1904 Cambridge Springs International Chess Congress
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This annotated game was contributed to my site by Life Master A.J. Goldsby I. All comments and annotations are his, unless otherwise noted. Mr. Goldsby has made numerous contributions to this site. Please honor his copyright.


Frank J. Marshall (2534) - J. Mieses (2525) 
[D37]
Super-Master Tournament / Cambridge Springs, PA (Rnd. #4), 1904

[A.J. Goldsby I]
 

This was/is considered to be one of GM Frank J. Marshall's very best games. ( A book in German spoke highly of this game, both Tarrasch and Lasker praised Marshall's handling of the ending, and it was spoken of favorably in several newspaper columns as well. Of course, Marshall himself thought highly of this game, he chose it for his collection of "Best Games," in his book. {"My Fifty Years Of Chess."} )

The opening is fairly high-quality, 100 years later, the first ten or so moves are (at least) adequate. Then comes an ultra-brilliant combination, followed by a very precise and well-played ending. ( "White wins a difficult and instructive ending." - GM Frank J. Marshall )

While today a modern master might not hold this game in high regard, at that time, this ending was a revelation of sorts. (Many masters and endgame experts of that day felt a Rook was more than a match for two separate, and poorly coordinated horses ... especially on a wide-open board!)

Another reason that this game came to be highly regarded was that of the general opinion of the chess world. Specifically, the consensus of the ... "chess experts" ... both in Europe, and even in America (!) ... was that, on the whole, U.S. Masters were good - but nowhere near their counterparts from the "Old World." I think that this game where Marshall dismisses a well- known European Master, coming relatively early in the tournament, had to be something of an eye opener!

The ratings are those of Jeff Sonas's, of the "Chess-Metrics" web site. My opinion is that Mieses was slightly under-rated by at least 75 points.

Marshall starts this game off with his QP. (It is curious that Marshall, one of the most talented tactical players that the U.S. ever produced, almost always opened a chess game with, "1. d4.")

1.d4 d52.c4 dxc4; ('!?')  The Queen's Gambit Accepted.

At that time in chess, this opening was slightly frowned upon, as it was generally believed that the second player lost too much time and central influence with this pawn exchange. Today we know that Black can indeed surrender the center with this move and play this opening ... as long as the second player follows up with precise and energetic play.

"Mieses is fond of this defense because it leads to a fairly open game as a rule. Its one possible drawback is that White may obtain a lead in development which will make it difficult for Black to equalize." - GM Frank J. Marshall, (M.F.Y.o.C.)  

[Black can also play the moves: 2...e6; 3.Nc3 Nf6;  4.Bg5 Be7;  5.e3 c6;  6.Nf3 Nbd7;  7.Rc1 0-0;  8.Bd3, ("+/=") which also gives the player of the Black pieces an excellent game. This is "The Queen's Gambit Declined" --- See any opening book, like ECO, NCO, or MCO-14.]  

3.e3!?,  (hmmm) 
This move guards the d4 pawn, and also prepares the immediate re-capture of the Black Pawn at c4.  

***************************************************************************** 

Editor's Note: The following is a rather extensive review of theory on this opening.

A modern master would probably consider this move just very slightly inaccurate, preferring to play (instead) the move 3.Nf3! This would prevent Black from playing the counter-strike on the center with the pawn move of ...e7-e5!? which is generally thought to give Black a good game. .

I decided - after much thought - to put this game under a virtual microscope ... especially as concerns the opening. The information might be of value to many chess-players, and it would also clearly show what a difference the 100 years of accumulated theory would have made as regards this game.

[ It was much better to play the following continuation, which would have been a {slight} improvement over the actual game:  3.Nf3! 

 Black now has two main choices:  

A)  One highly respected opening book gives the following continuation for Black: 
 (>/=) 3...Nf6;  4.e3 e6;  5.Bxc4 c5;  6.0-0 a6;  7.Qe2 b5!?;  This is the old main line. 
(For the major branch of theory that involves the modern move of:  7...Nc6!?;  see MCO-14; pg. # 445, col. # 06.)
8.Bb3,  This seems like the most logical, the first player continues to bear down on the center; but modern players also like to play Bd3 in this position as well. {For the move of: 8.Bd3!?, see MCO-14; pg. # 445, col. # 05.}   8...Bb7;  9.a4!?,  White tries to immediately disrupt Black's plan to conquer space on the Queen-side. (For the move of: 9.Rd1, see MCO-14, pg. # 445, col. # 01.)   

