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Kenneth Smith vs Henrique Mecking
San Antonio (1972), San Antonio, TX USA, rd 13, Dec-05
Sicilian Defense: Smith-Morra Gambit. Accepted Classical Formation (B21)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-09-04  Dick Brain: This sacrificial attack was so unsound that it's not possible to find a plausible way for Black to have gone wrong. Even plain old 16 ... Bxd6 leaves Black more than a minor piece ahead with no problems.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: Actually after 16...Bxd6? 17. Bxf4+ Qe7 18. Rxd6! Qxe2 19. Bxe2 White is down only a pawn, but Black has major problems with development and king safety.
Jul-10-04  Dick Brain: Sorry! I mean 19...Bxd6
Jun-03-08  nezhmet: Smith was punch drunk after the Evans dismantling. I wonder if he played every round in top hat and tails?
Oct-14-11  Mudphudder: Why didn't Smith play 8.e5 ???
Oct-14-11  AnalyzeThis: Somebody explained the Morra once by saying, if you can play e5 with white, than do so. Certainly less risky than throwing a knight out the window a couple of moves later.
Oct-14-11  Mudphudder: Yep. Anyone who knows/plays the Morra gambit knows that if black plays Nf6 too early (as in this case) then white playing e5! is huge. Not only does it set-up for the siberian trap (though I doubht masters like Smith nor his opponent would fall for it) but even if 8.e5! dxe5 then you still have:

9.QxQ NxQ
10. Nxe5 and white has a huge development & space advantage at the cost of just being one pawn down.

Oct-15-11  transpo: Incorrect, the main reason being that Black has already played 6...a6. This move denies White the b5 square which is the focal point of all his tactical shots. 8.e5 has been tried without success in many games in the data base.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: transpo is correct that theory is underwhelmed by 8.e5. However, there are only three games with it in's database, which ended with all three possible results. Opening Explorer
Oct-16-11  transpo: FSR is correct for this data base. But, below is a link to a 4million+ chess game database. The results favor Black by a large margin.

Move White Draws Black Total
10...e6 17.5% 42.5% 40.0% 40
10...Be6 0.0% 41.7% 58.3% 12
10...Bf5 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 1

1.e4 c

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Smith was more than out of his league in this tourney evidenced by not only this crushing miniature with his signature opening, but his -11 score in the tourney.

Still he was popular in this region and a fun novelty figure with real good chess connections, who added pizzazz and color to the tourney.

I wonder if that's why he was invited.

Sep-11-14  Howard: Probably the main reason he was invited was because the tournament took place in Texas, and that's where he was living at the time.

Actually, I think he was living right there in the San Antonio area---that's where his former company Chess Digest was based out of back then.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Smith's chances of doffing his trademark top hat and proclaiming 'What a player!' were but few in this event to be sure.
Dec-03-20  rwbean: 13. ♗xd5 o-o 14. ♗xc6 bxc6 15. ♘xe5 ♕c7 16. ♘c4 is equal ... 13. exd5? is just stupid
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Smith was 0-3 when he played the Smith-Morra Gambit in the tournament.

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