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Milan Matulovic vs Gaetano Del Pezzo
"Pezzo Dispenser" (game of the day Oct-27-2018)
Sirmione (1954), Sirmione ITA
Sicilian Defense: Smith-Morra Gambit. Accepted Fianchetto Defense (B21)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A Sicilian version of the Danish! After the first few moves,it is clear who is the better player. Is there a connection?
May-22-04  Benjamin Lau: I'm not too sure it's clear who is better, this game looks sort of careless on the part of both sides.
May-22-04  Cerebrate2006: black didnt seem to know the opening well, unless it is a line of the mora i dont know (which is very possible). The game did seem kinda careless and since Del Pezzo only has this one game, it was probably a small tournament with non titled players
May-22-04  Zembla: Has anyone else had problems downloading this game?
May-22-04  tbustergold: 5... g6 seems an inferior choice, e6 is stronger. Benjamin i didn't notice any mistake by white, what did you see?
May-22-04  dac1990: Weird opening. The ECO doesn't even make sense, either.
May-22-04  dosen: I think sacrificing a pawn (this opening) is not good. but may be opponent plays wrong so you can win easily.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I'm not sure if the sacrifice is good or not... I would have to understand how Black should play correctly before I decide. Maybe 7...d6 instead of 7...Nf6 was called for?
May-22-04  wasaka: I think the pawn sac is a mistake. It gives white too much of an advantage. Black does get a pawn advantage, but white doesn't have to make as many developing moves because the position is so open.

I can somewhat see the rationale (give white the center then attack it and the pawn advantage in the endgame), but I don't particularly like it.

I definitely agree with dac1990 - it is a weird opening.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <I think the pawn sac is a mistake. It gives white too much of an advantage.> Are we talking about the same thing? It's White that gambits a pawn is it not?
May-22-04  Benjamin Lau: <tbustergold> My response was to kevin86 who commented that <After the first few moves,it is clear who is the better player>. It's not clear at all, unless you look at the names. In fact, you could have even said that black was the better player for not offering such a silly gambit (although technically he never gets the opportunity). Black's main mistake was not preventing e5, but that comes later. Maybe I shouldn't call the Morra an outright mistake, but I think white has better things to play.
May-23-04  Zembla: My favorite move in this game is 17.Nc7+ because of the neat follow up if black's K goes to d8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: <Zembla> are you referring to the quaint followup-Ng5-e6+ winning the queen for a knight?
May-23-04  Zembla: Yea, I like quaint:)
Sep-07-04  themindset: the morra is not a mistake, it is a fighting gambit opening. excellent to use on lower rated opponents.
Jul-16-18  Cheapo by the Dozen: I recall the Smith-Morra gambit getting a bit of attention in the early 1970s. I'd guess that in 1954 it wasn't well known at all.
Jul-16-18  Cheapo by the Dozen: Oh yes -- the engine agrees with one of the comments above from 2004. It thinks White had the edge after e5, but Black would have had the edge if he'd averted that by ... d6.
Jul-16-18  cormier: Stockfish 9 (minimum 60s/ply) ) <<<<<<<<<<<7... Nf6?> 7...d6 8.Ng5 Ne5 9.Qb3 Nxc4 10.Qxc4 Nh6 11.Be3 O-O = -0.49 (36 ply)> 8. e5 + / = +0.57 (35 ply)> 8... Ng4> 9. Bf7> better is 9.Re1 Qb6 10.Qc2 O-O 11.Nd5 Qd8 12.Bg5 Re8 13.Qb3 Kh8 = +0.43 (32 ply)> 9... Kf7 = -0.08 (37 ply) 10. Ng5> Ke8? 10...Kg8 11.Qxg4 Nxe5 12.Qe4 d5 13.Qxd5+ Qxd5 14.Nxd5 = -0.07 (34 ply)> 11. Qg4 + / = +0.84 (32 ply) 11... Ne5 12. Qa4> Nc6? 12...Kf8 13.Re1 d6 14.Qb3 Qb6 15.Qd5 h6 16.Ne6+ Bxe6 + / = +0.80 (34 ply)> 13. Rd1? 13.Qb3 Rf8 14.Nxh7 Qa5 15.Nxf8 Kxf8 16.Be3 Qf5 17.Nd5 d6 + / - +2.45 (35 ply)>
Jul-16-18  Castleinthesky: Not a great game, Black made a fundamental opening blunder when he failed to respond to Bf4 with e6. Also fianchettos aren't so good for Black in the Smith-Morra. I prefer a Schvenigan formation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: I thought it would be a good idea to see what Stockfish thinks. Here is its analysis:

