Monday, January 31, 2011

Events Leading Up to the 1907 World Chess Championship Match

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American Chess Bulletin December 1904

After a lapse of seven years, there is at last fair prospect of a match being played for the championship of the world, and for the anticipation of this long cherished event the chess fraternity is indebted to the ambition and courage of America's brilliant young tournament champion, Frank J. Marshall, whose astounding successes in tournament play during the past six months constitute his credentials in thus bidding for the highest honor the realm of chess has to bestow.

Returning on December, 5th from a triumphant tour of the country, in the course of which he visited St. Louis, Chicago, Indianapolis, Davenport, Memphis, New Orleans and Pittsburg, Marshall received a reply from Dr. Lasker to his challenge dated at St. Louis on November 16. In this letter the world's champion names the conditions which should govern the contest, according to his ideas, and gives the terms suggested for the proposed matches with D. Janowski and Dr. Tarrasch as published in "La Strategic" in 1889. He also states he will require Marshall to post a forfeit of $500, at the same time giving Alexander Levino of the Manhattan Chess Club his preference for treasurer. In conclusion he lays particular stress upon his wish not to have newspaper men represented in the negotiations. The reason therefor is to be found in articles 4 and 5.  This discrimination practically amounts to an arraignment, on the score of bias, of all journalists, the very men, who, by training, are imbued with the importance, nay, the absolute necessity, of impartiality. The difficulties experienced by most chess writers in inducing their papers to accord the game due recognition are only too well known. Accordingly this class of devotees is recognized as a not insignificant factor in the welfare of the game. As a matter of policy, the wisdom of the champion's step is questionable.
Marshall's engagement with Janowski to play at the Cercle Philidor in Paris is in no way affected by his latest undertaking and he will proceed to France with all due speed compatible with the proper arrangement of his business here. The rest and change afforded by the ocean voyage will be welcome to the young master after the continuous efforts put forth of late. The correspondence that has so far taken place between Marshall and Dr. Lasker is herewith appended:—St. Louis, November 16, 1904.

Herr E. Lasker. Chess Champion of the World.

Dear Sir:—Some time ago I issued a challenge to you for the championship of the world and in reply you cited $2,0110 as the stake. I am now prepared to put up this amount, leaving it to you to state time, etc., which I hope will be in the near future. Should you favor a forfeit, kindly advise.
My address till the 25th of November will be New Orleans, or communicate direct with Messrs. Cassel and Helms, who will forward it on.

I am, yours sincerely,


New York, December 5, 1904.

Mr. F. J. Marshall

Dear Sir:-In reply to your letter dated November 16th. I beg to say that I accede to your request and that I shall be pleased to play for the chess championship of the world with you.
As conditions I name those which formed the basis of my negotiations for the proposed matches between myself and Messrs. Janowski and Dr. Tarrasch. You find the principal terms enunciated in the December issue of Lasker's Chess Magazine. To ensure my ability to carry on negotiations with chess clubs and other institutions in the interests of the match, I beg to ask you to put up a forfeit of $500 with the treasurer and at the same time propose Mr. Levino, who is treasurer of the Manhattan Chess Club, as treasurer of the match. This amount will be forfeited in the event of your inability or unwillingness to carry out obligations after you or your second will have attached his signature to an agreement between us.
You are at liberty to name any one of your friends as your second and I expect you to give your representative full powers to negotiate with me. I make only the condition that you shall not select a man on the staff of a newspaper as your second, because it is undesirable that any newspaper should have the preferential treatment in respect to the spreading of news connected with the match and of interest to the public.
Should you agree to my terms I expect that I can arrange all details to as to enable us to commence the match on or about April 1st, 1905.

Yours very truly,


Following is Dr. Lasker's conditions referred to above:

1. The stake to be not less than $2,000 a side.
2. The match to be eight games up, draws not counting.
3. The arrangement as to time and place of play to be in the hands of the holder of the title, who shall notify the challenger or his second of their perfection at least six weeks before the time fixed for the commencement of the match.
4. All moneys accruing to the match players from contributions of clubs or other institutions and from publication of the games to be equally divided between the two opponents.
5. A journal or bulletin of the match to be issued daily, the same to contain an account of the moves made and all matters of importance in regard to the match.
6. The journal to be issued at the common risk and profit of the players. The property right for subsequent editions of the journal to accrue to the winner of the match.
On the seventh of December, the same day he received Dr. Lasker's letter, Marshall dispatched his reply rehearsing a set of regulations that would most acceptably govern the contest from his point of view. The suggestion of appointing a court of arbitration is excellent and will no doubt assure a speedy termination to the negotiations:— The text of the letter follows:

New York, December 7,1904

Dr. Emanuel Lasker, New York,

Dear Sir:—Acknowledging your letter of the 5th inst. in reply to my challenge of November 16, I beg to take up the terms and conditions you suggest for our championship match as follows:

