Antique Jaques Marshall Chessmen, Small Club Size.
Here is a set of Antique Jaques Marshall Chessmen, Small Club Size, Boxwood and Ebony, heavily weighted and cushioned atop green English baize base pads. Both Kings are stamped “Jaques London” on their bases. The Kingside Knights and Rooks have a King’s crown stamped on their summits. This is an early Marshall style set with very beautifully carved Knights. The King stands 3-7/8″ tall with a 1-7/8″ diameter base. These Antique Jaques Marshall chessmen are housed in their original Mahogany hinge-top box with the original manufacturer’s label. The chessmen and box are in excellent condition. The set dates to around 1900. The small Club Size have now become the unofficial international standard for sanctioned tournament play. These Antique Jaques Marshall Chessmen play and display best on a chessboard with 2-3/8″ or 2-1/2″ squares. The antique reproduction Jaques chessboard shown are not included, but a suitable new or antique chessboard can be purchased elsewhere on this site. To view our selection of new and antique chessboards, please look here.
A Little About Frank Marshall.
Frank James Marshall (August 10, 1877 – November 9, 1944) was the U.S. Chess Champion from 1909 to 1936, and one of the world’s strongest players in the early part of the 20th century. Marshall was born in New York City, and lived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from age 8 to 19. He began playing chess at the age of 10, and by 1890 (aged 13) was one of the leading players in Montreal.
Marshall was best known for his great tactical skill. Grand Master Andrew Soltis writes that, “In later years his prowess at rescuing the irretrievable took on magical proportions”. Not so well known now, but appreciated in his day, was his endgame skill.
Marshall invented a number of opening variations. Two gambit variations are still theoretically important today. One of the most famous is the Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez (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). Marshall’s first debut with this opening was against Capablanca in 1918 (see Image right). Even though Capablanca won in a game widely regarded as a typical example of his defensive genius, Marshall’s opening idea became quite popular. Black gets good play and scores close to 50 percent with it. The Marshall Attack is so respected that many top players often choose to avoid it with “Anti-Marshall” variations such as 8.a4.
Marshall won the1904 Cambridge Springs International Chess Congress (scoring 13/15, ahead of World Champion Emanuel Lasker) and the U.S. congress in 1904. Marshall was not awarded the National title because the U.S. champion at that time, 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 1936, after holding the U.S. championship title for 27 years, he relinquished it to the winner of the First official U.S. Championship Tournament. which was sponsored by the National Chess Federation and held in New York. That first official U.S. Championship was won by Samuel Reshevsky.