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Frank James Marshall Lasker vs Marshall 1907
New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, Memphis

Frank James Marshall was born in New York City, but spent his youth in Montreal where he rapidly rose to the top of the chess scene. Upon returning to the USA, he won the US Championship (although refused to accept the honor, as Harry Nelson Pillsbury did not participate). He was soon recognized as one of the brightest and most creative American chess talents.

In 1904, Marshall won the very strong Cambridge Springs tournament by 1.5 points over Emanuel Lasker, the first time that the World Champion had been beaten in a tournament in nearly ten years.

Dr. Lasker later agreed to play Marshall for the world championship, to be played in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Chicago, and Memphis.

From January 26 to April 8, 1907 the match took place. It was an utter fiasco for Marshall, who failed to score a single win. Even in his autobiography Marshall does not mention this match except for a short sentence: "Tedious play aimed at wearing down my opponent is averse to my nature."[1]

click on a game number to replay game 123456789101112131415
Marshall000½½½½0½½½0000
Lasker111½½½½1½½½1111

FINAL SCORE:  Lasker 11½;  Marshall 3½
Reference: game collection WCC Index [Lasker-Marshall 1907]

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #1     Marshall vs Lasker, 1907     0-1
    · Game #3     Marshall vs Lasker, 1907     0-1
    · Game #15     Marshall vs Lasker, 1907     0-1

FOOTNOTES
1. My Fifty Years of Chess, by Frank Marshall
Painting of Frank Marshall by Léonardus Nardus, circa 1912.

 page 1 of 1; 15 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Marshall vs Lasker 0-150 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
2. Lasker vs Marshall 1-052 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchC11 French
3. Marshall vs Lasker 0-143 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchD53 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. Lasker vs Marshall ½-½40 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchC12 French, McCutcheon
5. Marshall vs Lasker ½-½41 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchD53 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. Lasker vs Marshall ½-½21 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchC12 French, McCutcheon
7. Marshall vs Lasker ½-½49 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
8. Lasker vs Marshall 1-069 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchC12 French, McCutcheon
9. Marshall vs Lasker ½-½46 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
10. Lasker vs Marshall ½-½48 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchC12 French, McCutcheon
11. Marshall vs Lasker ½-½51 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
12. Lasker vs Marshall 1-046 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchC11 French
13. Marshall vs Lasker 0-158 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
14. Lasker vs Marshall 1-021 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchC11 French
15. Marshall vs Lasker 0-137 1907 Lasker-Marshall World Championship MatchD53 Queen's Gambit Declined
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: <Kripp> The process to becoming an American citizen isn't as simple as moving here. It's agreeing with certain principles and comprehension of America. Because that's what it means to be an American: following the Constitution.

Anyone willing to do that is an American. Simple as that.

Mar-19-10  krippp: <sleepyirv> There's a misunderstanding of the intended meaning for "American" here.

By "American", I mean a person of one of the US subcultures, that are subsets of the larger, "generic" culture of the US. I do NOT mean a person who is merely an official citizen, because this would include persons of some minor (foreign) subcultures. Such persons exist in practically every country in the world; But, for example, if you're analyzing the French, you generally do not want to use 1st or 2nd Generation Japanese, Australian, etc. immigrants as examples of French culture.

The difference is comparable to whether one is talking about bow (the weapon), or bow (the act of bending at the waist). Homonyms, in other words; same word, different meaning.

Mar-19-10  Petrosianic: Regardless of his parents, Fischer was born in Chicago. He's as American as pizza pie and hamburgers (irony intended).

Kamsky and Reshevsky were both naturalized US citizens. Not born in the US, but had their title bids been successful, no one would have disputed that they were "American world champions". How representative they were of American culture is another question. Reshevsky was probably more so, simply because he had lived in the US a lot longer than Kamsky had, and his entire career (well, his entire GM career, not counting his child prodigy exploits) had been played under the American flag. Steinitz, on the other hand, lived in the US for his entire reign, and was a US Citizen for most of it, but is thought of as "less American" than, say Reshevsky or Fischer, because his name and reputation were built elsewhere. It's all a perception thing, though. Steinitz was an American world champion as much as Fischer was. He simply wasn't "a product of the US Chess culture".

Mar-19-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think Reshevsky's family brought him her at age 4 or younger; he's an American. Same with Nakamura. I see Kamsky more as a Russian who had emigrated here. Nothing wrong with any of that, its just nice to have some top players (it would be nice) who were raised here.
Mar-19-10  Petrosianic: I think Reshevsky came here in 1920, which means he was officially 9, but actually 11. He was already famous then, but not a world class player yet.
Mar-19-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I thought I'd seen photos of him in america, at age 4-5, playing simuls against adults. Could he have been on tour here, or were these things happening in Europe?
Mar-19-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: No, they came when he was 9 (actually 11, as his parents and managers lied about his age). He was very small for his age.

