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  WCC Overview
Frank James Marshall Lasker vs Marshall 1907
New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, Memphis

Frank James Marshall was born in New York City, but spent his youth in Montreal where he rapidly rose to the top of the chess scene. Upon returning to the USA, he won the US Championship (although refused to accept the honor, as Harry Nelson Pillsbury did not participate). He was soon recognized as one of the brightest and most creative American chess talents.

In 1904, Marshall won the very strong Cambridge Springs tournament by 1.5 points over Emanuel Lasker, the first time that the World Champion had been beaten in a tournament in nearly ten years.

Dr. Lasker later agreed to play Marshall for the world championship, to be played in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Chicago, and Memphis.

From January 26 to April 8, 1907 the match took place. It was an utter fiasco for Marshall, who failed to score a single win. Even in his autobiography Marshall does not mention this match except for a short sentence: "Tedious play aimed at wearing down my opponent is averse to my nature."[1]

click on a game number to replay game 123456789101112131415

FINAL SCORE:  Lasker 11½;  Marshall 3½
Reference: game collection WCC Index [Lasker-Marshall 1907]

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #1     Marshall vs Lasker, 1907     0-1
    · Game #3     Marshall vs Lasker, 1907     0-1
    · Game #15     Marshall vs Lasker, 1907     0-1


  1. My Fifty Years of Chess, by Frank Marshall
    Painting of Frank Marshall by Léonardus Nardus, circa 1912.

 page 1 of 1; 15 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Marshall vs Lasker 0-1501907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
2. Lasker vs Marshall 1-0521907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchC11 French
3. Marshall vs Lasker 0-1431907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchD53 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. Lasker vs Marshall ½-½401907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchC12 French, McCutcheon
5. Marshall vs Lasker ½-½411907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchD53 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. Lasker vs Marshall ½-½211907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchC12 French, McCutcheon
7. Marshall vs Lasker ½-½491907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
8. Lasker vs Marshall 1-0691907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchC12 French, McCutcheon
9. Marshall vs Lasker ½-½461907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
10. Lasker vs Marshall ½-½481907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchC12 French, McCutcheon
11. Marshall vs Lasker ½-½511907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
12. Lasker vs Marshall 1-0461907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchC11 French
13. Marshall vs Lasker 0-1581907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
14. Lasker vs Marshall 1-0211907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchC11 French
15. Marshall vs Lasker 0-1371907Lasker - Marshall World Championship MatchD53 Queen's Gambit Declined
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-13-13  ranny: The Marshall quote in the introduction is incorrect. What he actually wrote in My Fifty Years of Chess was, "Speaking of matches, I had several unfortunate results about this time...The grim business of wearing down your opponent has never appealed to me very much."
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: I still haven't found a photograph, but I did find this recently...

<F. J. Marshall, first prize, $500 and a gold medal, inscribed "CHAMPION;" Max Judd, second, $300; Louis Uedemann, Western champion, third, $150; Emil Kemeny, fourth, $100; fifth, $50, tied for and divided by L.Eisenberg and Ed. Schrader.


We own to a lively curiosity to see what would come of the offer of that much disputed gold medal. If, as now reported, the medal is simply inscribed "CHAMPION," which simply means, we suppose, "a champion chess player," without undertaking to say champion of any particular country. If so. It can not be said that Mr. Pillsbury's rights are in any way invaded, or that Mr. Marshall should have any delicacy about accepting the pretty trinket. The incident and its controversy seem to be harmlessly closed-and rather neatly, too.>

New York Clipper, 1904.11.19, p898.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Now that I have successfully completed my move (from an apartment to a condo) I'm starting to get back into the swing of things... here are a few more tidbits I dug up re: Marshall becoming US Champion in 1904.

<Frank J. Marshall, the Brooklyn chess master, left for St. Louis by the Pennsylvania Railroad at 2 o'clock this afternoon, the object of his trip being to participate in the international masters tournament of the seventh American chess congress opening in the exposition city next Tuesday.

In view of the trouble between Harry N. Pillsbury, the American champion, and the St. Louis committee over his title to the championship, Marshall should have the field pretty well to himself, his most dangerous opponents probably being J. W. Showalter and Max Judd, both of whom are said to have entered.

