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The Marshall Chess Club Championship

After one of the most exciting races of recent years, Frank J. Marshall has retained his title of Club Champion for another year. Almost from the very start, the tourney developed into a duel between Marshall and David Pol land. Right up to the last round, the result was in doubt, and as it happened, the game between the two leaders (which, by a coincidence, took place in the last roundi) brought no clarification, as it resulted in a draw. However, Polland felt that he would not have enough time for a play-off match, and therefore ceded the Championship to his rival.

The result represents a distinct triumph for both players—for Marshall gave most of his opponents the odds of anywhere between thirty and forty years; as for Polland, he has scored a worthy addition to previous fine victories in the New York and A. C. F. Tournaments last year.

The clear superiority of these two players over the rest of the field is clearly reflected in the score table. With better "breaks/' Sidney Bernstein would have been nearer their vicinity.

Marshall C. C. Championship November, 1937 ENGLISH OPENING (Notes by Fred Reinfeld) F. J. Marshall F. Reinfeld

White Black

(Marshall's best game of the tourney, and a fascinating encounter. In the annotations the attempt has been made, as far as memory permits, to present the actual ideas of a, player during a game.)

2 Kt-QB3 Kt-QB3

3 P-KKt3 Kt-B3

An alternative method is . . . P-KKt3, but the text should be satisfactory if followed up properly.

A reaction to the excellent placement of the hostile KB. He wants to force P-Q4.

This is the move Black relied on when he played 1 . . . BB4. His last move seems to prevent P-Q4, for if now 7 P-KR3, B-R4 as in a game Suesman—Bernstein, Philadelphia 1936.

Sadly the Bishop realizes the error of his ways. On 7 . . .B-R4 there would follow 8 P-KKt4, B-KKt3; 9 P-B4 and the QB is uncomfortable, to say the least. Thus White has been presented with the tempo P-KR3 free of charge. Hence we conclude that Black should have played 6 . . . P-QR4 or 6 . . . B-Q2.

Providing for a rearrangement of his pieces, and at the same time temporarily hindering White from castling.

An interesting attempt to open up the game and bring about complications, but Black, as will be seen, has provided adequately lor this move.

12 PxKt Kt-K2

13 PxP PxP

There is nothing to be gained from 14 P-Q6, PxP; 15 QxP, B-B3! etc.

15 QR-B1 Kt-B4

Not only neutralizing whatever sting there may be in P-Q6, but also preparing to blockade the QP permanently with . . . Kt-Q3, White can now Castle if lie wishes, but he does not care to allow the possibility 16 . . . BxP; 17 PxB, KtxKP; 18 Q-Q3, KtxB; 19 KxKt, BxPch and 20 . . . BxR.

This looks formidable, but Black was glad to see it played, as it facilitates the indicated "break" . . . P-KB4.

If Black is allowed to play . . . P-KB4, he will have an excellent game, in view of the strong pressure of his KB.

A surprising rejoinder, whereby Black opens up the KB file just the same.

20 KtPxP P-Kt3

The point. Black is not afraid to expose his K, for if 21 KR-Ktl, PxP involves no danger for Black.

After a profound study of the position, Marshall finds an equally ingenious reply. Black was at first puzzled by this move, but soon grasped its basic idea, and reconciled himself to the temporary loss of a Pawn, which he expected to regain at the 30th move.

22 R-Kt3ch K-R1

It is clear that this P cannot be captured (23 . . . KPxP?? 24 B Kt2ch and mate follows). Note that this move would have been impossible after KR-Ktl, as the BP would then be pinned.

Had the text come as a surprise to Black, the psychological shock would have been very great; but, having discounted the movein advance, he calmly organizes his counterplay. -

24 B-Kt2 RxR

25 KtxR Q-Kt3!

Very strong.

26 BxPch K-Kt1

MARSHALL CHESS CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP, 1937-8

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