Frank James Marshall

Frank James Marshall

The Planet Greenpawn

Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Frank James Marshall

Frank Marshall

Frank James Marshall (1877-1944)

Things were easy in 1968.

Man had not yet landed on the Moon, The Beatles had not broken up and
I had a chess library of about 3 books. (opening traps & 200 miniatures.)

Things were a OK in 1974.

Man had been to the moon, Fischer had won the world title (this compensated
for The Beatles breaking up) and my library had grown to about 12 books.

Two are ‘The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played’ and Alekhine’s best games.

These notes started to appear. This one from Alekhine disussing this position:

Alekhine Note

…and from Chernev.

Chernev note

…and Chernev again.

Chernev swindle note

Marshall - Capablanca New York 1918
Same game and Marshall actually set another trap in this game.

So who is this lad Marshall and I want to have people write things like that about me.

Of course I knew of the shower of gold coins game but very little else.

Then about 18 months later this dropped into my lap.

Marshall's Book

And things were great from that moment on.

These games are inspiring, instructive and just great fun to play over. Be warned,
once you had played over one you have to see another and another and another….

Marshall’s jolly notes help you skip along. Look at this:

Marshall note

Marshall cheerfully gave up the pawn, then pseudo sacced the exchange, sacced a piece,
missed a quicker win when gaining his piece back and won a clinical endgame.

Marshall was a good endgame player, one of the best and for those of you
who think he was just a tricky swindler then you are way off base.

The word ‘positional’ is mentioned more times than ‘tactical’ in the notes
and he can be quite scathing in his notes regarding opening gambits.

Look at the introduction notes to this game and the comment after Black’s 2nd move.

Marshall note 2

That is David Janowski (another brilliant chess player) he has just had a pop at.

Let us look at a game, a game possibly 99% of you have never seen before
and some things I know I learned and picked up from just this one game.

1) Players are not always aware of the latest up to date wrinkles in opening theory.

2) All positions now matter how drawish in appearance contain a trick or two.

3) Luft (giving an escape square for your King) is not just any old move you slip in.

4) Some endings are won just by looking at them and knowing they are won.

5) Frank Marshall was a great chess player and not just a setter of traps.

F. Marshall - S. Sharp Atlantic City 1920.

Notes by Frank Marshall (FM) and comments from me based on Marshall’s notes.

That wee trick I mentioned.

Of course nobody is going to fall for that…..

Perhaps some examples from RHP games with the exact same
pattern will convince you that players do indeed fall for such things.

Ravello - asadzadeh RHP 2007

Starryknight14 - OffWhite RHP 2005

dsarge30 - rsand2 RHP 2006

This is good.

DreamKrusher - monofin86 RHP 2006

Where DreamKrusher’s dreams are crushed.

The Duck

Wow green cheeks, How long did it take you to think up that one liner?

I said something about ‘Luft’ and not playing just any old move.

One of the last games to finish when I did my 54 game blitz thing on here.
P.54 W.39 D.4 L.11 (and lost approx 200 rating points). 🙂
In the following game I recalled the ‘Luft’ moment.

borntodestroy - greenpawn34 RHP 2012

Chess Coincidence No.327

P. Leonhardt- F. Marshall, Barmen 1905

Magnus and Marshall

Magnus with the bust of Marshall (I wonder if Magnus will one day bust the Marshall.)

And that’s it.

Me and the Duck sitting on a wall waiting for Mrs GP to go Christmas Shopping.

Me and the Duck

The Duck

Hey GP you did a piece on Marshall without showing the gold coins game.


I know. There was a lot more to Marshall than just one game and one move.

The pictures of Marshall on this blog came from the Marshall Chess Club.

The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 150160
The Planet Greenpawn
Last Post
22 Jun 24
Blog since
06 Jul 10