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  (A thoroughly annotated chess game.)  

  Marshall - Pillsbury;  Cambridge Springs, 1904.  


This is definitely a famous game ... I had not been going to chess club but a couple of years, when someone showed me this encounter. 

I think that many of the pundits have taken a stab at annotating this game ... and most have gotten it wrong.  (IMOHO)  

I had said - repeatedly, over the last 10-15 years - that I would not annotate this game.  (I felt that Pillsbury was a dying man, his wonderful natural abilities were declining and that this game showed him in a very poor light.)  However, after numerous requests from friends, chess students, fans, etc; I decided to relinquish and take a shot at it. Please understand that I am VERY reluctant to criticize any moves that Pillsbury made in this historic game!!! Moreover, I simply refuse to give in to the modern credo of the school of chess annotation. What I mean by that is I try to be fair to both parties ... especially as concerns the opening phase of the game. (They were both pioneers ... and this was one of the very first important Pirc/Austrian Attack games. I found where one GM - on the Internet - had given Marshall's fifth move a question mark. Almost needless to say, this is a bit of overkill, and hardly is fair to either participant. There was NO databases, theory, computers or opening book to guide the players here!) 

I also wanted to find - and clearly indicate - the losing move in this contest. I also think there is an old Chinese proverb that is appropriate here. A man, who is very rich and has everything to live for, is found dead, at the foot of a cliff. They bring in the wise man to ask his opinion. Many of the villagers are arguing over what to do, ... let's go out and round up his enemies! {It is a scene of complete chaos.} The wise man cocks an eyebrow and calmly asks: 
"The first question that we must answer here is: Did he fall ... or was he pushed?"    

I think that as concerns this epic contest, we find ourselves in a similar dilemma, historically speaking. Most of the authors and annotators before me seem to want to focus on the question of  Pillsbury's decline.  I think more correctly here might be a case of two very important factors: 
# 1.)  Marshall was obvious at the point of his career where he was rapidly improving, I think he was getting better on an almost daily basis. I think that it was VERY possible that Pillsbury simply under-estimated Marshall's abilities prior to this tournament. 
# 2.)  This could have been a case of an  ambush.  Marshall was Pillsbury's friend and Pillsbury was sort of Marshall's mentor. Marshall knew what Pillsbury liked to play, even in off-hand games. I think it is VERY likely that Marshall - who previously had been beaten by Pillsbury, sometimes very badly - had prepared this whole idea in advance. (According to several old newspaper accounts, both parties played the first 5-7 moves fairly rapidly.) I think it is VERY likely that Marshall prepared several different ideas ... just for Pillsbury in this encounter. 

Additionally ... I think it highly likely that Marshall had decided before this game to play without fear or hesitation. (I have studied all of the earlier games that these two contestants played prior to this encounter, Marshall always seemed to be playing a little hesitantly, as if he was overly in awe of his esteemed opponent, AND his reputation.) I think that Marshall had clearly made some sort of decision before this contest, that is to simply play chess in his normal, carefree style, and allow the chips to fall wherever they landed. 

I have studied this game for many years now. I think that I can confidently say that once Pillsbury's position was on the verge of collapse, it really no longer mattered what condition Pillsbury was in, HE WAS GOING TO LOSE!  Instead of concentrating completely on Pillsbury's abilities, which obviously were in a state of decline,  (and furthermore, most of his contemporaries knew this);  I have decided to view this game as,  "the changing of the guard." 

   --->  Pillsbury was in his final days, and Marshall was about to become the U.S.'s best player. QED


A fairly detailed explanation  of the symbols that I use in annotating any chess game. 

RE-PLAY  this game, but on a different server. (This is NOT MY SITE!!! PLEASE, do NOT write me about the content!)  


  GM Frank James Marshall (2534) - GM Harry Nelson Pillsbury (2689) 
 
[B09] 
  Super-Master Tournament (Invitational)  / Round Two (# 02) 
  Cambridge Springs, PA;  (USA)  26,04,1904. 

  [A.J. Goldsby I] 

   **************************************************************************** 

This is an extremely famous game of chess, I have seen it in print many, many, many times. (Literally - more than I care to even try and count!) I wanted to reprise this game, and use the modern tools, (like the best and strongest computer programs); to complete the task. {I also did not want to spend six months doing it!} Sit back and enjoy one of the truly legendary chess encounters ... between two of the greatest American players of all time!

