optimal play: This is the ninth game in the match between Robert Smith and Charles Marshall Fisher played 1873 in Sydney.
<We cannot commend this move; Q Kt to B 3 is preferable>*
This move seems to have been pioneered by Robert Smith, playing it four times during this match, winning twice.
It was next played seven years later Max Weiss vs J N Berger, 1880
And despite the chess writer's negative opinion on its introduction, is now the most played move in this opening.
In fact it should probably be called the Dutch defence; Robert Smith variation, whereas back in 1873 the newspaper simply headed the game "Irregular Opening"
<Black has now obtained the attack>*
<An oversight which loses a piece>*
Houdini recommends 18.Nf4 to maintain equality.
No better is 19.Qxh6 since 19...Bxg2+ 20.Kxg2 exf3+ 21.Kxf3 gxh6
After nine games, with the race to seven wins, the progressive score was as follows:-
0-1-2-2-3-4-4-4-5 (5/9) Charles Marshall Fisher
1-1-1-2-2-2-3-4-4 (4/9) Robert Smith
No drawn games.
*The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic.) issue Saturday 1 November 1873 page 13