Continuing our series on the Smith-Morra Gambit, we consider the Finegold Defense as shown in the game Esserman - Finegold, ICC 2006. The Finegold Defense (1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 d6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.0-0 Be7 8 Qe2 a6), first described in Bob Ciaffone and Ben Finegold's book Smith-Morra Gambit, Finegold Defense (Gameplayer 2000), presents a real challenge to the Smith-Morra player, not only because it can be reached by various move orders but because there are so few good examples of White's play against the line -- especially with what may well be White's best plan, as recommended by Hannes Langrock: 9 e5! dxe5 10 Nxe5 0-0 11 Rd1 Nbd7 12 Bf4! (see diagram below).
Ciaffone himself endorses this line as likely White's best try, though he says he has never faced it in a game. If any readers have played games that reached this position, please send them my way! Meanwhile, enjoy Esserman's smashing example of one way to attack the Finegold, played against Finegold himself.
Remember: IM Marc Esserman will be giving a lecture on the Smith-Morra (that will feature some similar smashing games) at the Kenilworth Chess Club on April 15, 2010 ("Tax Day") at 8:15 p.m. The lecture is open to the public and admission is $10.