optimal play: This is the fifth game in the match between Robert Smith and Charles Marshall Fisher played 1873 in Sydney.
3.g3 appears to have been a novelty at that time.
<We do not consider this any improvement on the ordinary mode of continuing this opening by Kt to Q B 3 at once>**
<We think P to Kt 3 better, as White, to recover the pawn, has to remove his Kt too far from the grand point of action>*
<Playing the other rook to this square is preferable; taking the pawn with the Kt is unsound>*
<Black is apprehensive of Kt takes P, which he ought not to fear>*
<This relieves Black from his somewhat constrained situation; White should rather have played R to K 2, with the view of doubling>*
<This move does not benefit his position at all>**
<Correctly played, taking immediate advantage of White's last move>**
<A very censurable move, which shuts in the K B and puts the R out of play; he should have retreated the rook to K 2>*
<This involves White in more trouble; it would have been better to have retired the Rook whence it came>**
<This involves the loss of the exchange and the game; his only chance was R to K 3>*
<Black has handled his knights very cleverly>*
<A difficult move for White to answer>**
<Ingenious, but his case is hopeless; the learner will discover that Black would have been mated in five moves if he had taken the Q P>*
i.e. if 24...Qxd4?? then 25.Qe6+ Kh8 26.Nf7+ Kg8 27.Nh6+ Kh8 28.Qg8+ Nxg8 29.Nf7#
According to Houdini, that was White's losing move.
Had Smith played 25.Qd3 he might have still been ok.
<This saves time and trouble>* [sarcasm]
<After this slip White's game is quite hopeless>**
26...Rxe5 ! wins
After five games, with the race to seven wins, the progressive score was as follows:-
0-1-2-2-3 (3/5) Charles Marshall Fisher
1-1-1-2-2 (2/5) Robert Smith
*Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW) issue Saturday 25 October 1873 page 21
**The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic.) issue Saturday 25 October 1873 page 13