Game 5
July 9, 1926

Frank James Marshall - Abraham Kupchik [D13]

Pan American it/Lake Hopatcong, NJ USA (3) 1926


1. d4 Nf6

A speedy Marshall win with the Slav Exchange line of the present game went 1... d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Nc3 Bf5?! 5. Qb3 Qd7? 6. e4! (6. Qxd5 Nc6 7. e4 Qxd5 8. Nxd5 O-O-O ) 6... dxe4 (6... Bxe4 7. Nxe4 dxe4 8. Bb5 Nc6 9. d5+-) 7. Bb5 Nc6 8. d5 e6 9. dxc6+- 1-0 Marshall,F-Tennenwurzel,E/New York 1911 (24)

 

2. c4 c6 3. Nc3

White must allow the transposition to the Slav Defense as 3. d5?! is a waste of time, allowing Black easy equality in a number of ways, most easily perhaps by a transposition to a King's Indian where White's d5 weakens the dark squares and allows Black's fianchettoed Bishop to dominate the long diagonal:

3... d6 (also possible are 3... cxd5 4. cxd5 Qa5+ 5. Nc3 b5!? ) (or 3... e5!?=) 4. Nc3 g6 5. e4 Bg7 6. f3 O-O 7. Be3 e6 8. dxc6 Nxc6= 9. f4?! (9. Qd2 d5! 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Nxd5 Nxd5 12. exd5 Re8! ) 9... d5! 10. e5 d4 11. exf6 Bxf6 12. Ne4 dxe3 13. Qxd8 Bxd8 14. Nf3 Bc7 15. g3 e5 16. fxe5 Nxe5 17. Nxe5 Bxe5 18. O-O-O Bg4 19. Rd5 Bf3 20. Rxe5 Bxh1 21. Nf6+ Kg7 22. Ng4 Rfe8 23. Rxe3 h5 24. Rxe8 Rxe8 0-1 Fraas,H-Upleger,M/Germany 1988 (24)

3... d5 4. cxd5

Howell notes: "Almost invariably, Marshall makes this capture against the [Slav] defense and before Black has advanced his [e-pawn]. The object is probably to force Black to keep his QB on the Queen side which would be left weak if the B were developed on the K side".

 

4... cxd5 5. Nf3

At New York 1924, Marshall had tried here 5. Qb3!? e6 6. Bf4 Nc6 7. Nf3 Be7 8. e3 Nh5 9. Bg3 O-O 10. Bd3 f5!? 11. Be5! Nf6 12. Bxf6 Rxf6 (see the note below on a similar capture) 13. Rc1 Bd6 14. Na4 Qa5+ 15. Nc3 Rb8 16. O-O a6 17. Na4 Bd7 18. Nc5 Qc7 19. Ne5 Be8 20. f4 and developed a winning advantage which he later squandered in 1/2-1/ 2 Marshall,F-Lasker,E/New York 1924 (62)

 

5... Nc6 6. Bf4 e6

This move is eventually necessary.

a) As indicated above, developing the queen's Bishop outside the pawn chain weakens Black's queenside, which White can exploit in a number of ways: 6... Bf5 7. e3

( The immediate 7. Qb3!? also favors White: 7... Na5 8. Qa4+ Bd7 9. Qc2 Qb6 10. e3 Rc8 11. Ne5 e6 12. Bd3 Nc6 13. Nxd7 Nxd7 14. a3 Matisons-Hrmodka 1925)

7... e6 8. Bb5

(8. Qb3 is also played)

8... Bb4

(a) 8... Bd6 9. Ne5 Rc8 10. Bxc6+ bxc6 11. O-O O-O 12. Rc1 Qe7 13. Na4 Bxe5 14. Bxe5 Nd7 15. Nc5 1-0 Kasparov,G-Dolmatov,S/Minsk 1979 (65))

 

(b) 8... Nd7!? 9. Qa4 (9. Qb3!? 1-0 Cvitan,O-Kiroski,T/Ohrid 2001 (25)) 9... Rc8 10. O-O a6 11. Bxc6 Rxc6 12. Rfc1 Be7 13. Ne2 Bd3 14. Rxc6 bxc6 15. Nc1 Bb5 16. Qc2 c5 17. a4 Bc6 18. dxc5 Nxc5? 19. b4+- 1-0 Petrosian,T-Sveshnikov,E/Moscow 1976 (28))