1.  I agree that the stakes be $2,000 a side.
2. I agree that the match be one of eight games up, draws not counting.
3. I accept the date for beginning play, viz , "On or about April 1,1905."
4. Mr. Alexander Levino of the Manhattan Chess Club is entirely satisfactory as treasurer.
5. I am prepared to post a forfeit of $500 at a time to be agreed upon, with the understanding that you place a like amount in the hands of the treasurer. This, I may explain, is in accordance with usage common to all sporting events of similar character and, moreover, I must be equally safeguarded against loss in preparing for the match, after signing of the contract. Should it happen that you are unable or unwilling to carry out your obligations, then I will, to be sure, be in possession of the title, but you must admit that in this case it will be a mere empty honor and practically valueless.
6. The arrangements as to place of play I will leave in your hands, but must be ratified by mutual consent, before the locality is finally decided upon. The selection of the country, I concede, rests with you. You are at liberty to proceed with all negotiations looking to the placing of the match to our mutual benefit.
7. With regard to my second, I must respectfully dissent from your dictation in the matter, as I had already selected a newspaper man for that purpose, in whom I have the greatest confidence. I feel convinced he will not be objectionable to you and I guarantee his disinterestedness, except in so far as my rights in the negotiations are concerned, and that there will be no preferential treatment in respect to the spreading of news in connection with the match.
8. I agree to the equal division of all moneys accruing to the match from the contributions of organizations and individuals or other sources of income.
9. As to the publication of a journal or bulletin during the course of the match, I must make it plain that I cannot, in the interests of my backers, engage in any business that may distract my attention from the main point at issue—the determination of the world's champions at chess. I place no restrictions on the use you may choose to make of the scores of the games, but, at the same time, I reserve my rights in said games.
In case of our inability to come to an understanding, I propose the appointment of a court of arbitration to consist of the two-seconds and Messrs. Aristides Martinez, president of the Manhattan Chess Club, Simeon B. Chittenden, president of the Brooklyn Chess Club, and Walter Pen Shipley, president of the Franklin Chess Club, to whom all points at issue shall be submitted and whose decision shall be final. Should the necessity arise for such a court, I hereby authorize you to invite the gentlemen named to act for us.
In conclusion, I request that you hasten these negotiations as much as possible to permit me to leave within a fortnight for Paris where I am engaged to meet Mr. Janowski early in January.

Yours very truly,


Commentary from: "Chess Openings" by F. Marshall 1904

The Brooklyn Eagle described Mr. Marshall's play as "chess which, though perhaps not of the soundest, taxes the nerves of the most experienced of the masters. It is a combination of the old school with the new, which is at least sure of lasting popularity. There are some who go so far as to say that it will be the means of bringing Mr. Marshall dangerously close to the world's championship. Some of his moves, made in the face of all recognized principles, are so utterly audacious, though ingenious withal, that his fellow masters refer to them as 'Marshall's swindles.'"
The Field (London) referred to Mr. Marshall's victory in the following terms :—" Mr. Marshall stands out head and shoulders above the other competitors. It is an achievement, if equaled, certainly not surpassed in previous contests. . . . His games are games of chess; they savor of a refreshing originality, full of vigor and enterprise, and they stand out like oases in the dreary deserts of the Ruy Lopez, the Four Knights, the Petroffs, and Centre Counter Openings, which have been the repertoire in this tournament. In spite of his enterprising style against over-cautious rivals, he never lost a game, nor is there a game in his list that he should have lost."
After his success at Cambridge Springs, the members of the Manhattan Chess Club (New York) presented Mr. Marshall with a gold watch and chain. The watch was inscribed as follows :

—"The members of the Manhattan Chess 
"Club to Frank J. Marshall, for his victory 
"at Cambridge Springs, P.A., 1904."

The next public contest in which Mr. Marshall took part was the American Tournament at St. Louis, in October, 1904, when he practically repeated his previous effort by securing first prize of £100, with a score of 8 wins and 2 draws. On this occasion the opposition was not of the caliber which Mr. Marshall had met in previous first-class tournaments, and his success was therefore generally anticipated. After the conclusion of the tournament, the committee of the Congress presented Mr. Marshall with a gold medal inscribed "Champion," but it is only fair to state that Mr. Marshall waives all claim to this title, in view of the fact that such players as Messrs. Pillsbury and Showalter did not compete in the tournament at St. Louis.

(The Negotiations for a Lasker vs Marshall World Championship Match Fell Apart) 

Womanhood November 1905 (Before the World Title Match:  Tarrasch vs Marshall)

A Fiasco! That is really what this match amounted to, for Marshall was over-weighted from the start. His tournament successes are due to tactics which do not answer when opposed to so sound and solid a player as Dr. Tarrasch is known to be; and while the result of eight to one in favor of the latter, with eight draws which do not count, comes as a surprise to many of Marshall's admirers, to others it was almost, if not quite, what they expected. A great mistake was made by the contracting parties in withholding the games, the publication of which would have aroused widespread interest, which is always keen during the progress of a contest; but once over, and the result what it is few people will be found to put down the purchase money for a book containing the record of a processional!

Lasker v. Maroczy.

It Is Rumored that after the great Chess Congress to be held in America early next year (which Womanhood was the first to announce in England), Maroczy will tour the States, and challenge Dr. Lasker to a match for the championship of the world. Next to a match with Pillsbury for this title, which was urged a few years since, no more popular match could take place. Maroczy is young and a genius whose skill would be worthy the great Champion's contesting. They are the best of friends, and each has a respect for the other's ability, which would ensure the games being of the highest order. They should arrange to play half the games in America, the other half in England.

American Chess Bulletin 1906

World's Championship—Lasker and Maroczy Matched.
 Brilliant Debut Of The Rice Chess Club Of New York. 

