Frank James Marshall (August 10, 1877 - November 9, 1944), was United States Chess Champion from 1909-1936, and was one of the world´s strongest players in the early part of the 20th century.
He was born in New York City, and lived in Montreal, Canada from ages 8-19. He began playing chess at the age of 10 and by 1890 was one of the leading players in Montreal.
He won the U.S. chess championship in 1904, but did not accept the title because the current U.S. champion, Harry Nelson Pillsbury did not compete.
In 1906, Pillsbury died and Marshall again refused the championship title until he won it in competition in 1909.
In 1907 he played a match against World Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker for the title and lost 8 games, winning none and drawing 7. They played their match in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Chicago, and Memphis from January 26 to April 8, 1907.
In 1909, he agreed to play a match with a young Cuban named José Raúl Capablanca, and to most people´s surprise, lost 8 games, drew 14 and could only win one. After this thrashing, the chivalrous Marshall became one of Capablanca´s biggest supporters, insisting the Cuban be invited to play in the international tournament at San Sebastian in 1911. San Sebastian was an exclusive tournament, designed to be one of the strongest ever held, inviting only masters who had proven themselves by winning lesser tournaments. Capablanca was allowed to play, largely on Marshall´s insistence, and Capablanca repayed Marshall´s endorsement by not only avoiding being thrashed, but instead actually winning the tournament.
At St. Petersburg in 1914, Marshall became one of the five original "grandmasters" of chess. The other four were Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, and Tarrasch.
In 1915 he opened the Marshall Chess Club in New York.
In 1936 he relinquished his US championship title to Samuel Reshevsky who won a tournament for the US championship, sponsored by the National Chess Federation, and held in New York. The Marshall Chess Club donated the trophy. Marshall held the US title for 29 years.
Frank Marshall has a number of chess opening variations named after him, most notably the Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d5 in algebraic notation). Marshall came up with this attack in a game against José Raúl Capablanca in 1918. Even though he lost, his opening idea became quite popular.
Although Marshall had a negative record against Capablanca, he was one of a few players who beat him with black pieces. The game was played in Havana in 1913 (moves given in Algebraic chess notation):
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bg4 7. O-O Nc6 8. c3 Be7 9. Nbd2 Nxd2 10. Bxd2 O-O 11. h3 Bh5 12. Re1 Qd7 13. Bb5 Bd6 14. Ne5 Bxe5 15. Qxh5 Bf6 16. Bf4 Rae8 17. Re3 Rxe3 18. fxe3 a6 19. Ba4 b5 20. Bc2 g6 21. Qf3 Bg7 22. Bb3 Ne7 23. e4 dxe4 24. Qxe4 c6 25. Re1 Nd5 26. Bxd5 cxd5 27. Qe7 Qc8 28. Bd6 h6 29. Rf1 f6 30. Re1 Rd8 31. Bc5 Kh7 32. Qf7 Qf5 33. Be7 Qd7 34. Kf1 Rf8 35. Qe6 Qxe6 36. Rxe6 Re8 37. Re2 Kg8 38. b3 Kf7 39. Bc5 Rxe2 40. Kxe2 f5 41. Kd3 Ke6 42. c4 bxc4+ 43. bxc4 g5 44. g4 f4 45. Bb4 Bf6 46. Bf8 dxc4+ 47. Kxc4 f3 48. d5+ Ke5 49. Kd3 Kf4 50. Bd6+ Be5 51. Bc5 Kg3 52. Ke4 Bf4 53. d6 f2 0-1
Capablanca rarely lost in the endgame.