A1)  Black can try the sharp:  9...Nbd7!?;  10.axb5 axb5;  11.Rxa8 Qxa8;  12.Nc3 b4;  13.Nb5 Qb8;  14.e4?!, ('?') 
Too ambitious. (And not justified by the demands of the position.) 
{An intentional gambit ... but after spending several hours with this line and the computer - I am not convinced that it is sound.}
  (Better was: 14.Rd1 Be7; 15.Bc4 0-0; 16.b3, "="  with a very balanced game.)
14...cxd4; (=/+)  15.Nbxd4,  so far, all this has been played about 50 times, according to the database. R. Huebner - Kir. Georgiev; (FIDE) World Team Champ. (A.C.K.A. "The Men's Olympiad") Moscow, Russia; 1994. (1-0, 59 moves.)  Now Black should play 15...Bxe4!; (=/+)  when White does not have enough "comp" for the Pawn. (Instead he played the passive ...Be7; and lost a long game - 59 total moves.);

A2)  9...b4;  A playable move for Black ... but not the only one here. 10.Nbd2 Be7;  11.Nc4 0-0;  12.Rd1 Qc7;  13.Bd2 Nbd7;  
14.Nfe5 Rfd8; The end of the column. 15.Rac1 a5;  16.Be1 Nxe5!?;  17.dxe5 Nd7;  18.f4, (+/=) 18...Ba6!?; (unclear)  
" ... with sufficient counterplay,"  says GM Nick de Firmian of "Modern Chess Openings," Vol. 14. (c) 1999, by the author. 
Published by David McKay of NY. (A division of Random House.)  ISBN: # 0-8129-3083-5 . 
(The computer says White is clearly a little better, ("+/=");  and I definitely must agree with that assessment.).  
GM A. Yusupov - GM V. Anand
ICT / Masters (Invitational?) Dortmund, GER; 1997.  
[ See MCO-14, page # 445; column # 04, & also note # (m). ]

B)  3...e6!?;  as played by Garry Kasparov against Fritz_X3D. There is probably nothing wrong with this ... and it amounts to nothing more than a transposition of moves. (Garry is probably playing with the move order on purpose, to see if he can fake the box out.)

(Returning to the main line here with 3...e6.)  4.e3 a6!?;  5.Bxc4 c5;  (unclear) Now we have the exact, same position as in the game:  Fritz_X3D (C) - GM Garry KasparovMan vs. Machine WCS Match (# 4) New York City, NY (USA) 2003.  
For more on this game, see my web site devoted to the best chess played between humans and computers.  
(http://www.angelfire.com/fl5/human_fan02/index.html) ] 

 ******************************************************************************** 

(After a brief stint into modern opening theory, we return to the game at hand.)

3...Nf6;  (center)  
A simple developing move, but the only way for Black to try and take advantage of White's move order, was to play 3...e7-e5.  

[(>/=) 3...e5!?; (Maybe - '!')  Most opening books recommend this as the best reply for Black to White's last move.].  

4.Bxc4 e6;  5.Nc3 c5!?;  
The prevailing school of thought ... led by the World Champion Lasker, and also the successful S. Tarrasch ... was that Black had to play this pawn move/lever in this opening ASAP. (And this is not too far from hitting the bull's eye dead center - except most modern masters prefer to preface this move with the little pawn push of ...a7-to-a6.)

A few masters ... like GM Andrew Soltis, for instance ... have labeled this as being imprecise. But this is clearly incorrect, as with correct play (and a clever move order), Black can simply transpose back to the main line!

[By playing the moves: 5...a6; 6.Nf3 c5; 7.a4!?, ("+/=")  we reach one of the late Mikhail Botvinnik's ways of playing this position for White.]

6.Nf3 Be7!?;  (Probably - '?!' or '?') 
It is hard to believe that a simple developing move is wrong, but this is probably the first move that lays the seeds of all of Black's later problems. The main idea is that Black will eventually lose a tempo with a "double-step" of this piece. It was much better to simply play ...a6; and then ...Nbd7. Only then is the KB developed. Now if White captures on c5, Black takes with the Knight - and gets a playable game. The funny thing is that most of the pundits do not make any comments at all after this move ... yet it is clearly one of the most inaccurate of the entire opening!

