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James Mason
J Mason 
Number of games in database: 502
Years covered: 1870 to 1904

Overall record: +174 -165 =162 (50.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (39) 
    C77 C78 C67 C65 C62
 Giuoco Piano (37) 
    C50 C54 C53
 Queen's Pawn Game (25) 
    D00 D02 A40 A46 A45
 Sicilian (16) 
    B40 B45 B30 B23 B32
 French Defense (15) 
    C11 C01 C13 C00 C14
 Vienna Opening (14) 
    C25 C29 C28 C27
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (72) 
    C11 C01 C13 C00 C14
 French (47) 
    C11 C13 C00 C12 C10
 Petrov (32) 
    C42 C43
 Ruy Lopez (29) 
    C65 C67 C80 C66 C78
 Vienna Opening (13) 
    C29 C26 C27 C25
 Orthodox Defense (11) 
    D50 D60 D55
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   J Mason vs Winawer, 1882 1-0
   J Mason vs Chigorin, 1889 1-0
   J Noa vs J Mason, 1883 0-1
   J Mason vs NN, 1900 1-0
   J Mason vs Janowski, 1902 1-0
   J Mason vs Wittek, 1882 1-0
   J Mason vs Englisch, 1882 1/2-1/2
   Mackenzie vs J Mason, 1882 1/2-1/2
   Chigorin vs J Mason, 1889 0-1
   J Mason vs Alapin, 1889 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   4th American Chess Congress (1876)
   London (1900)
   Nuremberg (1883)
   Hamburg (1885)
   Vienna (1882)
   Berlin (1881)
   London (1883)
   Manchester (1890)
   6th American Chess Congress (1889)
   Breslau (1889)
   London (1899)
   Paris (1878)
   Monte Carlo (1903)
   Hastings (1895)
   Monte Carlo (1902)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   akiba82's favorite games by mariofrisini
   akiba82's favorite games by akiba82
   New York 1889 by suenteus po 147
   London 1883 by suenteus po 147
   London 1883 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Vienna 1882 by suenteus po 147

   Pillsbury vs Burn, 1895
   Tarrasch vs J Mieses, 1895
   Tinsley vs Schlechter, 1895
   Tinsley vs Tarrasch, 1895

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(born Nov-19-1849, died Jan-12-1905, 55 years old) Ireland

[what is this?]

James Mason was born on November 19, 1849 in Kilkenny, Ireland. He was adopted as a child and his name changed; his original name is unknown. He immigrated to the United States in 1861 as a child, and then to England in 1878 as an adult.

While in the United States he won first prizes at the 4th American Chess Congress in Philadelphia (= 4th American Chess Congress (1876)) and then at the New York Clipper tournament. He also won a match against visiting English master Henry Edward Bird (+11 =4 -4). He edited a chess column for Wilkes' Spirit of the Times (1).

According to Chessmetrics, he was the strongest player in the world from August 1877 through June 1878 (2). In 1879 he drew a match (+5 =11 -5) with William Norwood Potter. His best result was at the Vienna (1882) tournament (+17 =12 -5) when he finished third behind the joint winners Wilhelm Steinitz and Simon Winawer. He died in Rochford, Essex, England in 1905.

Reference: (1) Buffalo Globe, August 1st, 1876. Reference: (2)

Wikipedia article: James Mason (chess player)

Last updated: 2018-07-12 09:25:13

 page 1 of 21; games 1-25 of 502  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Merian vs J Mason 1-0431870Casual gameC51 Evans Gambit
2. J Mason vs F E Brenzinger 0-1601870Brooklyn Chess Club TournamentC51 Evans Gambit
3. P Richardson vs J Mason 1-0201873New York, USAC52 Evans Gambit
4. G Reichhelm vs J Mason 1-0571874Philadelphia m1C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
5. J Mason vs G Reichhelm ½-½561874Philadelphia m1C42 Petrov Defense
6. J Mason vs D M Martinez 1-0251874Philadelphia m2C25 Vienna
7. D M Martinez vs J Mason 1-0461874Philadelphia m2C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
8. D M Martinez vs J Mason 1-0381874MatchC42 Petrov Defense
9. J Mason vs D M Martinez 0-1401875Philadelphia mC48 Four Knights
10. Bird vs J Mason 0-1471876New York mC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
11. J Mason vs Bird 1-0321876New YorkC25 Vienna
12. Bird vs J Mason 1-0501876New York mC11 French
13. Bird vs J Mason 0-1221876New York mA02 Bird's Opening
14. J Mason vs Bird 1-0631876New YorkC25 Vienna
15. H Wernich vs J Mason 0-1251876Clipper Free Centennial TournamentC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
16. J Mason vs Bird 0-1321876New York mC33 King's Gambit Accepted
17. J Mason vs Bird 1-0251876New York mC33 King's Gambit Accepted
18. Bird vs J Mason 0-1411876New York mA02 Bird's Opening
19. Bird vs J Mason 0-19818764th American Chess CongressA02 Bird's Opening
20. J Mason vs Bird ½-½3818764th American Chess CongressC33 King's Gambit Accepted
21. L D Barbour vs J Mason ½-½9118764th American Chess CongressC66 Ruy Lopez
22. J Mason vs L D Barbour 1-02718764th American Chess CongressB42 Sicilian, Kan
23. D M Martinez vs J Mason 0-14218764th American Chess CongressA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
24. J Mason vs D M Martinez 1-02718764th American Chess CongressC01 French, Exchange
25. J Mason vs Albert Roberts 1-02818764th American Chess CongressC77 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 21; games 1-25 of 502  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Mason wins | Mason loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Zanzibar> I don't think CG did that, one of the editor may have done it, because of the () in the link, which does not translate very well.

