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chris21 ♡ 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Morra Gambit? I'm comfortable with the sicillian defence but I really struggle when white plays the Morra gambit!

Is there a good alternative to 3...dxc3, or is it best to accept?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks:)
anaxagoras ♡ 17 ( +1 | -1 )
The gambit can be declined; mco lists the following:

3...Nf6 4 e5 Nd5 transposes into the 2 c3 Sicilian, or 3...d3 4 Bxd3 Nc6 5 c4 d6 6 Nc3 g6 7 h3 Bg7 8 Nf3 Bxc3+ 9 bxc3 Nf6 "leaves chances for both sides."

or 3...d5 4 exd5 Qxd5 5 cxd4
chris21 ♡ 1 ( +1 | -1 )
caldazar ♡ 61 ( +1 | -1 )
Well, best according to theory is to accept with 3... dxc3 since practice has shown White does not actually have enough compensation for the pawn. 4. Nxc3 a6 5. Bc4 e6 6. Nf3 b5 7. Bb3 Bb7 8. a3 d6 with typical Open Sicilian-like play except White's c-pawn has mysteriously vanished. It shouldn't be too tough a position to handle if you're at all familiar with Bc4 Najdorf/Scheveningen structures. However, from a practical standpoint, it's probably easier just to decline with either 3... Nf6 or 3... d5 since this is nothing more than the 2. c3 Sicilian and as a Sicilian player you likely already have one of the two continuations prepared.
chris21 ♡ 12 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks caldazar. Maybe this is where I was going wrong. I'd always read that 4...Nc6 was the move to play.
caldazar ♡ 38 ( +1 | -1 )
4... Nc6 is fine too; it depends whether you're more comfortable playing positions with the b8-knight over to d7 or c6. A nice thing about the Black side of the Morra is that with ...Nbd7, sacs on e6 aren't as much of an issue since there isn't a White knight on d4, although you do you still have to be careful on those light squares with the White bishop on c4 or b3 of course.
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smolensk ♡ 7 ( +1 | -1 )
No good player plays 8.a3 in the above line though. 8.Qe2 or 8.0-0 is the alternatives.