[ After the moves:  >/=  6...a6!;  7.0-0!? b5;  8.Bb3 Bb7;  9.Qe2 Nbd7;  10.Rd1, (+/=) Black has good chances for some counterplay, and will probably achieve full equality with precise play. (Incidentally, we have just transposed into a modern main line here.)  
Black could also play:  >/=  6...cxd4!?; ('!')  7.Qxd4 Qxd4;  8.Nxd4, (+/=)  8...a6;  (unclear),  when White's advantage is fairly small, and Black should be OK in the endgame - as long as his play is not sloppy. (Players of that era often felt lines with an early swap of Queens were "not sporting."  NOTE: Many tournaments of around this time period had rules that clearly forbade early draws. In some cases, draws had to be REPLAYED!!) Editor's note: This particular tournament prohibited draws in less than 30 moves unless forced. ]  

7.0-0 0-0;  (hmmm) 
Simple development ... and this is probably the wisest course for Black now. (Other moves will not prevent White from gaining the upper hand.) Marshall said that, "7...NB3; or ...P-QR3; would have been more accurate."  This is incorrect; I tried these moves on the computer - it changes the actual evaluations of these positions very little. (Or none.)

Why then would Marshall say this? It is really very simple. White is better, most Masters can see this readily. It follows logically that somewhere in the opening that the second player must have made an error. (So at some point most good players feel bound to offer some improvement.) The real critical question has to be: "Why was it that I could accurately pinpoint the errors in this game and Marshall could not?" It is very simple. I have the benefit of far better tools. (150+ years of theory and opening books, databases, the very strong computer programs, etc. Of course Marshall had the use of none of these things!) 

[Or 7...Nbd7!?; 8.e4, (+/=); and White has a safe and comfortable advantage in this position.]   

8.Qe2!?, (why?) 
Most commentators do not even say anything here, but this move - while gaining an advantage - may not be the most accurate move for White. (Black should probably now exchange d4 to avoid losing a tempo.) 

I must emphasize that Qe2 is a good move, and a very standard one in this opening. (But it leaves Black with more options.)

[ Kramnik has shown in many of his games, that after the simple: 8.dxc5 Qxd1;  9.Rxd1, (+/=)  9...Bxc5;  it is not that easy for Black to equalize ... despite the absence of the Queens and the symmetrical pawn structure. (But to be honest, the players of that era probably would have felt that this was a lifeless position here.) ]

8...a6?!;  (Maybe - '?') 
Now Black will lose a tempo for sure ... and it is this loss of time that causes Black so many problems in this game. (Tarrasch points this out - and goes into some detail - in some analysis that was widely reprinted. See the British magazine, "The Field," 1905. Also Tarrasch's own magazine - in German - that same year.)  

[Although after the moves: 8...cxd4!;  9.Rd1 Nc6; 10.exd4!, ("+/=")  White holds a small, but serious advantage, it is still MUCH better than what actually transpired in the game! For a DEEP discussion of this particular position ... and many that are highly similar to it ... please see the excellent book: "Winning Pawn Structures," by GM A. Baburin. (c) 1998. This book is THE (!!!!!) textbook to explain and explore all the different possibilities and characteristics of a position where White has an isolated QP. Highly recommended for the serious student!!]

White now seizes the opportunity to go ahead and win a tempo by taking the Pawn on c5.  
9.dxc5! Bxc510.e4! Nc6!?;   
This is not a bad move, in fact it is perfectly legitimate. (I just wonder if Mieses realized at this point that Marshall has a fairly significant opening advantage? ... And that it is also growing with every move!)  

[Maybe 10...b5!?; was worth a try here? ]  

11.Bg5, "/\"   
A very normal ... "pinning and development" type move. But Marshall might have had a move that was even better than this. 

[ Probably better, (truly more accurate than the text); was the following continuation: 11.e5! Nd5;  12.Rd1! Nxc3!?;  13.bxc3 Qe7!?; 
  14.Qe4, (+/=)  (Maybe - '');  with a very nice and a fairly large advantage for White here. ]

11...Be7; (Maybe - '?!')   
While this seems like a very natural move to break the pin, it just may be that Black needed a more vigorous response at this crucial juncture. (Marshall called this ... "practically compulsory." And dozens of writers agree with him. It is easy to see why they felt this way, the threat of e5 terrifies most players in this position.)