Rarely, if ever, has a new club started on its career more auspiciously and with its future prosperity more safely assured than did the Rice Chess Club, a re-organization of the Cosmopolitan Chess Club, on the occasion of the banquet, now become historic, arranged in celebration of its advent, at the Cafe Boulevard, 156 Second Avenue, New York City, on the evening of April 6.
As if in happy augury and to emphasize the certainty of the club's long and prosperous existence, Dr. Emanuel Lasker and Geza Maroczy chose that very time and place for the purpose of drawing up and completing their agreement to play for the championship of the world before the close of the present year. They accomplished this in record time, consuming less than two hours in their deliberations, having, during a previous meeting, had a general understanding regarding most of the points at issue.

The British Chess Magazine March 1906

 The So-Called "World's Championship." 
(From the Deutsches Wochenschach.)

 "At the fete which the Nuremberg Chess Club held to celebrate Dr. Tarrasch's victory over Marshall, the former said, among other things, that after this latest and perhaps greatest feat of his, he had no reason to consider any person in the world as his superior over the chess board. It was certainly a more difficult thing to beat young Marshall than Steinitz when he was old. Under reasonable conditions, he was ready to engage in a match with Lasker, but he would not challenge him;. that might be done by one of lesser renown and fewer successes. His (Dr. Tarrasch's) own feats these last twenty years were at least equal to Lasker's. He (Dr. Tarrasch) had made a faux pas in challenging him two years ago. Let the chess world, if sufficiently interested in the matter, arrange a match between them. The German Schachhund and the American clubs might arrange reasonable conditions, bring the two together and, if necessary, even compel them to enter the lists against each other. '• You have seen what we can do; if you desire it, arrange a match —Lasker-Tarrasch"

These utterances have been misunderstood in certain quarters. Maroczy, for instance (in the Magyar Sakklap), reads in them an attempt to deter any one of the "dangerous " chess masters from challenging Dr. Tarrasch. Each may think as he likes on this point. No one who imagines himself superior or equal to the Doctor need challenge him. It remains to be seen whether Dr. Tarrasch would avoid an encounter with one of the foremost masters. There is not the smallest ground to suppose that he would, especially in Maroczy's case, seeing that only a short while ago, Dr. Tarrasch himself spoke of the probability of a Tarrasch-Maroczy match. In the above utterance the Doctor simply states that his renown and his successes are not inferior to Dr. E. Lasker's, and that for this reason it does not become him to issue a challenge. He leaves it to the chess world— that is to its organisations—-to make such arrangements as will lead to a match between these masters. We consider this attitude entirely correct. The chess world is indebted to the German Schdchbund for having already taken the initiative, in November last, through its president (Prof. Dr. Gebhardt), in arranging a Lasker-Tarrasch match.
The committee of the German Schachbund has evidently conceived the matter in this wise: Dr. Lasker is coming to visit Nuremberg to engage in the little "Grossmeister" Tourney that is to take place in conjunction with the other Masters' tourney. At the termination of this, after a little interval possibly, the match could be entered on. Dr. Lasker's expenses would, of course, have to be indemnified. The programme is simple and natural, but there seems to be difficulties in the way of its fulfilment.
We reproduced, in a former number, a Times report that Lasker was ready to play in Nuremberg, providing that not only his expenses were guaranteed, which is a matter of course, but that (we follow here a plainer utterance of the American Chess Bulletin0, "the players should be indemnified for any monetary loss incurred by ignoring other important chess centres, where the match might be liberally paid for." This means that the locale of the match should be determined by the highest bidder, when Nuremberg would be out of the question, unless the Schachbund were prepared to indemnify Dr. Lasker for the sacrifice involved by playing there. We have already announced that, to the best of our knowledge, the German Schachbund would not lend itself to the promotion of a match on such out-and-out business lines. We doubt, too, whether Dr. Tarrasch would countenance such peddling. Should Dr. Lasker insist on this condition—a reply on the part of the Manhattan Club is, strange to say, not yet to hand—a Lasker-Tarrasch match may be looked upon as finally relinquished.

The British Chess Magazine May 1906

It is reported by our leading American exchanges that a match for the Chess Championship of the world has been definitely arranged between Dr. Lasker and M. Geza Maroczy. The preliminaries were settled on April 6th, at the Rice Chess Club, New York. The conditions are:—First winner of eight games—draws not to count. Stakes, £400 a-side. As a guarantee of good faith each player to deposit £100, on or before June 1st; the balance to be posted by October 1st. Play to start October 15th. Time-limit 15 moves per hour. The playing committee is Professor Isaac L. Rice (New York), Judge Ponce (Havana), Mr. A. Martinez (president Manhattan Club, New York), Baron Rothschild and Herr Trebitsch (Vienna). It is proposed to play the match in three sections: (1) Europe (probably Vienna), three won games; (2) Havana, two won games; and (3) New York, three won games. Draws will not count in the score.

American Chess Bulletin July 1906
Modern Chess Masters

A very readable review of the Marshall-Tarrasch match and a dissertation upon modern chess masters by A. Emery, of the City of London Chess Club, taken from the Daily News, will prove of high interest to all American readers.

