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Capablanca Explains Refuting The 1st Marshall Gambit - Best of the 1910s

Capablanca Explains Refuting The 1st Marshall Gambit - Best of the 1910s

SamCopeland
| 13

Few major chess openings can be traced to a specific origin, much less a particularly interesting one. The Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez is a rare and special exception. The perennial U.S. Champion Frank Marshall's deployment of 8...d5!! in the Ruy Lopez against none other than future World Champion Jose Capablanca introduced a sensational opening idea in a brilliant game.

Marshall famously misplayed his gambit with the very dangerous 11...Nf6?! when 11...c6 is now understood to be the best move, played by many of the greatest players in history and now considered so effective that White is best advised not to allow the Marshall. In the game, Marshall managed to create many threats and serious problems for Capablanca. Near-perfect play was needed by Capablanca to navigate the many threats.

Capablanca met Marshall's innovation no only with accuracy, but also with something resembling scorn, saying "I felt that my judgement and skill were being challenged by a player who had every reason to fear both."

I felt that my judgement and skill were being challenged by a player who had every reason to fear both.

Capablanca's determination to defeat Marshall by wading through the complications rather than circumnavigating them is much to be admired, and he was rewarded splendidly with the full point and plentiful plaudits.

Top 10 Games of the 1910s

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