Several strong programs suggest the move, ...Qc7; in this position. It only remains for a really strong GM - who also knows the basics of computer chess - to deeply analyze this move, and either confirm or disprove the value of this particular try for Black.  

[ (>/=) 11...b5!? ]

12.Rad1!?,  (double-hmmm) 
This looks good, hitting the Queen with a gain of time ... but was there a better move here? (Possibly, but there is no guarantee.) 

[Maybe 12.Rfd1!?,  instead?]  

12...Qc7!?;  (Maybe - '?!') 
While this looks extremely logical, it could be the wrong approach here. (Most annotators make no comment at all in this position.) 

 [ Better was: 12...Nd7!; 13.Bxe7 Qxe7; and while White might hold a solid advantage in this position, it is probably better than the game. 
   (If 14.e5(+/=), then maybe 14...Qc5!?; "<=>" and Black has at least a little counterplay.) ]

13.e5 Nd7; {Box?}
 I think that this is probably forced for Black here. 

[After the simple moves of: 13...Ng4!?; ('?!') 14.Bxe7 Qxe7;  15.h3 Nh6;  16.Qe4 Nf5;  17.Bd3, ''  White is just clearly better.]  

14.Bxe7 Nxe7;   
This was obviously forced. 
( "Black's last few moves were virtually forced. White has obtained a considerable advantage in {the} position." 
  - GM S. Tarrasch {The book of the tournament.} )  

 

White's next move is very fine, and in some cases Marshall even threatens the classic sacrifice on the h7-square. (I believe that GM A. Soltis even awards this move an exclamation point. GM S. Tarrasch - in the tournament book - gives all of White's next three moves an exclamation point.)  
15.Bd3! Ng6!?;  
Mieses prefers moving the Knight to block the diagonal over pushing his f-pawn ... and possibly losing material. (This is understandable!)  

[ After the moves: 15...f6!?; 16.exf6 Nxf6;  17.Ng5, ''  Black will soon lose a Pawn.
  One student suggested: 15...b5??;  but after the reply 16.Qe4, quickly [he] understood at least one of the reasons for playing the Bishop   
  to the d3-square. ("+/-") ]  

 ***********************************************************************  

 

White's next move makes little sense from a positional point of view ... why give up a beautiful, long-range Bishop for a hobbled Knight? Further this piece stands on the rather inferior g6- square. What is the point?

(Emanuel Lasker - in his book - said that a Knight on the "Knight's-three" square almost always stood badly. Then when I studied this great player's games ... it seemed half the time he would have a Knight on this square ... and win with it!)  
16.Bxg6!,  (nice)   
"An excellent decision. Black's counterplay against the e-pawn is killed off and after 16...hxg6; he must be vigilant against Ng5 and Qg4-h4-h7, and h2-h4-h5."  - GM Andrew Soltis.  

[16.Rfe1!?]  

16...hxg6[];  
Apparently - this was forced.  

 

White's next move, (17.Rd6) is also very fine, both Soltis and Marshall applaud it. 

Many of my students play it, but don't see the real reasons behind it.  
17.Rd6! Nb6!?;  
Most annotators do not comment on this move ... the only other real alternative for Black was ...b5.  

[For example, another try here was: 17...b5!?;  18.Rfd1!? Nb6;  19.Ng5!, ''  with an attack.]

18.Rfd1,  
A very natural and powerful move for White in this position.  

[Interesting was: 18.Rc1!?]   

18...Nc4!?; (hmmm)  
Some experts have blasted this move as an error, but these same pundits have completely failed to find a really superior alternative here for Black. "Now it appears that Black can complete his development, since 19.R/6-d4, b5; 20.Ng5?! turns out to be unsound after 20...Qxe5; 21.Qg4, f6." - GM Andrew Soltis.  

[ Even worse is: 18...Bd7?; ('??') 19.Rxb6! Qxb6;  20.Rxd7, ''  (Maybe "+/-")  and White should win. ]   

****************************************

"White has a significant advantage with full control of the d-file. One may expect  19.R6d4, b5;  20.a4!  to hold the advantage, but White 
found another rather surprising plan." - GM Pal Benko  (See the December 2004 issue of 'Chess Life,' page # 46.)   
19.Qe4!!,  (Maybe - '!!!') 
A truly brilliant move, in 2001 I tested this position on 10 different boxes and programs ... NONE even considered this move!

