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Stefan Levitsky vs Frank James Marshall
"The Gold Coin Game" (game of the day Jul-25-12)
18th DSB Kongress (1912)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Marshall Gambit (B23)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-26-13  Everyone: <fetonzio> No.
Apr-26-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: It's certainly one of the most unexpected moves ever played.
Apr-27-13  Nerwal: I would try to rate moves using three criteria.

First would be flashiness. How stunning, beautiful and unexpected a move looks. Well 23... ♕g3 is a perfect ten in that area.

Second one would be depth, number and difficulty of variations involved to justify the move. In this case they are just two very short variations and one a bit longer but everything is obvious and forced. Fischer's 18... ♘xg2 in Byrne-Fischer is much stronger in that area (or say 17. h4 in Polugaevsky vs E Torre, 1981 ).

Third would be efficiency of the move : it should be the best move of the position and by the biggest margin possible. For instance 17. ♘d5 in Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851 would fail (it makes a mess of an easy win). Well in this game 23... ♕g3 is not necessary at all and some other moves are not much worse, although there are no move obviously stronger and by forcing a liquidation it's not without practical value. By contrast, Alekhine vs Verlinsky, 1918 gives an example of an insane queen move which is the only solution to a complicated problem.

So overall 23... ♕g3 only meets criterion 1 and lacks in both 2 and 3. So it wouldn't be my choice for greatest move ever. It may be the most spectacular one, though.

Jun-07-13  JSYantiss: Really like that analysis, Nerwal. A personal favorite of mine is 17...Be6 from Byrne-Fischer, Game of the Century. How would you rate that?
Jun-09-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < Nerwal: I would try to rate moves using three criteria. >

The criteria presented are:
1. aesthetic appeal
2. complexity
3. efficiency

but i would suggest a FOURTH criteria..
4. effect
i.e., what consequence does the move have in the game?

For all it's visual appeal (and it IS undeniably spectacular) it only wins a piece. After 23. ..Qg3 24. Qxg3 Ne2+ 25. Kh1 Nxg3+ 26. Kg1 Ne2+ 27. Kh1 Rc3 black has won a knight, and though the position is resignable, it is not forced. White could have chosen to play on a piece down. Whereas in some other games the final blow removes ALL defense with immanent mate that is unavoidable. In such case THAT move would rate higher for it's effect / consequences. It may be true that capturing the queen by a pawn ends in mate... hxg3 Ne2++ or
fxg3 Ne2+ Kh1 Rxf1++ and
Qe4 (to prevent Qxh2++) Nf3+ Kh1 Rxh2++

but these weaker moves are not forced.

Jul-07-13  celtrusco: Disculpen, sólo soy un aficionado, pero me parece que la lucha ya estaba ganada mucho antes, con excelentes jugadas como 21...Rh6, para no mencionar otras, y que la textual 23...Qg3 sólo fuerza la simplificación de 24 QxQ, para quedar con la pieza de más ya lograda, y obviamente ganador final. Igualmente pienso que es una gran partida de Marshall, no sólo por el último movimiento.
Aug-01-13  PaulLovric: if the last move of this match is the third best move ever played, why isn't it included in the top 100 games ever played?
Aug-24-13  PaulLovric: <<PaulLovric: if the last move of this match is the third best move ever played, why isn't it included in the top 100 games ever played?>>
Aug-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: < PaulLovric: <<PaulLovric: if the last move of this match is the third best move ever played, why isn't it included in the top 100 games ever played?>>>

Good point!

Aug-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Amarande> a similar move in that a major piece is left between two pawns, either of which can capture. Really, the Rf4 is in the way of your Queen, so it's more a clearance move to facilitate Qd2. Anyway, Re4 is a nice move and mate soon.
Aug-26-13  nezhtal: Qg3 is a beautiful move, as is Fischer's 17...Be6 against Byrne but I've gotta toss another hat into the ring. Rashid Nezhmetdinov's 12. Qxf6 vs. Oleg Chernikov Nezhmetdinov vs O Chernikov, 1962 is the most stunning move I've ever seen, not just because of the Queen sac but because of how deep Nezhmetdinov had to see to know there was justification for it.
Feb-08-14  PJs Studio: You're onto something with Nezhmetdinov's 12.Qxf6 nezhtal. I knew it was coming and it still made me jump (like watching a horror movie) when I saw it. Two pieces for the Queen and a God awful amount of pressure.

I would never have the balls to play this move. I do know of Nezhmetdinov's work...he was an awesome thinker.

May-04-14  Lossmaster: Was 23...♕g3 really the last move played? In "Chess, A Celebration of 2000 Years", p. 194, I read this:

<For better or for worse, Lewitzki decided in favor of 24.♕xg3 ♘e2+ 25.♔h1 ♘xg3+ 26.♔g1 ♘xf1 27.gxh3 ♘d2. (As Black held most of the pieces, White gave up.)>

I don't know if it's a trustworthy source, though: there's a blatant mistake in the accompanying diagram, where White's Queen is printed in black!

May-04-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Marshall's own book ends it after ...Qg3. It really doesn't matter what anybody else said.
Sep-10-14  Ke2: how many Marshall freakin Gambits are there??
Sep-10-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Besides all the gambit lines bearing Marshall's name, he had a go at the Modern Benoni, something sharper still than most of his gambits: Capablanca vs Marshall, 1927.
Nov-04-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  1 2 3 4: The move wasn't necessary, but it was brilliant.
May-12-15  tanu123: very very very beautiful!!!!!!!!
Jun-28-15  Ferari: 23...Qg3 is a cute move, but the move is way over-rated. Black also has other wins, such as 23...Qe3. Black can also win by interposing the move order with 23...Ne2+, 24. Kh1 and then 24...Qg3. Also, black can even win in a boring fashion with 23...Qb2, 24.Rc7 Ne2+, 25. Kh1 Rh6, 26. c3 Rg6 etc. Black is up a whole piece, and white has zero compensation!
Jun-29-15  Ferari: Actually the interposition of 23...Ne2+ only leads to a small advantage for black. However, black actually has no less than (5) clear wins, from the key position after 23.Rc5. Black easily wins, with a piece up, with either 23...Qe3, 23...Qb2, 23...Qa3, 23...Qb4, or Marshall's pretty move 23...Qg3! A pretty move, but not a great problem, since black is a piece up, and has (5) clear, and easy ways to win.
Feb-29-16  socratos: what a finish that is. wonderful!
Mar-26-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  SimplicityRichard: A brilliant move that perhaps inspired another:
(Nicolas Rossolimo v. Paul Reissmann 1967).#
May-30-16  thegoodanarchist: Black's knight on d4 is one of the most well-placed knights in the lore of chess, it seems.
Nov-27-16  The Kings Domain: Astonishing game. This is probably the only game in the history of Chess where an unexpected move could be so final and decisive where the losing side has several options to consider all leading nowhere.
Nov-27-16  Howard: That statement is rather debatable, in my view. There are many other games where the winning move was comparable to that one.

Not only that, wouldn't
24...Ne2+ have also won, too? Either move wins-it's largely a matter of taste.

Karpov, no doubt, would have played the simplier move.

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