Capablanca-Marshall Match, April 19 - June 23, 1909
New York, NY
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3
Capablanca ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 8 (w/14 draws)
Marshall ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 (w/14 draws)
Marshall was White in the odd numbered games. The match was
to go to the first to win 8 games.
This match was sanctioned at the time by the New York State
Chess Association as being for the US Championship. Everyone had
assumed that Marshall, with his great successes, was the de facto
US Champion after the death of Harry Nelson Pillsbury in 1906.
This match was intended as a title defense for Marshall. In fact,
even now, some may consider Marshall to be Champion by Acclamation
from that time on. But here, it gets stickier.
After being slaughtered in the match, Marshall suddenly
disputed its legitimacy, claiming that Capablanca of Cuba could not
be US Champion, as he was not a US citizen.
However, Cuba was at this time an American possession, and
Capablanca, who had lived in New York for 3 years with no sign of
leaving announced his intention to become a US citizen as soon as
he came of legal age, in a few months. Capablanca formally
claimed the US title at this time, having won it in a US title
match that was undisputed at the time it was played.
Due to Marshall's protests, the chess community again turned
to lawyer Walter Penn Shipley to settle the dispute. Shipley
ruled that neither Marshall nor Capablanca was the US Champion,
and that upon Pillsbury's death, the title had reverted to the
last living person to hold it, the retired Jackson Whipps
Showalter. Shipley further concluded that Capablanca could not
become US Champion without becoming a US Citizen. At this time,
the New York State Association withdrew their support from
Capablanca's claim, effectively stripping him of the title.
Marshall scooted down to Kentucky, dragged Showalter out of
retirement, and beat him in a match for the US title, later on
in 1909. After these events, Capablanca decided he didn't really
want to be an American after all, and went on to win the World
Championship, but for Cuba, not for the United States.
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