  ***************************************  

The ratings here are reasonably accurate ... and originate with the respected statistician, Jeff Sonas.  [His website.]   
(Although to get an approximation of true post-2000 ratings, you would have to add at least 100 points to both players ... 
 at least, in my opinion.)  

The game starts as a QP ... but quickly transposes into a very modern-looking opening. 
(A few sources have this game as beginning with 1.e4, but this is wildly incorrect!) 

  1.d4 d6!?2.e4 Nf6!?;  
Long before Pirc was born ... (And anticipating the "Hyper - Modern" players by almost 30 years!); Pillsbury shows what a wonderfully creative and truly modern player he was. 

Unfortunately for the development of this opening, Pillsbury's results with this system were truly dismal. {Especially at the end of his career, when Pillsbury was already very ill, actually dying - of the last stages of a severe form of a STD.} 

Marshall - in his own book - calls this move incorrect. He goes on to say that here, or on the next move, Black had to play ...e7-e5. (Holding the center.)  

This only goes to show that Pillsbury was more open to the {advanced, futuristic}; ideas, .. than his younger opponent was! 

     [ Most players of that era considered that Black HAD to play the continuation of: 
        (>/=)  2...Nd7!?3.Nf3 e5!{Diag?}   and transpose into a Philidor's Defence. ]    

 

  3.Nc3 g6(hmmm)   
Before the 1930's, most players virtually sneered at a fianchetto right out of the opening. I think Pillsbury should be applauded    
 for having the courage to play this way. (Note that the original bulletins of this tournament refer to this opening as: "Irregular.") 

"A surprising choice of openings by Pillsbury, who almost always defended against 1.e4, with 1...e5."  - GM Andrew Soltis 

 

 4.f4!?,  ('!')  (center/space)   {See the diagram - just below here.}   
Marshall plays an Austrian Attack, long before any of the players who would analyze (and also play) this line were even born! 

   '!' - GM Andrew Soltis   

 

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mar_mvp-cs04_pos1.gif, 08 KB

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Marshall is actually following a suggestion of Emanuel Lasker's - but Pillsbury did not know this. 

(This position actually first arose - as far as I can determine, in the following game:  Max Weiss - Louis Paulsen
ICT / DSB Kongress (03) Nuremberg, GER; 1883.)  

     [ Also very good for White is:  >/=  4.Nf3!?,  (Maybe - '!') {Dg?}    
        and modern theory says that White keeps a substantial edge. ]   

 

 4...Bg75.e5!?  
Marshall - in keeping with the mode of thought of his particular era - immediately boots the Black Knight off the f6-square. 
(Today's opening theory would consider this advance to be very premature.) 

Personally - I think that this move is very playable! In fact, I have been studying this game for years. And I am so impressed 
by the way which Marshall's attack unfolds, I am strongly considering using this line in my next tournament!! 

     [  The correct move is: >/=  5.Nf3!, "+/="  {Diagram?}   
         with a nice advantage for White. 

       [ See MCO-14, columns # 1-12; beginning on page # 360. ] 
       (I also have annotated several games on the Internet with this opening system.  
       Some contain very deep surveys of the opening and variations used here.)  ]    

 

Play {now} proceeds fairly naturally.  
 5...dxe56.fxe5 Nd57.Nf3 Nc68.Bc4 e6!?;  (Ugh!)   {See the diagram - just below here.}   
Seemingly the correct response, {Black holds the center!}; yet this whole strategy turns out to be rather dubious for Black.  
(And seals in his QB as well.) I don't know if many annotators have really pointed this out ... but after this move, Black's 
game goes slowly downhill - despite the best efforts of one of the greatest players of all time. (One author does notice this.)  

