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Marc Esserman
M Esserman 
Number of games in database: 333
Years covered: 1997 to 2019
Last FIDE rating: 2438 (2438 rapid)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2474

Overall record: +89 -43 =46 (62.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 155 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (52) 
    B21 B90 B22 B47 B27
 Caro-Kann (18) 
    B12 B13 B10 B14
 French Defense (15) 
    C03 C05 C07 C01 C18
 Ruy Lopez (14) 
    C95 C65 C80 C78 C63
 French Tarrasch (11) 
    C03 C05 C07 C09 C06
 Sicilian Najdorf (10) 
    B90 B99 B92
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (54) 
    B90 B99 B94 B22 B51
 Sicilian Najdorf (32) 
    B90 B99 B94 B92 B97
 Dutch Defense (10) 
    A88 A81 A85 A89 A87
 Grunfeld (9) 
    D80 D85 D84 D70 D92
 Semi-Slav (9) 
    D45 D43 D47 D44
 King's Indian (8) 
    E62 E85 E60 E73 E92
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 Benjamin, 2010 1-0
   M Esserman vs C Tsai, 2003 1-0
   R M Perez vs M Esserman, 2011 0-1
   M Esserman vs J Lian, 2008 1-0
   M Esserman vs Flavio Perez, 2018 1-0

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

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

   🏆 Capelle
   M Klinova vs M Esserman (Mar-28-19) 0-1
   M Esserman vs V Gandrud (Jan-31-18) 1/2-1/2
   E de Haan vs M Esserman (Jan-30-18) 1-0
   S del Hemant vs M Esserman (Jan-29-18) 1/2-1/2
   M Esserman vs N Huschenbeth (Jan-28-18) 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, 39 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 14; games 1-25 of 333  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. M Esserman vs D Moody 0-157199798th US 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  ½-½21200028th World 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. L Kaufman vs M Esserman  1-0322002Foxwoods opC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
8. D Eckert vs M Esserman  0-1292002Chicago op 11thA16 English
9. A Fishbein vs M Esserman  1-0672003United States ChampionshipC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
10. M Esserman vs T Enkhbat  0-1472003United States ChampionshipE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
11. O Sagalchik vs M Esserman  1-0412003USA-chE85 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox Variation
12. M Esserman vs A Levina  ½-½402003USA-chB01 Scandinavian
13. L Ross vs M Esserman  1-0302003USA-chC77 Ruy Lopez
14. E Groberman vs M Esserman  1-0342003USA-chC53 Giuoco Piano
15. M Esserman vs C Tsai 1-0232003USA-chB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
16. E Epstein vs M Esserman  ½-½492003USA-chC45 Scotch Game
17. M Esserman vs A Bennett  1-0342003USA-chC50 Giuoco Piano
18. M Esserman vs V Akobian  0-1512003New York Masters 54thB07 Pirc
19. J Bonin vs M Esserman  1-0632003New York Masters 75thA89 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation with Nc6
20. M Esserman vs Blatny  0-1382003New York Masters 82thB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
21. L Kaufman vs M Esserman  0-1442003Philadelphia NCC 34thB30 Sicilian
22. Shulman vs M Esserman  ½-½562003North American opA87 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation
23. M Esserman vs T Taylor  0-1292003North American opB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
24. M Esserman vs Audun Kvam  1-0472004Internet Section 09B g/8'+2A13 English
25. E Grabowski vs M Esserman  1-0962004Internet Section 09B g/8'+2C41 Philidor Defense
 page 1 of 14; games 1-25 of 333  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.
Jan-07-22  DaviesNjugunah: CRY BABY
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Here's how you beat the Smith-Morra: NN vs F Rhine, 2022. Incidentally, I see that the database lacks many of Esserman's games with the gambit. This omission is doubleplusungood. I will have to submit them.

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