Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Marc Esserman
Number of games in database: 174
Years covered: 1997 to 2019
Last FIDE rating: 2438 (2438 rapid)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2474

Overall record: +88 -39 =44 (64.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (31) 
    B21 B90 B22 B27 B92
 Caro-Kann (11) 
    B12 B13 B10
 French Defense (10) 
    C03 C07 C05 C18 C09
 Ruy Lopez (9) 
    C95 C78 C80 C84 C63
 French Tarrasch (8) 
    C03 C07 C05 C09
 Sicilian Najdorf (6) 
    B90 B92
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (20) 
    B90 B99 B50 B40 B23
 Sicilian Najdorf (12) 
    B99 B90 B98 B94 B92
 Dutch Defense (7) 
    A88 A85 A89 A87 A81
 King's Indian (5) 
    E62 E85 E73
 Reti System (5) 
    A06 A05
 Semi-Slav (4) 
    D45 D47 D44
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   M Esserman vs Van Wely, 2011 1-0
   M Esserman vs V Martirosov, 2008 1-0
   M Esserman vs J Sarkar, 2008 1-0
   M Esserman vs P Nutzman, 2009 1-0
   M Esserman vs T Bartell, 2009 1-0
   M Esserman vs Joel Benjamin, 2010 1-0
   M Esserman vs C Tsai, 2003 1-0
   M Esserman vs E Perelshteyn, 2008 1-0
   L Milman vs M Esserman, 2009 0-1
   M Esserman vs J Lian, 2008 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   United States Chess League (2008)
   112th US Open (2011)
   Reykjavik Open (2016)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2017)
   Rilton Cup 2016/17 (2016)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2016)
   Reykjavik Open (2017)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2018)
   Isle of Man Masters (2017)
   Reykjavik Open (2015)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   smithmorra by M.Esserman as white by JeanJacques
   Brrilant ideas by gourab.dewan
   B21 Smith-Morra Gambit [White] by chess.master
   SMITH-MORRA GAMBIT by timtiger

   🏆 Capelle
   Klinova vs M Esserman (Mar-28-19) 0-1
   M Esserman vs Christian Walls (Feb-25-19) 1/2-1/2, exhibition
   M Esserman vs J Wexelbaum (Feb-06-19) 0-1, exhibition
   E de Haan vs M Esserman (Jan-30-18) 1-0
   S del Hemant vs M Esserman (Jan-29-18) 1/2-1/2

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Marc Esserman
Search Google for Marc Esserman
FIDE player card for Marc Esserman

(born Jul-28-1983, 36 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
International Master. Author of the book Mayhem in the Morra! (2012) about the Smith-Morra Gambit (1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3).

Wikipedia article: Marc Esserman

 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 174  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. M Esserman vs D Moody 0-1571997US OpenE99 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov
2. M Esserman vs C Stauffer 1-0182000US Masters opB02 Alekhine's Defense
3. D Filipovich vs M Esserman  ½-½212000World OpenA05 Reti Opening
4. R Goletiani vs M Esserman  1-042200028th World OpenC66 Ruy Lopez
5. M Esserman vs A Shaw ½-½54200110th Eastern Class ChampionshipC01 French, Exchange
6. B G Smith vs M Esserman  ½-½52200129th World OpenD85 Grunfeld
7. Fishbein vs M Esserman  1-0672003US Championship 2003C80 Ruy Lopez, Open
8. M Esserman vs T Enkhbat  0-1472003US Championship 2003E54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
9. M Esserman vs C Tsai 1-0232003USA-chB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
10. M Esserman vs Akobian  0-1512003New York Masters 54thB07 Pirc
11. Y Shulman vs M Esserman  ½-½562003North American opA87 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation
12. C Spencer vs M Esserman  ½-½192004US OpenB06 Robatsch
13. E O Rodriguez vs M Esserman  0-1252007Miami opA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
14. Alexander V Ivanov vs M Esserman 1-0242008Foxwoods OpenB91 Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (Fianchetto) Variation
15. M Esserman vs Shabalov 0-1272008Foxwoods OpenB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
16. M Esserman vs E Perelshteyn 1-0722008World OpenB27 Sicilian
17. M Esserman vs D Ludwig  0-1262008World OpenB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
18. R Gonzalez vs M Esserman  1-0182008World OpenB50 Sicilian
19. R Akopian vs M Esserman  ½-½332008World OpenB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
20. M Esserman vs L Kritz  ½-½412008New England MastersB01 Scandinavian
21. M Esserman vs R Hungaski  1-0412008New England MastersC49 Four Knights
22. C Jones vs M Esserman  0-1472008United States Chess LeagueB94 Sicilian, Najdorf
23. M Esserman vs J Sarkar 1-0162008Miami opB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
24. M Esserman vs V M Mikhalevski  1-0322008Miami opC49 Four Knights
25. M Esserman vs D Aldama Degurnay  1-0632008Miami opB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 174  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Esserman wins | Esserman loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-28-04  Morty: Marc Esserman, Harvard University Class of 2005, is a member of the Harvard Chess Club.
Dec-26-08  notyetagm: <Morty: Marc Esserman, Harvard University Class of 2005, is a member of the Harvard Chess Club.>

