Marshall's Attack is Actually Chigorin's Idea!

Marshall's Attack is Actually Chigorin's Idea!


In 1918, in New York, Frank Marshall sprung a novelty on Capablanca, and almost defetead the great Cuban. In this game the famous Marshall Attack was born. Among modern elite players, Leko and Aronian have both played it with success.

What I did not know is that the author of the idea of sacrificing the e-pawn was not Marshall, but Chigorin!

Chigorin was a pioneer in the world of chess. Numerous are his contributions to the royal game, and today we paytribute to just one of these contributions by the great Russian Master, Mikhail Chigorin.

Mikhail Chigorin

Recently I bought a chess book which is a treasure, "Mikhail Chigorin, the Creative Genius", by Jimmy Adams. It is 750 pages of chess lore and wisdom, and great stories and analysis....

In Ostend, 1905, Chigorin played a novel idea against Jean Taubenhaus- he sacrificed his e-pawn in a ruy Lopez, to obtain some piece activity...see the game, please:

If you look at the position after 16.Rxe5, we basically have a Marshall Attack....and Jimmy Adams writes: "It is astonishing, but before us lies the prototype of the Marshall Attack, introduced into practice after the sensational encounter Capablanca-Marshall, played in 1918, 13 years after this game. Marshall also played in Ostende and it is very likely that it was there in particular that he took note of Chigorin's method of counterattack beginning with the move 11....d5."

Dear readers, for reference, here is Marshall's game against Capablanca, played 13 years after the Chigorin game, in 1918 in New York.

Frank Marshall


Mikhail Chigorin, what a player!