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Frank James Marshall vs Georg Marco
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 15, Jun-14
Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern Variation (D50)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-22-06  panthercat: <ataturk> I think 22. Nxd5 is a bit slower than 22. f6+, as 22. ...Rh8 slows down the win a little.
May-22-06  ganstaman: <dakgootje: <ganstaman> good point...lets blame it on the time when i posted my previous comment that i'd missed it ;-)>

Well, whether we forgive you or not then depends on what time zone you're in. Lucky for you, doesn't seem to store info on location or time posted, so we'll just have to believe whatever you tell us... :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Got it, but I also considered 22. Nxd5 as being a winning line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A nice,simple,typical Monday puz. White forces black to occupy his king's escape square.Retreating does no help. 22...♔g8 23 ♕h6 and mates at h8 or g7.With the text it's 22 ...♔g8 23 ♕h7#.
May-22-06  dakgootje: <ganstaman> well as several of the people here know, and the others can read it in my profile, im dutch, so GMT + 1...

It was still somewhere in the morning when i posted my first comment of the day (forgot the exact time ;-)

May-22-06  FICSwoodpusher: Anyone who thought they could win the black queen, didn't see the knight on c6 which protects it!
May-22-06  Zplane: <ganstaman> The black queen is won because it is on F6 after taking the pawn. The rook goes to H7 forcing the king to give up defense of the queen.
May-22-06  guidomiguel: Whats with all the talk about the queen when there is mate, i dont quite understand all the other <winning lines> talk. Mate in 3 or 4, thats all.
May-22-06  Paintbucket: That was simple.
May-22-06  FICSwoodpusher: <Zplane> true. I didn't even notice that , although for a good reason as the move that was played 23. Qh6+ was much better.

May-22-06  deepsix: All you guys do is brag on how quickly you solved the problem. Boring!!
May-22-06  Whitehat1963: I got it, but it took me maybe 20 or 30 seconds, unlike most Mondays. Still, I must admit that somehow I didn't look at anything but f6.
May-22-06  deepsix: Need I say more?
May-22-06  ganstaman: <Zplane: <ganstaman> The black queen is won because it is on F6 after taking the pawn. The rook goes to H7 forcing the king to give up defense of the queen.> Is there a post of mine that I forgot I made, or did you just mis-address this?
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <guidomiguel: Whats with all the talk about the queen when there is mate, i dont quite understand all the other <winning lines> talk. Mate in 3 or 4, thats all.> I mentioned that I thought 22. Nxd5 is winning, although admittedly not as fast as 22. f6+

Still, 22. Nxd5 closes off the f6 square, so that the threat of 23. Qh6+ is just as deadly.

If 22...Qxd5, then 23. f6+ Kg8 24. Qh6+ and no stopping the mate.

If 22...Rh8, then 23. f6+ Kg8 24. Rxh8+ Kxh8 25. Qh6+, and again, there's no stopping mate at g7.

Black can try desperate measures such as 22...Qxe3+, but after 23. Nxe3, white's mate threats are still there and now Black is without a queen.

May-22-06  MiCrooks: This may have been discussed before, but after Nd5 f6 seems to delay the denuement of the King for some time to come, as the King can now run to f7 and e8. He is still dead lost, and I am sure you can come up with a crush, but nothing as clean as the mates that come from the line he played. Qxf6 gives up mate faster than he needs to. Instead he can play the King back to g8, and after Qh6 sac the queen with Qh5. Still after Rxh5, gxh5 Bh7+ Kh8 Bg6+ Hg8 Qh7++ is still mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <MiCrooks: This may have been discussed before, but after Nd5 f6 seems to delay the denuement of the King for some time to come, as the King can now run to f7 and e8. >

I don't think so. After 22. Nxd5 f6, white should play 23. Qxg6#

May-22-06  ChessVip: found in two secs!
May-22-06  wzeller: If, after 22. f6+ black moves 22. ... kg8 there is the beautiful 23. rh8+! kxh8 24. qh6+ qg8 25. qg7++
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The decoy 22. f6+! cuts off Black's escape square in facilitating a quick mate.
Jul-26-08  ravel5184: <wzeller> If 22 .. Kg8 23. Qh6 mates in two.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: In Round 14 of the Paris 1900 tournament, Marshall overwhelmed Burn in just 17 moves with brilliant tactical play following an unusual line in the Queens Gambit Declined. Two days later, in Round 15, Marco repeated Burn's play through move 10, believing he had found an improvement on move 11 (11...c5) that rendered Marshall's opening line harmless.

