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   Schlechter - Marshall, Cambridge Springs; 1904.   

As part of my continuing efforts to annotate all the games from CS1904 ...   I started (mostly) with the games of  F.J. Marshall, so I will continue with that work here.  

 This is mostly a text-based game ... with just a few diagrams. You will definitely want a chess board.   

 Click  HERE  to see an explanation of some of the symbols that I use when annotating a chess game.  [replay this game]   

  Carl Schlechter (2724) - Frank J. Marshall (2655)  
  International Chess Tournament (Super-Master Event)  
  Cambridge Springs, PA/USA; (R#7)  / May 5th, 1904.  

 [A.J. Goldsby I] 

mar_s-v-m_medal.gif, 07 KB

Round Seven, Table No. # Three  (- Steve Etzel's game, no. # 51.)   


This is Frank J. Marshall's 7th-round game from Cambridge Springs, 1904. 

[According to the ACB, Schlechter stated (in the bar, the night before) that young Marshall had "enjoyed a good run, but now must be brought to heel."  
 The bulletin records that Schlechter played very sharp chess, but also burned all of his bridges behind him.] 

  1.e4 e5;  2.Bc4,  
The Bishop's Opening.  [more

This is not a bad opening ... GM Bent Larsen beat dozens of great players with it. However, in 1904, the theory of the whole line was still in its infancy. 

     [ More reliable would be:  2.Nf3 Nc6; 3.Bb5, which is the time-honored opening ... The Ruy Lopez. ] 


  2...Nf6;  3.d4!?, (Urusoff?)   
This is a gambit ... which was common in those times. However, today, it is known that White does not get enough compensation for his Pawn. 

     [ The modern continuation of:  >/= 3.d3! Nc64.Nf3 Be7;  5.0-0 0-0;  6.Re1 d67.c3 Na58.Bb5 a69.Ba4 b510.Bc2 c511.Nbd2, "+/="  
        resembles a Ruy Lopez (Spanish) and yields White a (tiny) advantage. ]   


  3...exd4; ('!')  [Probably best.]   
Schlechter remarked here that this was better than 3...NxP/e4. 

     [ A common trap is: 3...Nxe4!?4.dxe5 Be7?; 5.Qd5!,  "+/-"  which wins for White. ]   


  4.Nf3 Bc5!?;   
This is interesting, but is far from being Black's only move at this point. (See below for two more modern lines for White.) 

     [ Black could play:  4...Nc65.e5 d5!6.Bb5 Ne47.Nxd4 Bd7;  

       [All this was played in the game
         T. Lichtenhein - Paul Morphy; 1st American Chess Congress; New York City, NY, (USA); 1857
         See my web page of:, for more details.]  

        8.Bxc6 bxc69.0-0 Bc510.f3 Ng511.f4 Ne4; 12.Be3, "~"  ("+/=" ?)  with maybe a small edge for White.   

       Black could have also tried:   >/=  4...Nxe4!5.Qxd4! Nf6 6.Bg5 Be77.Nc3 c68.0-0-0! d5 9.Rhe1!, "comp" ("~")   
       when White has strong pressure for the one Pawn minus here. (Note that 9...dxc4??; allows 10.QxQ/d8#.)   

       GM Mark D. Tseitlin (2415)GM Ronen Lev (2390) [C24] / Tel Aviv Open, Israel; 1990.   
      {White won a sharp game, 1-0 in just under fifty moves.}  

       [ For more, see MCO-15, page # 148, column's #4 and #5, and notes (n) through (t). ] ]   


White continues with his development, as does his opponent. (Note that 6.NxP/d4, would have given White a completely equal game.)   
  5.0-0 d6;  6.c3!? dxc3;  7.Nxc3 0-0;  8.Bg5 Be6;  9.Qb3 Bxc4;  10.Qxc4 h6;  11.Bh4 Nbd7;  "=/+"   
Black has emerged from the opening with an extra Pawn ... White has limited compensation for the loss. 
 (Good development and some real pressure on the many open lines.) 


marsh__sch-vs-mar_CS1904_pos001.gif, 09 KB

   r2q1rk1/pppn1pp1/3p1n1p/2b5/2Q1P2B/2N2N2/PP3PPP/R4RK1 -- White to play his 12th move.    


