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James Mortimer
Number of games in database: 129
Years covered: 1865 to 1907
Overall record: +20 -94 =15 (21.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 French Defense (10) 
    C11 C14 C13 C12 C17
 Giuoco Piano (8) 
    C53 C50 C54
 Sicilian (7) 
    B40 B32 B45 B34
 French (6) 
    C11 C13 C12
 Two Knights (6) 
    C55 C59 C56
 Scandinavian (5) 
    B01
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (18) 
    C65 C77 C91 C69 C80
 Petrov (8) 
    C42
 Giuoco Piano (5) 
    C50 C54 C53
 Vienna Opening (5) 
    C25 C29 C26
 Orthodox Defense (4) 
    D50 D53 D67
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   J Mortimer vs Lasker, 1891 1-0
   J Mortimer vs Mieses, 1900 1/2-1/2
   J Mortimer vs Chigorin, 1883 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   London (1883)
   Paris (1900)

Search Sacrifice Explorer for James Mortimer
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JAMES MORTIMER
(born Apr-22-1833, died Feb-24-1911, 77 years old) United States of America (citizen of United Kingdom)

[what is this?]
James Mortimer was born in Richmond, Virginia. He spent the latter part of his life in England. He played at the British Chess Association tourney at London in 1866 and at Bradford in 1888. At Simpson's Divan in London 1888 he was 7th= with Johannes Zukertort. In 1911 he went to San Sebastian and died there after a short illness.

Wikipedia article: James Mortimer


 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 129  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. J Mortimer vs S Rosenthal  1-021 1865 Cafe de la RegenceC51 Evans Gambit
2. J Mortimer vs S Rosenthal  1-024 1867 Paris mC54 Giuoco Piano
3. J Mortimer vs S Rosenthal  0-125 1867 Paris mC20 King's Pawn Game
4. S Rosenthal vs J Mortimer 1-018 1867 Paris mC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
5. J Mortimer vs S Rosenthal  1-050 1867 Paris mC50 Giuoco Piano
6. S Rosenthal vs J Mortimer ½-½50 1867 Paris mC45 Scotch Game
7. J Mortimer vs S Rosenthal  0-144 1867 Paris mC44 King's Pawn Game
8. J Mortimer vs J Noa  0-138 1883 LondonC11 French
9. J Mortimer vs Blackburne  0-181 1883 LondonC11 French
10. J Mortimer vs Steinitz  ½-½63 1883 LondonC33 King's Gambit Accepted
11. J Mortimer vs Chigorin 1-055 1883 LondonC59 Two Knights
12. J Mortimer vs Bird 0-121 1883 LondonC33 King's Gambit Accepted
13. Mackenzie vs J Mortimer  1-062 1883 LondonA10 English
14. Steinitz vs J Mortimer  1-042 1883 LondonD40 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
15. J Mortimer vs Zukertort 0-151 1883 LondonC45 Scotch Game
16. Winawer vs J Mortimer 1-057 1883 LondonC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
17. J Mortimer vs S Rosenthal 0-152 1883 LondonC39 King's Gambit Accepted
18. Zukertort vs J Mortimer 0-142 1883 LondonC52 Evans Gambit
19. Sellman vs J Mortimer 1-027 1883 LondonA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
20. J Mason vs J Mortimer 1-035 1883 LondonC77 Ruy Lopez
21. J Mortimer vs Englisch  0-129 1883 LondonB01 Scandinavian
22. A Skipworth vs J Mortimer  1-047 1883 LondonA20 English
23. Chigorin vs J Mortimer 1-019 1883 LondonC52 Evans Gambit
24. J Noa vs J Mortimer  1-051 1883 LondonC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
25. J Mason vs J Mortimer  1-054 1883 LondonC54 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 129  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Mortimer wins | Mortimer loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-21-06  percyblakeney: <Want to play Lasker? You're black> And this is what happened :-)

Lasker vs J Mortimer, 1892

Apr-21-06  Jim Bartle: No way! So the key is, Don't Prepare!
Apr-23-06  percyblakeney: Mortimer is probably the worst chessplayer to have not only beaten Zukertort and Chigorin, but also have won 2 of 3 games with Lasker. And he did all these things when he was 50 years or older.
Apr-02-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Happy B-day, Morti.
Apr-02-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: short biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_...
Apr-02-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: never heard of the <Mortimer Trap> before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortim...