Cool guy. I met him at the New England Masters chess tournament last August. The event was held at one of my three(!) chess clubs, the Blackstone Chess Academy (

Apr-23-10  laskersteinitz: Does Esserman have any GM norms?
Jun-22-11  Kinghunt: Esserman regularly plays at Boston's Boylston chess club and also at Harvard Square, for money. But he's not just another normal hustler. He gives opponents the choice of an extra queen or cutting his time down to under a minute.
Aug-05-11  laskersteinitz: Nicely done Marc!

[Event "US Open, Denker, Barber"]
[Site "Orlando"]
[Date "2011.08.04"]
[Round "6Six5F3"]
[White "Esserman, Marc"]
[Black "Van Wely, Loek"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2554"]
[BlackElo "2735"]
[WhiteTitle "IM"]
[BlackTitle "GM"]
[Source "MonRoi"]

1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Nxc3 Nc6 5. Nf3 e6 6. Bc4 a6 7. O-O Nge7 8. Bg5 f6 9. Be3 Ng6 10. Bb3 b5 11. Nd5 exd5 12. exd5 Nce5 13. d6 Bb7 14. Nxe5 fxe5 15. f4 Qf6 16. fxe5 Qxe5 17. Bg5 Be7 18. Bf7+ Kd8 19. dxe7+ Nxe7 20. Qd2 Kc8 21. Rac1+ Nc6 22. Rfd1 Qf5 23. Bf4 Qxf7 24. Qd6 Kd8 25. Rxc6 Bxc6 26. Qxc6 1-0

Aug-06-11  laskersteinitz: [Event "US Open, Denker, Barber"]
[Site "Orlando"]
[Date "2011.08.05"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Esserman, Marc"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2863"]
[BlackElo "2554"]
[WhiteTitle "GM"]
[BlackTitle "IM"]
[Source "MonRoi"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Qa4+ Nd7 8. Be3 O-O 9. Rc1 Nf6 10. Bd3 b6 11. Ne2 e5 12. f3 c5 13. O-O Be6 14. Rfd1 Qc7 15. dxe5 Qxe5 16. Bf4 Qh5 17. Bb5 Bh6 18. Bc6 Rac8 19. e5 Bxf4 20. Qxf4 Qf5 21. Qxf5 gxf5 22. Ba4 Nd5 23. Kf2 f6 24. c4 Nc7 25. exf6 Kf7 26. Nf4 Rcd8 27. Bb3 Kxf6 28. h3 Bf7 29. g4 fxg4 30. hxg4 Ne6 31. Nxe6 Bxe6 32. Kg3 Bf7 33. f4 h6 34. Kh4 Rfe8 35. Kg3 Re3+ 36. Kf2 Red3 37. Rh1 Rd2+ 38. Kg3 R8d3+ 39. Kh4 Rd4 40. Rhf1 Re2 41. Rf3 Bg6 42. Rff1 Bf7 43. Rcd1 Ree4 44. Kg3 Re3+ 45. Kf2 Ree4 46. Kg3 Re3+ 1/2-1/2

Aug-08-11  laskersteinitz: [Event "US Open, Denker, Barber"]
[Site "Orlando"]
[Date "2011.08.06"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Esserman, Marc"]
[Black "Lenderman, Aleksandr"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2554"]
[BlackElo "2602"]
[WhiteTitle "IM"]
[BlackTitle "GM"]
[Source "MonRoi"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O c5 7. dxc5 Nec6 8. Be3 Nd7 9. c4 dxc4 10. Na3 c3 11. Qb3 cxb2 12. Qxb2 Bxc5 13. Rfd1 Bxe3 14. fxe3 Rb8 15. Nd4 O-O 16. Nc4 Be4 17. Nd6 Bd5 18. e4 Nxd4 19. exd5 Nxe2+ 20. Qxe2 Qe7 21. Qe4 Nb6 22. dxe6 fxe6 23. Rf1 Nd5 24. Rxf8+ Rxf8 25. Rf1 Rxf1+ 26. Kxf1 Qg5 27. g3 Qd2 28. h4 Ne3+ 29. Kg1 Qd1+ 30. Kh2 Ng4+ 31. Kg2 Qd2+ 0-1

