< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·
|Nov-19-12|| ||Abdel Irada: Interesting. I had no idea that 1. d4, d5; 2. Bf4 was named after Mason.|
As a high-schooler in 1982, in fact, I thought I'd invented the opening myself. Not having any opening books at the time, I took to trying to develop a safe way to open the game that was "mathematically correct" and avoided lines that my opponents knew.
My criteria in that process were harmonic development, central control, spatial aggressiveness and solidity. Without any particular, specific ambitions, I sought to get my pieces out fast with the general scheme (d4, Bf4, Nf3, e3, c3, Bd3, o-o) now known as the London System.
Then I *did* study openings, and found 1. e4 more to my liking — now that I knew enough to avoid the traps and tactics for which double king-pawn games are notorious.
But I've always nurtured a sentimental attachment to "my" old opening.
|Nov-19-12|| ||The17thPawn: Why is this fellow so often identified as a booze hound? I'm not arguing the point just wondering if there is actually historical record regarding his infermity? Any responses are appreciated.|
|Nov-19-12|| ||Calli: ďMy father adopted the name of Mason on landing in New Orleans when I was 11, his object being avoidance of the prejudice which obtained against the Irish. Donít split on me till Iím dead, and even then I would rather you didnít give the name, itís so infernally Milesian, and theyíd say that all the faults of the race went with it, particularly love of drink and laziness. I have them both myself!Ē - James Mason|
|Nov-19-12|| ||The17thPawn: Thanks <Calli> for the insight.|
|Nov-19-12|| ||talisman: happy birthday!|
|Nov-19-12|| ||brankat: "Mason had the unique quality of competently simmering through six aching hours, and scintillating in the seventh. Others resembled him, but forgot to scintillate." |
-- William Napier
"About Mason it has recently been written that in a sober state he doesn't have to lose a game to anyone. This may be true, but as this state is increasingly rare, it must be feared that his result here will be as mediocre as in his previous tournament."
-- Source Unknown (on the eve of the 1895 Hastings tournament)
|Nov-24-12|| ||Eric Farley: Mason's book "The Art of Chess" is an excellent book for novices, but it was written in 1895. The opening 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 is actually called "Sarrat Attack." The book "Winning with the London System" discusses it. A contemporary player that uses the Sarrat Attack (or Mason Opening) is Antoaneta Stefanova.|
|May-05-13|| ||Caissanist: <brankat>: no one knows for sure, but the link given by <Graham Clayton> indicates that his givn name was probably Patrick Dwyer.|
I say original name because it was extremely common for immigrants to the USA to at least partially change their names, and for all practical purposes his name really was James Mason from the time his family got off the boat.
|May-05-13|| ||offramp: I'm not at all sure about the Patrick Dwyer conclusion. Such a name in America would not have needed to be changed! I think the jury its still out.|
|May-08-13|| ||offramp: I have contacted the rector of St Peter's Church, Thundersley, Benfleet to see if Mason really is buried there.|
|May-28-13|| ||offramp: The only thing we knew for certain about James Mason was that his name wasn't James Mason. - Bob Dylan|
|Nov-16-13|| ||wordfunph: In 1888 James Mason was in court charged with breaking windows. His defence counsel said that "Chessplayers were generally men of intellect, but inordinate drink turned them into beasts." Mason was fined five shillings.|
Source: BCM November 1993
|Mar-13-14|| ||RedShield: <Why is this fellow so often identified as a booze hound? I'm not arguing the point just wondering if there is actually historical record regarding his infermity? Any responses are appreciated.>|
According to <The Even More Complete Chess Addict>:
<Mason [...] frequently lost games in a 'hilarious condition'. During a game in the London Tournament, 1899, he was discovered asleep in the fireplace.>
|Jun-02-14|| ||ljfyffe: Frank J. Marshall was awarded a copy of Mason's Art of Chess for his inter-club play as a youngster in Montreal.|
|Jan-13-15|| ||zanzibar: < "Many's the good man before now drank out of the bottle." > - Joyce in <Ivy Day in the Committee Room>|
Continuing the riff...
<Zak spent the entire war at the front, and there he joined the Party,
which at the time was quite natural. Chess was always the main thing
in his life. Before the war he studied with Romanovsky. At the house
of the maestro a group of young Leningrad players gathered, including
Zak. Under the guidance of Romanovsky they analysed games, developed
openings, and played theme tournaments. Often he would talk about the
leading players from the past. Zak tried to carry over the aroma of
these lessons to the children in the Pioneers' Palace.
'Who, do you think, was the strongest player of all at the end of the
last century?' he would ask, copying Romanovsky.
The children had absolutely no idea what to answer, and were totally
at a loss : 'Steinitz? Chigorin?'
'That is what we too replied', said Vladimir Grigoryevich.
<After all the conceivable names had been given, Romanovsky, raising
his index finger, would say: 'Mason, you should look at Mason's
games. Mason played stronger than anyone...'>
Only on becoming more grown up, were the children to learn the
conclusion of this sentence, which was not said to them for
pedagogical reasons. It was : '... if he was sober, of course, and
this did not happen often...'
It is noteworthy that Zak himself did not in fact become a master.>
<Russian Silhouette's> by <Genna Sosokonko> (2009)
As noted by <offramp> earlier.
|Jan-13-15|| ||diceman: <brankat:
The Bio says <James Mason> was not his "real" name.
Does anyone know what the real name was? Thank You.>
|Jan-14-15|| ||zanzibar: Since when does <CG> use tinyurl's for wiki refs?|
Also, this is one of the better bios I've found on him:
(Ref'ed by wiki article too)
|Jan-14-15|| ||WannaBe: <Zanzibar> I don't think CG did that, one of the editor may have done it, because of the () in the link, which CG.com does not translate very well.|
Have to use forty; and forty-one; so the link would work.
|May-11-15|| ||TheFocus: <Every pawn is a potential queen> - James Mason.|
|May-13-15|| ||TheFocus: <Never make a good move too soon> - James Mason.|
|Nov-19-15|| ||plang: I thought he was pretty good in Lolita|
|Nov-19-15|| ||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.|
|Nov-19-15|| ||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>
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·