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Frank James Marshall vs Edward Friederich Schrader
7th American Chess Congress (1904), St. Louis, MO USA, rd 8, Oct-24
Semi-Slav Defense: Marshall Gambit. Main Line (D31)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Another one of those mysteries that may be insoluble. Or maybe I'm just overthinking it.

The source I'm using for this game is "American Chess Bulletin", November 1904, p. 109. Let's start with the position after B53:

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The next move is <54.Rf5 Rh4>, bringing us here:

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The score now continues:

<55.Re5> (55.R-K5) <55...Rxh5 56.Kxa4 Kg6 57.Kb3 Kf7>

Note that Black couldn't play 57...Rxg5 because White trades rooks and his promoted a-pawn will cover the queening square of black's h-pawn.. The Old Witzkin Theme, you know.

Which brings us here:

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when the ACB continues

<58.Re5!> (R-K5!) <58...Kf8 59 a4 h6 60.a5 hxg5 61.a6 Kf7 62. a7 Rh8 63.Rxg5 Ra8 64.Ra5 Ke6. 65.Kb4> 1-0

Obviously ACB has either W55 or W58 wrong. The solution in our score -- and in other databases I've looked at -- is to assume that White actually played <58.Rc5>.

There may be an authoritative source for this -- by which I mean not some database appearing a century later, but a contemporary publication. If there is, well, I'll shut up and take my medicine. But 5.Rc5 may just be a guess by somebody. If so, I think it's the wrong one; it seems more likely to me that the error is at move 55.

1) A slight indication is that 55.Re5 is a repetition in a position where Marshall would not have been interested in a draw. He might have been saving time on the clock, but in that case Schrader would probably have repeated moves himself.

2) The real reason is Black's 58th move. If the White rook is on c5, why would Black play a nothing move like 58...Kf8 instead of moving the king toward the queenside, as advertised by 57...Kf7? To my mind, it's because White cut it of with 58.Re5.

Even if this is right, I have to say I have no idea what W55 actually was. I'm leaning toward 55.Rb5 (R-Kt5) as the smaller typo, but it would be just as much a guess as 58.Rc5. Perhaps somebody can find something.

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November, p. 109 [Game 295]
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