 

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 mar_mvp-cs04_pos2.gif, 08 KB

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   << Inferior to 8...Nb6; ...  >>   -  Fred Reinfeld    
{Soltis gives 8...e6; a whole question mark, - probably just imitating the original annotations of Marshall - 
  but I think that is much too harsh, and a poor reward for such a brave pioneer as Pillsbury was here.} 

     [ Better was:  >/=  8...Nb6; ('!')  9.Bb5,  "+/="  ('+/')  but White still holds an edge in this position. ]   

 

Now one IM - many years ago - told me that the best move here for White might be Ne4!! 
{Avoiding any unnecessary trading of pieces, which will greatly ease Black's badly congested position.} 

Marshall chooses a sharp move, that also yields him a rather considerable advantage.  

 9.Bg5!?,  (Maybe - '!')    
Immediately exploiting all the (much) weakened dark-squares on/near Black's King. 

   '!' - GM Andrew Soltis   

     [ Also good was:  9.0-0, "+/="  {Diag?}  with a solid edge to White. ('+/') ] 

 

The box confirms that Black's next move is nearly forced. 
 9...Nxc3
;  10.bxc3 Ne7;  11.0-0 h6[];  (Is this best?)   {Diagram?}   
This move was condemned by MANY pundits ... but it is pretty obvious to both me and the box ... that this is nearly forced! 
(If Black castles here, he walks right into a nearly deadly attack.) 

 

     [ Back in the 1970's ... I used to have a friend who lived in Pensacola. (He later moved.) 
        We used to study chess together all the time. 

       We worked out the following line ... one move at a time, over a period of many months - 
        or even years!! 
        (</=)  11...0-0?!; ('?')  12.Qe1! Qd713.Nd2! c5!?14.Bxe7! Qxe715.Ne4 b6 
        16.Nf6+ Bxf6[]{Diagram?}  
        Fritz confirms that this is forced for Black in this position. 

       17.Rxf6 Bb718.Qh4! Kh8!?{Diagram?}  
       I thought that this was forced to avoid the threat of a discovered attack on the Black Queen. 
       But  ...Qd7;  was probably better. 

       19.Raf1 Rac820.Qh6!! cxd421.Bd3!! dxc3!?22.Bxg6! Qc5+23.Kh1 Bxg2+    
        24.Kxg2 Qd5+25.Kh3!, ('!!')  ("+/-")  {Diagram?}   Black is completely defenseless. ]    

 

 

 12.Bf6!,  (Maybe - '!!')   {See the diagram ... just below here.}     
Marshall sacks a pawn with almost wild abandon ... with the sole purpose of weakening Black's dark squares and also opening lines. 
(The box prefers BxN/e7, but this strikes me as very grubby and unadventurous.)

****************************************************

   '!' - GM Frank J. Marshall  

   '!' - Irving Chernev  (Who used exclams VERY sparingly.)  

****************************************************

MUCH attention has been given to Pillsbury's poor conduct in this epic game. However, very little fanfare or homage has been paid to Marshall for his extremely aggressive play, he carries off this assault in a very forceful manner. (F.J.M. lost previous encounters to Pillsbury; in some, he was wiped right off the chess board. I am relatively sure that he must have decided ... BEFORE this event was played ... that he was not going to "go quietly" this time around!!!)  

 

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 mar_mvp-cs04_pos3.gif, 08 KB

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  This is an interesting position, (and worthy of a diagram).  

 

     [ Another try is: 12.Bh4!?{Diagram?}  (Black should probably respond with ...g6-g5; in this position.) 
        but White keeps a fairly large edge ('+/-'); in this variation as well. ]   

 

The computer shows that the next few moves are probably best for both sides. 

 12...Bxf6;  13.exf6 Nf5;  14.Qe2 Qxf6;   
Deep analysis, utilizing many strong chess 'engines,' clearly shows that this is forced. 
{Pillsbury will be unable to tolerate this Pawn on this square for any real length of time.} 

(Here is an errant ... and even a self-contradictory quote.) 
"Not to be recommended, though it was a choice of two evils; for the Pawn captured would 
 have been a continual thorn in his side." - NM Fred Reinfeld (From the tournament book.) 

     [ Not </=  14...h5?!;  as  15.Qe5, "+/="  {Diagram?}  
       will yield White a very large ('+/') advantage from this position. 
       {Basically disproving Marshall.} ]   

 

 15.g4!?,  ('!')  {See the diagram --- just below here.}   
The most forceful. (If not really the most accurate - Fritz much prefers Ne5 here.)  

