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David Janowski vs Frank Marshall
Janowski - Marshall, Match 3 (1908), Suresnes FRA, rd 6, Jan-27
Queen's Gambit Declined: Albin Countergambit. Fianchetto Variation (D09)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-30-03  patzer2: Wide open attack lines for both sides, sharp tactical play, counter attacks with positions handing by a thread and simplification to a won endgame make this Albin Counter Gambit game definitely worth a look
Aug-30-03  Brian Watson: oaky, smoky, with hints of lemon, and a fine cigar-box nose . . .
Aug-30-03  sleepkid: ...actually, Janowski handles the opening rather poorly. Giving back the gambit pawn, and going down a piece within the first 13 moves. The only reason he gets back into the game at all is that Marshall wastes time looking for swindles instead of just consolidating and winning the game with the extra piece.
Aug-31-03  patzer2: <sleepkid/Brian Watson> I didn't mean to sound like an old fashioned carnival barker in my excitment over Marshall's decisive victory in this Albin Counter Gambit game. I guess I like the style of play of the old masters because they didn't hesitate to play gambits or use tactics (perhaps at the expense of strategy and position) to win or salvage a draw. And this game to me reflects a bit of that era, perhaps, as Brian suggests, even with the smoke of Frank Marshall's cigar, with hints of lemon, filling the room. On reflection, as sleepkid suggests, I could have been a bit more precise, and less enthusiastic, in my description of the game, especially since white didn't have many chance (except for a swindle) after mishandling the opening.

What the game actually reflects, after a second look, is a decisive victory in the Albin Counter Gambit, with Marshall punishing an early tactical blunder (10. exf3?? instead of 10. Bxf3) by using the "trapped man" tactic (10. d3 Ne3 11. d2) to win a Bishop. The rest of the game reflects Marshall's excellent technique in parrying Janowski's tactics and simplifying to a won ending.

Still the game is instructive and interesting, I think, because it reflects:

(1) an opening trap to be aware of in the Albin Counter Gambit; (2) an excellent (albeit simple) illustration of the "trapped man" tactic; (3) excellent technique in simplifying to a won ending after winning a piece in the opening; (4) an example of the style and romanticism of the Marshall/Lasker era when tactics and open attacking lines were preferred to strategy, positional play and closed positions; (5) an example of how the Albin Counter Gambit could be a fun and exciting try for black, at least in off hand games.

Aug-31-03  Calli: I disagree that Marshall was speculating. His defense is going along well until 28...Re2? leaves the f8 bishop loose. 28...Ne6 is good.
Aug-31-03  patzer2: <Calli> You are probably correct that 28...Ne6 is preferable to 28...Re2, with Marshall overlooking the obvious -- at least for a master. However, I wouldn't give 28...Re2 a question mark as a bad move, especially since it still appears to win. After white "wins" the bishop, white loses the game as black is then able to quickly gobble up the pawns f2 and on the a file with his rook.

However, I have found your previous analysis to be sound, so I suspect I must be missing something. Do you see an improvement that would have secured a win or draw for Janowski after Marshall's 28...Re2?

Sep-01-03  Calli: Point well taken, Marshall still has a win after Re2. If ol' Frank played into the won ending on purpose by giving up the piece, then I remove the "?". :-). Okay lets give him the benefit of the doubt. Brilliant simplification by Marshall! My disagreement was with <sleepkid> claiming that he was looking for swindles etc. Don't see that at all.
Sep-01-03  Brian Watson: patzer2: I just want to say that my comment was meant entirely in good humour. Sometimes a different tone than one intended comes across when posting to a forum . . . I certainly appreciate it when people 'kibitz' games for no other reason than to say "Hey look at this amazing game I found! What do you think?"
Sep-03-03  patzer2: <Brian Watson> I took your comment in the good humor you intended it. I seem to recall reading that some players used to practice having smoke blown in their face, so they would be ready when they faced Frank Marshall and his cigars. And, yes, the spirit of "hey look at this amazing game" was my intent.
Oct-06-05  schnarre: Tenacity is a virtue here!
Oct-06-05  Calli: And when is it a vice?
Oct-06-05  schnarre: <Calli> Good question!
Oct-06-05  who: Never. Because we have word for tenacity to a vice - stubborness.
Oct-06-05  schnarre: <who> Concur!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <patzer2: ...with Marshall punishing an early tactical blunder (10.exf3?? instead of 10.Bxf3)>

Fritz indicates 10.exf3 or 10.Bxf3 are in favor of Black, with Fritz actually slightly preferring 10.exf3.