Dr. Tarrasch has beaten Marshall decisively in the great chess match at Nuremberg. It has been the most one-sided contest in recent chess history. From first to last the superiority of the victor was evident. Only on one occasion did the brilliant American, fresh though he was from his triumph over Janowski, succeed in wresting a game from this greater adversary. The dashing attacks so characteristic of his style have led in every other case, if not to disaster, to equality. Yet Marshall is a master of whom the chess world has reason to be, and is, proud.
It has been more than a struggle between two "mental athletes." Styles of play about which theorists have written volumes in the last twenty years have been brought in sharp contrast by the circumstances of this match, and the result is a triumph for what is known as the "modern school" against the most famous of its critics. Not long ago Marshall published a book in which he set forth his own principles of play for the instruction of the amateur, and of the opinions expressed no small part appeared to the "modern" player flat heresy. For instance, Marshall denounced the close game, advising his readers, even when second player, to seize short cuts to complications and fireworks. This is clean contrary to modern theory. The "modern" player has learned by experience that these grand assaults, if they fail in their immediate purpose, leave a compromised position. He wins, if he can win, by patient development in all parts of the board, by nice calculations of comparative advantages based on deep analysis, by incesant watch for the slightest weakness of his opponent's position, and by readiness to take advantage of it by methods often as dramatic and decisive as in the best efforts of those whose special aim is brilliance.
Marshall may be considered the type of the attacking player. It is a mistake, however, to compare him, as has so often been attempted, with Morphy, whose genius was utterly exceptional. At twenty-one Morphy made his famous journey to England to meet the one chess player whose fame, even in retirement, stood between him and absolute supremacy, Howard Staunton, who refused the challenge—whence such controversy and torrents of vituperation on both sides of the Atlantic. At the same age how was Marshall faring? He was being beaten in the tourney for the championship of the Brooklyn Chess Club! Marshall cannot be said to have been a precocious player in any sense of the word. Napier's talent was recognized at a much earlier age. Even in 1899, Marshall's compatriots, in arranging a cable match with Great' Britain, found a place for him only at the eighth board, which was perilously near leaving him out altogether! He was no youthful prodigy like Morphy, whose achievements struck the civilized world with amaze as almost preterhuman. Still he has made good use of his time, and at twenty-seven stands a worthy candidate, even after this, perhaps only temporary failure, for the highest honors in chess.
That he has genius no one can doubt. Many of his games bear the impress of such immortality as chess can give. Fantastic, even grotesque, as some of his combinations have seemed, and more than suspected of unsoundness as are some of his best games, he excites keen interest. At a tournament it is generally near the board at which he is playing that the biggest "gallery" is to be found. He is thoroughly American, of an eager type, largely self-educated, self-reliant, an enthusiast living for and by,a game which exacts hard work of its professionals and gives the scantiest remuneration. He follows chess with whole-hearted devotion, and not as analyst or innovator, but as a fighter. Indeed, his zeal for the conflict passes into indiscretion. It is too certain that in the late match he consented to regulations as to rate of play which told seriously against him. The thirst of battle was on him; his opponent might choose ground and conditions, and settle all the preliminaries as he pleased, if only he would fight and fight at once.
Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch is of another type, both of man and of chess master. He was born in 1862, and since the close of a distinguished University career has practiced medicine at Nuremberg. His scientific attainments are recognized in his own country. In England we know him from his presence at the Hastings Tournament of 1895, a well-bred, well-dressed, rather precise gentleman, courteous in manner, but with just a hint of sarcasm in his speech. Never did a keener mind, or one more fitly tempered for its purpose, take up the study of chess. Yet there is a lack of enthusiasm, of driving power. Unlike Marshall, unlike Steinitz, he finds little joy in the battle. He is the dispassionate scientist, neither elated nor depressed by circumstances, working out combinations, and defending those of his adversary with an accuracy yet unexcelled. If he has genius, it is of the class denned as a capacity for taking infinite pains. He will never trust to intuition, or take any decisive step #the ultimate issue of which cannot be clearly seen. He has never committed glorious indiscretions like those of Pillsbury, Tschigorin, and even of Lasker.
Behind both these masters is one yet more eminent, Lasker, who still holds the championship he wrested from Steinitz ten years ago. He, too, is a "modern" player. Was it not he who, commenting on a brilliant game, remarked of a certain winning sacrifice that it need not have been made, a mental attitude which would have been incomprehensible to Morphy and his peers? It is now the dream of chess-players to see Lasker and Tarrasch matched for the championship of the world, but there seem difficulties on both sides. Lasker is in New York, deeply committed to journalistic schemes. The day is past when he, like Marshall, would roam over Europe, eager to meet antagonists of eminence.
Marshall has been defeated, but a spirit like his will not be broken by one failure. There are triumphs in store for him yet, and greater perhaps than any he has hitherto won. The school of players, also, who look back with some regret to the days of reckless attack and combinations of doubtful issue will not be discouraged. There will always be representatives of both temperaments among chess-players. Every chess club, however small, has its ardent young devotee, who outMarshalls Marshall, who is never happy but when he is attacking, at the cost of material, by preference his queen, who is confident of winning every tournament he enters, and who does, as a matter of fact, meet with a great deal of deserved success. Every club has also its player of wider experience and more comprehensive mind, who pursues a larger strategy from which the taking of unnecessary risks is excluded. Such a one is, after all, the real master of chess.
Perhaps the Marshall of today may become the Tarrasch of tomorrow, all the stronger for the chastisement he has received—yes, and administer a severe lesson to some too confident flouter of modern authority. Less likely things have happened in their time.