 

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 mar_mvp-cs04_pos4.gif, 07 KB

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Going over this game now ... I get an eerie feeling.  It is almost as if this game could have been played by the great Mikhail Tal!!   

     [ Good for White was:  15.Ne5, "+/="  {Diagram?}    
       keeping a ton of play for the Pawn that White gave up. ]   

 

Black's reply looks forced. 
 15...Nd6[];  16.Ne5 Qe7?!; ('?')  {See the diagram - just below.}   
This rather natural-looking move is both too passive and an error.  (THE ... losing move?)   

The second player had to play Qg5 here, but the move looked so scary that Pillsbury said (after the game) 
that he could not bring himself to play it! 

"It would have been wiser to have taken the bull by the horns and have played ...Q-Kt4."  - NM Fred Reinfeld   

 

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mar_mvp-cs04_pos5.gif, 07 KB

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If you are looking for  ...  THE SMOKING GUN,  (the move that can be labeled as the real culprit of Black's downfall); 
then this is definitely it!! 

 

     [  Much better would have been:  >/=  16...Qg5!17.Bd3!, "~"  {Diagram?}  
         when White has compensation ... thanks to the fact that Black is so far behind in his development. 
         (The second player also has many weak squares on the King-side.) 

              ( One respected author gives: </=  17.Nxf7!?, {Diagram?}  Soltis gives this an exclam.    
                 17...Nxf7; {Diagram?} This is completely forced.   18.Bxe6 Bxe6?!{Diagram?}     
                  Black should castle on the King-side here, says Fritz 8.0. {With unclear consequences.}     

                        (Better was   >/=  18...0-0;  when it is not really certain which side stands better.)      

                  19.Qxe6+ Qe7;  {Diagram?}   This too looks forced.      

                  20.Qxg6 Qe3+21.Kh1 0-0-022.Rxf7, "+/="  (Maybe - '+/')  {Diagram?}     
                  White is clearly much better, this is a "winning attack," according to the writer.    
                   - GM Andrew Soltis ) 
]    

 

 

 17.Bd3!?,  (Probably - '!'/'!!')   {Diagram?}     
Knowing that Black will feel forced to castle {eventually} on the King- side, Marshall points yet another missile   
at that crucial part of the chess board. 

   '!' - GM Frank J. Marshall   

     [ Fritz likes:  >/=  17.Bb5+! Kd8[]18.c4,  "+/="  ('+/')  {Diagram?}   
       with a distinct edge for White. (I actually prefer Marshall's idea to 
       what the computer finds ... I think White's attack - in the long term - is 
       more dangerous to Black than Fritz's move.) ]  

 

 17...0-0;   {Box?}    
Now due to all the threats ... and a looming sacrifice on g6, Black is compelled to castle. 

     [ No good for Black was:   </=  17...Bd7?!; ('?')  18.c4!,  "+/"   {D?}   
       Marshall - and even GM Soltis - recommend the sack on f7 here, 
       but the box shows that is both overly caustic and completely 
       unnecessary for White! ]   

 

 *** *** *** *** *** ***  *** *** *** *** *** ***  *** *** *** *** *** ***  *** *** *** *** *** ***  *** *** *** *** ***   

Now calmly - despite the fact that he is a Pawn down - F.J. Marshall very logically increases the pressure ... 
by doubling on the f-file.  
 18.Rf2! Kg7!?; ('?')  {Diagram?}   
Pillsbury  wants desperately to cover the f6-square, (and all of the other weak dark-squares that surround his King); ... 
but Marshall will clearly demonstrate that this is not possible and that Pillsbury's move is really a mistake. 

The really nice thing about this game is how fearless Marshall plays ... 
it is a textbook example on the use and power of the initiative in chess. 

A newspaper account said that Rf6,  (on move 20);  "greatly surprised Pillsbury." 
(Perhaps HNP believed that Marshall did not have the courage to sacrifice when playing against him?) 

     [ Even though Pillsbury did not like it, Black had to play:   >/=  18...b6!?{Box?}  {Diagram?}    
        and hang on and pray. (White keeps a sizeable edge ('+/') in this line as well. Pillsbury saw this, 
        but was afraid that the sack on g6 would win for his erstwhile opponent.) ]    

 

Now Marshall finishes the game in truly grand style.   
 19.Raf1! Bd7!?;   {Diagram?}    
It is hard to find or recommend anything good for Black in this position! 