Before leaving, Marshall said he had written Pillsbury assuring him he would in no case accept the American championship, even in case of success at St. Louis, and that he recognized him, Pillsbury, as the rightful champion.>

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1904.10.07, p12

<The first prize of $500 and a gold medal as tournament champion of America goes to Frank J. Marshall of Brooklyn [...] >

New York Times, 1904.10.27, p1

<Marshall, in addition to the cash prize of $500, received a gold medal with the title "champion" engraved thereon.>

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1904.10.30, p31

Sep-25-14  ljfyffe: 1n 1895, Marshall was awarded Mason's Art of Chess for a best game played.
Mar-07-15  kevin86: A real massacre! Marshall wasn't in the same zip code as Lasker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I imagine this must have been the most lopsided world championship match ever, right?
Apr-26-15  Phony Benoni: <Fusilli> That distinction probably goes to Lasker - Janowski World Championship Match (1910), where Lasker scored +8 -0 =3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: In more recent times Kasparov - Anand World Championship Match (1995) was a disaster for the loser.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <In 1904, Marshall won the very strong Cambridge Springs tournament by 1.5 points over Emanuel Lasker, the first time that the World Champion had been beaten in a tournament in nearly ten years.>

Since when? The last I heard, Marshall won by two points. Cambridge Springs (1904) Also, the language "had been beaten" seems ill-chosen, implying that Lasker had lost no games in his other tournaments. I would say, "the first time that the World Champion had failed to win a tournament since Hastings (1895)."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Thanks, <PB>!

<offramp> I would not call losing 10.5 - 7.5 to Kasparov a disaster, but that's a matter of opinion. Kasparov - Short World Championship Match (1993) was more lopsided.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Fusilli: Thanks, <PB>! <offramp> I would not call losing 10.5 - 7.5 to Kasparov a disaster, but that's a matter of opinion. Kasparov - Short World Championship Match (1993) was more lopsided.>

In the 1995 match Anand won a game, then he lost a game and then he totally gave up - surrendered, white flag, arms up, lying on the floor, nose to dust.

At least Short kept trying throughout the match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: A German chess magazine made a memorable comment prior to this match, something like:

<"If Marshall should win this match, who will consider him the champion of the world?">

This was in reference to the Marshall - Tarrasch (1905) match of two years earlier, which Tarrasch won (in Nuremberg) by 8 wins to 1 with 7 draws.

In the match before your eyes Lasker would have been bearing that result in mind; he would have wanted to outdo Tarrasch. But he was playing in the New World. Marshall was brought up as a Montréaloid, although I can't see that home advantage gives anything to a chess player, unless the playing venue often gets water-logged and the home player is used to it. So Lasker tried really hard to win by a bigger margin that his old rival Tarrasch had done. Unlucky for Marshall, but a direct knock-on effect from his big loss to Tarrasch.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It's not from their match, but this is a contemporary photo:

Apr-23-16  Caissanist: Marshall's <My Fifty Years of Chess> is now online, on Google Docs ( ), including <ranny>'s version of the match quote.
Jun-06-16  kevin86: Playing Lasker can be adverse to anyone's nature.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Philadelphia Inquirer, December 30th 1906, Sec. III p.2:

<Mr. Marshall in a letter states that he has just been in a bad train wreck, which occurred at Donaldsville, La. His train while traveling at a high rate of speed collided with a freight. Mr. Marshall, though badly bruised and shocked, escaped with a sprained ankle and cut head. Mr. Marshall, in view of his accident and the nervous shock, expects to cancel several of his Southern engagements and return at once to New York. It is not expected, however, that he will be prevented from playing his match with Dr. Lasker, which, in all probability, will begin the middle of January.>

The Wilmington Messenger, December 16th 1906, p.1:

<Donaldsville, La., - December 15. - Four persons were killed and two seriously injured today in a head on collision between a passenger and a freight train at a long curve near here on the Texas and Pacific railroad. All the fatalities were among members of the train crews, no passengers being seriously injured.

The engineers and firemen of both trains saw the approaching collision in time to escape by jumping.

Scarecely had the engines crashed together when the boiler of the freight locomotive exploded.

