Thursday, October 11, 2012

Typical Smith-Morra craziness

Black's 5...Bg4!? is an unusual move not mentioned in the Smith-Morra Bible (Marc Esserman's Mayhem in the Morra!). It may be a decent move, possibly transposing to the important line 4...d6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bc4 a6! 7.O-O Nf6 8.Qe2 Bg4!, which has scored extremely well for Black. If 5...Bg4!? is any good, 5.Bc4 (rather than my 5.Nf3) might be a more accurate move order. The game later descended into typical Smith-Morra mayhem. Yes, Virginia, 20.Bd5+ was more accurate than the needless piece sacrifice 20.Bb5+?


Anonymous said...

Yes, I learned to play 5.Bc4 if 4...d6.

Bill Brock said...

What move are you proposing on move 6? Seems like 6...e6 is forced (6...Qd7 is tactically playable, but doesn't seem to make strategic sense), and you avoid the transposition you fear.

Frederick Rhine said...

Sure, Black would play 6...e6 to avoid Qb3 tricks. It's true that that would avoid an exact transposition to the position that would arise after 4...d6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bc4 a6! 7.O-O Nf6 8.Qe2 Bg4!, but unless White plays 9.h3, Black's next move will almost always be 9...e6. The main line is 9.Rd1 e6 10.Bf4 Qb8!

If White plays 5.Bc4(!) it's a lot harder for Black to get the bishop out. Then 5...Bg4 obviously hangs the bishop, and 5...Nf6 would allow 6.e5! dxe5?? 7.Bxf7+. So 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.Nf3, when 6...Bg4? allows 7.Bxf7+, and 6...Nf6?! allows 7.e5! Hence 6...a6! 7.O-O Nf6! (7...Bg4? 8.Bxf7+). Now Black is FINALLY ready to play Bg4, but it's still tricky. If White moves his queen bishop (9.Be3, 9.Bf4, 9.Bg5), Black has to worry about White responding to 9...Bg4 with Qb3. 5.Bc4?! allows Black to play 5...Bg4 much too easily.