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Are you afraid of the Marshall attack ?

  • rollingpawns
  • | Sep 25, 2008
  • | 6591 views
  • | 9 comments

 Ruy Lopez, Marshall attack, are you afraid of it?

You actually should be (frankly, I am afraid to play it for White). Two world champions played/play anti-Marshall lines to avoid it - Gary Kasparov, Kramnik, same with quite a few other GMs ,  why?

Kramnik vs. Leko, 2004, World Chess Championship.  Leko as Black played Marshall attack 4 times, 3 times Kramnik avoided it, drew, 4th time accepted, played a novelty - Leko found a hole in it and won.

Recent game,  Anand-Aronian, Morelia-Linares 2008, final blow, 30.  ... Re2-e3! (31. fxe3 Qxf3):

GMs Adams and Nunn like to play it as Black, the result?

On www.chessgames.com:

Adams - 29 games - 8 wins, 4 losses, 17 draws,  Nunn - 27 games - 7 wins, 3 losses, 17 draws.

So, what is it, how it appeared?

Frank Marshall first introduced it again Capablanca in 1918.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 (The Marshall Attack)

9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 ( the best move, Marshall played 11. ... Nf6 )

followed by 12. ... Bd6 and then often 13. ... Qh4.  White's king side has no defenders and as Marshall himself said, "the attack gives Black many winning chances and should be good for at least a draw."

Here is the my best game so far using Marshall attack, played recently on FICS:

( 12. d3 Bd6 13. Re1 Qh4 14. g3 Qh3 15. Nd2 Bg4 ):

After 15. ...Bg4 white plays 16. Qc2, this allows combination ( now I understand why white in many variations exchange bishop on b3 for night on d5)  16.  ... Nf4!

 

White resigned ( 17.  exf4 - forced ... Bxf4 18. Nf3 Bxf3 with mate on g2).

Playing it online, I have so far 22 wins, 7 losses, 4 draws, 73% score. Because a few of the opponents had lower rating than me, the more exact characteristic will be my performance rating. It is 120 points higher than my average rating ( meaning I play like I have rating higher than mine by 120 ). For comparison my performance rating in Benko gambit is +25.

Of course, Marshall attack is not a recipe for guaranteed win, there are many good defenses for White ( by the way Anand has good results with White, but your opponent is not him, right?), so you take risks, but if you want to get an attack with Black pieces just after  first 16-18 moves, where for your opponent every move is like crossing the minefield ( step aside of the safe path and you are blown up - see above ) you would definitely try it.

Comments


  • 5 years ago

    rollingpawns

    figrock - definitely you should. I play it now for White too :).

  • 5 years ago

    figrock

    Hum...Maybe I should try it..? Undecided

  • 6 years ago

    rollingpawns

    Fresh - Just to let you know, that mainline begins from 12. d4, see for example:

    http://www.chess-theory.com/enva0299c89_links_chess_theory_eco_codes_base.php

    So, all the games I mentioned are mainline. If there is one freaking line - 18.a4 f5, not even variation, let alone mainline, looking not good in the analysis, so be it. There a Spassky variation in mainline -  18.a4 Qh5 . Thanks god, as you say - it " still has a chance". Yeah, looks like Spassky and Kramnik liked it more, than f5 and played it pretty well. By the way, f5, not f4 as you repeatedly said. 

    So, the mainline is not busted, see www.chessgames.com for C89:

    move games win-draw-loss %
    12. d4  339

    28.6%

    43.1%

    28.3%

    I would like to see another opening, which will give you 50% score for black. 

    LostCauseOne - I just saw your comment, really appreciate it.

  • 6 years ago

    Fresh

    17. ... Qh5 18.Qf1 Re7 19.a4 Rfe8 20.Bxd5 Qxd5 21.axb5 axb5 22.Bf4 Rxe1 23.Rxe1 Rxe1 24.Qxe1 Bf8 25.Qe4 f6 26.Qxd5+ cxd5 27.Bc7 Kf7 28.Bb6 Bd6 29.Bc5

    From the 2nd game you posted.  At this point they have already left the mainline, which the analysis does not in fact cover.  I was only referring to the mainline Marshall, so... yeah, I don't understand the relevance to my post.  I am not saying the entire gambit is busted, I was saying the mainline is.  That's it.  Anand as black has almost always veered away from playing the book mainline, instead playing Qh5 like you show here, and all the other winning GMs seem to prefer, because the book mainline is unfortunate for Black.

     

    The third game shows the Qh5 variation which AGAIN is not the mainline.  It is the variation that serious analysis shows still has a chance.  I am talking about about 18 ... f4 lines, you have shown games out of those variations.  Whether the analysis made noise before, it has yet to be refuted and your great games show that it was avoided at top level play.