I posted on another page, that not only was he successful giving simultaneous exhibitions, but he also played blindfold games, winning most, if not all of them. Usually only played one blindfold game at a time.

Mar-19-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Reshevsky won the U.S. Chess Championship in 1936, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1946, and 1969.>

He certainly was long a threat to win the USA title. 33 years between his first and last win. Could that be a record, for a chessplayer 's gap in winning a national championship?

Mar-20-10  Petrosianic: <Reshevsky won the U.S. Chess Championship in 1936, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1946, and 1969.>

Also 1972, although he finished 2nd in a 3-way playoff 9 months later.

Mar-20-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <TheFocus: No, they came when he was 9 (actually 11, as his parents and managers lied about his age). He was very small for his age.>

Thats what I missed. When I saw photos of him wandering around a square of simul boards, in a sailor suit in the USA I thought he was about 5 years old. I guess he was about 10 years old when playing a few of these simuls against adults.

Sep-09-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is article from the chess column of the "Sydney Morning Herald" (taken from the London "Times"), dated 11 February 1905, giving Lasker's initial set of conditions for a proposed World Championship match with Marshall:

"Dr Lasker publishes the following conditions upon which he will be willing to negotiate with Mr FJ Marshall for the championship match. 1. The stakes to be not less than 2,000 pounds per side. 2.The match to be eight games up, draws not counting. 3.The arrangements as to time and place of play to be in the hands of the holders of the title, who shall notify the challenger or his second of their perfection at least six weeks before the time fixed for the commencement of the match. 4.All moneys accruing to the match players from contributions of clubs and other institutions and from the publication of the games to be equally divided between the two opponents. 5.A journal or bulletin of the match to be issued daily, the same to contain an account of the moves made, and of all matters of importance in regard to the match. 6.The journal to be issued at the common risk and profit of the players, the property right for subsequent editions of the journal to accrue to the winner of the match.

Dr Lasker also requires the challenger to deposit 500 pounds, a condition to which Mr Marshall may not agree unless the champion does the same. We are of opinion that Lasker has gone quite beyond his rights in raising the amount of the stake from 400 pounds, the sum asked by him on the last occasion, to the very high figure it has now reached."

Jan-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Report from the "New York Tribune", dated January 27, 1907, giving background information prior to the first game:

:Dr. Emanuel Lasker defeated Frank J. Marshall, after fifty moves, in the first game of their match for she worlds chess championship in the assembly hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building, in Brooklyn, yesterday. A good sized crowd was in attendance afternoon and evening. Before the game began Professor Isaac L Rice, one of the referees, made a brief address. The umpires, E. Dark and K. W. Ivibaire, then tossed for the move, and on Ivibaire, Marshall's umpire, winning, Marshall opened the game with the famous Spanish attack, the Ruy Lopez, much to the surprise of everybody, as it was expected that the challenger would surely play his favorite queen's gambit.
The hall was well adapted for the match. The players, umpires. Judges and tellers were seated on the platform, and as soon as a move was made it was repeated on two exhibition boards to the right and left of the platform, so that all onlookers could follow the progress of the game.
Moreover, right at the entrance there were placed six chess tables, where those desiring to analyze the various positions could do so with ease, and it was at these tables that most of the interest was centred. After his short address Professor Rice read a number of congratulatory telegrams from C.H. Turner, president of the Baltimore Chess Association; James Abbott, president of the Western Chess Association; C. C. Schneider, president of the Chicago Chess and Checker Club, E.C.B Jenkins, secretary of the Kansas City Chess Club, among others. Among the prominent persons present at the opening were Judge Josiah T. Marean, of Brooklyn; Vice-Chancellor Mahlon Pitney, of New Jersey; Controller Herman A. Metz, Commander B. T. Walling and Lieutenant Charles Webster, of the Navy Yard; Professor Isaac L Rice, Sam Loyd, J. Herbert Watson, SB Chittenden, Dr. J.B. Kopf, Henry Chadwick, J. D. Bedgwyn and H. M. Phillips. When looking closely at the principals it was found that neither seemed to be excited or nervous. They shook hands at the start, made the opening moves rather quickly, and several times during the game left the board when the adversary had to move and mixed with the crowd in the body of the hall. As soon as they would see thai the tellers, J. H. Tafft. jr., and F. D. Rosebault had repeated a move on the exhibition boards they would quietly walk back to the platform and begin the fight anew.

