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Frank James Marshall
Number of games in database: 1,330
Years covered: 1893 to 1944
Overall record: +524 -332 =409 (57.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      65 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (134) 
    D53 D51 D63 D60 D61
 Queen's Pawn Game (71) 
    D00 A46 D02 A45 A40
 Tarrasch Defense (64) 
    D32 D33 D34
 Queen's Gambit Declined (41) 
    D31 D37 D30 D06 D38
 French Defense (28) 
    C01 C10 C12 C11 C13
 Center Game (26) 
    C21 C22
With the Black pieces:
 Petrov (92) 
    C42 C43
 Ruy Lopez (78) 
    C63 C62 C89 C77 C90
 Queen's Pawn Game (63) 
    D02 D00 D05 A46 E10
 Four Knights (52) 
    C49 C48 C47
 French Defense (46) 
    C12 C11 C10 C00 C01
 Queen's Gambit Declined (35) 
    D30 D38 D06 D37 D31
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   S Levitsky vs Marshall, 1912 0-1
   Marshall vs G Marco, 1904 1-0
   Marshall vs Burn, 1900 1-0
   Janowski vs Marshall, 1912 0-1
   Marshall vs Stodie, 1920 1-0
   E M Jackson vs Marshall, 1899 0-1
   Marshall vs Capablanca, 1909 1-0
   Marshall vs H Rogosin, 1940 1-0
   Marshall vs Von Scheve, 1904 1-0
   Burn vs Marshall, 1906 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Lasker - Marshall World Championship Match (1907)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Scheveningen (1905)
   15th DSB Kongress (Nuremberg) (1906)
   Janowski - Marshall, Match 2 (1905)
   16th DSB Kongress, Duesseldorf (1908)
   Monte Carlo (1904)
   Cambridge Springs (1904)
   Havana (1913)
   9th American Chess Congress (1923)
   Vienna (1903)
   New York Masters (1915)
   Paris (1900)
   Moscow (1925)
   Karlsbad (1911)
   Monte Carlo (1903)
   Monte Carlo (1902)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Janowski vs. Marshall Matches by Phony Benoni
   Marshall Martials by chocobonbon
   McD, Mason, Mieses, Marshall, Maroczy, Mench, Ma by fredthebear
   99_Ostende A 1907 (Champion Tourn. to play Laske by whiteshark
   New York 1924 by Benzol
   Monte Carlo 1904 by suenteus po 147

   Marshall vs Burn, 1900
   Marshall vs R Short, 1894
   Santasiere vs Marshall, 1941
   Marshall vs D Gladstone, 1932
   Kevitz vs Marshall, 1937

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Frank James Marshall
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(born Aug-10-1877, died Nov-09-1944, 67 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
Frank James Marshall, born in New York City on August 10, 1877, was United States champion from 1909-1936 and a respected international competitor for the first quarter of the 20th century.

He began international play by winning the Minor tournament at London 1899. In his major tournament debut at Paris 1900, Marshall finished =3rd with Geza Maroczy, defeating World Champion Emanuel Lasker in their individual game.

Known for an aggressive style and an ability to get out of trouble that earned him the nickname "The Great Swindler", Marshall recorded both high finishes and disappointing results in elite tournaments. For example, his best result came at Cambridge Springs 1904 where he finished 2.0 points ahead of Lasker and David Janowski. On the other hand, he finished in mid-field at Ostend 1905. His other successes at this time, which included 1st at Schevenigen 1905, 3rd at Barmen 1905 (1/2-point behind Janowski and Maroczy), and first at Nuremberg 1906 helped him find backing for the Lasker-Marshall World Championship Match (1907). However, he lost this match heavily by a score of +0 -8 =7. He suffered another disaster in Capablanca - Marshall (1909) (+1 -8 =14), but continued to be a dangerous and respected opponent in international play for many years. One of his best results came when he won the Havana tournament of 1913, edging out Capablanca by half a point.

