General Category => Books => Topic started by: Capablanca on January 25, 2010, 11:53:58 PM

Title: Soltis' book on Marshall
Post by: Capablanca on January 25, 2010, 11:53:58 PM
Got the book via Barnes & Noble (hard cover for $44) and I've been going through it for the past week. The book is a mixture of bio and annotated games. Not great as a pure annotated game collection, not great as a bio. Nevertheless, it achieves a good enough mixture of both to give a good picture of Marshall's play. That guy could be just plain nuts in the opening and had some wacky (sometimes purely disturbing) ideas, but all he wanted to do was get to the middlegame and go crazy or go for swaps and beat players at endgames.

In terms of openings, he used the Staunton Gambit against the Dutch and I'm wondering if I can play that in tournament play. I guess I can get away with it for a while in class tournaments, but I'll have to look at the theory in more detail. I'm wondering also about his beloved "Franco-Sicilian". I guess I'll have to hit some opening theory and look more into this. As we know, his attack on the Ruy Lopez as Black is sound although his Marshall Defense against the Queen's Gambit was refuted a long time ago. Once I blundered with the move order (paying more attention to the moves I was recording than to the moves made) and after 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d5?? ended up on the Black side of the Marshall Defense. I never got even started in that game.  :P

Anyway, it's a good book to get a taste of Marshall's play, but not a definitive bio like Winter's on Capablanca. The problem with going over his games is that his attacking madness can be contagious. I just played a game online and sacked two pieces for two pawns and to keep my opponent's king in the center out of my usual 1. c4! Well, he asked for it. He wanted to transpose to the Slav and then he got all greedy with that extra pawn on the queen wing. Yep, I won it with a pretty slash & burn mate. ;D