Here are Fritz's evaluations: (-.69) (21 ply) 10.exf3 Nxe5 11.f4 Nxc4 12.0-0 Nb6 13.Nb4 Nf5 14.Nd3 f6; (-.78) (21 ply) 10.Bxf3 Nxe5 11.Bg2 Nxc4 12.0-0 Nc6 13.Ne1 h5.

Fritz indicates that White erred earlier with 9.h3?. Instead of 9.h3?, White could have maintained a near equal position with either: (-.17) (22 ply) 9.b3 Bxf3 10.exf3 d3 11.Ne3 Nxe5 12.0-0 N5c6 13.Bb2, or (-.18) (22ply) 9.0-0 Ng6 10.Nce1 Ngxe5 11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.Nd3 Nxd3 13.Qxd3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: A serious error was 11.0-0??, after which, 11...d3 12.Ne3 d2 13.Bxd2 Qxd2 won a piece.

As indicated, correct for White was: 11.f4! Nxc4 12.0-0, and after (-.64) (20 ply) 12...d3 13.Ne3 Nb6 14.Bd2 Nc6 15.Re1 Bc5, or (-.46) (20 ply) 12...Nb6 13.Qf3 c5 14.b4 Nc6 15.bxc5 Bxc5, Black's advantage is not nearly as large as after 11.0-0??.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: At move 18, Marshall played the strong and correct 18...Qxb4!. If instead, 18...Nxb4??, (.13) (22 ply) 19.Rd1+! Ke8 20.Qc3 f6 21.Qxf6 Rg8 22.Qe6, and the position would be near equal.

Considerably stronger for Black at move 24 was: (-2.61) (20 ply) 24...Qa3! 25.d6 Qxd6 26.Rxa7 Ke7 27.a4 Rd8 28.Rb7 Qc5 29.Qe1+ Ne6. If then, 30.Bf3 Rd3 31.Qe2 Ra3, and Black will soon win White's a-pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Instead of 25.Qb4?, a little better for White was: (-1.61) (20 ply) 25.Bf1 Qa5 26.d6 Re1 27.dxc7+. However, Black is still winning after 27...Qxc7.

At move 28, Fritz preferred (-2.54) (26 ply) 28...Ke7 29.Qc4 Ne6 30.f5 gxf5 31.Qh4+ f6 32.Qxh7+ Ng7 33.Qh4 f4 34.Qxf4 Qxf4 35.gxf4 Kd7 36.Rxa7 Bc5 37.Ra5 Bxf2, with a winning position for Black.

34.g4?? was a serious error, allowing Black to obtain a clearly winning position by 34...Ne6! 35.Ra8 Nxf4 36.Kg3 Nxg2 37.Rxa7 Ne3 38.Rxc7 Rxa4. The move played by Marshall, 34...Rxa4, was also good enough for Black to win.

Instead of 34.g4??, White could have put up a very strong resistance by playing: (-1.49) (24 ply) 34 Kg1! Ne2+ 35.Kh2 c6 36.Rd8 c5 37.Rc8 Nd4 38.Kg1 Rxa4 39.Rxc5 Ra1+. Black is better in the final position, but a win for Black is hard to demonstrate. Fritz indicates White still has drawing chances.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Although he missed the most decisive line, 34..Ne6! 35.Ra8 Nxf4 36.Kg3 Nxg2, Marshall's continuation beginning with 34...Rxa4, was winning at move 38.

The most decisive line for Black at move 38 was: (-2.89) (20 ply) 38...Ne6! 39.Rh8 a5 40.Ra8 Kg5 41.Bc4 Ra3, and Black will soon win additional material.

Instead of the clearly decisive 38...Ne6!, Marshall played 38...Ra5?. After 38...Ra5?, Fritz's evaluation and line of play, (-1.90) (20 ply) 38...Ra5 39.Be8 Kg5 40.Bxf7 Ra3 41.Bc4 a5 42.Bf1 Rc3 43.Bb5, (-2.04) (21 ply) 43...c5 44.Bd7 c4 45.h4+ Kf6 46.Bb5 Rh3+ 47.Kg1 c3 48.Rc7 Ne6 49.Rc4 Rxh4 50.Rxc3 Rxg4+, indicates a very difficult ending, where additional analysis is needed to determine if Black's advantage is adequate to win the ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: After Marshall missed his best continuation 38...Ne6!, and played 38...Ra5?, Janowski then missed his best continuation 39.Be8!, and played 39.Bc6?.

