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Marshall, Frank

Frank Marshall (1877-1944) was the first American to defeat a Soviet player in an international tournament (New York, 1924).  He reigned as U.S. Champion for 29 years, but only defended his title once when he defeated Ed Lasker (5-4) in 1923.  He was the first master to play more than 100 games simultaneously. In 1916 he played 105 players at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  He won 82 games, lost 8, and drew 15.  In 1922 he played 155 games simultaneously in Montreal.  He scored 126 wins, 21 draws, and 8 losses after 7 hours of play.  A week later he was able to replay 153 of the games from memory. What bothered him was forgetting the other two games.  He thought he was losing his memory.  He started the Marshall Chess Club in 1922 to rival the Manhattan Chess Club.  He claimed he played at least one game of chess every day for 57 years.  In 1904 he was proclaimed U.S. Chess Champion when Pillsbury declined a match with him because of illness.  Pillsbury died in 1906.  Marshall did not officially accept the title until 1909, when he won a match with Jackson Showalter, the champion before Pillsbury.  He announced his retirement in 1936 as U.S. Chess Champion.  He won 7 international tournaments without losing a game.    Marshall died returning home from a night of bingo.

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