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|Jul-12-04|| ||Calli: I found one particularly interesting comment on him
"Mortimer, a dramatist and newspaper editor, was imprisoned for refusing to reveal the author of an allegedly libellous article. While inside, Mortimer taught his fellow inmates how to play chess."
|Apr-02-06|| ||BIDMONFA: James Mortimer|
|Apr-21-06|| ||Caissanist: Mortimer was never a chess pro to my knowledge. He was a journalist who showed up at many leading chess events at the turn of the 20th century and somehow wound up playing in a number of them--probably as a last minute replacement for somebody who didn't show up. He was at best a weak master by then, though he did manage a few fluke wins.|
|Apr-21-06|| ||Jim Bartle: Great. You're standing around waiting for a tournament to start. "Hey, you, Josephson didn't show up. Want to play Lasker? You're black."|
|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|| ||whiteshark: Happy B-day, Morti.|
|Apr-02-08|| ||whiteshark: short biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_...|
|Apr-02-08|| ||whiteshark: never heard of the <Mortimer Trap> before.|
|May-11-08|| ||Gypsy: Some reading about the fellow:
J Mortimer vs Duras, 1907
|May-16-09|| ||Karpova: In C.N. 6122 Winter quotes <an article by James Mortimer entitled ĎHow to Win at Chessí on page 9 of the "Daily Mail", 6 October 1906:|
<ĎTo 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 Ė the well-beaten paths discovered or devised by the masters of the game.í>>
|May-16-09|| ||ray keene: Ā• <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|| ||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: . . .
ďMay 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?Ē
"Chess and madness"
(by Olimpiu G. Urcan, 2005)
<ref> http://www.time.com/time/columnist/... </ref>
|Jun-29-10|| ||GrahamClayton: A picture and discussion of the "Mortimer Trap" can be found at:|
|Mar-20-12|| ||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|| ||Colonel Mortimer: Ah yes, my great, great, great grandfather.|
|Jun-17-12|| ||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|| ||FSR: Thanks, <Llawdogg>.|
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