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Frank James Marshall vs Oldrich Duras
Marshall - Duras (1913), New York, NY USA, rd 1, Sep-28
Slav Defense: Schlechter Variation (D15)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The <New York Sun> had this exciting summary of the game:


After Long Consideration Chess Master Selects Weak Continuation

"United States Champion Frank J. Marshall beat the Bohemian champion, Oldrich Duras, after thirty-six hours [!] in the first match game of a series of five at the Manhattan Chess Club yesterday. The former had the move and selected a queen's gambit declined for the opening. This was declined by the second player somewhat irregularly and it seemed as if Marshall got somewhat of a pull right from the start.

"As is his custom Duras employed an extraordinarily long time for the consideration of his moves and at his twenty-first turn he had only seven minutes left for making thirty moves within the time limit of two hours. Strange to say, he managed to complete his series of thirty moves without compromising his position, neither did he lose anything in material.

"When called upon to make his thirty-second move he took fully half an hour for consideration and then it was found he had selected a very weak variation. Four moves later Marshall threatened to win a rook and so Duras resigned.">

I do believe "hours" in the first paragraph was supposed to be "moves". Admittedly, it may have seemed that long to the reporter. I also wonder if Duras's 32nd move was sealed. At the time, a short dinner break after the first time control was a common practice.

Final result of the series:

Marshall 1 1 1 = 0 3.5
Duras 0 0 0 = 1 1.5

Feb-12-12  RookFile: I'm sure white must be winning, but what harm is there in playing a few moves, e.g. 35.... Qxe1+ 36. Nxe1+ Rxe1+?

Duras must have considered that the overall match situation was hopeless, and had had enough.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Rookfile> Considering it was the first game of the match, I doubt Duras was too discouraged about that situation. But he had very definite views about holding on in hopeless positions. For instance, see H Wolf vs Duras, 1907.
Feb-12-12  RookFile: If that's so, it makes it all the more mysterious.

First game of the match? You don't resign until the last drop of blood.

I'm sure that Marshall was winning, but queen vs. rook and knight takes at least some work.

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  keypusher: Speaking of <very weak variations>...

click for larger view

Black has just played 32...Rd7, threatening ...Nxb4. The game continues:

33.b5?? axb5?? 34.axb5?? Nd8?? 35.Nf3 Nf7?? 36.Re1 winning the queen.

35....Nf7 is the sort of blunder even strong masters are occasionally liable to make. But could Marshall and Duras jointly have overlooked ...Nb4 four times?

My guess is that Duras played 32....Nd8 (which, unlike 32....Rd7, really is a weak move). That would jibe better with the newspaper article, anyway.

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  MissScarlett: According to the <ACB>, Nov. 1913, p.246, the score is correct except, unaccountably, for <29.Qd2> instead of <29.g3>. Consequently, ...Nb4 is never a threat.

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  keypusher: <MissScarlett>. Thanks, Iíll submit a correction.
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  MissScarlett: Another dig in the ribs - not to say a punch in the guts - for <John Nunn>.
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  zanzibar: <<Missy> Another dig in the ribs - not to say a punch in the guts - for <John Nunn>.>

A bit cryptic, could you elaborate on the Nunn connection?

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  MissScarlett: Carlsen vs Anand, 2013 (kibitz #881)
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  zanzibar: Hmmm, I see now, <Miss>, thx.

Out of curiosity, do you carry that sort of stuff in your head, so it's always at the ready for moments like these?

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  MissScarlett: Felicitous use is made of the <Search Kibitzing> facility; it's strange, sometimes I have dim memories of discussions that took place before I even joined the site.
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  zanzibar: A prodigious memory I suspected, a time traveler I didn't.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <MissScarlett: Another dig in the ribs - not to say a punch in the guts - for <John Nunn>.>

Only if this game had been played in Carlsbad 1911. Are you saying all those mistakes he found were really just flaws in the game scores?

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