The British Chess Magazine October 1906

Match: Lasker V. Maroczy.
The projected match between Lasker and Maroczy for the championship of the world has been abandoned. It will be recollected that the first stage of the contest was to be entered upon at Vienna during the present month; also that each master agreed to deposit £100 as a guarantee of good faith to proceed to actual hostilities. Maroczy did not post his money, and it is reported that he did not definitely notify Doctor Lasker that he would be unable to fulfill his contract. This lapses and silence on his part perturbed those gentlemen in New York who had the arrangement of the contest in hand so much that they requested Herr Marco, of Vienna, to interview or communicate with Maroczy. The result was the following cable, which Herr Marco dispatched to the New York Staatszeitung.—
"Maroczy does not play on account of political affairs, but is ready to pay or postpone match until next year, under same conditions of play."
What the political considerations are which have caused Maroczy to abandon the match is not stated, but, in view of the declaration that he is ready to pay the forfeit money, we suppose that further explanation will be forthcoming in due course. We offer our sympathy to Doctor Lasker in this latest disappointment, which must be particularly galling to him after failing to come to terms with Mr. Marshall and Doctor Tarrasch.
Since the above was set in type, we learn from the Deutsches Wochenschach that Maroczy has given his explanation in the Neaen Pester Journal. He states that there is no hitch in the financial arrangements, as Baron Rothschild and Herr Leopold v Trebitsch, of Vienna, were quite ready to put the amount of the stake named by Lasker at his (Maroczy's) service. The real reason why the match has failed to materialize is because the conditions of play stipulated by the champion are not favored by the Vienna Club. Lasker wished to start play in Vienna, but to continue only until either combatant had won three games, exclusive of draws. This arrangement the Vienna officials considered beneath the dignity of their club, and counter proposals were made to Lasker to play the whole of the match in Vienna, with the understanding that, if he so wished it, the question of the championship should not be involved in the result. This suggestion was not accepted, and no definite agreement was reached.
From these statements we can only conclude that Dr. Lasker assumed that the conditions he imposed would be accepted by the Vienna Club without question. If otherwise, we do not think the categorical announcements so freely published in the Press would have appeared. The political affair refers to the state of politics in Cuba, where Lasker wished the second portion of the match to be played. Maroczy says this is impossible at the present time, though he freely admits that a contest in the midst of Revolution would be very interesting; still he opines that the players would hardly preserve the sangfroid necessary to good chess, particularly if an erring shell crashed through the roof of the place of play. In conclusion, Maroczy expresses his willingness to play a match against Lasker at any time, provided the whole of the games are contested in Vienna, in which case he would leave the settlement of all conditions to the Vienna Club and Dr. Lasker.
If the conditions suggested by Lasker to govern the proposed match were not definitely accepted, we cannot see what reason there is for Maroczy to pay to Lasker the £100 forfeit money, as he has offered to do. But it may be that the Hungarian master signed the preliminary agreement before submitting to his supporters the conditions stipulated by Dr. Lasker. If he did sign such an agreement, he evidently feels that he has a personal responsibility to meet, and is therefore prepared to pay the forfeit money.
The latest information to hand from New York is that Dr. Lasker has now arranged to contest a match with Mr. F. J. Marshall, and that play will probably start on January 7th, 1907.

The American Chess Bulletin November 1906

To the Chess World.
In the absence of any organization to represent the opinion of the chess world, we had the task to frame practical rules for the playing of Championship matches, under which the support of chessdom might be invoked, thrust upon us. In the past, matches have been made possible by the liberality of a few. We appeal to all who derive enjoyment from the fruits of chessic art. The long duration of matches, that may easily extend under the traditional rules to three, four or more months, is a serious handicap to the chess master. Nor is it of benefit to the chess world. The introduction of a short match of about two weeks' duration should, in our opinion, be aimed at. But at the present moment a step so revolutionary was deemed unwise.
In any other respect we believe the conditions of our match as given above to be just to the players and the chess world alike, and to enable us to put forth our best efforts. As the fruits of this effort will be enjoyed by many thousands all over the earth, we beg to appeal to the lovers of chess in all countries to contribute towards the purse of this match.  November, 1906.
Dr. Emanuel Lasker, 
F. J. Marshall, 
W. P. Shipley, Treasurer. 
404 Girard Bldg., Philadelphia, Pa.

Lasker-Marshall Agreement.

1. The match to he eight (8) games up, draws not to count.
2. The first game to be played on January 4th, 1907..
3. The time limit to be fifteen (15) moves an hour.
4. There shall be six (6) play days per week. No more than three (3) games shall be begun in any one (1) week, and not on consecutive days.
5. There shall be six (6) play hours per day; between one (1) p. m. and eleven (11) p. m.
6. The players shall jointly be the owners of all the games.
7. During the match, each player, by written notice to his opponent served prior to twelve (12) o'clock noon of the regular play day, may postpone the game to the following day, but this privilege can be used by each player no more than six (6) times.
8. Mr. Walter P. Shipley to be the treasurer.
9. In consideration of the difficulty of obtaining a backing amounting in all to four thousand ($4,000.00) dollars, we hereby agree to ask Mr. Walter P. Shipley, No. 404 Girard Building, Philadelphia, Pa., to declare his willingness to accept contributions for a purse. Each contributor of an amount of not less than ten ($10.00) dollars, shall have the right to witness each game of the match; he shall receive the service of the Match Journal, free of cost, and a memento.
10. In case, by December 10th, it should be found that the purse thus raised falls short of one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars, it will be understood that there is not sufficient interest for the match, which will, therefore, be declared off.
11. In case the purse will be at least one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars, each player will be bound by a forfeit (whose amount will then be fixed) to fulfill all the conditions agreed upon by mutual consent. The winner of he match shall receive one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars as a prize and the remainder of the purse shall be equally divided between the players to help in defraying their expenses.
12. Messrs. Prof. I. L. Rice, W. P. Shipley, J. H. Watson having kindly agreed, to accept the positions as referees, all points in dispute between the two contestants shall be submitted to them and their decisions shall be final and not subject to appeal.
13. In order to give all chess lovers, whether they be club members or not, an opportunity to witness the contest, the games shall be played as much as possible in public, and a fee for admission on charged, except to patrons. These incomes shall be equally divided between the players to defray their expenses and to furnish a purse for the loser.
14. In each city, where games of the match will be played, either of the players shall select from the patrons a second. And a committee shall be selected to declare the series begun, to decide minor points of dispute, to order the series closed and to announce where and when the next game is to take place. From the decisions of this committee an appeal to the referees shall be possible but notice of appeal must be served and the appeal must be made in writing.