Marshall won the US Championship by defeating Jackson Whipps Showalter in a 1909 match (+7 -2 =3). He defended the title once, against Edward Lasker in 1923 (+5 -4 =9), finally relinquishing it voluntarily in 1936 to allow the championship to be decided by tournament play.

Several opening variations are named after him, notably Ruy Lopez, Marshall (C89). Though his original use of it in Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918 resulted in a loss, the gambit is still studied today and played occasionally at the highest levels.

notes: Frank played consultation chess on the teams of Lasker/Chigorin/Marshall/Teichmann & Marshall / Allies.

 page 1 of 54; games 1-25 of 1,330  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Steinitz vs Marshall 1-026 1893 SimulC03 French, Tarrasch
2. Pillsbury vs Marshall 0-134 1894 blind-simulD06 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. Pillsbury vs Marshall 0-129 1894 BFX MontrealC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
4. Marshall vs R Short 1-018 1894 ch Montreal CCC51 Evans Gambit
5. R Short vs Marshall 0-122 1895 freeC51 Evans Gambit
6. Marshall vs W Napier 0-134 1896 Napier - MarshallC45 Scotch Game
7. W Napier vs Marshall 1-047 1896 Napier - MarshallB01 Scandinavian
8. Marshall vs W Napier 0-138 1896 Napier - MarshallA84 Dutch
9. W Napier vs Marshall 1-035 1896 Napier - MarshallB06 Robatsch
10. Marshall vs W Napier 0-123 1896 Napier - MarshallC29 Vienna Gambit
11. W Napier vs Marshall ½-½75 1896 Napier - MarshallC00 French Defense
12. Marshall vs W Napier ½-½72 1896 Napier - MarshallC50 Giuoco Piano
13. Marshall vs W Napier 1-027 1896 Napier - MarshallD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. W Napier vs Marshall ½-½75 1896 Napier - MarshallC02 French, Advance
15. W Napier vs Marshall 1-068 1896 Napier - MarshallC00 French Defense
16. Marshall vs W Napier 0-177 1896 Napier - MarshallC55 Two Knights Defense
17. V Sournin vs Marshall 0-134 1896 New YorkA80 Dutch
18. Marshall vs W Napier 1-054 1897 Ch CityD01 Richter-Veresov Attack
19. W Napier vs Marshall 1-065 1897 Ch CityC02 French, Advance
20. Marshall vs W Napier 1-046 1897 Ch CityA80 Dutch
21. Pillsbury vs Marshall 1-039 1897 blindfold exhibitionC13 French
22. H McMahon vs Marshall 0-17 1897 Ch CityC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
23. Marshall vs H Helms 0-133 1897 Ch CityC44 King's Pawn Game
24. Marshall vs J Tatum 1-054 1897 Ch CityD53 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. H Helms vs Marshall 1-019 1897 Ch CityA80 Dutch
 page 1 of 54; games 1-25 of 1,330  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Marshall wins | Marshall loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <The attack and defence emanating from this classical opening produce some of the most beautiful chess it is possible to obtain. The Queen's Gambit possesses the merit of being the soundest of all the openings> - Frank Marshall.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <A bad plan is better than none at all.> - Frank Marshall.
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <I like it when a bad plan works> Hannibal Smith.
Jul-05-15  zanzibar: Already mentioned by <MissS> above:

Frank James Marshall (kibitz #295)

<Champion of the world in [...] Saltar>

I've actually seen two other references, both of which spell it <Salta>:

<always decked out in an ascot and chewing a cigar, his career coincided with many evolutionary changes in competitive chess. Marshall was a master gamesman. <He took up the game of salta, akin to Chinese checkers, and was soon world champion.> But more than anything, he loved chess, claiming that after he learned the game at 10 he played every day for the next 57 years. >

In my <Monte Carlo (1902>> research, I encountered another mention in the contemporaneous reporting when the organizers decided to delay the final round (later also the penultimate round as well), impacting both Pillsbury and Marshall's ability to partake in the Anglo-American cable match. There's also this:

<Marshall, moreover, is desirous of staying over another week, to participate in prospective tournament at salta, the world's championship of which is held by him.>

