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M Didier vs Frank James Marshall
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 7, May-29
Russian Game: Three Knights Game (C42)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-23-07  zb2cr: Pretty little Queen sac to finish it off. I saw it in about 5 seconds.

Now, if only I could GET to such positions in my own games, and if only somebody would TELL me at the crucial point: "There is a forced win possible here, find it!" then I'd be a much better player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black offers his queen passively on move 24-then he gives white an offer he can't refuse at move 25. Mr. Didier had a rude awakening with a horse's head in his bed-or was that just a knight?
Jul-23-07  blair45: One could do worse than learn tactics from the games of Mr. Frank J. Marshall
Jul-23-07  realbrob: Well, here there isn't much space left for analysis, 25..Qxc4+, and forced mate. The White K's position is too bad. Assuming that White's position was probably already lost, 24.Qg4 is a big blunder, but 25.b3?? is beyond comprehension. If Dieder thought he had lost the game he could resign, if he wanted to offer some resistance he could play 25.Be3, losing a piece.

Does anyone now if in 1900 someone thought that resigning wasn't a polite thing to do?

Jul-23-07  Crowaholic: Hurray, it's 5 second Monday again! 25. ..Qxc4+ 26. bxc4 Bd3#. I guess. White was smart enough not to play 25. Bxd5?? after 24. ..Qd5!!, but played 25. b3?? instead, which delays the mate only by one move and so do Be3 and Qxg6. I wonder what he was thinking. 25. Rh1 looks better but is still dead losing:

25. ..Qxc4+ 26. Kg1 Qe2 etc.

Jul-23-07  Ashram64: check and mate! oh boa boa!
famous monday queen sac again to remove the defender
Jul-23-07  zb2cr: <realbrob>,

25. Be3 doesn't just lose a piece. It still allows mate in 2 by 25. ... Qxc4+; 26. Ke1 (forced), Qe2#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Another example of a puzzle that can be solved easily by looking at the opponent's (white's) king. It is completely immobile, meaning that any move that can deliver check (without being blocked or captured) wins.

Here, black has TWO pieces that can deliver this deadly check, and white has one lonely bishop to stop them. Needless to say, it can only stop one of the two, making it an overworked piece. Nice Monday puzzle.

Jul-23-07  Crowaholic: <zb2cr: 25. Be3 doesn't just lose a piece. It still allows mate in 2>

Exactly. Likewise:

25. Re1 Qxc4+ 26. Re2 Qxe2#
25. Qxg6 Qxc4+ 26. Qd3 Qxd3#

Even 25. Ba6 is better: ..bxa6 26. Rg3 Bxg3 27. Qxg3 Qb5+ 28. Kg1 Qxb2

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Sure is easy to solve the puzzle if you've already studied the game! I loved the way Marshall used Petroff's Defense, but I'm not yet able to imitate him.
Jul-23-07  SilentGenius: Pretty easy, got it in a few seconds. Noticed that the white king was trapped. Good puzzle!
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: When the Queen is sac for a mating attack, the combination always looks pretty! Here, 24...Qd5! wins immediately.
Jul-23-07  ahmadov: Easy and nice...
Jul-23-07  willyfly: material is even - Black's ♕ is en prise and White has a mate in one if Black's LS♗ moves from the g6 square unless...

25...♕xc4+ the priority of check
26 bxc4 White must take the ♕.
Then 26...♗d3#
yeppers - if it's mate then it's gotta be the solution.

Jul-23-07  unferth: <newton296: didier sees reason to castle early in the game . but then invest an amazing 4 moves to undo the castle in the middle game?? what the ?? Can someone explain the logic of this ? I'm flabergasted by this game!>

I think this may be the answer:

M Didier
Number of games in database: 27
Years covered: 1900 to 1999
Overall record: +1 -24 =2 (7.4%)

Jul-23-07  aazqua: why does gilbert blonty keep putting that endgame into random posts? Shouldn't someone stop that?
Jul-23-07  Fezzik: Wow,

I took longer on this puzzle than on Sunday's puzzle!

The reason was an optical illusion: I first thought that White had castled. I took about a minute before I realised that the <King> and not the Rook was on f1, then I found the solution.

Jul-23-07  beginner64: It took me full 2 minutes to see the queen sac.

Does 2 minutes for Monday mean I am in for a tough week?

Jul-23-07  GannonKnight: Got it. Rather simple.
Jul-23-07  resty: more interesting puzzle could have been: what's the black's 24th move
Jul-23-07  beginner64: Doesn't white get into playable situation after:
23. Qxh5 Bxh5.
24. f3
Jul-24-07  zb2cr: <beginner64>,

In your line, after 24. ... Bxf3; 25. Kf2, Bh5 White is simply down a Pawn with no compensation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Marshall finishes off Didier with a spectacular Queen sacrifice.

Before that, however, the game was less than inspiring. As has been noted on this site, Didier's play was awful. His three king moves (10. Kh2; 15. Kg1, and 18, Kf1) were terrible. Was he TRYING to get mated? Nonetheless, Marshall had no significant edge after his 22nd move, and only was able to work his magic after Didier's blunders on moves 23 and 24; not to mention Didier's 25th move that walked into mate in two.