In a Philadelphia newspaper, one columnist (probably Barry) wrote that one of the players (probably Delmar) studied the position at length, and then said: "... but I could not fathom the real reason for Marshall's Queen foray." Join the club! I have yet to have a student who understood the reason behind this move. ('!' - both GM's Marshall and Soltis.)

"This enterprising sacrifice of the exchange must have come as a great surprise." - F.J. Marshall (No kidding!)

GM S. Tarrasch was right on target: "White has strengthened his position move-by-move. The sacrifice is quite sound!" 
{The tournament book.}

Marco also praised this exchange sacrifice, calling it "very brilliant," accurate and also "far-sighted." He also expressed his opinion that: "... while some may argue the merits of this play, I myself believe it to be wholly sound."  

[Or 19.R6d4 b5;  20.a4, '']  

19...Nxd6;  
This leads to a position that is definitely no fun for poor Mieses, but I am not really sure what else Black can do. 

[ Probably worse was the following continuation(s), the bulk of which was pointed out by Marshall. 
  19...Nxb2?!; ('?')  20.Rc1 Nc4;  21.Rd4 Nb6!?;  ('?!')  The only move given by F.J. Marshall. 
    (Maybe better was: 21...Na5!?;  But not: 21...b5??;  22.Qxa8, '+/-')  
  22.Ng5 f6; (forced)  As Marshall points out, White threatens Qh4 strongly. 23.exf6 gxf6 []; This is completely forced. 
    (Not 23...Rxf6??;  24.Qh4, '+/-')
.  24.Nxe6, ''  ("+/-" ?) "... with a winning position." - GM Frank J. Marshall ]  

 

20.exd6 Qd8?!(Maybe - '?')  
Some - like Marshall himself - have said that this move was nearly forced. But thanks to over an hour's worth of analysis ... being ably assisted by Dr. Fritz ... I can say that this move is inferior. The best move was ...Qc6! Marshall even saw this move, and after going through one sample variation, (see the analysis below); he says: "It is understandable that an aggressive player like Mieses shies away from such a dreary prospect." Normally I would be inclined to agree with the honored GM, and take his judgment over the 'eval' of the box. But the fact that there is such a disparity between the machine's value of the two lines, and also that Marshall's analysis contained more than one error - that I have to say, at least in this instance, that the machine is right and Marshall was wrong. (But I understand - completely! - his point of view!)

[ Probably the best move here for Black was the following: 20...Qc6!;  21.Qxc6 bxc6;  22.Ne5,  (+/=) / (Maybe - '') 
  White is clearly much better. (The passed pawn is very powerful.) 

   {Frank J. Marshall points out the following continuation for White, which contains a few errors: 
     A less favorable continuation would be: 22.d7!? Bb7
23.Na4 Rfd8?!; ('?') 
     A poor move, Black should sacrifice the c-pawn to liberate the Bishop, and gain a tremendous amount of piece play.  
     24.Nc5 Ra7?
25.Ne5 Kf8!?; ('?!')  26.f4!?, ''  (with a bind);  and "... Black would be subjected to unremitting pressure." 
     - GM Frank J. Marshall};  

 *** 

  After the move of: 20...Qb6!?; in this position, then White very simply plays: 21.Qh4, ''  with a clear and large advantage.  
   (21.Ng5, '' might also do the trick.) ]  

  *******  

 

Now comes yet another surprise for poor Mieses, who probably thought he had prevented White's next shot.  
21.d7! Qe7!?;  
Played while probably still in a state of complete shock.  

  [ Or: 21...Bxd7!? ; 22.Ne5, ''  etc. - GM Frank J. Marshall ]  

 

(The next few moves are reasonable enough for both parties.)  
22.dxc8=Q Raxc823.h3! Rfd824.Rxd8+ Rxd825.a3 b5!?(Material balance: White - two Knights;  Black - R+P)   
"White's slight material advantage is enough to win, although the process is normally a lengthy one, since the Knights are often at a disadvantage against an agile Rook." - GM Frank J. Marshall (M.F.Y.o.C.)

