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Alexander Alekhine vs Frank James Marshall
Baden-Baden (1925), Baden-Baden GER, rd 17, May-08
Queen's Gambit Declined: Marshall Defense (D06)  ·  1-0



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Given 45 times; par: 43 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Ulhumbrus: Five alternatives are...> After 20...Qf8 21.g4, Black can play (.00) (21 ply) 21...Nd5 22.Nxd5 Rxd5 23.f6 h6 24.Qf5 (.00) (21 ply) 24...g6 25.Qf4 Red8 26.Bc2 Rxd1+ 27.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 28.Kxd1 Qc5, or (.02) (21 ply) 24...Qc5+ 25.Bc2 Rxd1+ 26.Kxd1 Qd4+ 27.Kc1 g6 28.Qd3 Rd8, with an approximately equal game.

After 20...Qf8 21.exf6 Rxe1 22.Rxe1 Rxd3 23.Kc2 (.00) (20 ply) 23...Rd6 24.fxg7 Qxg7, it is an equal game.

After 20...Qf8 21.exf6 Rxe1 22.Rxe1 Rxd3 23.Re5 (.00) (20 ply) 23...Rd6 24.Ne4 Rd4, it is an equal game.

After 20...Qf8 21.exf6 Rxe1 22.Rxe1 Rxd3 23.g4? (-.72) (20 ply) 23...h6 24.Qf4 gxf6, Black has the advantage.

For a review of 20...Qf8 21.Kb1, please see my previous analysis.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <beatgiant: My guess Alekhine would have simply played 20...Qf8 21.Qg3 Nd5 22.Nxd5 Rxd5 23.f6...>

After 20...Qf8 21.Qg3 Nd5 22.Nxd5 Rxd5 (.15) (20 ply) 23.e6 Qd6 24.Qxd6 Rxd6 25.Bc4 Kf8, the position is close to equal, only slightly favoring White.

After your suggested line, 20...Qf8 21.Qg3 Nd5 22.Nxd5 Rxd5 23.f6 (-.01) (21 ply) 23...Qc5+ 24.Bc2 Rxd1+ 25.Rxd1 g6, the position is close to equal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <beatgiant: Another possibility is 20...Qf8 21.Qg3 Nd5 22.Ne4, with a strong looking attacking position.>

I reviewed this variation in my posting on 12/29/08, < 20...Qf8 21.Qg3 (.40) (22 ply) 21...Nd5 22.Ne4 Kh8 23.a3>.

Additional analysis by Fritz indicates this line will likely lead to a draw, (.54) (23 ply) 23...Qe7 24.Bc2 Qxe5 25.Qxe5 Rxe5 26.Ng5 Rxe1 27.Nxf7+ Kg8 28.Nxd8 Rxd1+ 29.Bxd1, (.26) (27 ply) 29...Nf4 30.Nxc6 bxc6 31.Bf3 Kf7 32.Kd2 Kf6 33.Be4 Ke5 34.Bxc6 Kxf5, with a near equal position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Pawn and Two>
Well, Fritz can out-calculate me channeling Alekhine any day. Still I say White would likely keep the attacking chances going, for example 20...Qf8 21. Qg3 Nd5 22. Ne4 Kh8 23. a3 Qe7 <24. Ng5> h6 25. Nf3.

Of course I still don't see a forced win with this line, but Black is forced to further weaken the kingside pawn cover by playing ...h6, White maintains the powerful pawn phalanx on e5 and f5, and I think White has the initiative in a complex position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <beatgiant> Your suggested line: 20...Qf8 21.Qg3 Nd5 22.Ne4 Kh8 23.a3 Qe7 24.Ng5 h6 25.Nf3, quickly resulted in an equal position.

Fritz indicated an equal evaluation very quickly in this line, and the evaluation stayed at equal as Fritz searched deeper, 25...Qc5+ (.00) (26 ply) 26.Kb1 Nc3+ 27.bxc3 Qxc3 28.Bc2 Bd5 29.Qf2 Qxa3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Pawn and Two>
LOL! Thanks, that's very interesting counterplay.

Seems like we need to look earlier for an improvement for White. Perhaps 18. Qd2, now Black's knight is pushed back to 18...Nd7 (not ...Nd5? because White has Bxh7+ discovering attack on the knight). And then 19. Qc2 further pushing the knight back to 19...Nf8.

After that, it's hard to imagine any serious Black counterplay, while White still has all the advantages. For example, he can then slowly prepare to launch the pawn phalanx with 20. Rde1, with the eventual f5 further pushing back the Black pieces.

Jan-13-09  Ulhumbrus: <Pawn and Two> How about 21 Re3 Nd5 22 Nxd5 Rxd5 23 Rd1-e1
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <beatgiant: Seems like we need to look earlier for an improvement for white. perhaps 18.Qd2...> 18.Qd2 is an interesting suggestion. Fritz indicates: 18.Qd2 Nd7, 19.Qc2? is incorrect: (-.33) (24 ply) 19....Qh6! 20.Qd2 Rad8.

However, after 18.Qd2 Nd7, White can improve: (.39) (23 ply) 19.Qf2 b6 20.Kb1 Nc5 21.Kb1 Nc5 21.Bc2 a5 22.Rhe1, (.56) (25 ply) 22...Qh6 23.Ne2 Rad8 24.Nd4 Bd5 25.Nf5 Qe6, with some advantage for White that is slowly increasing.

Considering that Fritz finds 19.Qf2 best for White, it would seem logical that saving a tempo by 18.Qf2, would be even better for White.

After 18.Qf2, Fritz indicates a definite advantage for White: (.74) (21 ply) 18...Nd7 19.Rhe1 Qh6 20.Kb1 Rad8 21.Ne4.