1.e4 Notes by Stockfish 9 v010218 (minimum 60s/ply) 1...c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 g6 6.Bc4

6.e5 was played in M Zelic vs M Cebalo, 1995 (1-0) 6...Bg76...e6 was played in Thore Roksvold vs S Lunde, 2015 (0-1)

7.O-O 7.e5 was played in J Freyre vs A Rittiphunyawong, 1984 (1-0)

7...Nf6? 7...d6 8.Ng5 Ne5 9.Qb3 Nxc4 10.Qxc4 Nh6 11.Be3 O-O = -0.49 (36 ply)

8.e5 ⩲ +0.57 (35 ply) 8...Ng4 9.Bxf7+

better is 9.Re1 Qb6 10.Qc2 O-O 11.Nd5 Qd8 12.Bg5 Re8 13.Qb3 Kh8 = +0.43 (32 ply)

9...Kxf7= -0.08 (37 ply) 10.Ng5+ Ke8? 10...Kg8 11.Qxg4 Nxe5 12.Qe4 d5 13.Qxd5+ Qxd5 14.Nxd5 = -0.07 (34 ply)

11.Qxg4 ⩲ +0.84 (32 ply)11...Nxe5 12.Qa4 Nc6? 12...Kf8 13.Re1 d6 14.Qb3 Qb6 15.Qd5 h6 16.Ne6+ Bxe6 ⩲ +0.80 (34 ply)

13.Rd1? 13.Qb3 Rf8 14.Nxh7 Qa5 15.Nxf8 Kxf8 16.Be3 Qf5 17.Nd5 d6 +2.45 (35 ply)

13...Qa5? 13...Bxc3 14.Qb3 Rf8 15.Ne6 Qb6 16.Qxb6 axb6 17.Nc7+ Kd8 ⩲ +1.19 (36 ply)

14.Qb3 +2.11 (36 ply) 14...Qf5? 14...Rf8 15.Nxh7 Qb4 16.Qxb4 Nxb4 17.Nxf8 Kxf8 18.Bg5 d6 +1.79 (36 ply)

15.Nb5+- +3.61 (36 ply) 15...Be5 16.Rd5 h6 17.Nc7+ Kf8 18.Nf3 Rb8 19.Nxe5 Nxe5 20.f4

20...Nf3+ 21.Qxf3 Qf7 22.Qd3 d6 23.Qd4 Rh7 24.Qxa7 e6 +- +7.59 (32 ply)1-0

Oct-27-18  ajile: <Breunor: 7...Nf6? 7...d6 8.Ng5 Ne5 9.Qb3 Nxc4 10.Qxc4 Nh6 11.Be3 O-O = -0.49 (36 ply)>

This is what I saw too. Black needed to play ..d6 early enough and before ..Nf6 to avoid the White Bxf7+ sac and tactic winning back the piece. In this game White emerges only a pawn down with superior development plus Black's king stuck in the center.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: If any of you are interested in finding out about the Smith-Morra gambit in J Torres Santiago vs Tito Kahn, 2016 (kibitz #1) <Sally Simpson> recommended "Mayhem in the Morra!", 2012, by Marc Esserman. You can currently order it from Amazon for $ 23.65. I never did, but I think that I will do so in my next Amazon order.
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