Monday, May 2, 2016

Marshall Gambit in French Defence

US Champion Frank Marshall had a gambit or offbeat line for every opening. My friend David Parsons sometimes played the Marshall Gambit of the French Defence against me. Below are two of those games.

This classical line begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 c5. Many years ago Rick Kennedy and Riley Sheffield wrote a detailed analysis of this line in their book "The Marshall Gambit: in the French and Sicilian Defenses".

Frank Marshall was known to play the Diemer-Duhm Gambit 3.c4 as White. The line 3.Nc3 c5 for Marshall as Black is logical. In each case Marshall attack the opposing d-pawn with his c-pawn. Below White gets the better position, but this variation does present some less common issues for White.

The big question is “Can White win a pawn and keep it?” White will normally capture on both d5 and c5. This leaves the new d5 pawn in jeopardy. Black hopes for extra play. That did not work well in these games, because White also gets extra play.

Sawyer (2011) - Parsons (1682), Williamsport, PA 1994 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 c5 4.exd5 exd5 5.dxc5 Nf6 [5...d4 6.Ne4!? Qd5 7.Qe2 Be6 8.c4!? Qf5 9.Nf3 Bxc5? 10.Nxd4 Bxd4 11.Nd6+ Kd7 12.Nxf5 Bxf5 13.Qf3 1-0 Sawyer - Parsons, Williamsport PA 1994] 6.Bg5?! [6.Be3+/=] 6...d4 [6...Bxc5=] 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Nd5!? Qe5+? [8...Qe6+ 9.Qe2+/=] 9.Qe2 Qxe2+ 10.Bxe2 [10.Nxe2!+-] 10...Kd7 [10...Kd8 11.0-0-0+/-] 11.b4 Nc6 12.Rd1 Be7 [12...Ne7 13.Nc3+-] 13.Bg4+ [13.Nf3+-] 13...Kd8 14.Bxc8 Rxc8 15.Nf3 a5 16.b5 [16.a3+-] 16...Bxc5 [16...Nb4 17.Nxb4+/-] 17.bxc6 Re8+ 18.Ne3 Rxc6 19.Nxd4 Rd6 20.Nb5 Rxd1+ 21.Kxd1 Bxe3 22.fxe3 Rxe3 23.Re1 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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