(Signed) Emanuel Lasker.

Lasker-Marshall Championship Match.


Arranged Jointly By The American Chess Bulletin And Lasker's Chess Magazine.

By reason of arrangements completed with the principals in the forthcoming match for the chess championship of the world, scheduled to begin during January, 1907, the Bulletin is able to announce that the entire series of games, will be issued and mailed singly direct to every subscriber to this service the moment the score of each game can be put in type. To this end the Bulletin will co-operate with Lasker's Chess Magazine and promptness is guaranteed.
It is the desire of the masters interested to have this direct service reach the greatest possible number of devotees, and by that means to arouse a widespread interest both in the match itself and in the royal game generally.
Aside from this consideration, the undertaking will provide an additional source of income for the two great masters, both of whom must endure sacrifices to make this long desired event possible. The loser of such a contest is never adequately reimbursed for the outlay of time and effort and it should be the aim of every lover of the game to lighten this burden as far as it may lie in his power to do so.

The British Chess Magazine November 1906

Match: Lasker v. Marshall—Following the brief announcement in our last issue that Marshall had stepped into the breach caused by Maroczy's withdrawal and challenged Lasker for the championship, we are now pleased to report that there is every prospect that the latest negotiations will prove successful. Dr. Lasker has shown most commendable willingness to come to terms. He has waived the question of heavy stakes of £400 aside, and is "prepared to play for £200, which sum it is proposed to raise by Subscription. To provide this money an appeal has been made to chess enthusiasts to contribute minimum sums of £2, and each donor of this amount will receive some special souvenir of the contest, including the book of the match, with games annotated by the combatants. We hope that British chess players will contribute generously to the fund. The match certainly provides fitting opportunity for display of interest and practical sympathy on the part of such organizations as the British Federation, Scottish Association, the Northern, Midland, and Southern Unions, also the county organizations of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Kent, Sussex, and Devonshire, and clubs of such standing as the City of London, Glasgow, Hastings, Liverpool. Manchester, Dublin, Leeds, Bradford, Newcastle, Birmingham, and North Manchester. The hon. treasurer is Mr. W. P. Shipley, Room 404. Girard Building, Broad and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia, U.S.A. Subscriptions sent to him will be duly credited and acknowledged. Messrs. Crissel and Helms, of New York, who are carrying out the arrangements for the match, are so confident of success that they have definitely announced that play will start on January 3rd. It is not every individual chess player who can afford a subscription of £2, but there is no reason why the great majority should not help to try to recoup Dr. Lasker and Mr. Marshall for their trouble by subscribing 4s. 2d. for a copy of the games, which will be dispatched singly direct to each subscriber the moment the record of each game can be put into type. Readers of the B.C.M. who desire this special mail service should remit to Mr. Hermann Helms, chess editor, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A., or we shall be pleased to forward the necessary instructions on behalf of any of our annual subscribers.
In the Pittsburgh Dispatch Mr. Napier refers to the match thus :— The dismay of chess players at the eleventh-hour withdrawal of Maroczy from the world's championship match is somewhat assuaged by a new deft issued by Frank J. Marshall to the champion for a match to begin with the new year. The challenge has been accepted, and devotees of the game entertain lively hopes of a match at chess. Their as been many false alarms, and it may be held in many circles that the cry of "wolf" has been heard so often that the present negotiation is not a thing assured. However, we know Marshall. He fights. He has limitless confidence and intrepid genius that entitle him to the most distinguished consideration. Lasker is anxious to play. The invincible passion for the strife of the thing cannot always be subdued, and if the encounter is accorded the proper support no hitch else need be apprehended. If the matter is greeted in Pittsburg with any considerable enthusiasm it is quite likely some small part of the match may be played there. Of the outcome of such a conflict between men of pronounced individuality no light hearted opinion may be hazarded. Lasker has a perfect sense of proportion in chess—resource in the highest degree. Marshall is a sport, and plays the sporting game. His moves are, so to speak, eloquent as opposed to the coldly persuasive soundness of the older man It is a battle of impulse and reason—at a specified time limit. It requires a very sane perception to resist, and more especially to overcome, an energy and originality like Marshall's. Without the clock Lasker is incomparably Marshall's superior; with it the question is whether Marshall can weave difficulties faster than his adversary can unravel them. Time is truly the essence of the thing.