9. Ne5 Qa5 10. Bxc6+ bxc6 11. O-O Bxc3 12. bxc3 Rc8

(12... Qxc3 13. Qc1 Qxc1 14. Rfxc1 O-O 15. f3 h6 16. Nxc6 Rfe8 17. a4 Nd7 18. Bd6 Nb6 19. Bc5 Bd3 20. Nxa7! Rxa7 21. Bxb6 Ra6 22. a5+- 1-0 Botvinnik,M-Tal,M/Moscow 1961 (42))

13. c4 O-O 14. g4 Bg6 15. c5 Ne4 16. f3 Nd2 17. Rf2 Nc4 18. Nxc4 dxc4 19. Bd6 Rfe8 20. e4 1-0 Botvinnik,M-Pomar Salamanca,A/Amsterdam 1966 (41)

 

b) 6... Qb6!? 7. Na4 Qd8 8. Rc1 Ne4! 9. a3 e6 10. b4 Bd6 11. Bxd6 Qxd6 12. e3 (12. Nc5 = ) 12... Nxb4! 13. Nc5 Nc6 14. Bd3 Nxc5 15. dxc5 Qc7 16. O-O f5! 17. Nd4 O-O 18. Nb5 Qe7 19. Nd6 Ne5 20. Qb3 b6 0-1 Marshall,F-Nimzowitsch,A/San Sebastian 1912 (44)

7. e3 Be7

Other Bishop moves have also been played:

a) 7... Bb4 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Ne7 10. Rc1 Ng6 11. Bg3 Bd7 12. Qb3! Bxc3 13. Rxc3 Ne4 14. Bxe4 dxe4 15. Bc7 Qe7 16. Ne5 Bc6 (16... Nxe5 17. dxe5 Rfc8 18. Qxb7 ) 17. Nxc6 Qxc7 18. Ne5 Qd6 19. Nxg6 hxg6 20. Qxb7 1-0 Marshall,F-Schlechter,C/San Sebastian 1912 (33)

 

b) 7... Bd6 was Marshall's choice as Black: 8. Bxd6 Qxd6 9. Bd3 O-O 10. O-O e5

(Black likely must accept the isolani eventually if he is to get any play and there seems little to be gained by delaying the e-pawn's advance, e.g.: 10... Bd7!? 11. a3 Rac8 12. Rc1 e5 13. Nb5 Qb8 14. dxe5 Nxe5 15. Rxc8 Rxc8 16. Nxe5 Bxb5 17. Nf3 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 Qc7 19. Nd4 1-0 Stoyko,S-Lunna,T/Westwood, NJ 1985 (49))

11. Nb5 Qe7 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Be2

(a) 13. Rc1 Bg4! 14. Rc7 Qd8 15. Rxb7 Nxf3+ 16. gxf3 Bh3 17. Re1 Ne4! 18. f4 Qh4! (18... Nc5 ) 19. Bxe4 dxe4 20. Nd4 Rac8 21. Rb5?? Rc1! 22. Rg5 Rxd1 23. Rxd1 Bg4 24. Rc1 h6 0-1 Marshall,F-Vidmar,M/New York 1927 (24))

 

(b) 13. Nxe5!? Qxe5 14. Nd4 Ng4 15. g3 )

13... Nxf3+ 14. Bxf3 Be6?!

(Better 14... Bf5! 15. Rc1 Be4 unclear)

15. Qe2 Rfc8 16. Rfd1 Rc5 17. Rd4 Rac8 18. Nc3 Rc4 19. Rad1 Rxd4 20. Rxd4 h6 21. h3 Rc5 22. Qd3 Qc7 23. g4 g5?! 24. Kg2 Qe5 25. b4 Rc4 26. Nxd5! Bxd5 27. Rxd5 Rc3!? 28. Rxe5 Rxd3 29. Ra5 b6 30. Rxa7+- 1-0 Reinfeld,F-Marshall,F/New York 1941 (46)

8. Bd3 O-O 9. Rc1

An alternative way of playing the position would be 9. Ne5 trying for a direct kingside initiative, e.g.: 9... Nxe5 10. dxe5 Nd7 11. Qc2!? (11. Qh5!) 11... g6 (11... f5! 12. exf6 Nxf6 13. Be5 h6 14. O-O ) 12. h4 Nc5 13. h5 (13. Bh6! ) 13... Nxd3+ 14. Qxd3 g5! 15. Bg3 f5!

 

9... a6 10. O-O

10. Ne5!?

 

10... Nh5 11. Be5 f5

11... f6!? 12. Bg3 (12. Ng5?! Qe8! 13. Nxh7 fxe5 14. Nxf8 Bxf8 ) 12... Nxg3=

 

12. Na4 Nf6 13. Bxf6?!

This exchange seems ill-advised, yielding control over the dark squares to Black.

