His family moved back to New York in 1895. We really don’t see his rise until the turn of the century when he won the US championship in 1904 but never accepted the title because the defending champion, Harry Nelson Pillsbury, didn’t compete ( due to illness). In 1906 Pillsbury died and Marshall again refused the championship title until he won it in competition in 1909.
He took some thrashings from Capablanca and Dr. Lasker during this period but I think it only made him stronger. He came back strong in 1914 at St. Petersburg finishing fifth ahead of players like Nimzovitch, Janowski, and Rubenstein.
He filled a void in American Chess after Pillsbury death. He started the Marshall Chess Club in 1915.
He got a reputation as a Swindler for several come from behind wins. I always like an underdog story because it rings close to home. At New York 1924, his reputation made his stronger opponents more cautious. Take his draws against Alekhine in rounds 7 and Round 20. Alekhine comes out and admits to being cautious in round 20 and “not accepting a Grecian gift” and later giving back material after Marshall’s positional sacrifice in the game. Alekhine’s only salvage was to provide a perpetual check.
He draws Capablanca twice in rounds 10 and 16 with the former champion. Marshall demonstrates he’s an equal match in the Capablanca’s endgame especially in the game in round 10 where, despite being down a pawn in the endgame, Marshall is able to hold on for the draw.
The game I want to go into detail is the one that gave him a Brilliancy prize at the event in the round 18 Marshall versus Bogoljubow game. ( Note: AA means remarks by alexander Alekhine from the tournament book)
(89) Marshall,F - Bogoljubow,E [D52]
New York New York (18), 03.1924
THE SECOND BRILLIANCY PRIZE GOES TO MARSHALL
1) The Spirit of Pillsbury is in this game
2) Bogoljubow appeared to not play well cooredinated.
3) Marshall plays a strong central attack and aggressively goes after the weakened King's side
4) Offering both his rooks, Marshall's Queen and Bishop prove deadly on the weak king.
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 Marshall plays in the spirit of Pillsbury. 3...d5 4.e3 Nbd7 5.c4 c6 Bogoljubow plays a Slav-Meran defense. The c6 move actually prepares movement for the Queen to attack White's vulnerable b-pawn and Queen's side.6.cxd5 exd5 7.Nc3 Qa5 AA: The beginning of Bogoljubow's demise. Better ( according to Alekhine) is: [7...Be7 8.Bd3 Ne4 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Bxe4 dxe4 11.Nd2 Nf6 12.Qc2 Bf5 13.0–0 0–0 14.f3 Rfe8] 8.Bd3 Taking care of e4 is important. Unless Black plays Bb4 this is important. 8...Ne4 9.Qc2 Nxg5 10.Nxg5 h6 (Diagram)
He has all the makings for a Pillsbury attack and plays this preventative move to keep the pressure on the diagonal. 18...Bd7 19.Qc2 Bc6 20.dxc5 Bxc5 21.Kh1 When the f-pawn is advanced, moving the king off the a7-g1 diagonal is wise. Alekhine sees a doubel threat of e4 adn Ng4 21...Re8 (Big diagram)
He draws Dr. Em Lasker in round 9 with a very dynamic game as he sacs a rook to create dynamics. Lasker gets resourceful and returns the material at the right moment.
On November 9, 1944, Marshall was returning home from Jersey City where he had gone for an evening of bingo. He collapsed while walking on Van Vorst Street and died. Three-hundred people attended his funeral at the Greenwich Presbyterian Church on November 13. His friend Napier said, “It seems to me that an epoch began with this man.”