< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·
|Jul-17-10|| ||GrahamClayton: Here is an excellent biography of Mason from the Irish Chess Union website:|
|Nov-25-10|| ||Marcelo Bruno: Does anybody know the real meaning of Mason's motto "Begone, dull care! you and I will never agree"?|
|Nov-25-10|| ||BobCrisp: What's the unreal meaning?|
|Nov-25-10|| ||HeMateMe: In the movies, I played Erwin Rommel, the Victorian Watson, and a crooked lawyer who opposed Paul Newman. Who am I?|
|Dec-31-10|| ||Bartleby: James Mason also resembles a mustachioed Shea Wigham, who plays "Eli Thompson", brother of "Nucky" Thompson (Steve Buscemi), on HBO's Boardwalk Empire. The fact that it has to do with Prohibition-era bootleggers and Irish vice lords in Atlantic City makes the resemblance all the more fitting. The character Eli in the show even has a prodigious drinking problem that clouds his talents.|
On the chess front, the Mason Opening 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 is an interesting little-played line. It usually leads into the London System or Barry Attack via transposition, but has some independent character. One of the more interesting wrinkles is 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 c5 3. e4!? Opting to play an Albin-Countergambit reversed a tempo up, in this case a bishop posted on f4. In the Albin proper the queen's bishop often ends up on either g4 or f5, so it fits the system. This needs some tests!
|Feb-26-11|| ||Karpova: Olimpiu G. Urcan reviews Joost van Winsen's 'James Mason in America: The Early Chess Career, 1867-1878' (McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2010) in his latest Past Pieces called 'An Irishman's Riveting American Story'.|
Link: http://www.chesscafe.com/urcan/urca... (no pdf-link available yet)
<Van Winsen accompanies Mason's first moments with the game with details of New York's chess life in 1866-67, a low-intensity scene with the New York Chess Club as the city's only chess club and Otis Fields' Rooms as the most active chess resort. When in 1868 the Europa Chess Rooms opened its doors and the Brooklyn Chess Club was resurrected, New York's chess life soared. Mason's earliest chess play was registered in a number of handicap tournaments played at the Europa Chess Rooms between the end of 1868 and early 1870. It was there that he must have understood that once he was allowed to sit at a board across from an accomplished gentleman, he was at least his equal if not more; quite a significant psychological change for an immigrant teenager who used to earn his living by shining such gentlemen's boots or attempted, often quite desperately, to sell them a newspaper. In one of these handicap tournaments, Mason played well enough to come very close to challenging Mackenzie's status, then the nation's leading player. As van Winsen shows, this contest between an accomplished master and a youthful up-and-comer who was able to hold his own without receiving odds excited the chess public, as expressed in contemporary newspapers (pages 16-17). Despite Mason's eventual match loss against Mackenzie in September 1869, the nineteen-year old's newly found fame reached even the shores of England.>
Urcan considers the book to be very good.
|Nov-19-11|| ||brankat: Happy Birthday master Mason.|
|Mar-29-12|| ||AVRO38: It should be pointed out that Mason had the strongest performance (both Neustadtl and Sonneborn-Berger) in the strongest tournament (Vienna 1882) of all time.|
|Mar-30-12|| ||AVRO38: <Mackenzie did not participate in the 4th American Chess Congress in 1876 (won by James Mason, an Irishman who was not an American citizen)>|
Mason moved to the U.S. when he was either 11 or 12 years old and lived there for the next 17 years. I find it hard to believe that he did not become a U.S. citizen in all that time. Ireland was not an independent country until the 20th century after Mason was already dead.
So the question is, was Mason a U.S. or British citizen in 1876 when he won the 4th American Chess Congress? If he was a U.S. citizen, then he should be included on the roster of U.S. Chess Champions.
|Jun-11-12|| ||Whitehat1963: Loved him in The Verdict and Lolita.|
|Nov-19-12|| ||edbermac: <Whitehat1963: Loved him in The Verdict and Lolita.>|
He was also in Age Of Consent (1969) as an artist painting a very young and very nekkid Helen Mirren.
Some guys have all the luck.
|Nov-19-12|| ||brankat: R.I.P. master Mason.
The Bio says <James Mason> was not his "real" name. Does anyone know what the real name was? Thank You.
|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.>
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