Friday, 7 July 2017

A monster of your own creation

Over the last few years I have often used Joseph Blackburne as an example of a 'model' player for anyone who is looking for a chess 'hero' to study. Another player who falls into that category is Frank Marshall, especially for players more comfortable with 1.d4 as an opening.
His career spanned more than 50 years, and included a 27 year reign as US Champion. Unlike his contemporaries (with the possible exception of Alekhine), Marshall used 1.d4 as an attacking opening, figuring it was easier to build an attack from closed positions, rather than find one after 1.e4 e5. Nonetheless he had a varied opening repertoire, with a number of significant variations carrying his name.
His black defences were equally enterprising, keeping up with change in opening theory. An extreme example of this was shown in the following game, where he played the Nimzo-Indian Defence against its creator. Not only did he outplay Aaron Nimzowitsch, he won the tournament "Best Game Prize" as well.

Nimzowitsch,Aaron - Marshall,Frank James [E34]
British Empire Club Masters London (6), 1927

No comments: