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Frank Marshall vs Paul Saladin Leonhardt
"Marshall Arts" (game of the day Jun-25-2006)
Bad Pistyan (1912), Pistyan (Piestany) AUH, rd 13, Jun-05
Queen Pawn Game: Krause Variation (D02)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-25-06  Boomie: Instead of 26...Nf4, black can force the issue with Nd4, uncoordinating the white pieces.

26...Nd4 27. Bxd4 cxd4 28. Kh2 Kg7 29. Bc2 Rh5 30. Be4 Rb8 and white's initiative has vanished.

Jun-25-06  Confuse: wow. like watching a kung fu movie. : )
Jun-25-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <makaveli52: very nicely played, but I wud think its not very difficult to beat some1 with a last [sic - actually middle] name like 'Salad'>

Anyone who is inclined to underestimate Leonhardt’s playing strength should take a look at the following game in which he crushes Tarrasch:

Leonhardt vs Tarrasch, 1910

Jun-25-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: People tended not to make friends with Salad.
Jun-25-06  dakgootje: Great pun with even a better game. Think black was too stunned after Rxh7, thinking Marshall had calculated about everything, to play sound enough for winning. sure, leonhardt might have been a great chessplayer, but Marshall would NEVER have played like this versus a Capablanca
Jun-25-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: I just took a look at Leonhardt's chessgames.com biography and noticed that, in addition to his brilliant win over Tarrasch mentioned in my previous post, he defeated Tarrasch's arch rival, Aron Nimzowitsch, in a match (by the overwhelming score of +4, =1, -0) played in 1911.
Jun-25-06  patzer2: Marshall's 18. e4 fxe4 19. Nxe4 at first looks like a good plan of tactical positional play, since 19...dxe4?? loses to 20. Bc4+ (winning the queen via discovered attack with check).

However, Leonhardt's strong reply 19...Ne6! actually puts White in danger of losing, when the only try to maintain the balance is apparently with the exchange sacrifice 20. f4! Nf4! 21. Qg4! Nxh3 22. Qxh3 =.

In spite of it's impressive result in this game, Marshall's 20. Qg4?? is an outright blunder. Yet, Marshall maximizes resistance in the lost position and plays all the best possible moves, as does his opponent up until 24...Be7!?

Now 24...Be7!? might still win with difficulty, but Black could have scored a quick victory IMO with 24...Nf4!!


click for larger view

[Position after 24...Nf4!! , Black missed in this game.]

After 24... Nf4!! 25. Be4 (25. Rd6 Rxg2+ 26. Kf1 Rxb2) (25. Bf1 Nxd5 26. Rxd5 Be7) 25... Ne2+ 26. Kf1 Rxe4 27. exf6 Bf5 , Marshall could have resigned.

So, no Leonhardt was not a bad player, he just missed a decisive combination in a won position. Marshall, on the other hand, demonstrated the importance of making your opponent win his "won game" and fighting to find the strongest most aggressive moves in an inferior position. As a result, Marshall pulled off a great swindle in this game.

Jun-25-06  patzer2: Black's losing blunder is 30...Bd3?? Instead, 30...Kf7 is more than enough to hold the draw.
Jun-25-06  MarvinTsai: I doubt the sacrifice is sound, since after 24..Be7 the position obvious to me is black-winning. So I run chessmaster 10 to make sure. Computer thinks that the sacrifice is unsound, but Mr.Leonhardt makes some really bad follow-ups. First off, 24..Be7 is not good. Then 25..Rh4 is passive too. I guess black has serious time trouble here. Bold and pointless 26..Nf4 makes it a even position for white with sharp 27..Rd8. Finally tragic 30..Bd3 lose it all. The apparently best move would be 27..Be6. This miss cost the game.

I think the moral of this game is: you just can't beat a super GM by chance, no matter who yourself are. Everything is temporary without continuity.

Jun-25-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: I believe the score is wrong. The correct ending, as given by Soltis, is 26.Bxg6 Nc7 27.Rd8+ Bxd8 28.Rxd8+ Kg7 29.Bf5? Bb7? 30.e6+ Kh6 31.e7 resigns

Jun-25-06  CapablancaFan: <patzer2><So, no Leonhardt was not a bad player, he just missed a decisive combination in a won position. Marshall, on the other hand, demonstrated the importance of making your opponent win his "won game" and fighting to find the strongest most aggressive moves in an inferior position. As a result, Marshall pulled off a great swindle in this game.> Correct. As pointed out by yourself and LivBlockade, black missed no less than 3 oppertunities to turn this game around. I think it's safe to say Leonhardt loss this game more than Marshall won it. But you have to give it to Marshall for playing in an aggressive fashion (although his position was inferior) and mentally throwing off Leonhardt. Maybe the pun for this game should have been called "The Great American Swindle".
Jun-25-06  cuendillar: It might be in the spirit of Tal - There's always a refutation, but somehow only in the after-analysis
Jun-25-06  MrMelad: It seems to me that 19 ..Rxf4 is not such a bad move and even stronger then the text (of course I'm mistaken but can you show me why?).

if 20 Rxh7 there's no reason black won't take the rook and if 20 Bc1 Ne6! 21 Qd2(or Qe3) Rh4

I don't see a clear way for white to open the d file or to use the rook on h3.. why am I wrong?

Jun-25-06  weisyschwarz: A beautiful game. Marshall knew just when to let pieces go, all to obtain his goal. 21.Rxh7 is a work of art.
Jun-25-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Marshall really uses his weapons here:pins,forks,diversion,lightsaber,etc.lol.

Marshall ends up materially down--but his pawn cannot be stopped.

