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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Frank James Marshall
"Frank 'n' Stein" (game of the day Oct-31-2009)
Simul (1893) (exhibition), Montreal CAN, Nov-??
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation (C03)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Marshall claimed that he "underestimated his opponent".Steinitz was champion at the time. In MY BEST GAMES OF CHESS-written by FM,this game was the first in the book and his only loss.
Apr-06-05  Castle In The Sky: Marshall was only 16 at the time of this game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Poor Marshall, did Steinitz have no shame picking on a young kid? 8-))

I love Marshall's play, his ability in later life to see the combination of the pieces and his moves are just beautiful. One of my all-time dream matchup would be Marshall and Fischer.

I believe this 26... Ke7 27. Re4+ Kd7
28. Bf5#
or 27. Re4+ Kf6 28. Bd4#

Apr-06-05  Castle In The Sky: <Wannabe> I agree that a Marshall-Fischer matchup would be fun. I got this information from Andy Soltis' biography of Marshall, which I am presently reading. What's really interesting is Marshall's critique of the game 20 years later.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marius: <WannaBe >
26... Ke7 27. Re4+ Kd7
28. Qh3+ (your Bf5+ is impossible R on e4)Be6 and it's not over.

26... Ke7 27.Qxd8+ Kxd8 (or Qxe8) 28.Rxd6+ Ke8 29.Rd8+ Ke7 30.Rd7+ Qxd7 31.Rxd7+ Kxd7 32.Bxa2 wins two pieces

Apr-29-05  RookFile: Marshall vs. Fischer?

Why should such a match be any
different than Marshall vs. Tarrasch,
or Marshall vs. Capablanca, or
Marshall vs. Lasker?

The very best players used to take
turns slapping Marshall silly. I'm sure it wouldn't have been any different with Fischer.

May-06-05  woodenbishop: <Rookfile> LOL... I agree with you, although Marshall was a unique opponent who did relatively well against top players in his long and interesting career.
May-06-05  paladin at large: <RookFile> is correct. Fisher would have crushed Marshall, just as the very top players in the early 20th century did.

No one needs to apologize for Marshall but, much more interesting matchups in terms of style and ability are to be found in his games with Blackburne and Spielmann, q.v.

Mar-15-06  chessworm: <Wanna be> Stienitz was giving just a simultaneous exhibition at that time and Marshall happened to be one of the opponents... So Steinitz need not feel sorry for what he was doing ...
Feb-01-07  Schlechter: marshall didnt do to bad against capablanca
he beat capa in a match +3 -2 =1 in 1910 and won 2 tournament in which capa played in that i know of
maybe even more that i havent read
about. Plus won ahead of lasker in one
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Schlecter> No. Capablanca beat him 8-1 (plus a lot of draws) in a match in 1909.

The 1910 "match" was an informal series of games to test a particular position in the Max Lange attack. See comments on this page.

Capablanca vs Marshall, 1925

Feb-12-07  Schlechter: he still won whether it was informal or not
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheTamale: Marshall would have beaten Fischer in a match simply because Fischer wouldn't have played the match through to completion. As such, Fischer would not have "slap[ped] Marshall silly."
Oct-31-09  RookFile: Listen, I love Marshall's games, especially his ideas in the openings. Regarding the openings, Marshall may have been one of the most profound inventors this game had ever known.

Marshall just wasn't world champion strength, that's all.

I'm not sure why Bobby Fischer comes up in every topic, but the fact is, Fischer completed two matches against Boris Spassky, a match against Petrosian (plus their USSR vs. world set-to), a match against Larsen, a match against Taimanov, a short match against Euwe, a match against Cardaso, and various other short matches. The fact that he walked out on the Reshevsky match and couldn't agree to terms with Karpov doesn't change the fact that Fischer did complete a multitude of matches, and had an excellent match record.