The Outlook February 9, 1907

It is years since any game of chess has so widely interested the English public as the series of matches between Lasker and Marshall now being played in America. Of the four matches so far played Lasker has won three and drawn one, and his superiority is to some extent disappointing. It is always disappointing when great brilliance is beaten by great steadiness, but the games have at any rate proved that the defensive policy perfected by Steinitz has not robbed the game of its vividness. It is not only the quality of "Sitzfleisch" that goes to the winning of matches. In the first game Lasker, though he was playing black, took the attack at once and sacrificed a piece as early as the twelfth move. In the third game Marshall worked out what is thought to be the most brilliant combination ever seen in first-class match play. It was defeated because Lasker would not take the bait, but from beginning to end the game was full of details which should delight any player of chess. We found the game being played over in several London restaurants this week, and the fact struck us as remarkable evidence of the growth of what somebody called the chess habit among business men in London. Clubs of all sorts have multiplied, and the game has become almost as common an amusement, in all but the poorest classes, as it is in Japan, where your guide rather expects you to sit down and play chess with him after the day's work.

British Chess Magazine, Feb. 1907


THE long-expected championship match between Doctor Lasker and Mr. F. J. Marshall was started in New York on Jan. 26th. The contest is one of first winner of eight games, draws not counting. The winner will receive a purse of £200, which has been raised by subscriptions, and any surplus will be divided equally between both combatants. This is a much better plan than the previous arrangement of playing for large stakes, which were mainly provided by the supporters of the respective players. The credit for breaking away from this baneful practice, which undoubtedly imparted to the match a strong element of gambling, belongs to Doctor Lasker, and his action is worthy of all praise. He has set an excellent example, which should furnish an acceptable precedent for future matches. According to present arrangements, it is intended to play six games in New York, three in Philadelphia, two in Washington, and one in Chicago. Games will also be played at the Memphis and Kansas City Chess Clubs, and in the event of the match being still undecided, the combatants will return to New York and finish the match in that city. As the business arrangements for the contest are largely controlled by Doctor Lasker, it would appear that he expects Marshall to offer stubborn resistance. The first game was a Ruy Lopez. Marshall led off with the attack, but he adopted a variation against which Black has no difficulty in securing the better development and superior position. This is exactly what occurred. With his 13th move Doctor Lasker offered the temporary sacrifice of a Knight, and the outcome was the establishing of a strong Pawn centre, after which victory was simply a question of time and correct play. In the second game Marshall adopted the French Defense The centre Pawns were exchanged early, and the game promised to develop into an interesting struggle, when Marshall, by hasty play, lost the balance of position; whereupon Lasker, playing with deadly accuracy, gradually secured the superior position, finally forcing his opponent to resign on the 52nd move. Score :—Lasker, 2; Marshall, 0.

The Saturday Review February 1907

SIX games of the championship match have now been played and the combatants have adjourned for a season to renew hostilities further west. Dr. Lasker won the first three games and drew the remainder, so that his ultimate triumph may be said to be foreshadowed.
It must not be assumed, however, as one or two wiseacres would have us believe, that the fighting has been of a one-sided character, for Mr. Marshall has shown great tenacity and the champion himself has done his opponent full justice in the notes to the earlier games which are now to hand. In the first game Dr. Lasker defending the Ruy Lopez with 3. Kt—B3 brought about a highly ingenious sacrifice, as to the soundness of which " the last word cannot be spoken until after a most exhaustive examination of the multifarious variations ".
The end game was most instructive. The black king entered the hostile lines and the advanced pawns became irresistible, white's knight being quite powerless. We assume those of our readers who are interested have already read the games in the press.
In the second game Marshall played the French defense and white continued with 4. B—Q3, a stroke he once adopted as early as the third move in his match with Blackburne. The game took an altogether original turn from the very start, a circumstance somewhat unusual in the opening, and white, having allowed his opponent an open file on his king's position, had to stand under fire for several moves. Ultimately the heavy pieces were exchanged, and white, with a passed pawn on both wings, moved surely to victory. The third game, which we give in full, is also a doughty one, and shows us the American baiting a tempting snare and falling into the pit himself. We should hardly agree with a very able annotator, however, that black "never made a more subtle combination ", &c. The game against Pillsbury at S. Petersburg, or that of Marco at Nuremberg, to name only two, strikes us as having still more body.
In the fourth game Lasker allowed the McCutcheon variation of the French, but retired B—Q2 at the sixth move, a safer continuation than PxKt or retreating elsewhere, and a somewhat rakish game wound itself up to a draw with four pawns each.
In the fifth game Lasker varied from the third by 9. P—K4, and the contest kept evenly balanced all through, neither player being in a fighting mood. The sixth was a curious little French game, both attacking in turn, and Lasker elected to perpetually check at his 20th move in a dubious position.

Boston Evening Transcript - Mar 21, 1907

   British Chess Magazine, May 1907

The Championship Chess match is over at last, and Lasker enjoys the complete victory which from the beginning those who knew his play had predicted. Marshall has not won a — single game—an extraordinary circumstance in a contest of this character.

The challenger, says one writer, "retires into obscurity." We are far indeed from agreeing. Marshall is a great player—a very great player. Just before this fiasco, be it remembered, he had won a first-class tournament at Nuremberg against some of the brightest spirits in chess, Dr. Lasker excepted, coming out above Dr. Tarrasch in the very city of that famous master, and distinctly superior to Schlechter, Janowski, and the pick of the younger players of the day. Other like triumphs the future doubtless holds for him. On his past achievements his fame would live long; beyond question to coming generations of players many of his games will be classic.

It is in tournament play that Marshall revels. The late contest has made it evident that in the long-drawn match he is not in the same class with Lasker. In the presence of the Champion of the World his genius is cowed, as that of Antony in the presence of Caesar. "Thy demon," says the Soothsayer, is

"Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable, 
Where Caesar's is not; but near him thy angel 
Becomes a fear, as being o'erpowered."