Marco was right about two things in his assessment: (i) his 11...c5 was a definite improvement over Burn's 11...Re8; and (ii) his new move gave Black at least equal chances.

But Marco was wrong about something far more important. Even after Marco's improvement for Black on move 11, White still had potentially lethal tactical chances of which Marco apparently was oblivious until he saw Marshall's 18th move.

This contest was another fine win for Marshall, and signaled that his earlier wins over Lasker, Pillsbury, and Burn were for real and that he was now an elite player. With this win, coupled with Pillsbury's loss to Lasker on the same day, Marshall moved into 2nd place with just two rounds to go. He only lost 2nd place (and had to settle for a tie for 3rd) by losing to Maroczy in the final round.

The first eleven moves, as noted above, were identical to those played in the Marshall-Burn game. My comments on those moves appears on this site in connection with that game, and therefore pick up my commentary here after Marshall's 11th move:

1. d5 d5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Bg5 Be7
5. e3 b6
6. Nf3 Bb7
7. Bd3 0-0
8. cxd5 exd5
9. BxN BxB
10. h4 g6
11. h5

The position was now:

click for larger view

Burn here played 11...Re8 and soon got into trouble. While Burn's move was certainly playable, Marco had found an improvement in preparing for this game:

11... c5

This was indeed better than Burn's move. 11...Nd7 was probably best, as noted by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book. 11...Qe7 was also reasonable and an improvement on Burn's line.

12. hxg6

Marco now faced a choice of recaptures in the following position:

click for larger view

Marco played:

12... hxg6

Marshall opined that 12...fxg6 would have been better.

Marco said he had originally considered 12...hxg6 but became frightened by ghosts. He feared that Marshall would play 13. Rxh7?! with what he thought was a winning combination for White. After the game, Marco claimed that 13. Rxh7 was unsound and that Black can emerge with a winning position based on his extra material with proper play.

In fact, and after long analysis with the help of Fritz 15, I have concluded that--with best play by both sides--a draw is the legitimate result after 12...fxg6, but that the line Marco analyzed (based on the wild 13. Nh4?!) does indeed allow Black to prevail.

After 13. Rxh7?! Kxh7, White can retain emerge with equal chances (and a likely draw) with 14. Ne5! (14...Kg7 15. Nxg6! Qd6 16. Nf4 or 16. Qg4.

Marco only considered 14. Nh4?! in his analysis, if then:

A) 14...Bxh4? White has a mate in two after 15. Qh5+; B) 14...Rg8 15. Nxg6! the game is about equal after 15...RxN [but not Marco's 15...Kg7? which loses to 16. Nf4 (rather than Marco's 16. Qh5)] 16. Qh5+ Kg7 17. QxR+ Kf8 18. Ke2 C) 14...Kg7 also leads to equality--contrary to Marco's claim that it wins for Black--after 15. Nxg6! Bxd4! (or 15...Nc6, and not 15...Rh8 as given by Marco which leaves Black in trouble after 16. NxR QxN 17. Qg4+ Kf7 18. Qf5! Ke7 [and not 18...Qh1+ 19. Bf1] 19. Nxd5+ BxN 20. Qxd5 Nd7 21. Qe4+ leaving White with four pawns for the sacrificed piece and all sorts of attacking chances. D) 14...Kg8!--the winning move for Black--a move not considered by Marco. After 14...Kg8! 15. Qg4 Rf7 16. Nxg6 Bg7 17. Ne5 Rf6 Black is up a Rook for a pawn with White's attack seemingly about to peter out.

In sum, 12...hxg6 leads to at least equality for Black if White plays 13. Rxh7?! What Marco did not consider was 13. dxc5 which seems to leave White with a small advantage, as compared with Marco's actual move: 12...hxg6. Given all the wild vicissitudes that could emerge after 12...fxg6, Marco was most certainly on safer grounds with his actual move, which is also theoretically best play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: SF gives 18. Qh6+ Kf6 19. Nxd5+ 1-0
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

After Marco's 12...hxg6, a move I discussed at length in my prior post, the position was:

click for larger view

I consider chances about even here. But Marshall wanted more and played:

13. Ne5?!

This led to precisely the kind of complication Marshall adored and worked beautifully as a result of Marco's poor 13th, 14th and 16th moves. 13. dxc5 and 13. Qc2 were more prudent. In fairness, however, Marshall's move (very much in the style of Pillsbury) was very hard for Black to handle over the board.

