Frank Marshall

Frank Marshall

| 1 | Chess Players


    Frank James Marshall was born on the west side of Manhattan on August 10, 1877.

    He was taken to Montreal when he was 8 years old and lived there for 11 years.

    He learned the game of chess at age 10 from his father, Alfred.

    In 1890 he joined the Montreal Chess Club and became a leading chess player there.

    On November 13, 1893 he played world chess champion Steinitz when Steinitz was giving a simultaneous exhibition in Montreal. Marshall lost, but the game was published in a Montreal magazine.

    In 1894 he won the championship of the Montreal Chess Club.

    In 1896 he returned to New York and became a professional chess player. He immediately joined the Manhattan Chess Club and the Brooklyn Chess Club.

    In 1897 he won the junior championship of New York.

    In 1899 he won the championship of the Brooklyn Chess Club. He then set sail for Europe to play chess. He won the minor tournament in London that year.

    He tied for 3rd in Paris in 1900, behind Lasker and Pillsbury. He defeated both in that event.

    In 1904 he was the winner of Cambridge Springs with 11 wins and 4 draws. A tournament was then arranged in St Louis for all the top players in the country. Marshall won it and was given the title of US Champion. But Marshall did not accept this title because US Champion Pillsbury did not play (he was suffering from syphilis).

    On January 6, 1905 Frank Marshall married Caroline. The next day they were both on a ship to Paris for a chess tournament.

    At the end of 1905 Frank Jr was born.

    In 1906 he took 1st place at Nuremberg.

    In 1906 Pillsbury died and Marshall was acknowledged as the US champion. Marshall refused the title until 1909 when he played a match for the title with Showalter.

    In 1907 he played Lasker for the world championship and lost 8 games, winning none and drawing 7. They played their match in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Chicago, and Memphis from January 26 to April, 1907.

    In 1909 he played Capablanca in a match and won 1 game, lost 8, and drew 14.

    In 1909 he defeated Showalter in a match and claimed the US championship.

    In 1913 he took 1st place at Havana.

    At St. Petersburg in 1914, he became one of the 5 original "grandmasters" of chess. The other four were Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, and Tarrasch.

    In 1915 he opened the Marshall Chess Club (Marshall's Chess Divan at Keene's Chop House).

    In 1920 he won the American Chess Congress.

    In 1922 the Marshall Chess Club was incorporated. That year he played 155 games simultaneously in Canada, a world record. He scored 126 wins, 21 draws, and 8 losses in just over 7 hours.

    He defended his US championship title, once, in 1923. He beat Edward Lasker.

    In 1924 he took 4th at the great New York 1924 International, behind Lasker, Capablanca, and Alekhine.

    In 1936 he relinquished his US championship title to Sam Reshevsky who won a tournament for the US championship, sponsored by the National Chess Federation, and held in New York. The Marshall Chess Club donated the trophy. Marshall held the the US title for 29 years.

    In 1942 he published My Fifty Years of Chess, ghosted by Fred Reinfeld.

    In 1944 Marshall was still playing chess, including correspondence chess during World War II.

    On November 9, 1944 he was walking to some friend's house around 7:30 pm when he collapsed and died in the street of a heart attack. He was 67. For 57 years he played chess almost every day. He took a pocket chess set to bed with him at night so that he might record a game or position from his dreams.

    His wife, Caroline, ran the Marshall Chess Club until her death in 1971.


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