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Frank James Marshall vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Capablanca - Marshall (1909), Scranton, PA USA, rd 7, May-01
Queen's Gambit Declined: Lasker Defense (D53)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-30-05  aw1988: "It is my move, meester Marshall."
Nov-22-05  capablancakarpov: This game was played in Scranton,Pa. May 1st, 1909.
Nov-22-05  Koster: Very passive play by Capablanca, like he had a big match lead already and stayed out late the night before. Although I doubt there is much nightlife in Scranton.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Marshall's 24. f4! ends Capa's tactical threats and assures him a winning passed pawn, which he secures much easier than expected after Capa's 24...Rb6? to allow 25. Qxb6! axb6 26. Nxc6 .

This is one of the few games Marshall managed to win against Capablanca in this match, salvaging just a little bit of pride for the American champion in an other wise decisive match defeat at the hands of the future World champion. Perhaps 15...Ne4 = to would have held for Black.

Apr-30-06  CapablancaFan: Have to give credit when it's due. Frank's 25.Qxb6! is unanswerable. It's hard to find a good continuation for Capa in the final position because the a6 pawn is such a threat it cramps Capa's game.
Apr-30-06  WillC21: <patzer2> Nice analysis. Clear and instructive.

If you don't mind me asking, what type of computer hardware and program(s) do you use for your chess analysis?

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <WillC21> I have a 2GHZ Athlon 3000 processor with a Gig of RAM and run Fritz 8. It may not be the strongest program, but I'm somewhat familiar with it and find it useful.
Apr-30-06  WillC21: <patzer2>. Thanks. Keep up the nice analysis; it's much appreciated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Regarding his 16th move, 16...Nd7, Capablanca stated, <Black's position was bad and perhaps lost in any case, but the text move makes matters worse. As a matter of fact I never saw White's reply Bf5. It never even passed through my mind that this was threatened. Black's best move would have been 16...Rfb8. If that loses, then any other move would lose as well.>

Marshall also agreed that 16...Rfb8 was Black's best move. However, he stated that White would still maintain the initiative after 16...Rfb8.

The American Chess Bulletin stated regarding 16...Nd7, <The move that loses the game, and evidently due to "chess blindness." After the game, Capablanca stated that he had not realized the possibility of Bf5 by White. The right move here was Rfb8, and a fair defense might have been found.>

Fritz 9 agrees that 16...Rfb8 was Black's best move. Fritz rates the position after 16.Rfb1 (.48) (17 ply) and indicated the best continuation was 16...Rfb8 17.axb6 axb6 18.Qb2 Rxa1 19.Rxa1.

Soltis stated that Marshall only took 45 minutes for this game.

After this game the score in their match stood: Capablanca 3, Marshall 1 and 3 games drawn. Marshall's only success in this match, unless one counts his run of 9 draws in a row near the end of the match. The final score was: Capablanca 8, Marshall 1, and 14 games drawn.

Jun-27-06  blingice: One really interesting move by black that stood out to me quickly was 17..Rfc8. Capablanca moves his rook INTO a pin? I'm not as good as Capablanca, but that seems to disregard some fundamentals.
Jun-27-06  CapablancaFan: <blingice> This simply was a case of Capa looking "too" far ahead. Capa (probably already calculated 10 moves prior) was anticipating the c-file being opened up and was seeking counterplay there. It does seem strange that he would willingly put his rook in a pin like that, but he simply underestimated the consequenses of 18.Bxd7! a move that I'll admit effects are a little hard to see had one not seen this game.
Jan-18-07  notyetagm: 24 ... ♖b6?? is one of the worst moves I have ever seen Capablanca play.
Feb-09-07  kiseiju: it is not bad in se: there was a trap, capablanca just thought his opponent (even if we're talking about marshall here...) could fall into it
May-30-09  WhiteRook48: 25 Qxb6!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: GOTD please
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: This is a credible game of the day. It's the shortest tournament loss of Capablanca's career.
May-14-12  morphyesque: Marshall in his "My Fifty Years of Chess" (1942) p.115 comments on his 17th move BF5, that Black's best reply was simply 17... NF6.Capablanca had hoped Marshall would play 25.NXC6 for he then salvages the game with a perpetual after....RB1+ 26.RXB1 QXB1+ 27.KF2 QC2+ 28.KG3 QG6+ etc.The key move for White was 24.F4! avoiding back rank mates while defending his E5 knight and avoiding perpetual checks.Thus if now 24....RB1+ 25.RXB1 QXB1+ 26.KF2 QC2+ 27.KG3 and Black's checks are exhausted and his bishop lost i.e. 27....BE8 28.QE7 or 27....F6 28.QXC6 and the knight is inviolate.What a thrill for Marshall to bring off a Q.sac against the great "Capa"!! (consolation for losing the 1909 match).
May-14-12  RookFile: An awful lot of people never beat Capa once.
Jan-23-13  BlackSheep: Haha Qxb6 is a real show stopper , you can imagine the look of aghast on Capa's face as Marshall unloaded that one especially as Frank had never beaten him before and had lost in the previous fourteen meetings , it must have been one win that resonated with him forever as he only ever beat Capa four times in fifty-four games but as Rookfile has said some people never beat him .
May-06-13  victor antoni: un partido flojo por parte de capablanca regala torre en vano habia otras jugadas................ como torre jaque y dama por torre jaque.........
May-06-13  victor antoni: un partido flojo por parte de capablanca regala torre en vano habia otras jugadas................ como torre jaque y dama por torre jaque.........
Mar-01-14  Whitehat1963: Bustin' a Capa!
May-01-15  Ke2: Definitely makes you think of fischer spassky game six
Jul-28-16  j4jishnu: Friends, just watch how immediately the middle game turns out to be a disastrous endgame for Capablanca. Obvious credit goes to Marshall, but Capablanca fared worse, like a mediocre club player against a Grandmaster.
Jul-28-16  RookFile: Marshall avoided Capa's tactical trap that was set at the end.
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