Oct-31-09  gurugulab123: Ithink marshal castled at the wrong time....maybe he shoul hace played Ngex5....pleaze correct me if iam wrong!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Frank 'n' Stein, huh? There's also Hjorvar Stein Gretarsson v. Frank Holzke: H S Gretarsson vs Holzke, 2007
Oct-31-09  JohnBoy: Next year, FSR.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: RookFile is right. Tarrasch beat Marshall +8=8-1 in 1905, Lasker beat Marshall +8=7-0 in 1907, and Capablanca (then virtually unknown) beat Marshall +8=14-1 in 1909. Hell, Marshall only beat EDWARD Lasker by the skin of his teeth in 1923 (+5=9-4). Had Marshall played Fischer, the only question would be whether Fischer would win every game (as he did against Taimanov and Larsen) or Marshall would manage to scrounge a draw or two. Recall that Larsen was a world-class player, who the year before Fischer swept him had played Board 1 in the USSR v. The Rest of the World Match AHEAD of Fischer, and on that board scored +2=1-1 against Spassky and Stein. Larsen had also handed Fischer his only loss in the recent Interzonal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <gurugulab123> The problem with 10...Ngxe5 is that White would win a piece with 11.Nxe5 Bxe5 (or 11...Nxe5) 12.f4. Probably Marshall's best try was 10...Bxf3 11.gxf3 (11.Qxf3 Ncxe5) Be7, when he at least gets to mess up White's pawn structure for the lost pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I tend to think that we have Marshall mostly for entertainment value. When he gets it right we enjoy an explosion of tactics. But all of the major players took him apart with relative ease. If I could I would invite Marshall and Fischer to dinner for the heated conversation, but I wouldn't expect much by way of a contest if we got the chess set out after the brandy and mints.

If Grandmasters were films, I reckon Frank Marshall would be Independence Day (the one with aliens!) - all CGI explosions, Will Smith wisecracking and the good ol' US of A saves the world. By contrast, Capablanca would be Citizen Kane, Fischer would be the Godfather and Karpov, Lawrence of Arabia.

Any ideas for Kasparov as a film?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Karpov as Lawrence of Arabia? Are you trying to imply that his style is dry?

Marshall had a few good tussles with Janowski, but he admitted that match play tactics of grimly beating down the opponent's resistance did not appeal to him.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A good game for halloween.


Oct-31-09  WhiteRook48: 26...Ke7 27 Qh4+ Ke8 28 Qxd8+
Oct-31-09  ROO.BOOKAROO: Interesting matching of historical memories, but all this sounds like historical wheel-spinning. What about the game itself? Why not 21. ...Ba2? putting pressure on the pinned Bb2 instead of collecting the Na5 and playing Ba2 a move too late? And what's the protective value of 24...c6? at a time when Black's house is afire? Protecting Rd8 and allowing the Q to come to the rescue, abandoning his own attack? Marshall is losing control of the game right there. White's pieces are all well positioned and working towards delivering some crushing blow.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Beating on Frank Marshall is like beating on Sir Gawain. In Sir Thomas Malory's "Morte D'Arthur," there's an interesting passage that lists the knights "who had the better of Sir Gawain." These were Sir Lancelot, Sir Tristram, Sir Lamorak, Sir Bors, Sir Pelleas, Sir Marhaus, Sir Gareth, and Sir Percival. (Sir Galahad is not on the list because he had no concern for worldly things, and was in a class by himself.) Sir Gawain had nothing to be ashamed of, in being outclassed by those eight.

Like Sir Gawain, Marshall was one of the greats, but never the greatest. Nevertheless, throughout his career he was always ranked among the top players in the world and his credentials and career stand on their own merits.

I gather from what I've read by him and about him that Marshall was his own worst enemy on the chessboard. He simply couldn't turn chess excellence into an all-consuming passion: and I think you probably need that to become world champion. Also, he quickly became bored with tedious, fanny-about games, a la Lasker.

I have a feeling that a Marshall-Fischer match would be better than most people expect. I think Fischer would have brought out the best in Marshall. This was something that Marshall, it seems to me, was not always able to do on his own.

But it is his best, on those occasions when it was displayed, that keeps his memory alive.

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