 5… Nc6 black was setting control over the important e5 square. Furthermore black is planning to bring the bishop on g4.
Can white do perform anything special? The answer will be – yes!


 Anyway! This brave move disorganizes black’s position. Black has two obvious options, when the first one 7… Ne5 fails immediately after 8. Ne5 de 9.Bf7+! (Well-known theme – the black King is overloaded) Kf7 10. Qd8 white gains decisive material advantage.  

7…de 8. Qd8!  

White isn’t spoiling any initiative by the Queen’s swapping, but gains more and more pressure.
Black has two possible recaptures:  A.) 8…Kd8 and B.) 8…Nd8.

 A.) 8… Kd8?!

Looks natural. Black is hoping for 9.Bf7 the move, which only slips away white’s initiative after 9…e6! Then white’s bishop is trapped, though it seems that after  

9. Ng5!  

Black is facing a serious problem – how to stop the Nf7 fork.  

9… Kc7 10. Nf7 Rg8  

and now white comes with another blow  

11. Ne5! Ne5 12. Bf4!

12.Bg8 Ng8?! ( better is 12…Nd3+!)  For a second black is doing fine since it’s having two pieces for a rook, but white pins the knight  13. Bf4! Kd6 14. 0-0-0 + Kd6  and now after  15.Rhe1 the knight is lost.

12…e6 13.Be5 +

 and Black’s position is hopeless.

Morra Gambit – Part 2

Sample game #2  

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cd 3.c3 dc 4. Nc3 d6 5.Bc4

No doubt then that


 is much better continuance then 5.. Nf6.

6. Nf3

 White completes his development and prepares  short castling.
At this moment black doesn’t wish to lock the bishop c8 – so what’s wrong with the attempt of pinning white’s knight after

6… Bg4?

Therefore 6… Bg4 could be punished immediately. Please pay attention to the reasons:
The well-known nuance – weakness of the f7 square and the suddenly unprotected bishop on g4 are the motifs of white’s success.

The combination starts with the nice smash

7. Bf7+!

 White gains a pawn back and also the black King is no longer in safe place after

7… Kf7 8. Ng5+! Ke8 9.Qg4

 and white has the obvious advantage when the material is even.







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.