Who is Frank Marshall?

In the world of Chess, we all hear the famous name of Frank Marshall. He is an eminent and popular and most interesting and colourful chess player from the year 1990. He was first appeared on the chess scenario to the mid-thirties. At that point of time, he was the member of successful US Olympic team.


Frank Marshall was born in the year 1877 on August 10. His family was shifted to Montreal, Canada while he was just 8 years old. His father was a very good, well-known and popular chess player. He gave lessons about chess while Frank was just 10 years old. From that very particular age, young Marshal showed interest and promise at the chess game. After that, he was advised to visit the Hope Coffee House where the best and eminent players of chess of the city gathered.

During the age of 13, he was recognized as one of the best and popular chess players of Montreal, Canada. At the age of 15, he won the Championship of Montreal Chess Club as well. In the year 1893, William Steinitz visited Montreal and showed his simultaneous presentation. In this presentation, Marshal also took part. But Marshal had to lose the game in 26 moves. But William praised him for his courage and promise at the chess game.

Later in his life:

During the age of 19, Marshal returned to US and started to live in Brooklyn. At that time, he was entered to the Chess Club of Manhattan and Brooklyn Chess Club. When he was just 22, he won both the championship. After that, these two club financed Marshal’s trip to London for participating the tournament in the year 1899. He participated in the main tournament and won that as well. One year later from that time, Marshal participated in the famous and well-known tournament in Paris. At that time, Marshal was strong and competent enough to give challenges to Lasker in order to get the World’s Champion title.

In the year 1904, Marshal won the title of US championship but he could not accept the trophy or the title due to absence of ailing Pillsbury. We all may know the nick name of Marshall was The Great Swindler. He was well known by this famous nickname.

Marshal’s peak:

If you consider the calculation of his life, you can see that Marshal reached his peak time in the year 1913. He was considered as the second popular and best player of that time after Akiba Rubinstein. But if you see the list of best players in history, you can see that Sonas put Marshal at the number 29. He was in front of Peter Leko and behind Mikhail Chigorin.

Marshal also won the gold medal at the chess Olympiad in Hamburg in the year 1930, in Folkstone in the year 1933, in the year 1935 in Warsaw and in the year 1937 in Stockholm.

History of Marshall Chess Club:

Marshal was opened his chess club in the year 1915. It quickly attracted some reputed and well known players of that time. Primarily, the club met in people’s home before a cub house was purchased officially. In the year 1922, the club was officially incorporated. For many more years, the rival of this club was Manhattan Chess Club. Marshal beautifully led his club till his death in the year 1944. After his death, his wife took the charge for some time.

In Marshal’s Chess Club, there are so many events and adult classes organized by the admins for the welfare of chess players. There are also chess coaching classes for the knowledge of the chess players.

During the last years of his life, Marshal played more bridge and bingo. After returning home from Jersey where he had gone for an evening of bingo, he collapsed when walking and died. Three hundred people were there to attend the funeral of Frank Marshal. He is still remembered as a great American Chess player. He got so many titles, awards and achievements during his lifetime. His life was full of colours. Marshal enjoyed the game of chess very much. He was also very much creative in the opening theory. He enriched the opening games with gambits. These now bear his name. Other variations such as Queen’s Gambit, French Defence and Sicilian Defence are named after Frank Marshall.