(The normal BDE coverage of this one issue is very poor in the Brooklyn library archive, Fulton at least has a readable copy)

Jul-05-15  zanzibar: Salta - wiki's page mentions Marshall.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Marshall is right about the King's Gambit. I know a player who played the King's Gambit for upwards of 20 years. He said that the only thing he never saw was the "main line" ( 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 etc. )
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Zanzibar> Not sure I am reading your figures correctly. 3.Bc4 is three times more popular than 3.Nf3 among 2400-rated players? That's surprising (and a tribute to Fischer's influence). What kind of sample size are we talking about here?
Jul-06-15  zanzibar: <keypusher> Damn, I reversed those numbers.

Good catch... I'd delete my bad post and repost with the correction.


Jul-06-15  zanzibar: Well, <RookFile>, SCID has a couple of opening books to look at - <ELO2400> and <GM2600>

where we can look at recent high level play.

<1.e4 e5> vs <1.e4 c5> _______ (21% 49%) vs (26% 44%)

KGA vs KGD __________________ (74% 26%) vs (100% 0%)

KGA knight vs bishop __________ (76% 23%) vs (56% 44%)

Then we have Black's move 3, so let's list several options for the two books

3...g5 ____ 27% _______ 3...g5 ____ 75%
3...d6 ____ 20% _______ 3...Be7 ___ 25%
3...d5 ____ 16%
3...Be7 ___ 14%
3...Ne7 ___ 12%
3...Nf6 ____ 6%
3...h6 _____ 5%

So it seems at some of GM's do play 3...g5 as Black.

The Tree Window gives a few top games for reference:

Nakamura vs D Andreikin, 2010

<Zvjaginsev, Vadim (2643) -- Akopian, Vladimir (2688) 11. EICC Men playoff (2.3) Rijeka CRO> (and I thought Akopian only played the French!)

Fedorov vs Shirov, 2000

Morozevich vs A Aleksandrov, 2000

Short vs Shirov, 1997

Short vs D Howell, 2010

* * * * *


Fedorov vs Ivanchuk, 2001

Fedorov vs Adams, 1997

Nunn vs Timman, 1995

Black seems to do pretty well in this sample of games.

Jul-06-15  zanzibar: <keypusher> The question about the sample size is also good.

I'll have to do a little research and report back. I think I knew it once upon a time...

Jul-06-15  zanzibar: <Taken from the copyright notice of the source:

Files that are copyrighted by respective authors :

Book files (performance.bin and varied.bin): Marc Lacrosse

Book files (Elo2400.bin and gm2600.bin): Pascal Georges

Database files : Pascal Georges>

Georges took over SCID from Hudson.

Jul-06-15  zanzibar: Finding out about the SCID opening books is not easy. They were made with polyglot (a tool created by Fabien Letouzey, the guy who wrote Fruit and open sourced it - basically creating the world of engines that we know today).

The opening books probably haven't been tweaked for years now. The exact data sets used for their creation, and the stats, aren't documented in the obvious place (e.g. the README.txt file in the books directory).

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Well, if you're a chess professional, you can prepare 3...g5 in the King's Gambit. I think the rest of us hackers can content ourselves with either 2...Bc5 or an early ...d5 break, as Marshall says. I was an ...e5 player for many years, maybe I saw a grand total of 10 King's Gambits.
Jul-06-15  zanzibar: <RookFile> I'm lucky if I make hacker rank myself.

Your (or Marshall's) suggestion to play a KGD with 2...d5 or 2...Bc5 is a good one, and FCO agrees

<In a way, these words are still valid today. Somehow or other, the King's Gambit seems to elude rational judgement. Coundess refutations of 2 f4 have been claimed, but each and every time the opening has survived the onslaught. It remains a source of inspiration to those who have courage and imagination. And even those who do not dare to play it, can learn a great deal from the wealth of variations this opening has to offer. There is only one theme here, yet it is an eternal one, the theme that no chess-player can avoid: the battle between the initiative and a material advantage.