I know Esserman likes to sac pawns (he LOVES the Smith-Morra gambit! He beat Van Wely with it and got Game of the Day here on, but I don't understand such risky play against such a strong GM as Lenderman, given his performance in the tournament at this point...This could be the difference between a GM norm and no norm...

Jun-19-12  galdur: Smashing the Finegold Defense

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Some cool games by Esserman and others here:
Apr-28-13  Abdel Irada: <laskersteinitz: I know Esserman likes to sac pawns (he LOVES the Smith-Morra gambit! He beat Van Wely with it and got Game of the Day here on, but I don't understand such risky play against such a strong GM as Lenderman, given his performance in the tournament at this point.>

It's not in the <> database, but Joel Lautier drew against (and should have beaten) Kasparov with White in the Morra.

At present the opening is under a cloud because of a variation in the Accepted Main Line in which Black appears to retain his extra pawn safely, although at the cost of the doubling of his f-pawns. Such is the fate of all sharp openings at one time in their lives or another, and most are later rehabilitated in home analysis, used successfully, restored to popularity, and then "refuted" again, to restart the cycle.

If the Morra is what Esserman knows, I say he should stick with it against any opponent. After all, if Kasparov nearly lost to it, others may actually do so.

Aug-01-14  RookFile: I don't know that the opening is that risky. Even when white is a pawn down he typically has excellent drawing chances due to blockade possibilities.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Abdel Irada: ... At present the opening is under a cloud because of a variation in the Accepted Main Line in which Black appears to retain his extra pawn safely, although at the cost of the doubling of his f-pawns.>

What line are you talking about?

Nov-14-15  PJs Studio: The Smith Morra by Mr Esserman is a MUST read book, before you pass judgement you must read it! First of all, it's near violent, in depth coverage of almost every line black can counter with is high class. The movie quotes I could do without but the instruction is solid!

He freely admits that these lines might not whoop your not-so-common super GM, but he defends that it is sound.

I generally hate gambits yet the Smith Morra has become my main weapon against the Sicilian. Since I play the Sicilian as black I've been working on DECLINING the gambit because the mine field it provides white is tight and you basically can't misstep anywhere without a fatality.

This book has reaffirmed my belief that the Morra is completely sound.

May-27-16  waustad: <PJ>You convinced me to look at my stack of old "Chess Quarterly" issues and it raised hell with my asthma. Dust is not my friend now. I probably have them all. I may have given away the one that was designed to show kids the rules, but the rest are probably still here. If you don't know why I'm mentioning this, the eponymous Ken Smith was involved if I recall.
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, is totally anonymous, and 100% free—plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, profane, raunchy, or disgusting language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate or nonsense posts.
  3. No malicious personal attacks, including cyber stalking, systematic antagonism, or gratuitous name-calling of any member Iincludinfgall Admin and Owners or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. If you think someone is an idiot, then provide evidence that their reasoning is invalid and/or idiotic, instead of just calling them an idiot. It's a subtle but important distinction, even in political discussions.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No malicious posting of or linking to personal, private, and/or negative information (aka "doxing" or "doxxing") about any member, (including all Admin and Owners) or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. This includes all media: text, images, video, audio, or otherwise. Such actions will result in severe sanctions for any violators.
  6. NO TROLLING. Admin and Owners know it when they see it, and sanctions for any trolls will be significant.
  7. Any off-topic posts which distract from the primary topic of discussion are subject to removal.
  8. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by Moderators is expressly prohibited.
  9. The use of "sock puppet" accounts in an attempt to undermine any side of a debate—or to create a false impression of consensus or support—is prohibited.
  10. All decisions with respect to deleting posts, and any subsequent discipline, are final, and occur at the sole discretion of the Moderators, Admin, and Owners.
  11. 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: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific player and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, 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 at the sole discretion of the Admin and Owners—who will strive to act fairly and consistently at all times.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your 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 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC