Sunday, October 6

Marshall-Duras match: Marshall saves fourth game with help of stalemate "swindle"

United States Champion Frank J. Marshall yesterday employed one of his classic "swindles" to save an apparently hopeless endgame against Czech Master Oldrich Duras in the fourth game of their match at the Manhattan Chess Club.  The drawn result gives Marshall a 3 1/2 - 1/2 lead in the contest, whose final game will be played tomorrow.

Duras, playing White, opened with the c-pawn, with the game soon transposing into the Queen's Gambit Declined.  The Bohemian expert, playing his best chess of the series, established a sizable advantage, gaining one pawn at the 19th move, another at the 26th, and a third at his 38th turn.  Marshall, as is his wont, fought on undaunted against the heavy odds, offering strong resistance in a Rook endgame despite the three-pawn deficit and keeping a constant watch for the slightest chance of salvation.  Such an opportunity at last arose at the 47th move after Duras' 47.b5?, a momentary oversight met by Marshall's surprising 47...Rg4+!, the Rook being immune from capture owing to stalemate.  Duras, eschewing a possible repetition of moves, chose to play on, after which Marshall with 51...Rxb5 captured the White b-pawn.  Later, at his 54th turn, the U.S. Champion pocketed the White a-pawn as well, thus leaving Duras only one pawn to the good, an advantage the visitor was unable to exploit in view of the strong position of the Black pieces and the unfortunate placing of his own.  The players agreed to share the point at the 76th move, the result being a draw that will surely take its rightful place among Marshall's most clever "swindles."

We append the game score, with a diagram of the position before White's 47.b5.

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