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Alexander Alekhine vs Frank James Marshall
St. Petersburg (1914), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 4, Apr-26
Russian Game: Classical Attack. Marshall Variation (C42)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-10-05  chessworm: Black's position is like a zugzugwang position where if king moves Rh2 mate.
If any of the pawns move, they will be lost.
Jun-10-08  micartouse: 19. Rg4 is an appealing if ultra-simple move. By forcing 19 ... g6, White softens up the kingside pawns considerably. If 20 ... h5 then 21. g4! would still win a pawn and rook invasion.

Another reason I admire the move is because of Vukovic' book Art of Attack in which he claims g7 is the most dangerous target in the kingside because threats there force weakenings. But that's the middlegame, and Alekhine shows it to be true here as well in a technical position.

Alekhine himself includes this in his best games of chess and gives 19. Rg4 an <!> and calls it "the winning maneuver".

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: So is 18...f6 better?, i.e., 19.Rg4 g5 20.h4 h6 etc
Jun-10-08  micartouse: <Calli: So is 18...f6 better?, i.e., 19.Rg4 g5 20.h4 h6 etc>

The move goes unanalyzed by Alekhine (Book I, Game 24). It resolves the problem in the game, but it shouldn't be surprising if White can find another way to cash in on his initiative.

Fritz running at a shallow level evaluates both moves as and wants to push d5 and Nd4 as a way to take advantage of 18 ... f6. It looks very complicated and worth deeper analysis. White has diverse threats.

Jul-13-08  Touchdown: With some time, I also see that the endgame is not clearly winning fot White. 18... f6 and also the g pawn sacrifice and 36.d5. What happened after f5 instead of f6 ?
Jul-13-08  RookFile: This game shows the excellence in all aspects of the game that you need to become world champion. Marshall quite reasonably steers the game to a simplified position, so that Alekhine's gifts of tactics would be minimized. Alekhine then proceeds to outplay him anyway in the endgame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Touchdown> After 18...f5 White would win at least one pawn after 19.Rf4 g6 20.Rh4 h5 21.Ne5
Jul-14-08  Touchdown: And after 36.d5 what happened after f5+ ? 37.Ke5 Ne3 38.Nb7 Ng4+. White can win the knight but Black will take many pawns and the endgame is not so easy to win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: Marshall afraid of Alekhine's tactical ability? I'm not so sure about that. Marshall was pretty good himself.

White's 29 Re2 certainly has to be an error. It allows Black time to get his pieces on better squares.

Alekhine, like many of his peers, had a pretty high opinion of himself. White's 19 Rg4! is a good move, but hardly a winning move. Black had lots of chances to successfully defend this ending after 29 Re2?

Marshall was actually a pretty good endgame player. See his 1st game vs Emanuel Lasker. He won a piece for 2 pawns and showed great technique in winning the game.

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