May-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Some reading about the fellow:

http://www.chesscafe.com/text/spinr...

J Mortimer vs Duras, 1907

May-16-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: In C.N. 6122 Winter quotes <an article by James Mortimer entitled ‘How to Win at Chess’ on page 9 of the "Daily Mail", 6 October 1906:

<‘To those who have taken up chess as an intellectual and fascinating pastime, and who are often beaten at odds by players of inferior grammar, it will be cheering to know that many persons are skilful chessplayers, though in some instances their brains, in a general way, compare unfavourably with the cogitative faculties of a rabbit. They are simply familiar with the openings – the well-beaten paths discovered or devised by the masters of the game.’>>

Source: http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

May-16-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: ¥ <CALLI> RE MORTIMERS INCARCERATION-AND THE IMPRISONMENT OF CHESSPLAYERS IN GENERAL: The story is told that one committee meeting of the British Chess Federation had to be cancelled because the group was inquorate. Mr Soanes turned up, but Mr Ritson-Morry was in jail for embezzlement, while Mr Stammwitz was in jail for bigamy. His feeble protestations at the trial of: 'I forgot about the other wife,' not unnaturally having been brushed aside. I used to hold the belief that teaching chess in prisons was a good idea. A controlled regime of exercise already ensures that the inmates of our jails are kept physically fit during their sojourn. It seemed, therefore, logical that improving the minds of those incarcerated, by the teaching and general encouragement of chess would be a beneficial parallel. Indeed, there are many examples of those imprisoned for political reasons turning to chess as a way of keeping their brains occupied, while they were out of circulation. A notable example was the former Prime Minister of Israel, Menachim Begin, who helped to keep his formidable mental powers in shape whilst jailed by the British regime in Palestine.

There are also cases of strong chessplayers in their own right -not just chessplaying politicians and committee members-finding themselves behind bars. For example, the two US International Masters, Norman Whitaker and Raymond Weinstein were jailed respectively for confidence trickery and murder. The Yugoslav Grandmaster Milan Matulovic was sentenced to nine months for careless driving after a fatal car crash, while the two world champions Wilhelm Steinitz and Bobby Fischer both found themselves under arrest for bizarre reasons. Steinitz, was arrested and accused of spying when the moves of some of his correspondence games were intercepted. The authorities suspected that the moves were coded military secrets. Meanwhile, Bobby Fischer was arrested in Pasadena in May 1981 under suspicion of being a bank robber. Other chessplayers, including Alexandre Deschapelles, James Mortimer,as we have seen, Ludek Pachman, Alex Wojtkiewicz and Vladimir Petrov were all jailed for political dissidence or matters of principle.

While inside,we are told, Mortimer taught his fellow inmates how to play chess. This is all well and good, but I have re -thought this entire matter of how best to handle the criminal classes. Surely, by insisting on physical exercise, we are helping to breed stronger and fitter criminals to be given free run on our streets. Meanwhile, by encouraging chess, or other mind games for inmates, we are, in fact, assisting recidivists to develop Moriarty-like cunning for their new forays, once released, to be unleashed against the law-abiding citizenry.

Surely this is all wrong thinking-the result of discredited wishy washy liberalism and the false belief that the criminal classes can be successfully rehabilitated.The harsh but true answer , actually, is as follows, following what I now christen the <PUFF PASTRY THEORY OF PENAL REFORM> The prison population should a) be deprived of all contact with chess and other mind-enhancing activities, and b) cut off from all forms of physical exercise and fed on an exclusive diet of cholesterol-forming, high calorie cream cakes. This way, we will ensure that instead of dangerously fit and intelligent malefactors being reintroduced into society, all REPEAT OFFENDERS would, in fact, become stunningly stupid, lumberingly obese and absolutely ill-equipped to elude the constabulary by running away successfully from any crime they might commit in the future.

I HAVE A SOMEWHAT LONGER AND EARLIER VERSION OF THIS ESSAY TO BE FOUND AT THE END OF MY NOTES TO <KEENE V MARTINOVSKY CHICAGO 1985> ON WWW.CHESSGAMES.COM

Jul-05-09  biglo: <Calli> perhaps Mortimer himself was the author of the article and thefore was not so much brave :)
Jul-05-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <perhaps Mortimer himself was the author of the article>

Right, he went to jail in order to prevent himself from going to jail. Have you been watching too many political talk shows? ;-)

Jun-09-10  myschkin: . . .

“May not the same reproach be applied to enthusiasts of cricket, football, bridge and other popular games, which lure their infatuated devotees from their legitimate pursuits and render them unfit for work?”

"Chess and madness"

http://www.chessbase.com/newsprint....

(by Olimpiu G. Urcan, 2005)

<ref> http://www.time.com/time/columnist/... </ref>

Jun-29-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: A picture and discussion of the "Mortimer Trap" can be found at:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Mar-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Mortimer's Trap:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Ne7 5.Nxe5??

5...c6 followed by 6...Qa5+! picking up the knight on e5 :)

rest in peace, James Mortimer..

Mar-20-12  brankat: A great essay Mr.Keene!
Mar-20-12  Troller: Did this guy ever serve in the army? And if so, did he perchance rise to the level of colonel?
Mar-20-12  brankat: Everyone in the Army of the South rose to the level of Colonel :-)
Mar-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Colonel Mortimer: Ah yes, my great, great, great grandfather.
Jun-17-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I wrote a post regarding Mortimer and his connection to Paul Morphy at http://chicagochess.blogspot.com/20....
Jul-01-12  Llawdogg: That was a fun article, FSR.
Jul-01-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Thanks, <Llawdogg>.
Dec-15-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Mortimer has an interesting lifetime score against Lasker:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

Speaking of which, here is another game purporting to be between the two, played "recently" accoding to the "Baltimore American" of May 12, 1901:

http://www.chessarch.com/excavation...

Dr. Lasker - J Mortimer

<1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0-0 Nf6 5.b4 Bxb4 6.c3 Be7 7.d4 d6 8.Ng5 0-0 9.f4 h6 10.Nxf7 Rxf7 11.Bxf7+ Kxf7 12.d5 Nb8 13.c4 Kg8 14.Nc3 Nbd7 15.f5 a6 16.g4 Nh7 17.Be3 Ndf8 18.Qe1 Bg5 19.Bf2 Bf4 20.a4 Qe8 21.h4 g5 22.h5 Bd7 23.Kg2 Nf6 24.Kf3 N8h7 25.Rb1 b5 26.a5 Kg7 27.cxb5 Nxg4>


click for larger view

If 28.Kxg4, Black mates in two.

<28.Rh1 Nh2+ 29.Kg2 Qxh5 30.Qe2 g4 31.Qd3 Ng5 32.Bg3 Qh3+ 33.Kf2 Ngf3 34.Bxh2 Bxh2> 0-1

THere are some evident typos in the printed score, but I'm pretty sure they are ironed out.

Is there another source for this gam? I've learned to be careful about material from this newspaper.

Feb-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: From the death announcement:

On February 27, 1911, the veteran James Mortimer (born April 2, 1833, in Richmond, Virginia) passed away in San Sebastian. He was working as a reporter for the 'Daily Mail' and 'Evening News' there.

In 1853, Mortimer came to Paris as an embassy attaché (<Gesandtschaftsattaché>) and was well-known in the Chess Circle of the Café de la Régence already around 1860. He was a brilliant player and often dabbled in International tournaments, where he achieved some brilliant accomplishments, but greater successes were denied to him.

A variation of the Evans Gambit is named after him, and there is also the defense 4.d3 Ne7 in the Ruy Lopez.

He authored the books 'The Mortimer Fraser Gambit', 'The Chess Pocket Book' and the the 6th edition of 'Manual of the Openings' (London, 1890).

Source: Page 138 of the May-June 1911 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Apr-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He was in prison for reporting hoax Ufo sightings.
Apr-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Obituary from the New York Times, dated February 25, 1911:

"JAMES MORTIMER DEAD
Once in American Legation at Paris He Befriended Emperor Napoleon III

LONDON, Feb 24:- James Mortimer, once attached to the American Legation in Paris, died yesterday at San Sebastian, where he was attending a chess tournament.

In the course of his sojourn in Paris Mr Mortimer became an intimate of Napoleon III, and was the last person to speak to him before the fatal operation at Chiselhurst in 1873, where Mr Mortimer had procured shelter for the exiled imperial family at the house of his friend Strode. Mr Mortimer, who left America at the age of 23 years, has been living mostly in London, where he once edited a newspaper called The London Figaro."

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