13... BxN?

13...cxd4 was much better and probably would have left Black better situated than White.

14. dxe5

The position was now:

click for larger view

Marco here played:

14... Qg5?

Black is probably lost after this move. Also bad was 14...Kg7? discussed by Marshall in his commentary on this game. This move loses after 15. Qg4 Nc6? [15...Nd7 was much better than Marshall's proposed 15...Nc6 , but also insufficient] 16. f4 [this suggestion by Marshall probably wins, but 16. Qf4! was crushing] Rh8 17. 0-0-0 (17. RxR is probably even better) Qe7 (and not Marshall's 17...Nb4 which gets Black annihilated after 18. Bxg6!) 18. Qg3 with a likely win.

Black's only legitimate chance to hold the position was probably 14...Nc6, a move not discussed in any of the commentary I have found on this game.

15. Qf3 Qxe5
16. 0-0-0

This move certainly looks tempting, and may be sufficient to win, but 16. Qh3! immediately was best.

The position after 16. 0-0-0 was:

click for larger view

Marshall's position here may or may not have been sufficient for a win. As both Marshall and Marco have

pointed out in their commentaries on this game, Black here has to play 16...Nd7. Among other things, it is about time for Black to untangle his Queen-side rather than continuing to try to defend without use of his b8 Knighs and a8 Rook.

After 16...Nd7, White most certainly does NOT win with 17. Qh3 as suggested by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book. Black is then fine with 17...Rhd8. Marco's suggested 17. Rh6 (after 16...Nd7) also gets White nowhere after 17...Kg7 or even 17...Nf6.

If there was a win for White after 16...Nd7, it probably lies in variations following 17. Ba6 (or perhaps 17. Bb5). In either case, Marco's position would have been playable.

But here Marco played:

16... Kg7??

The position was now:

click for larger view

As Marshall now proceeded to demonstrate, White can now overwhelm Black's poorly developed position. The spectacular manner in which Marshall now polished off Marco will be discussed in my next post.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post III

The manner in which Marshall finished off Marco after 16...Kg7?? was as aesthetically pleasing as it was decisive.

17. Qh3!

The open h-file proves fatal to Marco.

17... Nc6?

Also awful was 17...d4 18. Qh6+ as pointed out by Marshall. Marco's only hope of offering any resistance at this point lay in 17...Nd7.

The position after 17...Nc6? was:

click for larger view

18. f4

"The winning move." (Teichmann).

The text is indeed decisive and the most glorious way to win. Another way to win was 18. Qh6+ Kf6 (the only way to avoid mate in one) 19. Nxd5+! QxN (or 19...Ke6 20. Bxg6 fxB 21. Qf4+ Rf6 22. Nc7+ QxN 23. Qg4+ Ke7 24. Rh7+ Rf7 25. Qh4+ Ke8 26. Rh8+ Rf8 27. RxR+_ KxR 28. Qh8+ Ke7 29. Qh7+ Ke6 30. QxQ) 20. Bxg6!

18... Qe6

This only hastens the end. But Black has no good moves here.

19. Qh6+ Kf6
20. Qg5+ Kg7

The position was now:

click for larger view

21. F5!

A spectacular way to conclude the game.

21... Qe5

Black has no defense. If 21...Qf6 White mates in two with 22. Qh6+.

22. f6+!

As OBIT and notsodeepthought have pointed out, White can also mate quickly with 22. Nxd5 or 22. Rh7+ (22...KxR 23. Rh1+)

22... Qxf6

As shown by zen.void on this site, 22...Kg8 loses immediately to 23. Rh8+ !! KxR 24. Qh6+ 25. Qg7 mate. An even prettier, though slightly longer, win after 22...Kg8 is al wazir's quiet 23. Qh6!!

23. Qh6+

The final position deserves a final diagram:

click for larger view


As is obvious, mate follows on the next move.

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