Frank Marshall, United States Chess Champion

A Biography with 220 Games


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About the Book

Frank Marshall (1877–1944) reigned as America’s chess champion from 1907 through 1936—the longest stint of anyone in history. A colorful character almost always decked out in an ascot and chewing a cigar, his career coincided with many evolutionary changes in competitive chess. Marshall was a master gamesman. He took up the game of salta, akin to Chinese checkers, and was soon world champion. But more than anything, he loved chess, claiming that after he learned the game at 10 he played every day for the next 57 years. Marshall’s life and playing style are fully examined here, including 220 of his games (some never before published) with 190 positional diagrams.

About the Author(s)

Grandmaster Andrew Soltis, nine times champion of the Marshall Chess Club, New York Post editor and Chess Life columnist, is the author of dozens of chess books. He lives in New York City.

Bibliographic Details

Andy Soltis
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 400
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, diagrams, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013 [1993]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7501-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0317-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface ix
One: When Chess Was Young 1
Two: Paris 1900 14
Three: Sophomore Marshall 26
Four: Cambridge Springs 57
Five: Consistently Inconsistent 73
Six: Candidate Marshall 98
Seven: The Longest Trip. 116

Between pages 152 and 153 are 8 pages of plates containing 14 photographs

Eight: A Year at Home 153
Nine: Swindle! 167
Ten: The Great Tournaments 175
Eleven: Farewell to Europe 207
Twelve: The War Years 230
Thirteen: The House That Marshall Built 245
Fourteen: Another Lasker 255
Fifteen: European Comeback 273
Sixteen: A Lion in Winter 292
Seventeen: The Gold Medals 320
Eighteen: Sunset 340
Tournament and Match Record 365
Bibliography 369
Index 373

Book Reviews & Awards

Book of the Year—British Chess Federation

• “Recommended”—Chess Horizons

• “‘Unputdownable’…thoroughly researched and splendidly written”—British Chess Magazine

• “This biography and catalog of Marshall pays off handsomely for chess enthusiasts…the games themselves…ably described by grandmaster and chess journalist Soltis…are the soul of the book”—Booklist

• “Exceptional”—New In Chess

• “Beautiful…a pleasure to behold…. A book to treasure”—Chess Post

• “Every once in a while you come across a book that you cannot put down until it’s been read from cover to cover. This is one such book”—Check

• “A lengthy, serious historical work”—

• “Excellent research…unique…. An absolute must”—Chess Publishing

• “Splendidly enjoyable book”—IM John Donaldson (

• “This is one of Soltis’s finest books…Soltis’s annotations are never less than entertaining and insightful”—Manchester Chess Federation

• “A great book about one of the most colorful players from the first half of the 20th century…highly recommend[ed]”—Seagaard Chess Reviews

• “Of all the works on Marshall, this book is the most accessible and also the best. Soltis has written countless books, but his historical works are usually very good. The annotations are deeper than those provided by Marshall in his own book, the analysis is better, the historical references are great and the production value, as is habitual for books from McFarland, are top notch. If you are to get just one book on Marshall, this should be the go-to, it will give you everything you want and even more.”—American Chess Magazine.