United States Champion Frank J. Marshall yesterday defeated Bohemian Master Oldrich Duras in 36 moves to take the initial contest of their five-game series at the Manhattan Chess Club. Marshall, playing White, opened with the Queen's Pawn, with the game soon entering the lines of the 2...c6, or Slav, Defense to the Queen's Gambit. The American Champion seemed to enjoy a slight advantage throughout, and Duras expended a great deal of thinking time in the attempt to hold the balance - indeed, by his 21st turn the Czech found himself with only seven minutes remaining of his two hours allotted to reach the 30th move. Duras survived this crisis, but soon thereafter committed a blunder with 35...Nf7, allowing Marshall to win Queen for Rook and Knight with 36.Re1. Feeling that further resistance was pointless, Duras thereupon resigned.
We have some slight doubts as to the complete accuracy of the game score, as it seems to us that Duras might have won the exchange by playing ...Nb4 at either the 33rd or 34th move. Our own level of skill, however, lies far, far below that of the contestants in this series, and so we leave such judgments to those better qualified to make them.
The second game will be played tomorrow.