Dec-31-11  Tigranny: How could Marshall not win a single game against Lasker in this match if he was famous for the "American Immortal" (his game with Qg3!!)?
Dec-31-11  Lambda: Marshall was an aggressive, tactical player. But Lasker at least equalled him in tactical ability, and was superior in many other areas. This never ends well for the tactician. Just look at the difficulties that the likes of Shirov, Polgar, Short etc. had against Kasparov. Only the more strategic Karpov and Kramnik could trouble him.
Jan-05-12  chesstyro: maybe try something besides the french?
Jan-05-12  AVRO38: <How could Marshall not win a single game against Lasker in this match...>

The same question could be asked about Lasker in the Capablanca match!

Jul-04-12  Agent Bouncy: krippp has no idea what an American is. That's why he invents his own special definition.
Jul-21-12  King.Arthur.Brazil: For the Chess future, thanks God for LASKER remain WCC. Surely MARSHALL was weak to get there. Several times his peaces were misplaced, exposed to many kinds of double attacks and eventually he lose Ps, 1B, or quality much easily. Many times he left his opponent with 2B. There's no big trouble to LASKER win, seems more final technique. Even old, STEINITZ showed big chess than MARSHALL. He dind't show to worry about material, but this is the main cause of its opponent sucess. Few of his well played games, he let it draw or lose. LASKER knew how and when to win! Didn't work too much.
Jul-21-12  RookFile: Lasker was a stronger player. Oddly, Marshall without a doubt made more significant contributions to the opening the Lasker did. That was the problem with Lasker: even when you got him into trouble out of the opening, his great fighting qualities would rise up and he would win or draw the game anyway.
Aug-06-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: There's a statement in the introduction that I'm not sure about:

<Frank James Marshall was born in New York City, but spent his youth in Montreal where he rapidly rose to the top of the chess scene. Upon returning to the USA, he won the US Championship (although refused to accept the honor, as Harry Nelson Pillsbury did not participate).>

As far as I can figure, this is referring to his victory in the 7th American Chess Congress at St. Louis 1904. That event was originally intended as a US Championship event, but objections from Pillsbury and others scuttled the idea; therefore, it does not seem correct to say that Marshall won the US Championship there. See <crawfb5>'s introduction to his tournament collection:

Game Collection: St. Louis 1904

Aug-06-12  Petrosianic: It's also not clear when he refused the honor. Max Judd organized that tournament to try to yank the US title out from under Pillsbury, who was still alive, but ailing. It was hugely controversial at the time. I've heard that Marshall didn't accept the honor, but I've also heard that he did at first, and that the Capablanca-Marshall match was actually organized as a US Title defense.

Supposedly, after Marshall lost the match, he argued that Capablanca couldn't challenge for the US Title at all, as he wasn't a citizen. They agreed to let Walter Penn Shipley arbitrate it. Shipley ruled that Capablanca wasn't US Champion because he wasn't a US citizen, but Marshall wasn't US Champion either, because when Pillsbury died, the title reverted to Jackson Showalter, the last person to hold it.

At this point, Marshall scooted off to Kentucky, challenged Showalter to a title match, and won it, which caused Capablanca to give up his plans to become a US Citizen. It's not entirely clear, but I'm guessing that Marshall accepted the 1904 Congress as being a US Championship until Shipley's ruling.

Aug-06-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: http://books.google.com/books?id=NF...

Helms records Pillsbury still being US Champion after Marshall won St. Louis 1904. I think Judd wanted it to be for the US Championship and Pillsbury (and his supporters) protested (a statement can be found in the American Chess Bulletin for 1904 p94 prior to the tournament). If I recall correctly, St. Louis was restated to be the for the "US Tournament Championship" and I think that is what was embossed on the medal Marshall won as part of first prize (I'll need to double check that).

Without an official organizing body managing the title it really depends upon which version of history someone wants to believe... much like the history of the World Championship prior to 1886.

Aug-07-12  Petrosianic: Yes, if we could see a picture of that medal, it would clear up a lot. It may be that Marshall never considered himself US Champion as a result of that tournament, but just assumed that he was champion by acclamation after Pillsbury died.
Aug-07-12  Everett: <RookFile: Lasker was a stronger player. Oddly, Marshall without a doubt made more significant contributions to the opening the Lasker did. That was the problem with Lasker: even when you got him into trouble out of the opening, his great fighting qualities would rise up and he would win or draw the game anyway.>

I read recently that one current top-GM thinks that Marshall was probably the best opening theoretician of his day, better than the WCs on down when it came to ideas and plans from the beginning position.

Mar-13-13  ranny: The Marshall quote in the introduction is incorrect. What he actually wrote in My Fifty Years of Chess was, "Speaking of matches, I had several unfortunate results about this time...The grim business of wearing down your opponent has never appealed to me very much."
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