This move is the FIRST choice of several (very) strong computer programs ... so why does Marshall give this move a question mark? (And even GM Andrew Soltis follows suit, though probably without giving this matter any real thought. To be fair, the great and normally very accurate teacher, Siegbert Tarrasch, also labeled this move as bad.)

Supposedly the reason that this move was bad or incorrect: "The text makes it possible for White to exchange Queens." - F. Marshall (It also weakens Black's entire Queen-side Pawn structure.) But in the light of computer analysis, this statement simply does not hold up.  

 

Both Marshall and Soltis give White's next move an exclamation point.  
26.Qc6! Qd6!?;  (hmmm)   
Many commentators - like Tarrasch and Marco, (and also Marshall!) - have insinuated that this move is forced, but is it, really?

Maybe this move was inferior ... and Black missed his last chance to go for a draw? 
(All the annotators are of no real help ... even Soltis makes no comment after this move.) 

[ Probably the best try was: >/= 26...b4!; ('!!')  27.axb4[] Qxb4;  28.Qxa6!? Qxb2;  29.Qc4, (+/=)  (Maybe - '') 
  White is clearly better, yet Black's drawing chances have increased greatly; as all the Pawns are now on the same side of the board!

  The original GM points out the following line, {which is probably less than best}: 26...Rd6?!; 27.Qa8+ Qf8; 
  Something like this is forced.  (But not 27...Kh7?; 28.Ne4, "+/-").   28.Qb7, ''  (Material + Position) 
  "... with advantage." - Frank J. Marshall  (White has both a slight material edge, as two Knights are {today} considered to be 
  better than a R+P, and also a better position - the first player's pieces all occupy better squares than his opponent's counterparts.) ]   

 

27.Qxd6 Rxd628.Kf1 Rb629.Ke2 b4; ('!') 
"Black plays to exchange as many Pawns as possible, because of the well-known drawing possibilities against the Two Knights." 
 - GM Frank J. Marshall.  

30.axb4 Rxb431.Nd1 f6!?32.Kd3 g533.Kc3 Rf4!?;  
"The Rook ultimately runs into trouble here; but against best play White would win by the admittedly laborious process of concentrating on the QRP, winning it and then advancing the passed QNP." - GM Frank J. Marshall  

[Or 33...Rb8; 34.Ne3, ""  and as Marshall pointed out, White should win with correct play from this position.]

34.Nd4 g4;   
Black continues with his policy of trying to exchange as many of the Pawns as he possibly can.  

  [ Or 34...e5!?; 35.Ne6, '' (White is clearly much better.) ]  

 

White's next move is pretty much forced in this position.  
35.hxg4,  {Box?}  
This is probably best, I see no good reason why White should allow the King-side Pawns to be split. Interestingly enough, 
Marshall points out that he saw right through Mieses own attempt at a swindle here. 

[ Of course not the following, which is probably less than best: 35.Nxe6!? gxh3;  36.Nxf4?? h2; 
   when White is unable to prevent the RP from promoting. ("-/+") ]

35...Rxg436.Ne3 Rf437.f3 e5[];   
"The loss of the Rook was threatened here with P-KN3. (g3)"  - GM Frank J. Marshall  

White's next move is very tricky ... Mieses, probably in time trouble ... does not see the point of it.  

38.Ne6 Rh4?;  (ugh) 
This is the first truly bad move that Black plays in this game. And the computers see an instant change in their evaluations of the position.

Black - understandably - wants to gain some counterplay, even pull off a trick or two by getting the Rook behind White's Pawn formation. BUT ... the move is a mistake, as it walks right into one of Marshall's justly famous tactical tricks.

If Black felt that he must continue this game, then the only move to do so was Ra4. If Mieses felt that this move was insufficient, then it was time to resign.  

[Better was: 38...Ra4 []; 39.Nc5 , and while White is clearly better, the win is not immediately in sight.]  

39.Nxg7! Rh1;   
Black has few good choices in this position ... he has lost an extremely valuable Pawn ... with absolutely nothing to show for it. 