Jun-25-06  patzer2: <Kevin86> <Marshall ends up materially down--but his pawn cannot be stopped.> Yes it can. Marshall was fortunate that his opponent missed 24...Nf4!! winning quickly and 30...Kf7! holding with all the winning chances.

Still, with the array of tactical skills you mentioned, Marshall was able to complicate and swindle a win against less than perfect play from a strong opponent.

Jun-25-06  harcee sarmiento: 24...Nf4!? i will play 25.Bc4! Rxg2?? and whats next?? 26. Kh1. after the knight capture the whites rook, the king and the black's rook are fork!
Jun-25-06  Confuse: <patzer2> im a little curious about Nf4 for move 24... what if white goes, Bc4? if the knight takes the rook then bishop takes and forks the rook. im not really sure i understand why Nf4 is such a great move. could u explain what happens after Bc4? thanks, confuse
Jun-26-06  patzer2: <harcee Sarmiento> <Confuse> After 24...Nf4!! 25. Bc4 Rxg2+ 26. Kh1 (26. Kf1 Be6 ) 26...Rxb2! 27. R5d2+ Kf8 28. Rxb2 Bxe5 (-4.31 @ 14 depth, Fritz 8), Black is winning.
Jun-26-06  Confuse: ah, thanks <patzer2>.. i totally missed that rook check... haha. nice
Jul-01-06  MrMelad: No one has an opinion on 19 .. Rxf4?
May-17-07  Whitehat1963: Great pun, great game!
Jan-09-08  ForeverYoung: I am glad you guys are taking a good look at this game. The kibitzing about this game is much appreciated! About a month ago I looked at this game on my board and couldn't believe what I was seeing. Even now a good question is what does White have after 27 Rd8+ if black declines the rook and plays 27 ... Kg7.

I have Marshall's best games of chess and he didn't include this one in it.

Calli has a relevant point as to the score of the game. The Soltis score appears in the book "Lesser Known Chess Masterpieces 1906-1915" which is the book I looked at the game from.

To 24 ... Nf4 25 Bc4 Be6! looks strong.

Jul-29-09  WhiteRook48: now Marshall's got genius- or perhaps madness
Nov-27-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: This game is pure pleasure to play through - one of these gravity-defying performances by Marshall.

Here's how I imagine the game felt to the players as it was unfolding. Leonhardt, by the way, was a world-class player, one of the top twenty in the world for a full decade, a very sharp tactician with a sense of positional correctness - after 12 moves of accurate defense, he would have felt he fully deserved the point, and would be appalled that Marshall is somehow still clawing his way to victory.

14....a6 is a bit of a strange choice. Marshall's ambitions are on the kingside not the queenside. After this move, he must have felt that he was in a Marshall position and tactical possibilities would start to appear on the board.

18.e4!? is the kind of shot that Marshall made his living on: 18....fxe4 19.Nxe4 dxe4 20.Bc4+ and now the center and kingside are rolling.

But Leonhardt has 19....Ne6! I have a feeling Marshall missed or underestimated this and suddenly it looks resignable for white. e4 and f4 are hanging and the trick with Bc4 no longer works after ....dxe4.

Marshall puts together Adolf Anderssen-esque combination with 20.Qg4?! It's fundamentally unsound - 20.f5 sacrificing an exchange is a better way to continue - but this is the kind of combination that once you see it, it's very difficult not to play it.

It's rare to be able to sacrifice queen, rook, and knight on one move as Marshall does with 21.Rxh7! If 21....Kxh7 22.Nf6+ Bxf6 23.Qxg6+ Kh8 24.exf6 with f7+ coming.

I played through the combination to 24.Rxd5 and was sort of surprised to realize that for all his trouble Marshall is just down a piece. Leonhardt must have felt that he'd weathered the storm and could consolidate easily. Contrary to what some of the kibitzers were saying, 24....Be7 is a perfectly reasonable move. 24....Nf4 25.Bc4 Be6 26.Rd6 is just an alternative.

But after 24....Be7 it looks resignable again for white: he's down a piece for a pawn and the rook is precarious on d5. 25.h3 looks like just a swindler-type move to disrupt black's pieces. The computer finds 25....Bb7 here although that's a hard move to make. There are complications with 26.Bc4 Rxc4 27.bxc4 Bxd5 28.cxd5 with a pawn roller or 26.Rd7 Rxg2+ 27.Kf1 Rxb2 28.Rxe7 with threats against g6 and e6. In a real game, I might well have played 25....Rg3 and just given up the rook for white's light-squared bishop.

But Leonhardt has good reason to play the way he does because 26....Nf4 looks like a killing shot - resignable again for white.

Now white has a brand-new round of sacrifices with 27.Rd8+!. Again, this is not so terrible. The attractive-looking 29.e6+ Kxg6 30.e7 doesn't work: after 30....Ne2+ 31.Kf2 Re4 32.e8=Q Rxe8 black just gives the rook back and once again is up a whole piece in the endgame.

After 30.Rxa8 Leonhardt was probably congratulating himself. He'd played really good defense, made it through several waves of attacks, and reached an endgame where Marshall has only two pieces left. 30....Bd3 is a blunder but an understandable blunder - he wants to hold onto the a6 pawn and psychologically he must have been feeling that he deserved a moment to consolidate. 30....Kf7 isn't so simple. After 31.Rxa6 it's three pawns for a piece, and white's kingside pawns look dangerous.

But with 30....Bd3? it turns out that Marshall still has tactics and the e-pawn gets down the board in three moves.

As a whole Marshall's play is probably unsound, but after 19....Ne6! he has to do something and he goes down a wild rabbit hole that, after many additional tricks, leads to a win.

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