After 39.Bc6?, Fritz indicates the position is again winning for Black: (-2.70) (22 ply) 39.Bc6? Ra2+ 40.Kg1 Ke7 41.Bb5 Rg2+ 42.Kh1, (-3.22) (25 ply) 42...Rb2 43.Ba6 c5 44.Rh8 Rc2 45.Bb5 c4 46.Rc8 c3 47.Ba4 Rc1+ 48.Kh2 Kd6 49.Be8 f6, (-3.38) (23 ply) 50.h4 Re1 51.Ba4 Re3 52.Kg1 Rg3+ 53.Kf2 Rxg4 54.Bd1 Rxh4 55.Rxc3 Rh2+ 56.Ke1 Ra2 57.Bb3 Re2+ 58.Kf1 g5, and Black is winning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Marshall missed the decisive 39...Ra2+!, and played 39...Rc5. After 39...Rc5, Black still has a strong advantage, but the ending is very difficult. Fritz indicates Black's advantage is still adequate to secure the win: (-1.98) (22 ply) 39...Rc5 40.Be8 Kg5 41.Bxf7 Rc2+ 42.Kg3 Rc3+ 43.Kh2 a5 44.Be8 c5, (-1.98) (24 ply) 45.Bd7 c4 46.h4+ Kf6 47.Bb5 Rh3+ 48.Kg1 c3 49.Rc7 Nd5 50.Rc5 Ke5 51.h5 Rg3+ 52.Kf2 Rxg4 53.hxg6 Rxg6, (-2.24) (23 ply) 54.Be2 a4 55.Bf3 Rd6 56.Ra5 c2 57.Rc5 a3 58.Bxd5 Rxd5 59.Rxc2 Ra5, and Black is winning.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Marshall continued to miss the best moves, but his advantage remained just adequate enough for the win. Fritz indicated the strongest move after 40.Be8, was 40...Kg5!.

Marshall played the weaker, but still winning 40...Rc2+: (-1.43) (23 ply) 40...Rc2+ 41.Kg3 g5 42.Rxf7+ Ke6 43.Kf3 Rc3+ 44.Ke4 Rc4+ 45.Kf3 Nxh3 46.Rh7 Rc3+ 47.Ke2 Nf4+ 48.Kd2 Rc5 49.Ke3, (-1.88) (25 ply) 49...Kd5 50.Rd7+ Kc4 51.Ke4 a5, (-2.09) (26 ply) 52.Rd1 c6 53.Rc1+ Kb5 54.Rb1+ Ka6 55.Bf7 a4 56.Kd4 Ra5 57.Bc4+ Ka7 58.Ra1 Kb6 59.Rb1+ Kc7 60.Ra1 Nd5 61.Ra3 Kd6, (-3.04) (24 ply) 62.Be2 Ra8 63.Bd1 Nb6 64.Kd3 Rf8!, and Black is winning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Deeper analysis by Fritz indicated that after: 40...Rc2+ 41.Kg3 g5 42.Rxf7+ Ke6, (-1.41) (25 ply) 43.Kf3 Rc3+ 44.Ke4 Rc4+ 45.Ke3! Nd5+ 46.Kd3 Rc3+ 47.Kd2 Rxh3 48.Rg7 Nf6 49.Ba4 c5 50.Kc2 Nxg4 51.Rxg5, (-1.38) (26 ply) 51...Ne3+ 52.Kd2 Nd5 53.Rg7 a6 54.Ra7 Ke5 55.Rxa6, White still had good drawing chances.

However, there is also an improvement for Black after 40...Rc2+ 41.Kg3. After deeper analysis, Fritz determined the move played by Marshall, 42...Ke5!, was actually Black's best move, and that it preserved Black's winning chances.

Fritz indicated the players then followed the best continuation for several more moves: (-1.43) (25 ply) 41...Ke5! 42.Rxf7 Rc3+ 43.Kh4 Nxh3 44.Rf1 g5+ 45.Kh5.

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