The most prominent of these variations start with 2...exf4, the King's Gambit Accepted, but several other moves have also grown into full-blown variations, most notably 2...d5, the Falkbeer Counter-Gambit, and 2...!.c5, the principal form of the King's Gambit Declined.>

Anybody can bone up on the 3...g5 defense - White and Black. It's a question of temperament whether or not one wants to play it.

I agree that most White players don't play the King's Gambit, but it certainly shows up on FICS a lot, and I've certainly been crushed enough times as Black to confirm this fact. But for me, it's always a bit of a thrill to play the KGA out as Black and get a win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: While known to respond to the KG with 2....d5 once or twice, I generally preferred acceptance with the Becker line (3....h6), which typically transposed into the Classical without allowing White to play down the main line of the Kieseritsky, via a move order such as 4.d4 g5 5.Bc4 d6 6.0-0 Bg7.

My guess is that the KG player to whom <RookFile> refers was Rich Daly; the one time we met at the board, the game avoided the transposition into the main line of the Classical above, as he went in for a quick h4, hxg5 and exchange of rooks.

Jul-07-15  zanzibar: You can see Kingcrusher playing White against the Becker here:

It's a 5-min blitz, and a little sloppy. But worth a watch, and many of the mistakes make for good little side lessons (e.g. why 44...Ke7 fails whereas 44...Kf7 wins for Black).

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Uncopyrightable is the longest word in English with no repeat letters.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy Birthday Frank!!

Thanks for the swindles.

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Marshall was such a strong player defeating the likes of Janowski, Capa (twice), Pillsbury & Chigorin. Of course Capa beat him many times but you can't beat a World Chess Champ twice unless you're an extremely strong player. I still have fond memories of going to the Marshall Chess Club in NYC back in '95 & playing in a tournament there!
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Of course Capa beat him many times but you can't beat a World Chess Champ twice unless you're an extremely strong player.>

Or extremely lucky.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: from Essay on Chess by Anthony Santasiere..

<So finally dear Frank had to die. (We all knew that towards the end he had a serious heart condition.) He had gone to Jersey City, alone, to play in a game of Bingo. Afterwards, walking on the street, he dropped dead. I went to the widow at once to console her. She was dry-eyed, and said, "Thank God! San - I gave him new underwear only this morning.">


Nov-24-15  ljfyffe: Soltis claims that Marshall
won the Montreal Club Chess Championship in 1893
but my research indicates that he only won the <handicap> tournament.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: From the <Mechanics Institute Newsletter #722>: The following forgotten Frank Marshall simul game was discovered by <Eduardo Bauza Mercere>.

Danish Gambit C44
Frank James Marshall–Edmund Bayly Seymour
Philadelphia (simul) December 12, 1916

1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2 d6 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. O-O Be6 8. Bxe6 fxe6 9. Qb3 Qd7 10. Ng5 Nd8 11. Nd2 h6 12. Nh3 Nf6 13. Nf4 Qf7 14. Rac1 c6 15. g3 e5 16. Nd5 cxd5 17. f4 d4 18. Nc4 Nc6 19. fxe5 dxe5 20. Qb5 Qc7 21. Nxe5 Qxe5 22. Qxb7 Rb8 23. Qxc6+ Nd7 24. Qg6+ Kd8 25. Rf5 Qd6 26. Qxd6 Bxd6 27. Bxd4 Rg8 28. Rd1 ˝-˝

Source: <Philadelphia Inquirer>, October 21, 1917, page 6.

Feb-09-16  zanzibar: Near the conclusion of the <Marshall--Showalter (1909)> match, Marshall is quoted as saying he planned to retire from professional chess after playing in then upcoming Hamburg International Tournament.

Good thing it was either a misquote, or Marshall later changed his mind.

From Nov. 23, 1909 Cincinnati Enquirer:

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I think Marshall, more than any other top player, tried for piece activity above everything else. He would give up loads of pawns to get his knights, and secondarily his bishops, into good attacking positions. When it works out it is a Mt-St-Helens-like apocalypse of attack.
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