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Karl August Walbrodt vs Enrique Conill / Enrique Ostolaza / López / Herrera
Consultation game (1893), Havana, Cuba, Feb-18
Spanish Game: Marshall Attack. Steiner Variation (C89)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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  GrahamClayton: The "Marshall Attack" being played a good 25 years before Marshall allegedly played it for the first time against Capablanca at New York in 1918.
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  GrahamClayton: Source: CN 1996 Edward Winter, "Kings, Commoners and Knaves", Russell Enterprises, 1999
Nov-05-08  I Offer You A Resign: So it shouldn't be called the Marshall's Gambit, eh?
May-01-09  just a kid: So it should be called the Ostolaza/Lopez/Herrera gambit?
Dec-14-09  psmith: This is the oldest game in the database with the Steiner variation of the Marshall Attack. The move played here, 11. g3, seems very strong. But it is given hardly any theoretical recognition. It seems to virtually refute the whole variation. White won all three games in the database with this move. Fritz 5.32 thinks White is after it. Can black improve?
Sep-05-12  master of defence: Why not 30...Kd6 followed by 31...Kxc6?
Sep-05-12  hugogomes: Probably because of Ke3, f5, Kf4, Kxg4, Kg5, g5, Kg6, f6, and white is won.
Sep-05-12  rapidcitychess: <master of defense>

Here is how I see it. No chess computers, so if there's a mistake, show me please. I'll probably learn something.

30...Kxd6 31.Ke3 Kxc6 32.Ke4 <Grabbing diagonal opposition, and moving towards the kingside. Black's queenside chances are naught, because he doesn't have any sort of majority> Kc5 33.Kf5 Kc4 34.Kxg4 b4 35.cxb4 Kxb4 36.Kf3 Kc4 37.Ke3 Kc5 38.Ke4 <White is going to keep Black out of d3, forever.> Kd6 39.g4 Ke6 40.f5+ Kf6 41.Kf4 a5 42.g5+ Kf7 43.Ke5 c5 44.f6 gxf6+ 45.gxf6 Kf8 <Anything else, and white simply promotes his pawn.> 46.Kd5 <Tasty looking pawns over there, eh?> 1-0

White doesn't win because of an extra pawn, it's because of his superior pawn structure and king.

Sep-05-12  rapidcitychess: Of course I was ninja'd. ;)
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  whiteshark: <should/shouldn't> Too many cooks spoil the broth.
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  optimal play: So who was it who actually came up with the idea of 8...d5? Was it Conill? or Ostolaza? or López? or Herrera? And I wonder if Marshall ever knew about this game?
Sep-06-12  master of defence: I have a better line for black. After 30...Kd6 31.Ke3 Kxc6 32.Ke4 Kc5 33.Kf5 Kc4 34.Kxg4 Kd3 35.f5 Kc2 36.Kg5 Kxb2 37.Kg6 Kxa2 38.Kxg7 a5 39.f6 b4 40.cxb4 axb4 41.f7 b3 42.f8=Q b2 and it could be a draw in this position. Or I missed something?
Sep-06-12  rapidcitychess: <master of defense>

When Black gets to c4, I would change my initial strategy and go for the g7 pawn, e.g Kf4-g5. The resulting 2+ gain in tempo would prove the queenside attack insuffiecent, and an attack upon the kingside even more so.

Sep-06-12  rapidcitychess: Also, I didn't check your main position, but white can generally beat the pawns in that type of position. (Check, check, check!)
Jan-29-13  chesssalamander: optimal play, that is excellent historical question! Did Marshall know this game? Could he have? We all know the story, that he held on to this "secret weapon" for years to use against Capablanca. And, if M knew this game, why couldn't Capa? Of course, even if M knew this game, and even if Capa knew, that doesn't mean that M couldn't use it as a surprise, or do original analysis on it. (Like Tal using the French against Fischer, sort of) (or Carlsen using the Ponziani)
Jan-29-13  thomastonk: <chesssalamander: We all know the story, that he held on to this "secret weapon" for years to use against Capablanca.> Do you know this article:
Jan-29-13  chesssalamander: Thomastonk, thanks for that link! I had not read the article before. Mr. Winter certainly takes issue with the often repeated story of Marshal. If Winter is right, Pandolfini, Kasparov are wrong.

W does seem to have good evidence from primary sources for his case. However, the fact that M used the Petrof and the French does NOT show that M wasn't waiting to uncork 8. ...d5. He did have a few opportunities, but maybe he wanted to try something else first, or was still working out possibilities, etc.

Jan-30-13  Shams: Sloppy of Winter to confuse the Marshall Gambit and the Marshall Attack.
Jan-30-13  thomastonk: <chesssalamander: He did have a few opportunities, but maybe ...> That's the reason why myths never die.

You could be interested in this one, too:

Jul-23-13  Abdel Irada: <I Offer You A Resign: So it shouldn't be called the Marshall's Gambit, eh?>

Typically, chess openings are named not after the first player to use them in a game, but for the first strong master/GM to analyze them in depth.

Here we find the allies with Black essaying a form of the Marshall Attack, but it seems probable that this was an ad hoc choice rather than the result of prior preparation.

When Marshall sprung the attack on Capablanca, on the other hand, he had doubtless invested many hours in seeking out the most effective continuation, and there is no doubt that what he played represents a substantial improvement over the line in this game.

To be sure, later analysis revealed better ways to continue. In the retreat variation (11. ...Nf6) introduced by Marshall, for example, we now play 16. ...Ng4, with near equality, rather than gamble everything on a lightning attack with 16. ...Bg4?

Nonetheless, the gambit's long preparation and dramatic debut have firmly, and I would say irrevocably, fixed the opening in the canons of chess under the name of Frank Marshall.

Aug-10-13  RookFile: Those guys just blundered a pawn and tried to wing it. Marshall obviously put a lot more thought into this and deserves the credit. They gave Nimzo credit for the Nimzo-Indian even though it was played before him and Alekhine played it in a more modern style and with more success than Nimzo ever had.
Oct-21-14  m.okun: 33. ... Kd6
Feb-07-15  TangoJoseph: Cool game ! a893 was long time ago
Sep-05-16  sudoplatov: After 11.g3, 11....Bd6 seems stronger than 11....h4. A Piece attack should be stronger her than an attack with Pawns. It also arrives faster.
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