Game 2
July 7, 1926

Frank James Marshall - Geza Maroczy [C11]

Pan American it/Lake Hopatcong, NJ USA (1) 1926


1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Qg4

The Gledhill Attack. C.S. Howell notes that it is "a line of play that suits Marshall's style, but is of doubtfull value theoretically. It seldom happens that a closed defence can be smashed by sandbag tactics in the early stages."

 

5... c5

5... b6?! Watson 6. Bg5! h5 7. Qg3 h4 8. Qg4

 

6. Nf3

Inadequate appears to be 6. Nb5 cxd4 7. Nf3 (7. Bf4?! Qa5+ 8. Bd2 Qb6 Watson) 7... Nc6 8. Nd6+ Bxd6 9. Qxg7 Bxe5 10. Nxe5 Qf6 11. Qxf6 Nxf6 12. Bb5 (12. Bf4!? Ke7 13. Nxc6+ bxc6 14. Be5 c5 15. b4 cxb4 16. Bxd4 Rg8 17. Bc5+ Kd7 18. Bxb4 a5 19. Ba3 Ba6 Watson) (12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. Bf4 Ke7 transposes) 12... Bd7 13. Nf3 Ne4 14. O-O (14. Bxc6 bxc6 15. Nxd4 Rg8 16. f3 Nd6 ) 14... f6 15. Bxc6 bxc6 16. Nxd4 c5 (16... e5!?) 17. Ne2 Kf7 18. f3 Nd6 19. b3 e5 20. Ba3 Rac8 21. Rad1 d4 22. Nc1 Nf5 23. Rf2 Ne3-+ 0-1 Bogoljubow,E-Reti,R/Maehrisch Ostrau 1923 (42)

 

6... Nc6

Howell calls this "the correct reply," and it is certainly adequate. But Black has had success with other moves:

a) 6... a6 7. dxc5 Qc7 8. Qg3 Nxc5 9. Bd3 g6 10. Bf4 Nc6 11. O-O Ne7 12. Rac1! Bg7 13. b4! Nd7 14. Ne2 O-O 15. Ned4 Nc6 16. Nxc6 bxc6 17. c4 dxc4!! 18. Bxc4 Qb8 19. Rb1 Nb6 20. Nd2 Rd8 21. Rfc1 Nd5! 22. Re1? (22. Bxd5 ) 22... Nxf4 23. Qxf4 Bxe5! 24. Rxe5 Rxd2 25. Qg5? (25. Qxd2 Qxe5= 26. Re1 ) 25... Qd6 26. Rbe1 Qd4 27. Bf1 Qxf2+ 28. Kh1 f6 29. Qe3 fxe5 0-1 Bogoljubow,E-Nimzowitsch,A/St Petersburg 1913/[Nimzowitsch] (29)

 

b) 6... cxd4 7. Nxd4!? (7. Qxd4 Nc6 8. Qf4 a6=) 7... Nxe5 8. Qg3 when Nimzovich and Howell both comment that this position is promising for White, but I don't see sufficient compensation after: 8... Nbc6 9. Bb5 (9. Be3 Nxd4 10. Bxd4 Nc6 11. Bb5 f6 12. O-O-O Kf7!?) 9... a6! (9... Bd7?! 10. Bxc6 Nxc6 11. Ndb5 Rc8 12. Bf4 ) 10. Bf4!? axb5 11. Bxe5 Nxe5 12. Qxe5 b4 13. Ncb5 f6 14. Qc7!? (14. Qh5+ g6 15. Qe2 Kf7 ) 14... Be7

7. Bb5?!

Reminiscent of Gurgenidze's way of handling the Steinitz Variation against the French, but White has lost a tempo in putting his Queen on g4. Perhaps 7. Be3!? cxd4 8. Bxd4 Nxd4 9. Qxd4 may yield something better than the game line after, say, 9... Bc5 (9... Qc7 10. Bd3 Bc5 11. Qf4 f6 12. Nb5 Qa5+ 13. c3 fxe5 14. Nxe5 Rf8 15. Qg5 Bxf2+ 16. Kd1 ) 10. Qg4 O-O 11. Bd3 f5 12. Qf4 Qb6 13. Nd1!? and this may almost be playable for White.