The loss of life was confined to the passenger train. Many passengers were painfully bruised, injuries around the head being especially frequent, from the force with which they were dashed forward upon the car floods and over seats.>

Dec-09-18  sudoplatov: Lasker was very strong. Look at Marshall's results from Cambridge Springs to this match. Several good tournament wins, one failure, and a bad match loss to Tarrasch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Morning Post, January 7th 1907, p.2:

<The championship match between Lasker and Marshall did not begin Friday [Jan. 4th] as intended, but it is confidently anticipated that a start will be made this week. Marshall’s absence from New York is mentioned as an explanation of the delay. Less convincing excuses have been deemed sufficient for putting off a match for the chess championship of the world, but there is no doubt that the encounter will take place, for the new number of <Lasker's Magazine> announces that a sufficient sum has been subscribed, and that "it has been settled that the match will begin in New York in a public place. What portion of the match will take place there, and where the remainder will be played has not yet been decided.” The statement is satisfactory so far as it goes, but it shows that to the time of the magazine’s publication no date had been fixed for commencement, and that the negotiations with the clubs that are anxious to entertain the competitors had not been concluded. But probably these matters have since been arranged.

Marshall has been touring in the Western States, and at Indianapolis, Chicago, and Racine won in all 58 games, drew five, and lost none. This is his record score, and <Lasker's Magazine> says, ”It is probably the record at multiple chess, for the chances of oversight in one or two games, when playing twenty or twenty-five boards simultaneously are so great that an error is usually made.” We also learn something of Marshall's idea of training for a championship match. He reduces his cigars to ten a day, he diets himself for a week, and sleeps as much as possible. "Sleep,” he says, ”is the best training for a chess-master,” and "if you want to play a rattling game of chess never eat heartily on the day the match takes place.” Marshall has made up his mind that if he wins the championship he will retire from chess.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Mr. Marshall, though badly bruised and shocked, escaped with a sprained ankle and cut head.>

The <ACB>, January 1907, p.5, reported on the basis of a letter, presumably a different one, that Marshall suffered a <strained ankle and cut hand.>

Maybe's Marshall's nervous shock affected his handwriting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <American Chess Bulletin>, October 1908, p.207:

<It is of interest to note that at the very time when the match [Lasker - Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908) ] got under way, workmen in New York began the demolition of the Everett House in Union Square, where some of the games of the Lasker-Marshall match were played. It is intended to erect a sixteen-story office building on the site of New York's famous land mark.>

From the <Daytonian in Manhattan> site:

<Despite the management's denials, the end of the venerable hotel was near. The building was foreclosed upon in 1907 and bankruptcy was forced upon the owners. On the morning of June 16, 1908 a notice was tacked to the office bulletin board announcing that the building would be torn down to be replaced by a 20-story office building. The New-York Tribune reported "The seventy-five guests, many of whom have been patrons of the hotel for years, looked at one another bewildered."

As The Times had done, the Tribune reminisced about the hotel's storied history. "Prince Henry of Battenberg stayed at the Everett House and was wined and dined there, as did the Duchess of Marlborough, mother of the present Duke of Marlborough. It was during the Civil War that the Everett House was at the height of its glory, and oldtimers say that the scenes there at balls and dinners were brilliant ones."

The developers gave a nod to the distinguished old hotel when it named the new building The Everett Building. Completed in 1909, it survives.>


Jan-01-20  spingo: Americans have never been a wit sentimental when it comes to tearing down old buildings to make room for new. An example is that big station in New York, which was demolished because it was in the wrong city (Pennsylvania Station).

There was also Al Capone's Lexington Hotel in Chicago, and in the same town the colossal Masonic Temple - all gone.

In Europe we tend to keep them up unless (a) it falls down or (b) a malcontent makes it fall down.

The Belgians have not fared well in keeping beautiful old buildings standing. What the various wars did not destroy, the Belgians demolished of their own free will and accord. See Zandvoort (1936) (kibitz #6).

It is hard to balance progress with heritage.

Mar-05-20  asiduodiego: "Tedious play aimed at wearing down my opponent is averse to my nature."

That one is new. I'm used to the usual excuse of "I was sick during the match". But, Marshall breaks new ground here with this excuse: what he is basically saying is "Chess is actually boring".

Mar-05-20  Petrosianic: His matches with the big guns were certainly boring:

vs. Lasker +0-8=7
vs. Capablanca +1-8=14
vs. Tarrasch +1-8=8
TOTAL +2-24=29

Mar-05-20  asiduodiego: Yes. Chess is a boring game indeed when you just win 2 games out of 55.
Nov-09-21  Albertan: A Century of Chess:Lasker-Marshall 1907:

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