The Smith-Morra Gambit's Siren Call
A small wave of nostalgia for the Smith-Morra Gambit has been building in me of late, culminating in my finding an old scorebook from 1981 where it featured in at least half my games as White. I have posted analysis of two of the better ones I unearthed in "Youthful Smith-Morras" (along with a PGN to download). I am impressed by the creativity in these games, and playing them over (even the ones with too many errors by both sides to show) I am surprised by how well I was doing as White in every game. In fact, I would say that none of my losses were due to the opening, while it gave me many quick wins.
I had been thinking about the Smith-Morra since I saw a series of lectures by GM-elect Alex Lenderman at ICC back in late 2007. The recent game Esserman - Bartell, USCL 2009 revived my interest to some extent. Then last week I stumbled upon a super Smith-Morra webliography at The Bishops Bounty (a great blog by the way). And today I came close to buying The Modern Morra Gambit by Hannes Langrock. I didn't buy it, though (not yet, anyway). You'd think Tim McGrew's "The Power of Ideas" and "A Little Learning" would have convinced me that the Smith-Morra is not just some youthful indulgence. Maybe I've grown old and curmudgeonly in my attitude, sort of like IM Mark Ginsburg (author of "Defending the Smith-Morra") who analyzes the Esserman game at his blog, under the title "The Smith-Morra, again?" (you can just feel his exasperation). I should just dismiss the thought. But it is hard to resist the Smith-Morra Gambit's siren call.