NAME: Frank James Marshall
BIRTHDATE: August 10, 1877
BIRTHPLACE: New York City
CREDENTIALS: United States Chess Champion from 1909-1936. At St. Petersburg in 1914, Marshall became one of the five original grandmasters of chess. The other four were Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, and Tarrasch. When people talk about the greatest move ever made in chess, a move made by Marshall against Stefan Levitsky in 1912 invariably is raised as a candidate.
MODUS OPERANDI:
Famous for his fierce tactical style. His play is often described as being characterized by an aggressive attitude, combinational skill, and pure imagination
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:
Learned chess from his father around age 8 (some say 10, others 12) while living in Montreal. While famous for being an aggressive player at the board, stories about him are full of anecdotes about exceptional sportsmanship toward other players. For example, he declined opportunities to be named the new U.S. Champion because the reigning champion, Harry Pillsbury, was not able to defend his title at the time; he insisted that a young player who had soundly defeated him (Jose Capablanca) be given a chance to compete in a world-class tournament even though he did not officially qualify. (Capablanca won the tournament!) Marshall was legendary for devising spectacular traps and combinations. His tactics were often--but not always!--sound. Others have supported his report that after a brilliant move in 1912 [an animated version of the complete game will be added to this page], The spectators were so excited by it that they began throwing me gold coins! He was the founder of the world-famous chess club in New York that bears his name. He died in 1944 at age 67 from a heart attack.