Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Marc Esserman vs Viswanathan Anand
Gibraltar Masters (2016), La Caleta GIB, rd 8, Feb-02
Sicilian Defense: Alapin Variation. Smith-Morra Declined (B22)  ·  1/2-1/2



Get this game explained with Decode Chess
explore this opening
find similar games 1 more M Esserman/Anand game
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can get computer analysis by clicking the "ENGINE" button below the game.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-02-16  Kinghunt: The draw may have been the pragmatic choice given the strength gap, but white had excellent chances to push for a win instead. For white's 20th move, Komodo 9.3 gives 20. h5 Bc6 21. Qe3 with a score of +0.76 (d=38).
Feb-02-16  Marmot PFL: Surprised anyone would try the Morra gambit on Anand, or that he would decline it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: One suspects that if White had not been playing a top GM, he may well have plumped for 20.h5--it is certainly a plausible move, not to mention very much in Esserman's style.
Feb-02-16  Mudphudder: Marmot, I'm fairly confident that if Anand wasn't doing so poorly in this tournament then Esserman (even though he is like the guru of Morra gambit) would have opted to play a more solid opening against Anand.
Feb-03-16  sorrowstealer: anything can happen when your confidence level is low.
Apr-20-16  Smyslov57: Great analysis of the game by chess legend GM William Lombardy:

And, reading his wonderful book on the Morra, I'm pretty sure that Esserman would have played it regardless of Anand's tournament situation. But as Rev. Lombardy says, he missed the mark and let Anand off the hook.

Apr-21-16  RookFile: I agree that the Lombardy video is worth a look. As has been noted here, surely white's issue was one of confidence, not the position on the board.
Sep-20-19  saintdufus: It wasn't White whose issue was confidence, but Black. Esserman is the world's #1 authority on this opening: he believes in it strongly, so he always plays it, no matter who his opponent is.

I do wish Anand had accepted the gambit though. Maybe he feared a similar fate to what befell Loek Van Wely.

Feb-06-20  RookFile: If you're confident, you play to win with white, not take a draw. Black can't be blamed for taking a draw in a greatly inferior game.

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Alapin Sicilian 2...Nf6, repetition
from Drawing lines by FSR
Sicilian Def: Alapin. Smith-Morra Declined (B22) 1/2-1/2
from Mr. SaM took a selfie w/Fredthebear by fredthebear

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC