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Albert Edward Wallace vs William Crane
Wallace - Crane (1893), Sydney AUS, rd 1, Jul-18
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rio Gambit Accepted (C67)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-12-13  optimal play: <<<CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP OF AUSTRALASIA.>

A match for the chess championship of Australasia was commenced in Gunsler's Cafe, Pitt-street, [Sydney] last night. The contestants are Mr. William Crane, jun., the present holder of the coveted honour, and Mr A. E. N. Wallace, a player who has achieved considerable distinction in the chess circles of the United Kingdom.

During his brief sojourn in the Antipodes Mr Wallace has won the chess championship of Queensland. Recently he has taken up his residence in this colony.

The match takes place under the auspices of the Sydney School of Arts Chess Club, whose officials made admirable arrangements for the conduct of the match. A comfortable room has been secured, and the convenience of both players and spectators has been studied. The players have their board in one room, and in an adjoining apartment a duplicate board keeps the onlookers informed of the state of the game.>

- The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 19 July 1893>

Mar-12-13  optimal play: <<<The following are the conditions under which Messrs Crane and Wallace and their respective supporters have agreed that the match shall be played, and it may be mentioned that they are in all essentials similar to those usually adopted in similar contests in Europe and America:->

1. The stakes shall be £25 a side, and the match to be for the championship of Australia.

2. The player who first wins seven games shall be declared the winner of the match. Drawn games not to count until after five games have been drawn; any game thereafter drawn to count as half a win to each player.

3. The time limit shall be 15 moves an hour, and time shall be kept by one set of double stop clocks, which are to be tested by the umpires before the match begins.

4. The days and hours of play shall be Tuesday and Saturday in each week, from 6.30 p.m. to 10.45 p.m.

5. An engagement to play shall be binding, unless reasonable notice and explanation be given for any postponement required, and failure to give such notice shall be deemed forfeiture, except in cases of accident or sudden illness. At the time fixed for play, if either of the players is absent, his clock shall be set going, except in such cases provided for above.

6. No game shall be adjourned until after four hours' play, except by mutual consent of the players.

7. An adjourned game shall be finished before a new game is started, but either player may decline to begin a new game after 8.30 p.m.

8. The stakeholder and referee shall be Mr. H. W. Apperly.

9. That Mr. P M Scott be umpire for Mr. Crane, and Mr. J. L Jacobsen umpire for Mr. Wallace.

10. The games shall be played at Gunsler's Cafe, Pitt-street, Sydney, within a partition which shall only be accessible to the players, umpires, and referee.

11. Tickets of admission to the match shall be signed by the umpires, and may be cancelled at any time at the request of the umpire of either player.

12. The spectators shall be requested to keep strict silence, and to refrain from any applause or signs of disapproval.

13. Neither player shall absent himself from the room during the hours appointed for play except for a reasonable time, to be agreed upon by the umpires.

14. The player whose turn it is to play shall remain near the board, but his opponent may move about inside the partition reserved for the players at such distance from the board as shall be fixed by the umpires.

15. The player whose turn it is to move at the time of adjournment shall enclose his move in an envelope, which shall be sealed and handed over to the referee; the move thus made shall be written in ink in words.

16. Either player who shall analyse a pending game by himself over the board, or with others even without the board, shall forfeit such game.

17. The games of this match shall be governed by the code of laws published in Lowenthal's book of the London Chess Congress of 1862, with the exception that if either player repeat the same move three times in succession, then his opponent may claim a draw.

18. The games played in this match shall be the property of the players.>

- The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 19 July 1893>

Mar-12-13  optimal play: <<Much of the interest centreing in the series of games initiated last night may be ascribed to the circumstances that this is the first occasion on which a single contest, apart from chess congresses, has taken place for the championship of Australasia.

Prior to the Adelaide Chess Congress of 1887 there was no recognised chess champion of these colonies. In that year Mr H. Charlick became the first holder of the title [*] defeating among other well-known exponents of the game, Messrs. Gossip and Heiman of Sydney, Esling und Tullidge of Melbourne, and Hookham of Canterbury (N.Z.).

Mr. Crane was unable to take part in the congress abovenamed, but in the following year, when a congress was held in Melbourne, he met and defeated Mr. Charlick after a severe contest. Among the unsuccessful competitors were Messrs. Tullidge and Stanley of Melbourne, and Brockelbank and Hay of New Zealand.

Since this event Mr. Crane's possession of the title has been unchallenged until a few weeks since, when the present match was projected.

It may be interesting to many to know that the present champion is a native of the colony, where he has participated in chess rivalry with such marked success that he has for many years past been regarded as one of the leading players of Australia.

Mr. Wallace who is a native of Dublin, has graduated in chess in an excellent school. Notwithstanding his youth, he has a command of the game which has enabled him to distance many talented aspirants to the chess championship of the North of Ireland.

As might be expected, the chess players of the metropolis mustered yesterday in considerable force, and the attendance of those for whom the game has not such permanent attraction would probably have been much larger had greater publicity been given to the event.>

- The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 19 July 1893>

[*] In 1950 the Australian Chess Federation formally declared, belatedly, that Frederick Karl Esling had in fact actually become the first Australian Chess Champion by winning his 1885 match against George Hatfeild Gossip

Mar-12-13  optimal play: <<The opponents meet in the most friendly spirit. The local connoisseurs who are most intimately acquainted with the champion's method rely upon his patient analysis to circumvent the generally-conceded brilliancy and quick perception of his youthful opponent. Mr Wallace's supporters, on the other hand, base their hopes upon the expectation that Mr Crane will find himself confronted by a more redoubtable antagonist than he has yet had to meet in these colonies.

The clocks were set going at about a quarter to 7 o'clock, and Mr. Wallace having won the toss, selected the Ruy Lopez attack, to which the champion replied with the Kt to K B 3 defence. The continuation of attacking moves met with cautious rejoinders from Mr Crane, who established an apparently even game on his tenth move by posting his Queen at Q 5, although analysis suggests that white might here have made much better use of his developed resources by playing Kt takes pawn at B 3, gaining a decided advantage in position. The subsequent exchanges designed to gain superiority of position for the end game failed in their object, and at the nineteenth move the contest reached its legitimate result, when Mr. Crane's proposal to draw was accepted.>

- The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 19 July 1893>

Sep-23-15  optimal play: <<<Contemporary notes...>


The text move, or 3... P to Q R 3 is considered to be the best defence.


Also best.


5. P to Q 4 is frequently played at this stage.


Superior to 6... Kt P takes P.


Much better than 7. R takes P.


White now threatens 9. Kt takes Q B P.


Black might easily have gone astray here - e.g., if 9... castles, or B to B 3, 10. Kt takes K B P, &c.

The move adopted (Kt to B 4) is the only correct play.


This permits black to free his game.


A natural move, but inferior to 10... Q to Q 4.


Because white might now have won position by the following continuation: - 11. Kt takes Q B P ; Q takes Q ; 12. P takes Q ; P takes Kt ; 13. P takes Kt ; B takes P ; 14. P to B 3 with the better game.

<(11.Nxc6 Qxe4 12.dxe4 bxc6 13.exf5 Bxf5 14.c3)>

click for larger view


Best, as it stops Kt to Q 5.


(30 min.)


(1 hour)


The exchange of pieces seems to foreshadow the draw.


If 18. Kt to K 2 ; Kt takes P ; 19. R to B sq ; R takes P, and white cannot safely take the Kt.

<(18.Ne2 Nxc2 19.Rc1 Rxd3)>

click for larger view


(68 min.)

Here, also, if 19. Kt to K 2 black wins a P by 19... R takes R ; 20. P takes R ; Kt takes P, &c


(90 min.)>

- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW) issue Wednesday 19 July 1893 page 3>

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from 1893 Wallace-Crane Australian Title Match by optimal play

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