  12.b4!?, (Q-side expansion)   
White tries to make something happen. (Carl Schlechter stated - in the book of the tournament - that he was already preparing the Pawn sacrifice that he plays on his next move.) 

     [ Or 12.Rae1 Re8;  "=/+"  - Fritz 12. ]  


  12...Bb6; 13.e5?!,  (hmmm)    
The sacrifice of the second pawn is definitely sharp ... and also unsound.  

     [ It would have been better for White to (instead) play: 
       13.Rfe1 c6; 14.Rad1, "~"  ("comp")  
        when the first player has some strong pressure - and good practical chances - 
        for the one Pawn that has been sacrificed in this continuation. ]  


  13...dxe5;  14.Rad1 Qe7;  15.Rxd7!?,  ('?!' or even '?')   
This sack is certainly very wild, however, what was White to do? (He was running out of gas.)   

"This sacrifice of the exchange is not quite correct, but it leads to an interesting, complicated game." - Carl Schlechter (C.S.) 

     [ Or 15.Nd5 Qe6; "/+"  ("-/+" ?)  with the better game for Black. ]   


  15...Qxd7;  16.Bxf6 gxf6;  17.Nd5!?,   
White continues in a tactical vein. 

     [ The continuation of:  17.Qh4 f518.Qxh6 Qe619.Qg5+ Qg6"-/+"   also did not give White anything. ]   


  17...Qe6;  18.Nh4 Rfd8;  19.Nf5 Rxd5;  20.Qg4+,   
White continues to press, however, there is not enough material on the board to really make anything really concrete arise out of his attack. 

     [ The endgame that arises after the following continuation:  
       </= 20.Qxd5!? Qxd521.Ne7+ Kf8 22.Nxd5 Rd823.Nxb6 axb6 24.Rc1 c625.Kf1 Ra8; "-/+"  
       is probably an easy win for Black. (The second player would have a solid two-pawn lead.) ]   


  20...Kf8;  21.Qh3!?,  (hmmm)   
Perhaps White had calculated this far ... it appears that Black could be in some trouble.   
(One student suggested that Black play 21...Qd7? here; which leads to 22.QxP/h6+, Ke8; 23.Qh8#.)  



marsh__sch-vs-mar_CS1904_pos002.gif, 08 KB

   r4k2/ppp2p2/1b2qp1p/3rpN2/1P6/7Q/P4PPP/5RK1 Black to play.    


Black must be careful, his pieces are literally stepping on each other's toes! 

Please note that Schlechter condemned this move and stated that Qh5 would have lead to a draw, however, Fritz 12 shows that to be completely false. 
(I verified this using several different strong chess engines.)  

     [ The following line was interesting ...  >/= 21.Qh5! Bxf2+!!22.Rxf2[] Qc6!; "/+"   
       (Black is MUCH better, one engine evaluates this position as winning for Black!)  
       ... but also yielded Black the much better game. (After weeks of analysis, I decided   
      that this continuation would have been an improvement over the course of the actual game.) ]   


  21...Bxf2+!;   (Maybe - '!!')    
Marshall - at his best - was ever an alert tactician. Here, he finds a way to return some of his material surplus and break the force of White's assault.   


Now White - in order to avoid the exchange of the Rooks - must capture with his King ... and is forced out into the open board.   
  22.Kxf2[],  (Forced.)    
White had no choice here.    

     [ </= 22.Kh1? Bh4!(>/= 22...Qa6!!; "-/+")  23.Qxh4 Qxf5!;    
        24.Qxh6+ Ke7 25.Rxf5? Rd1+26.Rf1 Rxf1#.  - F.J. Marshall ]   


  22...Qb6+;  23.Ke2[],  (Forced.)   
Otherwise most of the material gets swapped off and Schlechter could see that he would have a lost game. 

