Crush the Sicilian Defence Chess Opening: Smith-Morra Gambit
What you'll learn
- Ability to play against the Sicilian defence - one of the most popular replies against 1.e4 and enjoy the "Open game" which is a necessary foundation
- Ability to experience a powerful chess gambit which has survived the test of time and is hugely popular at the club level in the last several years
- Ability to set the scene for amazing chess tactics and combinations through greater piece activity, space and lead in development the gambit often offers
- Ability to sidestep a mass of potentially memorised opening theory that the opponent had in mind and instead improve your chess from experiencing open games
- Ability to research and take seriously blitz games as reference and use many of the engine-validated ideas at any time control
- Ability to take seriously games of any time control but still try and find best representations for both sides
- Ability to couple course with an Alapin Sicilian defence course for greater depth later of Nf6 declined variation
- Ability to be an exciting dynamic aggressive tactical player like Marc Esserman who is one of the highest paid chess streamers in the World :)
- Ability to call yourself a modern Gambiteer not minding losing material for a fun exciting dynamic game that enhances your tactical skills and understanding
- Ability to understand Bronsteins Quote "There is not a single true chess-playe .... whose heart does not beat faster ... of words such as "Gambit Games"
- Ability to understand Napier's "In the Laboratory the gambits all test unfavourably, but the old rule wears well,. that all gambits are sound over the board"
- Ability to take the opponent into your territory when they play the Sicilian defence instead of their pet Sicilian defence lines
- Ability to play with optimal setups against the common black setups to expect when using the Smith-Morra Gambit in order to maximise your winning probability
- Ability to improve tactics understanding when playing with semi-open d-file without a counterpart and a shared c-file offers dangerous d-file pins and e5 breaks
- Ability to destroy some of the riskier setups such as the Accelerated Queen Bishop Fianchetto and the Chicago defence using amazing engine resources
- Ability to see how tactical tools can be enhanced such as relative pins, batteries and other devices to create overwhelming threats and limit opponent replies
- Ability to get a better understanding of the "Open game" where you have a shared c-file and a a semi-open d file without a counterpart
- Ability to leverage great players such as Matulovic and Esserman with their model games and thematic ideas such as the iconic Nd5 sacrifice
- Ability to leverage Kingscrusher's games and ideas from successful blitz chess on the fierce Internet Chess Club often against IMs and GMs
- Abillity to play 1.e4 with much greater confidence knowing one has a great pet system against the Sicilian Defence
- Ability to make use of a system which is largely underestimated by the Chess world despite Vishy Anand decline the gambit and top engines beating other engines
- Ability to spend more time improving chess skills instead of trying to memorise 15+ different major Sicilian defence variations that Opponent can choose from
- Ability to really enjoy the "Open game" more and also being backed by a solid informational advantage to most opponents with this course's sets of model games
- Knows how the chess pieces move
- Has played some chess games before
The Sicilian defence is a very common opening that is reached after 1.e4 c5. Players often use this to create interesting imbalances and try for a win even with the black pieces. It was a favourite of the great world champions of the past including Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov. This course provides an interesting weapon against it.
The Sicilian defence players are often armed with a lot of theoretical knowledge and model games. You can basically turn the tables on their knowledge using a respectable gambit which is even used by modern International Masters like Marc Esserman.
The Smith-Morra Gambit is a Gambit you can easily get into from the move sequence:
1.e4 c5 (The Sicilian Defence)
2.d4 (yes on move 2!)
The Smith-Morra Gambit has become in recent years a hugely popular approach to handling the Sicilian defence which is one of the most popular responses to 1.e4 because of its reputation of giving Black options to try and win with the Black pieces and a favorite of the world chess champions such as Mikhail Tal, Bobby Fischer, and Garry Kasparov.
The Smith-Morra gambit has a big advantage of being relatively easy to play and yet can give the opportunity at the cost of a pawn for quick development and strong attacking chances. As importantly, the gambit can be very easily reached in actual games, with a high probability of coming up, and so the learning here is more effective than most Opening courses which may sometimes rarely come up in actual games.
Kingscrusher himself was an early chess Youtuber and may have also contributed to its popularity by frequent usage in blitz games with success even against International Masters and Grandmasters. One of Kingscrusher's most popular Youtube playlists is the Smith-Morra gambit playlist which this course also examines some of the better games for ideas to mine and use in one's own games if the engine verdict gives approval. There is a balance in the course given between "Easy to play" and "Accuracy" and the course tries to find the right balance between these two key priorities to recommend variations that are both easy to play and can scale up against increasingly strong opposition because they are fundamentally sound and engine verified recommendations.
This course breaks down the common setups and systems players with the Black pieces might use, and essentially creates punching bags out of these setups by establishing the downsides of each setup, and theoretically checking resources that may not have been played before in practice using the top engines to find important new innovations where possible. Then key model games are illustrated to reinforce the potential downsides of each setup, thus giving excellent preparation at handling any potential setup the player with the black pieces tries.
