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Frank Marshall vs Eugene Delmar
Buffalo (1901), Buffalo, New York USA, rd 10, Aug-17
King's Gambit: Declined. Classical Variation (C30)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: 14. ♗f4??

When Marshall blunders, he blunders with the best. 8-)

I think I would have 14. ♕xb7

Jun-11-05  farrooj: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Jun-11-05  aw1988: Well, he would only be the exchange down, but look at the position...
May-28-06  Whitehat1963: Musta put a hex on him!
Oct-02-06  aazqua: This is just plain absurd. And to think that Marshall was considered good once.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A horrible final game by Marshall finishing up a horrible tournament (in which he finished next to last) at the end of a horrible 1901.

At least Marshall got to go home early. Even had he won, he would not have move up in the standings. Meanwhile, Delmar--by winning this game--managed to tie for 2nd with Napier.

The game itself ended suddenly when Marshall blundered away the exchange on move 14. But even before then his play had been zany, and he had much the inferior game (as White!) even before his move 14 blunder.

Happily for the Marshall fans, he regrouped beginning in 1902, and by 1904 had become strong enough to win against a world-class field at Cambridge Springs 1904 and be considered one of the world's elite and a plausible opponent for Tarrasch and Lasker. When he was demolished in those two matches, it was clear that--though a very strong tournament player--Marshall would never again be a likely world title contender.

1. e4 e5
2. f4

Marshall liked tactical battles, and he hardly wanted to play a long game in this last round encounter, to the King's Gambit was an understandable choice.

2... Bc5

Declining the gambit was a reasonable choice against Marshall.

3. Nf3 d6
4. d4?!

click for larger view

Yet another wild opening attempt by Marshall in this tournament. Perhaps he knew that Delmar had lost with this variation in a game in 1893 against Halpern and through he had found an improvement.

4... exd4
5. Bd3

This may or may not be better than Delmar's 5. Nxd4, but it was hardly good. Better, and more in Marshall's style, was 5. c3.

5... Nc6

5...Nf6 would have been much better and given Delmar real winning chances.

6. 0-0

c3 was again stronger.

6... Bg4

Once again, Nf6 was best.

7. h3

Marshall never did develop his b1 Knight in this game. He could have played 7. Nbd2 here. Alternatively, he could have prevented Black from occupying b4 with 7. a3.

7... BxN
8. QxB Nf6

Delmar could also have played 8...Nb4.

9. a3

Reasonable, though Marshall yet again had a chance to play Nd2 here.

9... a5!

Keeping White from playing b4.

click for larger view

10. Kh1

Yet again missing a chance to develop his Knight with 10. Nbd2.

10... h5?!

Wild and unsound and allowing Marshall a chance to regroup. Delmar should have played 10...0-0 or 10...Nd7 or even 10...Qd7. The weakening text was unnecessary.

After 10...h5, White's game was not all that bad:

click for larger view

But from here, Marshall seems to have lost his mind, playing some wild and unsound moves and then completely blundering away the game on move 14.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

Having achieved a fully playable position, Marshall lost patience:

11. e5?

He should have developed his Knight with 11. Nbd2. Even 11. Qg3 or 11. Re1 would have been better than the text.

11... dxe5
12. fxe5

Yet again, Marshall should have brought his Knight into the game with 12. Nd2.

12... Nxe5
13. Re1 Qe7

click for larger view

14. Bf4??

Marshall already had an inferior position. His only real chance was to play 14. Qg3 (14. Qxb7 as recommended by [WannaBe] would leave White badly situated after 14...0-0).

The text simply loses the exchange.

14... NxQ


A terrible debacle for Marshall.

Marshall's Knight still remained on b1, inactive to the end.

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