("Antony and Cleopatra," Act II., Scene 3. Note also the curious appropriateness of the Soothsayer's next speech :—" If thou dost play with him at any game, thou art sure to lose!")

Opposed to Lasker the fine qualities we have all admired in Marshall's play disappear. The fire of inspiration flickers out. The daring which was his greatest charm deserts him. He plays his first game as a beaten man. In the second he loses a great opportunity through sheer timidity, and Lasker's triumph is assured.

That Dr. Lasker holds the field as the greatest chess-player since the days of Morphy is a mere truism long obvious to the meanest intelligence among those who follow the events of the chess world. The relative merits of the great American and of the present champion cannot be assessed. That Lasker, as we know him, would make short work of the Morphy of half a century ago—Morphy, who at his best could find no fitting opponent, save at odds—cannot for a moment be doubted. But the same might confidently be said of several players of to-day. The study of the game has made vast strides since Morphy's time, and in our chess democracy the great men stand out less distinctly than of old. What Lasker would have been able to do in Morphy's place—or Morphy with the experience and environment of Lasker— were idle speculation to follow. No serious comparison is possible.

Steinitz was a theorist who had worked out—or believed he had worked out—a new style of play which, in oracular tones, he called upon the world of chess to adopt. Lasker makes no such claim. Lasker has invented no new opening, and, in truth, he probably cares very little what kind of game others play so long as he can excel. He has from early manhood devoted practically his whole attention to the study of the game as played, and training resolutely to that end faculties wonderfully adapted for the purpose, he is seen to-day the complete chess-player. He approaches as nearly as possible in human affairs the perfect strategist of his own treatise on " Struggle."

We believe Lasker had determined in advance that Marshall should not break his score, and his confidence in his own powers is justified in the result. A similar belief was held by others. A very distinguished chess master and journalist wrote to Lasker before the contest began :—" Marshall will not win a game, and you know it."

The philosophic work on "Struggle," already mentioned, is a personal revelation of great interest. Starting from the problems of the chess-board, the champion of the world seeks to lay down principles applicable to combat of every kind. The contests, however, are always joyless. The only end is victory; there is no pleasure in the strife itself. Dr. Lasker's ideal fighter leads no forlorn hope. He follows the line of least resistance as unerringly as the lightning that leaps from crag to crag, or as the tides that ebb and flow through inlets of the sea. The constant comparison of chess with struggles which are tedious and painful is not to be taken with absolute literalness, perhaps; but the very fact that it could be made without any sense of incongruity gives a glimpse of character.

It was not thus that Pillsbury regarded chess. The beauty of the game was to him its chief attraction—not the sense of power which victories give. Marshall delights in its opportunities for ingenious combination—when he has opposed to him neither a Lasker nor a Tarrasch.
Dr. Lasker, if his own confession can be believed, studies mainly the possibilities of "pushing towards his adversary an impenetrable wall," or of "permitting an attack which, as it can be countered with an inferior force, weakens instead of advantaging an opponent."

From this cold and somewhat mechanical strategy Marshall had not the power to drive his antagonist. Hence, as no executant really achieves greatness except when he forgets the principles on which he believes he works, we never saw Lasker at his best in the late match. Could Maroczy make the champion rise above his philosophy? or is the best hope of the chess world, after all, in the meeting of those two philosophers—Tarrasch and Lasker?

British Chess Magazine, July 1907


"Der Schachwettkampf Lasker—Marshall, im Fruhjar, 1907." Mit Erlänterungen herausgegeben von Dr. Tarrasch. Nurnberg, Dr. Tarraschs Selbstverlag.

This pamphlet of 54 pages is published at Nurnberg, Dr. Tarrasch being his own publisher, in this instance. It will be sent post-free for 2s. 2d. The annotation of the games is of an exhaustive character; the principles of sound play are critically applied with the utmost rigor; and it may be said that a study of the games of Marshall's last two matches, under Dr. Tarrasch's guidance, goes far towards being in itself a liberal chess education. The extraordinary statement which has been circulated as to a resolution said (no authority is given for the assertion) to have been formed by Dr. Lasker before the match is not mentioned; but Dr. Tarrasch incidentally deals it a very damaging blow by showing that on several occasions during the match Marshall had at command winning continuations! The pamphlet closes with a short survey of the course of the match and a few remarks upon the characteristics of the players. Here it were rather to be wished that the criticisms upon the loser had been less pitiless in their incisiveness. The estimate of Dr. Lasker's play, whilst highly interesting, is not one which will find general acceptance as being completely impartial.

The upshot of Marshall's two matches is to render it more than ever desirable that Dr. Lasker and Dr. Tarrasch should be brought together in a championship struggle. We are now having two (or even three) International Masters Tournaments a year. Without at all undervaluing these events, it may safely be said that the chess world would willingly spare one of them if that sacrifice might be the price of a match, without which the next generation will say that the career of neither master was complete.

The 1908 Almanac and Encyclopedia

Followers of chess enjoyed the rare treat of witnessing a match for the world's championship In 1907, between Dr. Emanuel Lasker, holder of the title since 1893, and Frank J. Marshall. The match was for a purse of $1,000 and play began In Brooklyn on January 26. Series of the games were also played in Manhattan, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, and Memphis

Dr. Lasker won, the final score on April 9 being: Dr. Lasker 8, Marshall 0, drawn 7.


  1. What are the chances of a couple games in the next world championship match being played in Charlotte, NC?

  2. I printed a lot of your blog out thanks my friend