[ Not 39...Kxg7??;  as  40.Nf5+,  wins easily for White. ("+/-") ]

 Black struggles the best he can in the ensuing ending ... but Marshall's play from here on out is virtually perfect in every respect.  
40.Ne8 Kf741.Nd6+ Ke642.Ne4 Rc1+43.Kd2 Rc844.b4 Ra845.Nc5+ Kd646.Kc3 Ra7;  (hmmm)  
There is really nothing left for Black here in this position but passive defence.  

[No improvement is:  46...a5?; ('??')  47.Nb7+ Kc6;  48.Nxa5+, ("+/-") 
  and all Black has accomplished is to drop another valuable Pawn.]  

 

47.Kc4 Ra848.Nf5+ Kc6!?;   
This is NOT an error - as some have even claimed here - Mieses has simply run out of good moves. (This move makes little or no real difference to most good programs.) ("An oversight - which shortens the agony." - GM S. Tarrasch) Actually Mieses later said he saw the fork, but did not see any good reason to "... continually retreat." (Backing up may be a violation of the {UN-written} laws of chivalry ... something that players of that period took very seriously.)  

[ Or 48...Kc7!?;  49.Nb3 Kb6; 50.Ne7, "+/-"  (Nd5+ next) with a fairly easy win for White. - GM Frank J. Marshall ]  

49.Nxa6! Kb6;  
By this time Mieses must have wanted to run away and hide. It is admirable how Marshall uses the tactics simply to increase his advantage with every move.  

[If 49...Rxa6??; 50.b5+, etc.]  

50.Nc5 Ra251.Ne3 Kc652.b5+ Kc753.Kd5!,   
"The shortest way is to go right after Black's King." - F. Marshall   

[Another method was: 53.Nd5+ Kd6; 54.Ne4+ Ke6; 55.g4, ("+/-") and of course White has a very easy win in this position.]  

53...Re2;  
At this point it does not matter what move Black might choose. 

[Or 53...Rb2!?;  54.Ke6 Rxb5!?;  55.Ne4 Rb6+;  56.Kf5 Kd7;  57.Nxf6+, ("+/-")  (and) Its an easy win for White.]  

 

White's next move is often given (incorrectly) as "Knight-to-f5."  {Check most electronic databases!}  
54.Nc4! Rxg255.b6+ Kb856.Nd6 Rd2+57.Ke6!, ("+/-")  Black Resigns, 1-0.  

A truly brilliant middle-game by the great Marshall, followed by an exceptionally accurate end-game. Really a joy to study!! Marshall - later in life - called this: "One of my best endings." (He also chose to include it in his book!)

"A beautiful game, truly one of Marshall's best efforts of the whole tournament." - Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch - Wiener Schachzeitung {He also said basically the same thing in his annotations of this game in the Book of the Tournament.} "A very well-played game," ... and ... "an excellent positional victory." - GM Andrew Soltis  

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Bibliography: The following books were the ones that I used, and I give them pretty much in the order in which they were consulted.

# 1.)  "My Fifty Years Of Chess," ('The triumphs of an American Chess Champion'); by GM Frank J. Marshall   
          [Originally published by the author and copyrighted by him, in (c) 1942.] Transferred to Digitial Printing and then   
           Copyrighted by the publisher, (Hardinge - Simpole, UK); in 2002. ISBN: # 1-84382-053-6  

# 2.)  THE Book of The Tournament, ("The book of the CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL (chess) Tournament of 1904.") 
         By F. Reinfeld. Printed / Copyright (c) 1935, New York. Published by "Black Knight Press." 
         (Thanks to a friend, I have a full photo-copy of the entire book!)

# 3.)  A copy of an old German magazine where Tarrasch annotated this game in some depth.

# 4.)  "FRANK J. MARSHALL, United States Chess Champion," ('A Biography with 220 games.'); by GM Andrew Soltis. 
          Copyright (c) 1994, 92-56699 CIP Published by McFarland & Co. (New York, London, NC/USA) 
          ISBN: # 0-89950-887-1

# 5.)  American Chess Almanac, 1904. 

# 6.)  A copy of the event's bulletins.

# 7.)  Many copies of old books, newspaper columns, and other items from various old magazines and other publications. 
          I also have a book in German on this player, and also a book by Olomouc on CS 1904.  

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Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I. / Copyright (c) A.J.G; 1997 - 2003. 
 Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2004. All rights reserved. 


Cambridge Springs 1904 Site | A.J. Goldsby's Marshall Page