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Monday, September 13, 2010

When gold coins were showered on the chessboard

Frank James Marshall

Hello Everyone,

Frank James Marshall (August 10, 1877 – November 9, 1944), was the U.S. Chess Champion from 1909–1936, and was one of the world's strongest chess players in the early part of the 20th century.

Marshall was best known for his great tactical skill and his endgame skill was admired. Legend has it that the spectators showered the board with gold pieces after Marshall's stunning last move in a particular game against Stepan Levitsky at Breslau in 1912.

Chess historian Edward Winter discusses the different stories about the move here.

Marshall's 'sham sacrifice' of the Queen is a real swindle. The Queen can be captured in three different ways but all three lead to a win for Black. Really nice.

You can run the full game in the flashplayer below or watch the moves through the pgnplayer. Look out for the 'golden' 23. ... Qg3!

PGN: 1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nc3 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.exd5 exd5 6.Be2 Nf6 7.O-O Be7 8.Bg5 O-O 9.dxc5 Be6 10.Nd4 Bxc5 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Bg4 Qd6 13.Bh3 Rae8 14.Qd2 Bb4 15.Bxf6 Rxf6 16.Rad1 Qc5 17.Qe2 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qxc3 19.Rxd5 Nd4 20.Qh5 Ref8 21.Re5 Rh6 22.Qg5 Rxh3 23.Rc5 Qg3 0-1

If 24.hxQ Ne2 checkmate, if 24.fxQ Ne2+ 25.Kh1 RxR checkmate, if 24.QxQ Ne2+ 25.Kh1 NxQ+ 26.Kg1 NxR 27.gxR Nd2 and Black is a piece up and winning!

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  • At September 13, 2010 at 5:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It is Quite something!

    But I always get the sense with some of these really old games, that folks sat down expecting to loose, its like in modern times people going to the Mirage to play Poker with Johnny Chin; you know your going to loose, you just want to be able to tell your friends I lost to Johnny Chin.

    I like the beauty of Modern games, like your own, more because the come from the conflict of (more or less) equal competitors. I had an Idea I wanted to share with you in that vein; I've begun a assembling a small pgn D-base; that I intend to pull together in the form of a Book(let) for my own Refernce.

    Chess Fit for a Queen.
    The 100 Best Games of
    Alexandra the Great.

    Honestly though the title sounded so Juicy I thought I would share it with you after all Batsford might be interest! If not, when I have my choices prepared in a few months I share the pdf with you if you like. Blessings BB.

  • At September 14, 2010 at 6:17 AM , Anonymous jacco said...

    strong resemlance between F J Marshall and mister Hoggit in the movie Babe

    kind greetings and that you for this great site. jacco


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