I think we now have good evidence that 18.Qf2 would have been advantageous for White.

Additional analysis will be needed on 20...Qf8, before a final determination can be made regarding that move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Ulhumbrus: How about 21.Re3 Nd5 22.Nxd5 Rxd5 23.Rde1>

After 20...Qf8 21.Re3 Nd5 22.Nxd5 Rxd5, Fritz indicates the game is equal: (.00) (22 ply) 23.Rde1 Rc5+ 24.Kb1 Rexe5 25.Rxe5 Rxe5 26.Rxe5 f6, or (.00) (22 ply) 23.f6 g6 24.Rde1 Red8 25.Bc4 Qc5 26.Qh6 Qxc4+ 27.Rc3 Rd1+ 28.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 29.Kxd1 Qf1+.

Also equal is 20...Qf8 21.Re3 h6 22.Qg3 Qc5 23.e6 fxe6 24.Rxe6, (.00) (21 ply) 24...Rxe6 25.fxe6 Rd6, or (.00) (21 ply) 24...Rd6 25.Rxe8 Bxe8.

Jul-20-09  Ulhumbrus: <Pawn and Two> After 20...Qf8 how about 21 e6 eg 21...fxe6 22 fxe6, or more interestingly, 21 e6 fxe6 22 Bc4
Oct-24-09  jmboutiere: 3. ... Qd5 +0.29; 3. ...Nd5 +0.45
Rybka 3
8.0-0 + 0.43; 8.Ng5 +0.02
20....Qf8 +0.27; 20....Nd5 +2.28 first big mistake
Oct-10-10  mafia1: hey what happens if i play 3...Qxd5 instead of 3...Nxd5 ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: If 3...Qxd5, a likely continuation would be <4.Nc3 Qd8 5.Nf3 e6 6.e4 Be7>.
Oct-20-10  SharpAttack: Alekhine is the GOD of tactics! Accurate and tactical - truly rare!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Indeed, <20...Qf8!> would have been a great move to keep the position well balanced.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Ulhumbrus: After 20...Qf8 how about 21.e6 fxe6>

After 20...Qf8 21.e6, Fritz prefers 21...Qc5, instead of 21...fxe6: (.32) (22 ply) 21...Qc5 22.Qf4, (.30) (23 ply) 22...Kh8 23.g4 Nd5 24.Qc4 Qf8 25.Bc2 fxe6 26.fxe6 Qf4+ 27.Qxf4 Nxf4 28.Rxd8 Rxd8 29.e7 Re8 30.Re5, (.28) (25 ply) 30...g6 31.Nb5 Bxb5 32.Rxb5 Rxe7 33.Rxb7 a5 34.Ra7 Re1+ 35.Kd2 Re5 36.Rxc7 Nxh3, with a near equal evaluation.

After 20...Qf8 21.e6 Qc5 22.Qf4, Black could also play, (.52) (23 ply) 22...Rd6 23.g4 b5 24.Kb1 fxe6 25.Re5 Nd5 Rxd5 27.Rxe6 Bd7 28.Rxe8+ Bxe8 29.Qe4 Re5, (.15) (23 ply) 30.Qa8 c6 31.Qd8 Qe7 32.Qxe7 Rxe7 33.Kc2 Bf7 34.b3, (.00) (21 ply) 34...Re3, with an equal evaluation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: <SharpAttack: Alekhine is the GOD of tactics! Accurate and tactical - truly rare! > What about Mikhail Tal ? He's the best tactician who even lived!
Aug-01-12  chesssalamander: It's funny: this opening is named after Marshall, but he lost the game. And, the Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez is also named after him, and he also lost the famous game against Capablanca when he "unveiled" it!
Feb-06-13  Cemoblanca: 13.Qd2! 14.Qe3! What a plan! Soon after the position plays almost by itself: 0-0, f4, e5, Rhe1, etc.

24...Nxa2+ tried to set up some (third-class) traps (followed by 25...Qe8, 26...Be4+ and if 27.Kxa2?? then 27...Qa4#), but the situation was already beyond remedy. Great game! :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 2..Nf6 is rarely played nowadays. I have a decent opening library and it is not mentioned in any of my books. 8 Bf4..Nb4 would have been very awkward for White. Alekhine thought that 11..Nxe5 would have been an improvement. 13 Qd2! may have been the move that Marshall overlooked; instead 13 0-0..g5! would have been very promising for Black. After Alekhine's move 13..g5 would not have been as effective as after 14 h4..g4 15 Qg5..Qxg5 16 hxg..Nd7 17 Be2..Ne5 18 Nd5 White would have had a large edge. Alekhine suggested 14..Qa5 as an improvement when after 15 0-0-0 Black is still OK.
Oct-07-13  RookFile: It does appear that black's game isn't bad after 11...... Nxe5 12. Be2 0-0. Black is better off than in the game because white's bishop is not as aggressively posted. Marshall probably wanted to make some threats of his own, but reality suggests that Alekhine with the white pieces is the one who is going to be doing the attacking.
Nov-05-13  Mudphudder: Pretty finish.
Sep-15-14  Bronder: Alekhine's superb Queen placement allows for the bulldozing to begin.

The Marshall Defense is looked down upon now, with reason, but white can make a lot of mistakes. Pushing the e pawn on the 5th move is one of them.

Sep-15-14  Bronder: One problem with the Marshall Attack is that it can end up looking like this for black:

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d5 3. cd5 Qd5 4. Nc3 Qd8 5. e4 e5 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Nf3 Ne3 8. fe3 ed4 9. ed4

Sep-15-14  Bronder: One problem with the Marshall Defense is that it can end up looking like this for black:

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d5 3. cd5 Qd5 4. Nc3 Qd8 5. e4 e5 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Nf3 Ne3 8. fe3 ed4 9. ed4

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