During the past season, I played two games in which the opening choice was quite strange. I faced the lesser known Marshall defense. In my first game, I played against a beginner, so I did not think much of it. But then I saw it again in a much higher rated player. And this made me think that it was perhaps interesting to take a look at the opening.
The not so common Marshall defense
I quite liked the finish of this first game, but apart from that, I have not given it much attention. As mentioned above, the second game followed the same opening. But it also has some other interesting features. When analyzing this game, I took a look at the opening and found a better approach than the ones that were chosen in both these games. However, in the diagram below, we jump right into a critical position.
In the position below, white is clearly in control of the game. Black has no space, and no control over the center. And white has a nasty threat of a pawn fork on d6.
What to do?
As shown, I miscalculated and blundered a pawn. I missed an obvious defense. To quote Homer Simpson: "D'oh!" Another interesting thing (blunder) is that I managed to get my rook trapped in enemy territory. This is something I have done a couple of times before. Every time, I am thinking to myself that I am "invading" my opponent's position. But apparently, this is not the case. I have to stop making that sort of move, unless it is absolutely called for.
But as the title of this blog post suggests, there is a very cool feature about this game. I had the opportunity to sacrifice not only one piece, but two. A bishop and a rook for the promotion of a pawn. And then a second pawn, and suddenly there were two white queens on the board.
Go ahead, take my bishop!
A lot of people claim that having two ladies at once is a nice experience. And I can verify that it is. At least on the chess board.
So what do I take away from these two games?
- Don't play the Marshall defense as black!
- If you face the Marshall defense with white, play 4. Nf3!
- Don't "invade" with the rook unless there is a very(!) good reason to do so.
- Look for obvious ways to defend "crushing" attacks and tactics.
- Get two queens if you can.
As always, I appreciate any comments or suggestions for improvement of my analyses. Cheers!