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nf6

Marshall, in the tradition of Pillsbury, played the Petroff with a view to attack.

3. Nc3

Didier--understandably-- is not interested in a tactical battle of wits with Marshall and seeks equality in the symmetrical Four Knights' Game.

3... Bb4

Marshall does not want a placid symmetrical position, and so plays this unbalancing move.

4. Bc4

Didier looks for quick development in lieu of the alternative 4. Nxe5.

4... 0-0
5. d3 d5

What else would we expect from Marshall? Certainly not the sound and equalizing but comparatively passive 5...c6

6. exd5 Nxd5
7. Bd2 Nf4

Once again, Marshall chooses the most aggressive option instead of the safe and steady 7...Nb6

The position was now as follows:

click for larger view

8. 0-0

Marshall's last move allowed Didier to enter a tactical thicket (8. Nxe5 Nxg2+) in which he theoretically would have had an edge but in which Marshall would be very much in his element. So Didier, once again, seeks safety over any serious effort to obtain an advantage.

8... Bg4
9. h3 Bh5
10. Kh2?

Weak. Why not the simple (and much better) 10. Re1?

10... Nc6
11. g4 Bg6

The position was now as follows:

click for larger view

12. Ne2?

Very bad. The comments by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book notwithstanding, Didier would have been fine after 12. Nxe5 NxN 13. BxN NxB 14. dxN c6 (Rosenthal only considers 14...QxQ 15. NxQ Bxc2 16. Ne3 after which White would be better--but even this would be better than Didier's move).

Even better than 12. Nxe5 would have been 12. Re1. Thus, Didier had two ways to achieve near equality here. After the text (12. Ne2?), however, Marshall should have obtained a major advantage.

12... Bd6?

Missing his chance. With 12...BxB 13. QxB NxN 14. QxN Re8 (or 18...Qf6) Marshall would be well-poised to exploit Didier's awkward King position. After the text, Didier has a road to equality.

13. NxN exN
14. Rh1

Another bad move by Didier. With 14. Bc3 his position would be OK.

14... h5
15. Kg1?

Zooks! What on earth was Didier thinking? 15. Bc3 was obviously best.

Once again, Didier has walked himself into a bad position. One might expect Marshall to blow Didier away from here. But Marshall now played poorly and let Didier back into the game, as I will discuss in my next post.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

After Didier's awful 15. Kg1?, the position was as follows:

click for larger view

Marshall now could have grabbed the e-file and obtained excellent winning chances. Instead, he gave Didier a chance to get back in the contest with:

15... Ne5
16. NxN BxN
17. Qf3 Qg5

Marshall should have played 17...c6 retaining the edge. Had Didier tried to grab a pawn with 18. Bxf4 he would have been crushed by 18...Qf6!

Alternatively, Marshall could have played 17...Re8. With the text, Marshall's advantage is all but gone.

18. Kf1?

Incredible! Didier should have played 18. Re1 (does nobody want to control the e-file?) instead of another bizarre King move.

18... Rfe8

Finally someone puts a Rook on the open e-file.

19. c3

Either 19. Re1 or 19. Rg1 were better.


20. Rg1

If 20. Qxb7? Qxd3+ 21. BxB RxB and Black must win.

20... c6
21. d4

The position was now as follows:

click for larger view

21... Bc7?

Once again missing a way to tighten the noose on Didier. Marshall of all people should have found 21...Qh4!, since 22. dxB RxB would be catastrophic for Didier.

22. gxh5 Qxh5

Didier is now alive and well in this game. But not for long. From here on, Didier fell apart and Marshall demonstrated his genius. Within four moves, Didier was checkmated. How this happened will be covered in my third and final post on this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post III

After 22...Qxh5, the position was as follows:

click for larger view

Here, Didier played:

23. Qg2??

As beginner64 has noted on this site, 23. QxQ is best, gets rid of Marshall's Queen, and gives White equality.

zb2cr claims that after 23. QxQ BxQ 24. f3 Bxf3 25. Kf2 Bh4 White is simply down a pawn with no compensation. But after 23. QxQ BxQ Didier could have obtained equality with 24. Rg5! (since if now 24...g6 25. f3 Black can't win a pawn with 25...Bxf3 since White could take the g pawn with impunity given the pin on Black's f7 pawn.

After Didier's 23. Qg2??, White is lost, and the game ended quickly and violently.

23... f3

Marshall could also have won with the problem-like 23...Kh8 (eliminating the pin on the f-pawn). The text, however, is equally crushing.

24. Qg4

24. QxB, which loses the exchange to 24...Qxh3+ 25. Rg2 fxR+, is theoretically "best," but White is lost in any case. The text, however, is a disaster and allowed Marshall to finish brilliantly.

After 24. Qg4 the position was as follows:

click for larger view

Here Marshall played the superb:

24... Qd5!!!

Had Didier taken the offered Queen with 25. BxQ, he would have been mated on the spot with 25...Bd3 mate! Didier's actual move was not much better.

25. b3

This allows mate in two, but in fairness to Didier anything he did in this position would lead to disaster.

25... QxB+

Another Queen sacrifice by Marshall. This time, Didier had no choice (except, perhaps, to resign).

26. bxQ Bd3 mate


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