     [ After the plausible: </= 23.Kg3!? Rd3+;  White must play Rf3, and lots    
        of wood comes off the board. (This is something that White is trying to avoid.) ]   


  23...Qa6+;  24.Kf2[] Qb6+;    
Black chooses a fairly safe move, however the machine shows that he could have also grabbed the button (on a2) as well. 
{Additionally, he could have also grabbed the marker on b4 on his next move.} 

     [ >/= 24...Qxa2+!25.Kg1 Qd226.Qg3 Qg5;  "-/+" ]   


White continues as best he can ... 
  25.Ke2 Rad8;  26.Qxh6+ Ke8;  27.Ng7+ Ke7;  28.Nf5+ Kd7;  29.Qh3 Qa6+!;  30.Kf2 Rd2+;  31.Kg1 Qe6;   
White's attack has been successfully repelled, it is only a matter of time before Black's material advantage must begin to tell in his favor. 

  32.Qg4 Kc8; 33.h4 R2d4;  34.Qe2 Rf4;  35.Rxf4 exf4;  36.Qg4 Rd5;  37.Ne7+ Kd8; ('!') "-/+"  

The last good move, White is forced to exchange Queens and go into a hopeless endgame ... and decides to tender his resignation. 


marsh__sch-vs-mar_CS1904_pos003.gif, 08 KB

  3k4/ppp1Np2/4qp2/3r4/1P3pQP/8/P5P1/6K1 w - - 0 38   


   [ After the fairly obvious moves:  37...Kd8; 38.Qxe6[];  Forced. 

             (Or </= 38.Qg8+? Kxe7; "-/+")   

       38...Rd1+39.Kh2 fxe6 40.Ng6 e5; "-/+"  
       it becomes apparent why White decided to abandon the fight.  

       Black actually loses after:  37...Kd7?38.Nxd5! Qxg4!?;  
       39.Nxf6+ Ke640.Nxg4,  "+/-"  and White has won a piece. ]  


Marshall played with a steady hand throughout this whole contest. His defense of a difficult position made a really tough win ... look rather easy. 




I consulted about a dozen sources in preparing my notes for this game. I also used many programs, to include the strong chess engine, Fritz 12. (And others.) 

A few of the sources (books) that I used were: 

  1. Copies of the original tournament bulletins. 

  2. A complete copy of the original book on this tournament. 

  3. The excellent opening book, MCO-15. 



  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2010.  All rights reserved.   


  0 - 1  

This page  ... is mentioned in a prominent blog. 

A special deep, sincere thanks - are due to  Steven Etzel  of Wisconsin. (His website.)  Because of his generosity, I have a clear and legible copy of the original tournament book, AND a copy of the very rare bulletins for this event. He also was kind enough to play through this game ... and share with me any thoughts that he had about this contest. (So if this page is instructive, informative and educational, it is by design!)  {Several other friends and students were kind enough to play through this game ... and offer their questions and ideas as well.}   


I used the excellent program,  ChessBase 10.0  to prepare the notes and game analysis. I used the program,  Chess Captor 2.25  to prepare the diagrams. I used  "FrontPage"  to prepare and polish the HTML for my website.  

  This (web) page  (just the basic HTML shell)  was created in  July,  2010.   (Final format and posting completed on:  Monday; August 2nd, 2010.)  
  This page was last updated on 08/02/10   


 Click  HERE  to go to, (or return to); my  Home Page  for this site. 

  Click  HERE  to go to, (or return to); my  End-Game School  on this site.  


  Click  HERE  to return to my page on  Frank J. Marshall.  

   Click  HERE  to go to a TOP-NOTCH website ... on Cambridge Springs, 1904.  

Click  HERE  to go to ... or return to ... the Electronic Archive & Museum. (For Marshall.) 


Click  HERE to go to my first domain.     ---     Click  HERE  to go to my second domain.   

    Copyright ()  A.J. Goldsby,  2010.  All rights reserved.     

   [Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2002 - 2009. All rights reserved.]  

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