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gibo ♡ 151 ( +1 | -1 )
Your choice against the marshall? The marshall gambit is 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Be7 7.Re1 0-0
As you can see in this position black sacrifices the pawn. However I find the position after the sacrificed pawn to be some what risky for white, where black has many practicle chances
e.g. 8.c3 d5! 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d3 (d4 may be better but is well known as a draw, black has simply to much piece activity) Bd6 13.Re1
Ill leave it here but you can see black gathers much piece activity and at the top level now days few players accept the pawn on offer, and play one of the many anti-marshalls. Here are some listed in no particularly order

8.a4 from this position black has several options most common are Bb7 and b4

8.h3 the setup for white in this position is most commonly h3 d3 a3, it hardly seems that promising for white in my opinion, kasparov nearly lost to shirov with the white pieces with this strategy in linares 2004. I wonder if after 8.h3 the gambit 8...d5 can be played??

8.c3 (but white is not going to accept the pawn) d5 9.d4!?

I have been thinking of what to play against the marshall, and like most players I am hoping to find an option of the anti-marshall variety. In the above anti-marshall options the third option appears quiet interesting to me, and could be an excellent suprised weapon, as it hasn't been played very much. 8.a4 also seems interesting kasparov nearly beat topalov with this variation in linares 2004.
What do you play with the white pieces against the marshall.
umpito ♡ 10 ( +1 | -1 )
marshall attack Charge ahead and accept the gambit! From what I've heard, 12. d4 is by no means a forced draw.

andersdanielsson ♡ 20 ( +1 | -1 )
Reply to marshall I'm playing a game at the moment where I'm using your 3rd line 8.c3. Feel free to check it out! board #1890858

gibo ♡ 172 ( +1 | -1 )
umpito i disagree The acceptance of the pawn followed by 12.d4 only offers white a draw. Here is a relatively modern day example of this line, where white can make no progress.

Ian Rogers 2535 - Michael Adams 2590
Manila Interzonal 1990
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 14. Re1 Qh4 15.g3 Qh3 16.Be3 Bg4 17.Qd3 (this is the resulting position from 12.d4, black has a few options here, most common is what is played in the game) 17...Rae8 (f5 is sometimes played here) 18.Nd2 Re6 19.a4 (and now we see the two strategies black will try to use the maximum of his piece activity of the kingside while white will try to breakthrough on the queenside) 19...Qh5 (and thus we can see the white queen is in a somewhat awquard position vulnerable to the black bishop) 20.axb5 axb5 21.Qf1 (even with an open a file white cannot find anything productive) 21...Bh3 22.Qe2 Bg4 (we can now see white has nothing better than a draw, very common in these lines is the fact that whites bishop is out of play somewhat and therefore the queen has no safe squares and perpetual is a common end to the game) 22.Qf1 Bh3 23.Qe2 Bg4 24.Qf1

In my database after blacks 17 move Rae8 white has a success rate of 50% which reflects the drawish tendancy of this line. Many players simply reject the pawn sacrifice for the fact that most don't like defending and prefer to have the intiative.
In looking at the gambit position 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 (where white has the options of d3 or d4) it is interesting to note, white players have only braved this position twice in 2004, both game were won by black!
andersdanielsson thank you for your comment it is good to see you trying this interesting move in the marshall i will watch your game with great interest.
peppe_l ♡ 69 ( +1 | -1 )
The question is Are the conclusions based on games of Super GMs relevant at your level?

For example after 8.a4 better player (tactics, strategy, endings) will win. IMO small theoretical nuances between 100% sound main lines are irrelevant unless your initials are G.M :-) Practical value is a different matter though, I guess Marshall scores so well because defending is more difficult than attacking (especially at amateur level, like you pointed out lots of players HATE defending :-)))

Why not choose the moves to play based on YOUR games? If you keep winning with certain line, who cares if Kasparov only managed to draw vs Kramnik...

Just my two cents.
anaxagoras ♡ 15 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree with peppe_l. For Joe Schmo amateur, learning opening theory (as we do here) has only limited impact on our win/loss/draw outcome.
More: Chess
gibo ♡ 87 ( +1 | -1 )
Well we can all class different parts of the game with different importance, and it is clear which you categorize the openings into peppe_l. While at this level your opinion is somewhat justified at our level, it remains true that taking your opponent into unfamiliar territory, in this case with the anti-marshall, can be most beneficial. I have won numerous games from opening advantages which are commonly gained through taking your opponent out of their comfort zone (knowledge of theory).
I believe it is also useful to have an understanding of the marshall position as it is very popular at the top level at present, and to understand the games played by gm's, an understanding of the marshall is important.
I for one, and i believe several others on gameknot, read NIC magazines and yearbooks, and an understanding of the marshall position and its possibilities is therefore most beneficial.
peppe_l ♡ 84 ( +1 | -1 )
Gibo Yes it is important to understand latest Marshall games from top level - if you are (top) GM yourself. Otherwise I believe Anaxagoras is correct. While studying master games is always useful, opening nuances have only limited impact on your chess skills.

"I have won numerous games from opening advantages which are commonly gained through taking your opponent out of their comfort zone (knowledge of theory)."

This is because so many chess players waste their time for learning opening theory and opening-specific, memorized patterns. Good for their opponents :-)

"I for one, and i believe several others on gameknot, read NIC magazines and yearbooks, and an understanding of the marshall position and its possibilities is therefore most beneficial."

This only proves people LOVE studying openings...
anaxagoras ♡ 59 ( +1 | -1 )
I used to think that too, gibo. Take any game that you think you won because of your opening, and then enter it into a good chess engine: you'll discover so many missed opportunities on either side it'll make your skin crawl. That's not to say that I don't try to play a great opening, but I'm totally convinced that it's not the part of my game that can improve the most. And one last thing, gibo, there are many chess players who play better than you and I who have never studied a line of opening theory, let alone a book on chess.
peppe_l ♡ 118 ( +1 | -1 )
Exactly Some time ago here at GK there was a discussion about openings. Basically all players claiming studying opening theory is extremely beneficial at our level were rated >1800. NONE of such comments came from players rated <1800. They _all_ pointed out openings are not so important at our level and one ought to focus on tactics and endings. Interesting, eh?

I know I cannot convince anyone. Chess masters and trainers go on and on about how amateur players spend too much time for openings, but still people keep buying Sicilian Najdorf books and 5-million game database CDs. Yeah, nice stuff for 2500 players who want to become 2550 players. Not so useful for players who memorize 25-move theoretical sequence they get to play once or twice in their lives, only to lose +/= position vs someone who has spent the same time for more important stuff. Then of course, instead of reading "Basics of Endings" or "ABCs of Tactics" our opening experts sell their Najdorf books and buy Sveshnikov books instead :-)

Gibo, I respect your opinions, but I guess we have to agree to disagree...
anaxagoras ♡ 48 ( +1 | -1 )
Judging from context, I think peppe_l meant his "<" to be in the opposite direction. Anyway, I thought I might add that I do use opening theory here at GK. It is helpful for avoiding common mistakes and for exploiting the mistakes of others, and I do learn a little bit along the way. But I have no fear of playing theoretically inferior lines or lines that have a poor winning % because it really won't matter once I get to the middlegame; and when I play otb, no game I've played is theoretical past 8 moves.

peppe_l ♡ 11 ( +1 | -1 )
Oops! "Judging from context, I think peppe_l meant his "<" to be in the opposite direction."

Indeed :-)))

Thanks for correction...
gibo ♡ 119 ( +1 | -1 )
openings are still important First I must clarify, the question I have asked is not about some deep theoretical line. It is about what to play on the 8th move against the marshall. The marshall is very common at all level of play, and it can only be beneficial for 1.e4 players to have an understanding of the theory of this opening. I stand by my point that a sound understanding of openings can win you many games.
I will present an example of one of my otb games. I am white, I do not have a fide ratings, my opponent has fide rating of 2100.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 e5 (this signals the schevnikov) 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 10.Na3 b5 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Nd5 f5 13.Bd3 Be6 14.0-0 Rc8 (a weak move, and a lack of understanding of theory of this opening will yield my opponent an uncomfortable position, normal is Bxd5) 15.c3 Bg7 16.Qh5 (the queen commonly goes to h5 in this opening) f4 17.Nc2 Ne7 18.Nxe7 Qxe7 19.Nb4 Qb7 20.a4 0-0 21.axb5 axb5 I maintained a strong plus throughout the game because of my superior opening position. Black never got a look in because of his inferior 14th move.
I can understand that there is more to chess than openings. But I still believe openings play an important part no matter what level of play you are at.
If we could now please return to my question on the marshall.
peppe_l ♡ 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Well played! Based on 21 moves you gave, it looks like you displayed good opening play, sound tactics and good understanding of strategy. Can you give me the rest of the game?

Please let me clarify - I am not claiming studying openings has no effect, I am claiming studying tactics or endings has GREATER effect. Have you ever LOST a better position because of tactics? Do you always win superior endings? Have you ever played bad (positional) moves after running out of theory? If your answers are no-yes-no, you can play 1.h4?! and whip everyone :-)

Back to Marshall, to me 8.c3 d5 9.d4 Nxe4 (10.dxe5 Be6) looks quite comfy for Black...?
gibo ♡ 47 ( +1 | -1 )
I will discuss openings in a seperate thread peppe_l I would be glad to debate the importance of openings in a seperate thread, but with this thread could we please stick to the question at hand, the marshall. I have actually found a most discouraging conintuation to option 3 in my first post after 8.c3 d5 9.d4 dxe4!? 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.dxe5 Qxd1 12.Bxd1 Nd7 and the ending doesn't seem to promise white all that much.
I will give a few of the other anti-marshalls ago in some of my games.