Have to use &#forty; and &#forty-one; so the link would work.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Every pawn is a potential queen> - James Mason.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Never make a good move too soon> - James Mason.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I thought he was pretty good in Lolita
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: he played a mean Rommel.
Nov-19-15  gars: Let's praise James Mason games and books, but let's not forget Jose Raul Capablanca, born exactly thirty-nine years later.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: reincarnation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feb-05-16  zanzibar: In regards to his play in

<2nd BCA Congress - London (1886)>:

<"Mason's play throughout the entire tournament was as usual notable for tenacity, coupled, at times, with a trifle of dulness, and many of his games were, if not 'linked sweetness,' certainly 'long drawn-out,' for some extended far above 100 moves with a draw to wind up with. Indeed of the twelve games he played exactly one half were drawn. Six draws out of twelve speak well for a player's dogged stubbornness whatever else they may show. It is worthy of note that exclusive of Mason's draws there were only five other draws made by all the remaining masters. His game with Lipschutz was somewhat remarkable. Mason played 1 P to K 3, and his opponent followed his example almost move for move until at the 12th move the following position appeared, wherein the White and Black pieces occupy precisely similar squares."

- BCM v7 p350>

Jun-03-16  zanzibar: Maybe mentioned before, definitely good enough to be mentioned again:

A nice profile of Mason. The bio probably should also mention his contributions to BCM.

(And as far as chess is concerned - James Mason is good enough, he used it his entire lifetime)

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, James Mason.
Jul-10-18  Whitehat1963: A damned fine actor. I liked him in The Verdict.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: My favorite Paul Newman movie, after 1) cool hand luke and 2) the sting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The Verdict is very under-rated

of course Butch Cassidy

and A Long Hot Summer

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: getting back to James Mason I liked Pandora and the Flying Dutchman
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: And Lolita, he was great in that film, although the film is not as good as the book (is it ever?).
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: bunchapervs. =))
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <And Lolita, he was great in that film, although the film is not as good as the book (is it ever?).>

Feel free to disagree, but I thought much of the power of the book was the contrast between the proper, arch, almost academic way Humbert described events and the truly tawdry things he was describing.

That was lost in the movie.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <saffuna> Agreed. That is an aspect of the book that the film doesn't convey. In fact, the Humbert in the book is very different from the movie character. I don't know if you remember that but the chronology of events is messed up in the film, too. And, of course, censorship limitations prevented Kubrick from making the film as he originally intented, as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Forgot about butch and the sundance kid, an all time great. There was a time when Redford's movies weren't boring and preachy.
Jul-11-18  Whitehat1963: The Bridges of Madison County. The movie was FAR BETTER than the book. The book is garbage, a trifle. The movie features Meryl Streep and is well directed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: If we are going to talk about movies directed by Clint Eastwood they deserve their own thread - too many to mention.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think the chimp in the biker movies should havebbeen nominated for an Oscar.
Jan-19-19  Caissanist: <Every pawn is a potential queen> - James Mason.

Quite right, just as I learned by reading <Chess in 30 Minutes> when I was nine. This seems rather less profound than most of the other quotes I've seen on here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  John Saunders: Some of us at the English Chess Forum have been conducting further research into James Mason recently - <>

Still nothing regarding his real name but we now know he was married to Annie (born around 1855 in Swanage, Dorset, England) and that in 1901 he tells the census enumerator that he was born in Ireland but an American citizen.

I did speculate that the tantalising reference to his name being "infernally Milesian" (as said by Mason to RJ Buckley) might point in the direction of John Byrne, one of the possibilities rejected by Jim Hayes in his excellent biography. My reasoning was that 'Byrne' and 'burn' are homophones, and 'burn' is what happens to people in an inferno. It has the ring of a cryptic crossword clue about it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  mifralu: < BOW STEEET. A Chess Player in his Cups. James Mason, 38 was charged by Police-constable 55 E with being drunk the previous night in Bedford-street between seven and eight, and breaking a pane of glass in the window of the British Chess Club. A gentleman, who was a member of the club, said the defendant was one of the greatest chess players in the world, and lately had, unfortunately, given way to drink. The members of the club had made him an honorary member, but he made himself offensive, and was ordered to leave by the steward. On the way out he broke a pane of glass, and was given into custody. They relied upon the defendant to vindicate them in international contests, and were extremely sorry at the condition into which he had fallen. Mr. Bridge told defendant chess-players were generally men of intellect, but inordinate drink turned them into beasts. Fined 5s. >

Reynolds's Newspaper, London, Greater London, England 01 January 1888, Page 8

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