Tarrasch recommended  ...P-KR4;  here for Black - but that just plain sucks. (Pardon my French.)   

     [ After the moves: 
        </=   19...h5?20.gxh5! Bd7[]21.Qg4! Nf522.hxg6 Nh6;    
        23.Qe4! f6!?24.Nf7!,  "+/-"  {Diagram?}    
        any program of your choice - will confirm that White is winning   
        easily in this position. ]    

 

 20.Rf6!,  (BAM!!)   {See the diagram ... just below here.}    
"A paralyzing move," says Soltis.  (Maybe even - '!!')   

 

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 mar_mvp-cs04_pos6.gif, 07 KB

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"Black cannot {now} capture twice on f6 because of  22.Nxd7+,  and neither 20...Be8;  (or 20...Bc6;) 
  21.Nxg6,  nor  20...Ne8;  21.Rxf7+,  are acceptable."  - GM Andrew Soltis. 

     [ Interesting was:   20.c4!?,  "+/"  {Diagram?}   in this position for White. ]   

 

 20...Rg8!?;   (Urgh.)   {Diagram?}    
Pillsbury thought this was forced, if ...Be8; then Nxg6! wins the exchange for White. 
 (But this was still better than the game, or at least - according to the box it is.)    

Reinfeld - a bit tardy - now notes that Pillsbury's position ... "is hopeless." (No kidding!!) 

     [ Totally unacceptable for Black would have been:   
        </=  20...Qxf6?21.Rxf6 Kxf6;  22.Nxd7+,  "+/-"  {Diag?}   
        and White wins easily. ]    

 

Now Marshall simply explodes this position. 
(Dozens of annotators have awarded Marshall's next move just one exclam here, I give it two ... just for effect!)   
 21.Nxg6!!,  {See the diagram ... just below.}   

 

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 mar_mvp-cs04_pos7.gif, 07 KB

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 21...Qxf6  
One commentator - who will here remain nameless - attached two whole question marks to this play  ... ... ... 
and labeled it, "The losing move."  

  *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***   

EVERYTHING LOSES HERE FOR BLACK!!! 

Some lines lose horribly, Pillsbury's move is considered to be the BEST choice for Black in this position by the computer!!!  
(Among other things, White's move of Nxg6!!, was threatening both to deliver check-mate ... and to capture Pillsbury's Queen. 
 So the second player in this position had few truly viable options here.)    --->  END OF DISCUSSION!   

 

     [ Bad for Black would be:  
       </=  21...fxg6?22.Rxg6+ Kh7{Diagram?}  
       The box says this is forced. 

       23.Rxh6+!! Kxh6{Diagram?}    
       Again ... this is forced. 

             (</= 23...Kg7?; 24.Rh7#.)     

       24.Qe3+! Qg525.Qh3+,  "+/-"  {Diagram?}     
       and it is mate in two.

   ********************************************************   

       Also bad for Black would be:   
        </=  21...Qd8?22.Qe5! Nf5{Diagram?}    
        Sigh!  (The box says this move is forced, I know it is VERY ugly!)    

        23.R6xf5+! f624.Rxf6 Re825.Rf7+ Kg826.Qh8# ]   

 

 

Pillsbury - after his opponent's next move - fell deep into thought, at least according to one newspaper account. 

Some have said Pillsbury missed the mate ... I don't buy that for one second! (The guy was literally a human computer.) 
 22.Rxf6 Kxf6!?;  (Maybe - '?')   {Diagram?}    
This walks into a mate, but Black was horribly lost - no matter what.  
(Was this Pillsbury's way of being chivalrous to a younger Marshall?    
  ...PXN/g6;  RxP/g6+,  was equally hopeless! 
 I prefer to interpret this move as a gallant form of a resignation for Black.)    

Some have condemned this move, Bill Wall's web site even gives it TWO question marks. 
This strikes me as absurd and grossly unfair - NOTHING was going to save Black's game here!!!!!!!! 
(Save those double question marks for blunders and bad oversights, guys!) 

     [ Black can avoid the mate with:   >/=   22...Ne8{Diagram?}    
       The defense that is traditionally given as the best for Black.  

