Tuesday, October 8

Marshall-Duras match: Duras wins final game in 16 moves; Marshall takes series 3 1/2 - 1 1/2

Oldrich Duras defeated Frank J. Marshall in only 16 moves to take the final contest of their five-game match at the Manhattan Chess Club.  Duras' victory, his first of the series, reduced the American Champion's margin of victory but could not alter the final result, which saw Marshall defeat his powerful Czech rival by the score of 3 1/2 - 1 1/2.

Marshall, already assured of overall success in the contest, opened the fifth game by offering the swashbuckling King's Gambit.  Duras replied in like spirit, opting for Falkbeer's Counter-Gambit 2...d5.  Battle was joined from the outset, with experts on the scene adjudging the position after a dozen moves as somewhat in favor of Black owing to the exposed position of the White King. That White was in difficulties became obvious to all when Marshall's 14.Kf1 allowed his Bohemian opponent to deliver the coup 14...Ng4!, after which the Black Bishop remains immune from capture owing to 15.Rxc5 Rhf8+, followed by mate, while 15.h3 would likewise fail to 15...Nh2 mate.  As played, the American Champion faced the unavoidable loss of a piece after 15.Bf4 Rhf8 16.Rxf8 Rxf8, and so resigned.

Despite the loss of a miniature in the final game, Marshall's victory in this series adds another success to his already-long list of achievements; as for Duras, who has seemed to struggle to find his best form on this, his first visit to the New World, there will always be another day.  That day may in fact dawn very soon, for the two Masters have made known their willingness to tour the country in order to engage in further contests similar to the one just concluded at the Manhattan Club.  Those chess societies interested in engaging the services of two of the foremost practitioners of our noble game may contact them through our offices or through those of our friends at the American Chess Bulletin.

We append the score of the fifth and final game of the Marshall-Duras series.



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