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Albert Edward Wallace vs William Crane
Wallace - Crane (1893), Sydney AUS, rd 7, Aug-15
Vienna Game: Vienna Gambit. Paulsen Attack (C29)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I wonder if this is Australian champion William Crane?
Dec-27-04  sneaky pete: <Benzol> It must be. Albert Wallace was the Australian champion in 1893, 1895 and 1896, William Crane in 1888 and 1897. This was apparently the 7th game of a match, probably with the Australian title at stake. Would Wallace play such a match at that time against any other Crane?
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <sneaky pete>This was apparently the 7th game of a match, probably with the Australian title at stake.

You are correct. This was game 7 of a match where the first player to score 7 points would be declared Australian champion. The first 5 drawn games would not count. The match was held in Sydney from mid-July to mid-October. Wallace defeated Crane by a score of +6, -2, =8.

Here are the circumstances of the 7th game, as quoted from Anthony Wright's book "Australian Chess to 1914", Melbourne, 1995:

"The match was being played at Gunsler's Cafe in Pitt St [Sydney]. Large numbers were in attendance and each game was fully reported in four of the daily newspapers. For this seventh game however, the original playing room was not available. The substitute room proved so unsuitable that the players decided to adjourn early. The game was resumed at the Australia Hotel by invitation of the manager."

Sep-29-15  optimal play: <<<CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP OF AUSTRALIA>

The seventh game in this contest was commenced last night.

The room in which the match has hitherto been played was not available, and the accommodation substituted proved so unsuitable that at the thirteenth move the players agreed to adjourn the game until Saturday night.

Mr. Wallace, having the move, chose the Vienna opening, and played the P takes K P variation, leading to the exchange of Knights.

The game had assumed a very interesting phase when, to the great disappointment of the spectators, it was adjourned from the above-mentioned cause.

It will be seen from the appended diagram that Mr. Wallace is continuing his attacking line of play, and the resumption of the game promises positions needing careful treatment at the hands of both players.>

- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW) issue Wednesday 16 August 1893 page 4>

Sep-29-15  optimal play: <<<The adjourned seventh game in the match between Messrs. Wallace and Crane was finished on Saturday night and terminated in a draw, a result which was not anticipated by many good players, who thought Mr. Wallace's position preferable to Mr. Crane's when play ceased on Tuesday last.>


In addition to the text move there are two equally good defences, viz. 2...Kt to Q B 3 and 2... B to B 4.


A comparatively new move, which Black fails to answer correctly.


The proper reply is 5... P to K B 4 -- the exchange of Knights leaves White with a fine open game, and his Bishops will presently have long range.


If 6... Q to R 5 ch ; 7. P to Kt 3 ; Q to K 5 ch ; 8. Q takes Q ; P takes Q, and Black's advanced P is weak.

<(6...Qh4 7.g3 Qe4+ 8.Qxe4 dxe4)>

click for larger view


Here Black should have checked with the B so as to weaken the adverse King's side.


Forced, because if 11... P to Kt 3, 12. B to Kt 5 ch, compelling 12... K to B sq.


We like 12. Kt to Kt 3 better, for the Kt would then well co-operate with the B's.


The natural move, 13. B takes Kt, is at least as good.


Blacks last two moves seem to disarrange his King's wing Pawns, but the line of defence adopted was necessary to safety. Castling at the thirteenth move was clearly out of the question. Bad, also, would have been 14... B to Kt 4, on account of 15. P to K R 4 ; B takes B ; 16. Q R takes B, and if now 16... Castles ; 17. R to B 6 ; K to R sq ; 18. R takes B ; P takes R ; 19. Q to Kt 6 and wins.

<(14...Bg5 15.h4 Bxc1 16.Rbxc1 O-O 17.Rf6 Kh8 18.Rxe6 fxe6 19.Qg6)>

click for larger view

<15.Be3> (13 min.)

White wisely avoided the tempting sacrifice of 15. B takes Kt P ; P takes B ; 16. Q takes P ch ; K to Q 2 ; 17. B takes P ; Q to Kt sq, and White's three passed P's are not worth the lost B.

<(15.Bxg6 fxg6 16.Qxg6+ Kd7 17.Bxh6 Qg8)>

click for larger view

<15...c6> (52 min.)


This move, which prevents White's P to B 4, is the only way to avert disaster.


22... R to R sq would not do, as White wins by 23. B takes P ; P takes B ; 24. Q takes Kt P ch, &c.

<(22...Ra8 23.Bxb5 cxb5 24.Qxb5+)>

click for larger view

<24.Rab1> (55 min.)

<24...Qc7> (91 min.)

A fair result, notwithstanding all the pieces on the board, Black's position is unassailable.>

- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW) issue Monday 21 August 1893 page 3>

½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ (4/7) Wallace

½ ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ (3/7) Crane

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