       But after the moves:   23.Rf3! fxg624.Qe4!,  "+/-"  {Diagram?}      
       Black's game is completely lost, the computer evaluations being 
       anywhere from  "+ 7.21"  to some- thing like  "plus ten,"  ...  or more!    
       {I am sure Pillsbury realized this.} ]  

 

 23.Qe5# (cute)  {See the diagram - just below here.}  
A brilliant game by  Frank Marshall
(Who became the best player in the United States with the demise of Harry Nelson Pillsbury.)  

 

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 mar_mvp-cs04_pos8.gif, 07 KB

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Several people - like Chernev - (who calls this, " a sparkling win"); have noted the artistry of the final position in this game. 
(But it is NOT a perfect mate ... look at the f5-square!) 

And while this game - coming shortly before the great Pillsbury's death - does not show H.N.P. in his best light, it does clearly   
 demonstrate what a really great and powerful attacking player Frank J. Marshall had become. 

<< Marshall furnished the sensation of the day by vanquishing Pillsbury and administering mate on the twenty-third move. 
     It would be discrediting the youthful Brooklynite to say the result was unexpected. Nevertheless, there was cause for 
     astonishment and regret on the part of lovers of good chess that so disastrous a Waterloo should be meted out to ...  
     "The Hero of Hastings." >>   
   {The original bulletins ... for this grand and historic tournament.} 

This game was also CRUCIAL - (to F.J. Marshall); coming early in the tournament - to dispatch a {possible} chief rival for first place. 

  ***************************************** *****************************************   

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

The following were the sources that I consulted ... and I give them {roughly} in the order that they were used. 

  1. Every electronic database, whether it be those on disks, or on the World-Wide Web. (Around 30.) 

  2. I found this game - it was annotated many times on the Internet. {These are far too numerous ... to name them all!} 

  3. Steve Etzel's excellent  CS-1904  website.  (The old website, Find it with Google.)  [Steve's website is a resource all of its own. 
    Steve has one of the best eyes for detail that I have ever seen. Steve is a meticulous researcher and has documented 
    dozens of mistakes and corrections about the game scores. He is also probably THE most important historian for this 
    tournament in the U.S.!!!] 

  4. A book - in German - on Marshall ... and CS 1904. 

  5. Several issues, (Both as copies and reprints.); of the magazine / book, "The American Chess Almanac." 
    (Mainly the period, 1900-1904.)  (I also have copies/reprints of the A.C.B. as well.)  

  6. "CS 1904," by Olomouc. (018) Copyright (c) 1998.  (Part of the 'Historical Chess Tournaments" series.) 
    Moravian Chess Publishing House / ISBN: # 80-7189-234-3 

  7. << Young Marshall >> "The Early Years of Frank James Marshall, with Collected Games: 1893 - 1900." 
    By John S. Hilbert Copyright (c) 2002, (by the author). 
    Publishing House - Moravian Chess;  Post Office Box # 101 / 772 11 Olomouc 2; CZECH Republic 
    CAISSA-90 / ISBN: 80-7189-438-9 (hardback) {This game is not in this volume. I simply needed 
    this book to study earlier encounters between both of these players, here.} 

  8. <A complete copy of the book>  
    "The Book Of the Tourney, Cambridge Springs, 1904." By the respected - Fred Reinfeld.
     
    Copyright (c) 1935, by the author.  Published by: 'Black Knight Press.' New York City, NY/USA. (1935) 

  9. The original bulletins for this grand and truly historic event. (copies) 

  10. << FRANK MARSHALL, United States Chess Champion. >> "A Biography with 220 Games." 
    By - GM Andrew Soltis, (c) 1994.  {An excellent hard-back book!} 
    Published by: McFarland and Company, Inc. Post Office Box # 611, Jefferson, North Carolina; 28640. 
    (United States of America, USA) / ISBN: # 0-89950-887-1 (library binding) 

  11. "My FIFTY Years of Chess, The Triumphs of An American Chess Champion," by F.J. Marshall.   
    Copyright (c) 1943, by the author.  First published in Great Britain by: G. Bell and Sons. (Publishers) 
    Transferred to digital printing in 2002 by Hardinge Simpole Pub. (Reprint)  / ISBN: # 1-84382-053-6 

  12. The one and only, ... (IM) Irving Chernev ... annotated this game in about five different books, as far as I can determine. 
    By far my personal favorite is: 
    << The 1000 Best, SHORT Games of Chess. >> Copyright (c) 1955.  [ Game # 891, page # 481. ] 
    My "Fireside" edition of this book is the NINTH printing (of this book) here!!!  

