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Marc Esserman vs Zbynek Hracek
New York Marshall CC op 2nd (2009), rd 2, Jun-19
Sicilian Defense: Smith-Morra Gambit. Declined Push Variation (B21)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-27-18  saintdufus: At the time of this game, Hracek was rated 2664 (USCF) and 2604 (FIDE). Esserman writes, in his monograph on the Morra Gambit, that Hracek was the highest-rated player yet to succumb to the Morra. Two years later Loek Van Wely (2700+) broke that record, also losing to Esserman. Thus Esserman can perhaps be regarded as the most successful Morra player to date.

The ...d3 method of declining the gambit is quite popular, but it cedes any hope of an advantage for Black. In this game the grandmaster opted for a rather benign "Hedgehog" approach with lots of waiting moves, which gave White all the play.

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