 

13... Bxf6

Howell notes: "In a somewhat similar situation, Lasker vs. Capablanca captured with the Pawn. 13... gxf6 13... Rxf6 has also been tried. It does not seem to have been decided which of the three methods is best. Disliking the whole structure of Black's game, I would incline toward [. ..gxf6] in the hope that I might some time be able to play [Pe5] or use the open [g-file]."

 

14. Nc5 Qd6 15. Qb3?!

Howell notes: "Not very good, as Black's reply shows." 15. Bb1 b6 16. Nd3 Bb7 "and eventually [Ne5]" suggests Howell, or perhaps 17. h4!? with the idea of Nf4.

 

15... b6! 16. Na4

16. Qxb6?? Rb8-+ traps the Queen and wins material.

 

16... Rb8!

16... b5?! 17. Nc5=

 

17. Qc3 Bd7 18. a3 Na5

18... e5!?

 

19. b4

This move loses a pawn, but perhaps Marshall felt that since the extra pawn was doubled the game would be difficult to win.

a) No better is 19. Bc2 Rfc8 20. Qd2 (20. Qd3? Bb5-+) 20... Bb5! 21. Rfd1 Nc4 22. Qb4 Qxb4 23. axb4 Bxa4 24. Bxa4 b5 (24... Nxb2? 25. Bd7 ) 25. Bc2 Nxb2-+

 

b) 19. Qc2 Rfc8 20. Nc3 b5 leaves Black fully in control.

19... Rfc8 20. Qb2 Bxa4 21. bxa5 bxa5 22. Rxc8+ Rxc8 23. h3 h6 24. Rb1 Kh7?!

Putting the King on the same diagonal as White's Bishop is most provocative and, as Howell notes, "it gives the ingenious Marshall something to play for on the K-side."

 

25. g4! g6 26. Qd2!? Qxa3

An irresistable morsel, as Marshall expected. Now the US Champion puts together a clever attack that forces a draw at least and gives him plenty of swindling chances.

 

27. Rb7+ Bg7 28. Qxa5 Rc1+

28... Qxd3 29. Qxa4 fxg4 30. hxg4 (30. Ng5+? hxg5 31. Rxg7+ Kxg7 32. Qd7+ Kf6! 33. Qxc8 Qd1+ 34. Kh2 Kf5! ) 30... Rc1+ 31. Kg2 Rb1=

 

29. Kg2 Qxd3 30. Qxa4 Rb1

White also draws after 30... Qf1+ 31. Kg3 f4+ 32. exf4 Rc3 33. Rxg7+! Kxg7 34. Qd7+=

 

31. Ra7!?

An immediate draw could be had by 31. Rxg7+ Kxg7 32. Qd7+ Kf6 33. Qd8+ Kg7 34. Qd7+ Kf8 35. Qd8+=

 

31... Qf1+ 32. Kg3 Rb2 33. Rxg7+ Kxg7 34. Qd7+ Kf6 35. g5+!?

Howell notes that "Most players would take the perpetual check at once with 35. Qd8+ Kg7 36. Qd7+ but Marshall, always courageous, still hopes he may outwit his opponent."

 

35... hxg5 36. Qd8+ Kg7[]

36... Kf7?? 37. Nxg5+ Kg7 38. Qe7+ Kh6 39. Qh7+ Kxg5 40. Qh4#

 

37. Qe7+ Kg8[]

37... Kh6?? 38. Qf8+!! Kh5 (38... Kh7 39. Nxg5#) 39. Qh8#

 

38. Qxe6+ Kg7 39. Qe5+ Kg8 40. Qxd5+ Kg7 41. Qe5+ Kg8

41... Kf8? 42. Qf6+ Ke8 43. Qxg6+

 

42. Qe8+ Kg7 43. Qe7+ Kg8 44. Qxg5 Qxf2+ 45. Kf4 Kf7 46. Qd8 Re2

Howell notes: "This assures the draw as White cannot allow [Qxe3+]".

 

47. Qd7+ Kf6 48. Qd6+ Kf7 49. Qd5+ Kf8 50. Qd8+ Kf7 51. Qd7+ Kf6 52. Qc6+ Kf7

52... Kg7 53. Qd7+ Kh6 54. Qe7 Rxe3! 55. Qf8+= (55. Qxe3?? g5+!-+)

 

53. Qc7+ Kf8 54. Qd6+ Kf7 1-0

Game in PGN