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Robert Smith vs Charles Marshall Fisher
Fisher-Smith Match (1873), Sydney AUS, rd 1
Dutch Defense: Classical Variation (A84)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-21-14  optimal play: <We have the pleasure of informing our readers that Mr. Smith has accepted Mr. Fisher's challenge to play a short match, to be decided in favour of the winner of the first seven games.

The contest is to be played at Woollahra <a suburb of Sydney>, under the Praxis rules, and with a time limit of seventeen moves per hour.

- Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW) issue Saturday 20 September 1873 page 20

The match between Messrs. Fisher and Smith was commenced on the 17th instant <i.e. on the 17th September 1873> at the residence of the latter.

- Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW) issue Saturday 27 September 1873 page 21>

3.g3 looks to have been a novelty introduced by Smith in this game.

Following this match the next occasion this was played seems to be Max Weiss vs J N Berger, 1880


Alekhine tried this twice against Euwe (games 24 & 26) in their 1935 World Championship Match.


<The advance of this Pawn is showy, but altogether unsound> *

<He could also have played P to K 4 with advantage> **

10...c5 or 10...cxd6

<Mr. Fisher selected wisely in not capturing the Q P ; had he done so, White would speedily recover the Pawn and obtain a fine game by playing his Kt to Q 4 and then to Q Kt 5> *

<It is probable that Black overlooked that he could have captured the Q P with impunity> **

Houdini sides with 10...cxd6


<This and the following move are badly played, and expose White to attack; he should have castled without delay> *


<Black has now a fine position> *


<He should have played P to Q Kt 4> **

Houdini came up with 20...Qc8 as the preferred move.


<Kt to B 2 would win tho Q P in a few moves> *

23...Nca5 ? 23...b5 wins!

<Here Black misses a chance, P to Q Kt 4 would have made the enemy very uncomfortable> *

<Here again P to Q Kt 4 is the correct move> **


<We like Kt to Kt 2 better e.g. 27... Kt to Kt 2 ; 28. P to K 4 ; R takes P ; 29. R takes R ; Kt takes R ; 30. R to Q sq ; Kt takes P ; And Black has at least an even game> *

33...Re6 ?

<A miscalculation, giving the aspiring Pawn a free pass.

R to B 3 would have won the P, if, in reply, White checked at K 7, Black could interpose the R> *

36...Kf6 ?

<Here black should have taken the P and then have checked at Q 8> *

39...Nf7 ?

<A fatal error, Black has neglected many opportunities of winning tho Q P, and now it rises in judgment against him> *

Instead 39...Ke7 might have kept Black in the game.

40.Rxg6+ wins!

41.Nxf7 !

<Capitally played> **

Smith scores a first-up win in their race to seven.

*Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW) issue Saturday 27 September 1873 page 21

**The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic.) issue Saturday 4 October 1873 page 12

Dec-28-14  poorthylacine: A lot of thanks for this record and for the good annotations too, OPTIMAL PLAT!! This not only for this game but for all the match of course!!

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