     


  • 6 years ago

    rollingpawns

    Your refutation is dated 1998, yeah, it was some noise on the Web, seem a bit outdated. What about this:

    Anand,V (2798) - Ivanchuk,V (2781) [C89]
    Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (1), 02.09.2008
    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Be3 Bg4 16.Qd3 Rae8 17.Nd2 Re6 18.Qf1 Qh5 19.f3 Rf6

    So, why champion of the world didn't play your line? Yeah, probably he didn't know it, so he choose something else. By the way, he ended up one pawn less in the endgame, was under strong attack all the time, lucky fot him Ivanchuk was in time trouble, draw. Another one:

     

    Anand,V (2786) - Leko,P (2738) [C89]
    Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (2), 24.06.2007
    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Be3 Bg4 16.Qd3 Rae8 17.Nd2 Qh5 18.Qf1 Re7 19.a4 Rfe8 20.Bxd5 Qxd5 21.axb5 axb5 22.Bf4 Rxe1 23.Rxe1 Rxe1 24.Qxe1 Bf8 25.Qe4 f6 26.Qxd5+ cxd5 27.Bc7 Kf7 28.Bb6 Bd6 29.Bc5 ½–½.

     

    By the way Anand playing Marshall attack as White has better than any GM results, good plus.

    Just found this perl:

    [Event "16th Amber Tournament (Blindfold)"]
    [Site "Monaco"]
    [Date "2007.03.24"]
    [Round "7"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [White "Peter Leko"]
    [Black "Vladimir Kramnik"]
    [ECO "C89"]
    [WhiteElo "2749"]
    [BlackElo "2766"]
    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5
    7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Rxe5 c6
    12. d4 Bd6 13. Re1 Qh4 14. g3 Qh3 15. Be3 Bg4 16. Qd3 Rae8
    17. Nd2 Re6 18. a4 Qh5 19. axb5 axb5 20. Qf1 Bh3 21. Bd1 Qf5
    22. Qe2 c5 23. Nf3 Bf4 24. Qd2 Nxe3 25. fxe3 Bh6 26. Qf2 Rfe8
    27. Ne5 Qxf2+ 28. Kxf2 f6 29. Bg4 Rxe5 30. Bxh3 Bxe3+ 31. Kf3
    cxd4 32. Rad1 dxc3 33. bxc3 Bb6 34. Rxe5 Rxe5 35. Rd5 Re3+
    36. Kg2 Rxc3 37. Rxb5 Rc2+ 38. Kh1 Bc7 39. Be6 Kf8 40. Bb3 Rc3
    41. Kg2 g6 42. Bd1 Ke7 43. Rb2 Rd3 44. Be2 Re3 45. Bf3 Ra3
    46. Re2 Be5 47. g4 Ke6 48. Be4 h5 49. gxh5 gxh5 50. Rf2 Bd4
    51. Rf3 Ra2+ 52. Kh3 Bg1 53. Bf5 Ke5 54. Kh4 Rf2 0-1

  • 6 years ago

    Fresh

    It is relatively understood, I think, that the main line of the Marshall for Black has been busted quite thoroughly.

    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 0-0 8. c3 d5!?

    The book mainline continues...

    9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Rxe5 c6 12. d4 Bd6 13. Re1 Qh4 14. g3 Qh3 15. Be3 Bg4 16. Qd3 Rae8 17. Ne2 Rd6 18. a4 f4?? 19. axb5!!

    There has been a significant amount of analysis from this point that has quite successfully blown up the rest of the Marshall lines from this point, assuming proper technique in the endgame. The argument goes that Black must now play 18... Qh5, which is much less concrete.

    Sample continutation from above:

    19 ... f4 20. Bxf4 Rxf4 21. Qf1 Qh5 22. bxc6 R4f6 23. Rxe6 Bxe6 24. Ra5! Rh6 25. h4 +-

    Or by taking back on b5

    19 ... axb5 20. Bxd5 cxd5 21. Qxb5! f4 22. Bxf4 Bxf4 23. Rxe6 Bxe6 24. gxf4 Qg4+ 25. Kh1 Qxf4 26. Qe2 and 2 pawns and some technique should do it.

     

    EDIT:  I'd love to play some games if you'd like.

  • 6 years ago

    rollingpawns

    Yeah, I actually spent 90 seconds on the first 22 moves last time, because it was familiar line ( and got bishop for 2 pawns ). I played Marshall attack OTB once, recently - drew ( had material advantage, then gave it back, could do better ). Thanks for the book reference.

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