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Monte Carlo Tournament

Frank James Marshall12.5/20(+10 -5 =5)[games]
Georg Marco8/20(+5 -9 =6)[games]
Rudolf Swiderski8/20(+7 -11 =2)[games]
Geza Maroczy7.5/10(+5 -0 =5)[games]
Carl Schlechter7/10(+4 -0 =6)[games]
Jacques Mieses5.5/10(+4 -3 =3)[games]
Theodor von Scheve4.5/10(+4 -5 =1)[games]
Isidor Gunsberg4/10(+1 -3 =6)[games]
Leo Fleischmann Forgacs3/10(+2 -6 =2)[games] Chess Event Description
Monte Carlo (1904)

The last of the series (the Monte Carlo (1903) event preceded it) of chess tournaments held in the quarter of Monte Carlo (1) in the principality of Monaco occurred in 1904. In this year, two events were held simultaneously, a masters tournament (2) and a thematic tournament. Nine players were invited to participate, with three of them, Frank Marshall, Georg Marco, and Rudolf Swiderski, playing in both events. The masters tournament was a double round robin of six players held from February 8th until the 18th. The time control for the tournament was 16 moves every hour. Rather than distribute the prize money at the end of the event, the organizers conspired to disperse the 5000 francs to the participants upon their arrival so that they would be more likely to spend their winnings at the casinos during the tournament. Marco not only participated in both events, but he also reported on the tournament in the Wiener Schachzeitung. Trophies were awarded at the end, with Maróczy earning an additional trophy as tournament winner since it was the second time he won the tournament (the first one was Monte Carlo (1902)).

The final standings and crosstable of the masters event:

M S M G M S 1 Maróczy ** ˝˝ ˝1 1˝ ˝1 11 7˝ 2 Schlechter ˝˝ ** ˝˝ ˝˝ 11 11 7 3 Marshall ˝0 ˝˝ ** 1˝ 1˝ 11 6˝ 4 Gunsberg 0˝ ˝˝ 0˝ ** 0˝ ˝1 4 5 Marco ˝0 00 0˝ 1˝ ** 0˝ 3 6 Swiderski 00 00 00 ˝0 1˝ ** 2

The concurrent thematic tournament was conducted using a position within the King's Gambit Accepted (C39) (including Kieseritsky's line and similar branches), called the Rice Gambit. (3, 7) After this tournament, the game Lasker / Chigorin / Marshall / Tei vs Janowski / Marco / Schlechter / La, 1904 (some of which players crossed the Atlantic to play in Cambridge Springs (1904)) popularized the Rice Gambit further due to its promotion by a New York financier named Isaac Leopold Rice. (4) It was arrived at through the following move order: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.♘f3 g5 4.h4 g4 5.♘e5 ♘f6 6.♗c4 d5 7.exd5 ♗d6 8.O-O:

click for larger view

The final standings and crosstable of the thematic event:

S M M M V F =1 Swiderski ** 11 01 01 01 01 6 =1 Marshall 00 ** 11 10 01 11 6 3 Mieses 10 00 ** ˝1 ˝1 ˝1 5˝ 4 Marco 10 01 ˝0 ** 10 1˝ 5 5 von Scheve 10 10 ˝0 01 ** 10 4˝ 6 Forgacs 10 00 ˝0 0˝ 01 ** 3

References: (1) Wikipedia article: Monte Carlo casino, (2) Wikipedia article: Monte Carlo chess tournament, (3) Wikipedia article: Rice Gambit, (4) is one such edition in the example of this opening book series, (5) Wiener Schachzeitung, (6), (7), (8) Original collection: Game Collection: Monte Carlo 1904 by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 60  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Schlechter vs Marshall  ½-½371904Monte CarloC48 Four Knights
2. Swiderski vs G Marco 1-0561904Monte CarloC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
3. Maroczy vs Gunsberg 1-0471904Monte CarloC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
4. G Marco vs Maroczy  ½-½321904Monte CarloC42 Petrov Defense
5. Schlechter vs Swiderski 1-0291904Monte CarloD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. Marshall vs Gunsberg 1-0191904Monte CarloD06 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. Gunsberg vs G Marco 0-1231904Monte CarloC55 Two Knights Defense
8. Maroczy vs Schlechter  ½-½241904Monte CarloC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
9. Swiderski vs Marshall 0-1481904Monte CarloD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
10. Marshall vs G Marco 1-0761904Monte CarloC45 Scotch Game
11. Swiderski vs Maroczy 0-1481904Monte CarloB38 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Maroczy Bind, 6.Be3
12. Schlechter vs Gunsberg  ½-½291904Monte CarloD60 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
13. Gunsberg vs Swiderski  ½-½361904Monte CarloC66 Ruy Lopez
14. Maroczy vs Marshall  ½-½431904Monte CarloC48 Four Knights
15. G Marco vs Schlechter 0-1261904Monte CarloC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
16. G Marco vs Swiderski  ½-½241904Monte CarloC00 French Defense
17. Marshall vs Schlechter ½-½501904Monte CarloD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
18. Gunsberg vs Maroczy  ½-½311904Monte CarloB20 Sicilian
19. Maroczy vs G Marco  1-0381904Monte CarloC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
20. Swiderski vs Schlechter 0-1401904Monte CarloD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
21. Gunsberg vs Marshall ½-½611904Monte CarloC55 Two Knights Defense
22. Marshall vs Swiderski 1-0321904Monte CarloC01 French, Exchange
23. Schlechter vs Maroczy  ½-½321904Monte CarloD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
24. G Marco vs Gunsberg ½-½461904Monte CarloC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
25. G Marco vs Marshall ½-½321904Monte CarloC48 Four Knights
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 60  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-16-12  zoren: White won the majority of the Rice Gambit themed games.

In modern theory, it looks like after 8...Bxe5 9.Re1 Qe7 10.c3 (to prepare d4) f3 11.d4 Ne4! 12.Rxe4 Bh2+! and black is handily ahead.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <zoren> Ah, yes, the Vienna Variation of Simonson's Defense, first pointed out by Gustave Simonson, librarian of the Manhattan Chess Club. Yes, we're everywhere. It's extensively analyzed in "Twenty Years of the Rice Gambit."

I didn't know there was modern theory.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: This whole Rice Gambit thing is one of the most bizarre chapters in chess history. So many great minds spent analyzing what is just a silly footnote in a non-critical variation, all because some crazy rich guy became obsessed with it.

Well, I shouldn't complain. We could use an Isaac Leopold Rice today.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Sneaky> Indeed it was a bit strange. There was the match at Brighton in 1903 too. See
Nov-28-12  gauer: Notice Steinitz' (still playing the white side of 8. d4 non-Nh5) score until 1873, when he switched sides (although Steinitz vs Chigorin, 1882 saw him win with a Salvio but Chigorin's pet lines never repaid much revenge to him), and was still doing well afterwards with 8 d4 Nh5. Unlike his previous match with Anderssen, Chigorin vs Steinitz, 1892 was the only King's gambit game in the Steinitz world championship matches against Chigorin the reply was not 2. f4 from Steinitz. Would he revive his old bread'n'butter variation with a test of 8. 0-0 again - or pick the other side in a Rice gambit match (had a note about an odds-game form of the non-h4 Showalter vs Taubenhaus, 1889 line, maybe implying that some of the other lines were still good enough for white to try)?

Regarding the Rice line, 1902 saw Lasker try 8. 0-0 a few times, but he didn't seem to get on the 8. d4 theory much, especially after Lasker vs S T Sharp, 1904 0-1. Marshall / Allies vs Lasker, 1904 was another line of his from that year, but Pillsbury vs Chigorin, 1903 was also tested during the year prior to this thematic tournament against a player who Lasker had paraphrased: I shall have to have a match against this player someday.

Steinitz vs J Gocher, 1864, Steinitz vs F Deacon, 1863, Steinitz vs Chigorin, 1882 might be some other games to check out.

Thanks for the info about Lasker vs Chigorin 1903 being a match starting from one of the potential so-called "Rice Gambit" lines.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: "Frank J. Marshall has been awarded the special prize of 200 francs donated by Herr Leopoldo Trebitsch of Vienna for producing the best chess in the fourth tournament at Monte Carlo. The prize provided by Baron Albert de Rothschild of Vienna - 500 francs - was distributed as follows: 200 francs to C. Schlechter for his game against Marco; 100 francs to R. Swiderski for his game against Marco; 100 francs to G. Maroczy for his game against Gunsberg; 100 francs to G. Marco for his game against Gunsberg" - <American Chess Bulletin>, September 1904, pg. 78.
Feb-24-16  luftforlife: The Rice Gambit begins as follows:

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. h4 g4 5. Ne5 Nf6 6. Bc4 d5 7. exd5 Bd6.

Here is the resulting position:

click for larger view

"Professor Rice, a New York amateur, had this position once and inadvertently left his Knight en prise; then later he won the game. He was so impressed with his success that he immediately interested a number of the prominent masters in the move, which was easy enough to do because he had a lot of money."

Reuben Fine, The Middle Game in Chess (New York: David McKay Co. 1952, Tartan softcover reprint, September 1972), at 190-91.

The Monte Carlo Tournament of 1904 "was one in which the Rice Gambit was put to a serious test; all the games opened with it." Id. at 190.

Best to all. ~ lufty

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