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Andrew Burns vs Thomas Isaac Ryan
Victoria-New South Wales Telegraph Match (1873), ?
French Defense: Normal Variation (C00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-01-15  optimal play: Inter-colonial Chess Match [by telegraph]

New South Wales vs Victoria


Mr. Ryan was paired against the Victorian crack. Mr. Burns, and the ingenious manner in which he won a Pawn, and kept his redoubtable enemy at bay surprised whilst it gratified his admirers.

The game, however came to an untimely end, Mr. Ryan being destined to inaugurate the run of bad luck which pursued the Sydney team throughout the match.

At his 21st move, Mr. Burns telegraphed King's Kt to Kt 3; Mr. Ryan, not observing that both Knights could be played to this square, moved his antagonist's Queen's Kt to Kt 3, and, unconscious of his error, sent a reply which lost a Bishop for nothing.

He, of course, at once resigned, as the rule on this point left him no option, but to abide by the consequences of the mistake.

Mr. Ryan played the "Fianchetto" defence, and his game was the first finished, being over at 4 in the afternoon.>

- Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW) issue Saturday 22 November 1873 page 12-13>

Sep-01-15  Granny O Doul: Seems to me that if anything White should have been forfeited for sending the ambiguous move.
Sep-01-15  optimal play: <Granny O Doul> Good point!

By the 20th move how can anyone even tell which is the King's Knight and which is the Queen's?

Fortunately nowadays with algebraic notation we don't have that problem.

Of course, Ryan should have asked for clarification as to which Knight Burns meant, such as the specific square on which it stood, so ultimately he had to accept responsibility for his move.

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