 

7... cxd4! 8. Nxd4

8. Bxc6 dxc3! 9. Bxd7+ Bxd7

 

8... Nxd4

8... Ndxe5 9. Qg3 a6 also leads to a likely advantage, as examined above.

 

9. Qxd4 a6 10. Bxd7+

A sad necessity due to the weak pawn at e5 and the exposed White Queen: 10. Bd3?! Qc7! 11. f4 Bc5 12. Qa4 O-O leaves White's Queen quite embarrassed. The alternative 10. Be2 might preserve the Bishop, but Black is better after 10... Qc7 11. f4 Bc5 12. Qd3 b5

 

10... Bxd7 11. O-O Rc8 12. Qg4 h5!?

12... Rc4! 13. Qg3 Qh4 is another unusual but effective way of asserting Black's long-term superiority.

 

13. Qg3 h4 14. Qd3 h3!

The pawn advance creates light-square weaknesses in White's camp that Black's "extra Bishop" will be able to exploit.

 

15. g3 Qc7 16. Re1 Qc4

It probably takes too long for Black to reorganize his forces to develop play on the long diagonal: 16... b5!? 17. a3 Bc6 18. f4 Bb7 19. Be3 d4! (19... Qc6?! 20. Bd4=) 20. Bxd4 Qc6 21. Ne4 Qxc2 22. Qf3!? (22. Qxc2 Rxc2 23. Nf2 )

 

17. Be3 Qg4 18. Qe2 Qf5 19. Rad1 Rc4 20. Rd4 Bb4 21. f4

White must lose a pawn or suffer problems on the long diagonal. 21. Rxc4 dxc4 22. f4 (22. Qxc4? Qf3 23. Qf1 Bc6 and forces mate.) 22... Bxc3 23. bxc3 may be a better try, but Black must win eventually due to White's terrible pawns and light-squared weaknesses.

 

21... Bxc3 22. bxc3 Rxc3 23. Rc1 Bb5 24. Qd2 Rc4 25. a4!?

Howell notes: "Marshall, a Pawn down, and entirely on the defensive, where he does not like to be, now plays desperately, hoping to arrive at a position in which perpetual check will be possible." In other words, Marshall knows he is lost and so hopes for a swindle. The exchange of pieces by 25. Rxc4 Bxc4 (which keeps lines closed) was therefore entirely not to his liking.

 

25... Rxa4 26. c4?! Rxc4 27. Rcxc4 Bxc4 28. Rxc4?

All part of the desperate plan conceived earlier.

 

28... dxc4 29. Qd6 Qd3

Some of Marshall's fantasy lines must have included the following:

a) 29... Rh6?? 30. Qb8+ Kd7 31. Qxb7+ Kd8 32. Bb6+ Ke8 33. Qc8+ Ke7 34. Qd8#

 

b) 29... Qe4 30. Qb8+ Kd7 (30... Ke7?? 31. Qc7+ Ke8 32. Qc8+ Ke7 33. Bc5#) 31. Qd6+ Kc8 32. Qc5+ Qc6! though Black wins here too.

30. Bd4 Qd1+ 31. Kf2 Qd2+ 32. Kf3 Qg2+ 33. Ke3 Qd5

"Maroczy, however, finds the way to block the Amerian champion's plans and get his King into safety" writes Howell. White is lost.

 

34. Qb8+ Qd8 35. Qxb7 O-O 36. Qxa6 Qc8 37. Qa1 Rd8 38. g4 Qb7 39. f5 Qb3+ 40. Kf4 Qd3 41. Be3 c3

 

1-0

[Michael Goeller]

Game in PGN