The setups examined include both accepting the Gambit and declining the gambit.
Accepting the Gambit
Not quite the classical! 4 Nc6 5 Nf3 d6 6 Bc4 Nf6 near-disaster move!
Classical Main Line 4 Nc6 5 Nf3 d6 6 Bc4 e6 7 0-0 Nf6 8 Qe2 Be7 9 Rd1
Classical main line with 6 a6 defence- major option for black (just not Nf6!)
Scheveningen setup: 4 Nc6 5 Nf3 d6 6 Bc4 e6 7 0-0 Nf6 (or Be7) 8 Qe2 a6 9 Rd1
Siberian Variation: 4 Nc6 5 Nf3 e6 6 Bc4 Nf6 and 7 Qc7
Nge7 variations: 4 Nc6 (or 4 e6) 5 Nf3 e6 6 Bc4 a6 (Nge7) 7 0-0 Nge7
6 a6 Defence: 4 Nc6 5 Nf3 d6 6 Bc4 a6 eventually 7 Bg4
Fianchetto Variation 4 g6 (or Nc6 first) 5 Nf3 Bg7 6 Bc4 Nc6
Chicago Defence: 4 e6 5 Bc4 a6 6 Nf3 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 0-0 and Black plays Ra7
Early queenside fianchetto: 4 e6 5 Bc4 a6 6 Nf3 b5 7 Bb3 Bb7
Finegold Defence 4 d6-(no Nc6) 5 Nf3 e6 6 Bc4 Nf6 7 0-0 Be7 8 Qe2 a6
Declining the Gambit
Declined: Early Qa5 pinning move (liked by engines)
Declined: Push variation Variation: 3 d3
Declined: Nf6 Alapin Variation transpositions
Declined: d5 style
Declined: e5 style
Declined: e6 style
Very early deviations after 2 d4
Early deviations are considered
Middlegame and Tactical training emphasis
Throughout the theoretical introductions and model games, the course also hopes to generally supercharge the student's understanding of chess tactics and the middlegame generally. Finding tactical solutions through questioning throughout helps the student engage more with the material and try and work things out. This will equip the student with better tactical and middlegame understanding which should boost chess results generally.
Who this course is for:
- Beginner to Intermediate level players
Tryfon Gavriel, also known as "Kingscrusher" on the Internet. I am a FIDE Candidate Master (CM), British Regional Chess Master, and run a popular Youtube channel for many years with over 114k+ Subs as of 2021 and a Silver Button Award.
I have done many shows on commercial chess servers. I am also the Webmaster of the correspondence style chess server Chessworld which emphasizes game quality and research.
Over 35 years of playing activity both online and offline. Peak ICC blitz rating of 2625 (18-Jun-1999). Peak ICC 5 min auto-pairing of 2383 (29-Jun 2012). ECF Grading peak classical: 212 (A) ECF. Peak Rapid rating: 217 (C). Lichess marathon top 10 finishers in 3 marathons so far. In the other two, top 50 finishers. Won quite a few tournaments at lichess
One of my earliest Over-the-board achievements in Chess was winning the Lloyds Under 18 national UK tournament in 1989. My trophy was awarded to me by Grandmaster and Ph.D. Mathematician Dr John Nunn.
I have done teaching in Schools and also have done teaching online with several Lichess students on a regular basis, and have a very good coaching rating at lichess.
Played twice in the main British Chess championship. Many of my Youtube viewers claim big rating increases after watching my videos.
I particularly love chess tactics and combinations, and it is probably no accident that my "Complete Guide to Chess Tactics" has been a best-seller since near inception here at Udemy.
In general, I will try and give you greater enthusiasm for the game and in particular the dynamic aggressive tactical aspects of playing chess. My favorite heroes are Paul Morphy, Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, and Mikhail Tal. if you want to be a dynamic aggressive player, I may be able to encourage you and find you relevant resources on that path. The dynamic aggressive were particularly strong tactically and would often trade off pawn structure neatness and material to try and checkmate the opponent's kings. Checkmate does win the game :)
In terms of concrete openings to make use of potentially teaching here at Udemy through courses, I like Solid openings on such as the London System. I also like provocative openings like the Knight's Tango systems to encourage weaknesses from opponents. I am also at faster time controls especially, particularly fond of aggressive openings and gambits. As an example, the Smith-Morra Gambit vs the Sicilian Defence, and other gambits can be used aggressively even with the black pieces such as the Albin Counter Gambit. Gambits vary of course in soundness and it is important to teach what "ticks many boxes" for use in various time controls. In the search for the ideal courses to provide you, I like to search within myself for my core strengths and passions within the passion of Chess.
I truly hope you enjoy my courses and they improve your chess and your enjoyment of chess generally - and life generally :)