   ** ** ** ** ** ** **   

I have purposely ignored dozens of references on this game. Many, like Pope's book on Pillsbury, only copies one of the references given just above. My thanks to students and friends, who mined sources in Cleveland, Washington D.C. and also New York; for copies of books and magazines. Of special help was Stan's finding copies of "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle," (By Herman Helms - on microfilm?); and mailing them to me.

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  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2004. All rights reserved.  

 

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This web page is dedicated to my good friend  ...   Oscar R. ("Russ") Chambers,   who passed away in  October of 2004. 
(I attended the visitation, as of this writing,  {11/08/2004}; the funeral arrangements have not been finalized. Scheduled for Nov. 12th?)  

     [Russ was born (in Youngstown, Ohio) on July 09th, 1917. He died October 26th, 2004. (Russ was 87 years old.)  
      Russ served a solid career in the USAF, beginning as a Radio Operator during World War II. 
      He had many hobbies, aside from chess. He loved reading, doing puzzles, and also gardening.]  

Russ was a good friend, he is one of the very few who were left from the chess club - when we used to meet downtown in the late 1960's. 
(Others were Mr. Frank Goodenough, Mr. J.O. Pope, Sal - I never knew his last name, Mr. John Beckenridge, and many others.) 

While he was never one of our strongest players - Russ was definitely one of the most faithful of all of our members; he was often the first person to arrive and the last to leave! He attended nearly all of our local tournaments. He often went to tournaments in Mobile, AL;  Fort Walton Beach and Panama City, (FL); Biloxi, MS; etc. Back during the period when I was recuperating from a terrible on-the-job injury,  (I was on crutches for several years.);  Russ would pick me up at my house on Longleaf Drive. He always gave me free rides, he never asked for gas money, often he would pay for my lunch, and on at least one occasion he paid for my entry fee, (with no mention of reimbursement). All Russ asked was for me to look at his games, and maybe give him a few pointers. 

  --->   He was always very friendly, kind, generous and ready to help a friend in need. 

One of my happiest memories was that Russ asked me over to eat Thanksgiving Dinner one year, knowing full well that I was living in a house with no lights, no heat, and no electricity. I was very well fed, entertained and constantly fussed over. After dinner, we passed the day in front of the TV, watching football. His family made sure that my favorite glass of iced tea never ran dry. I had all the coffee and pie that I could handle. We even played a few games of chess, which I managed to win ... despite my extremely bloated condition. (A small joke.) 

Russ was often like an older brother or even a kindly father-figure for me. He seemed very proud of all of my accomplishments in chess ... 
he would never fail to tell people - AFTER I became a Master - "You know, I used to be able to beat A.J."  ... ... ...  

( I think one of his shining moments came after I ran way from the field in an Alabama State Championship Tournament ... this despite the presence of about five Masters, and many strong Experts and Class "A" players. Russ told several younger players that he used to give me pointers many years ago at the chess club. One them asked me if that was true. When I affirmed, in the strongest manner possible, that Russ used to give me chess tips and was sort of a chess mentor of mine, one look at Russ's face told me all that I needed to know.  He was positively beaming!)   

When I told him that I had gotten married, he actually broke down and cried, he was truly pleased. He always delighted in my children, his pockets were often filled with toys, candy and gifts. He loved children, and they always seem to respond positively to his attention. 

Russ had many other hobbies and interests. Russ made a living for many years repairing electronics. (TV's Radio's, etc.) He was an avid amateur radio operator, he went to many "Ham-Fests."  He leaves behind a loving wife, many children and a very large, beautiful family. 

Good-bye dear friend. You are definitely missed. You have departed this sphere, but while you are gone, you can never be forgotten!!!  


  This (web) page (basic HTML) was created in June,  2004.   This page was last updated on 11/29/14
  
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