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James Moore Hanham
J M Hanham 
Number of games in database: 101
Years covered: 1866 to 1914
Overall record: +29 -53 =19 (38.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
C41 Philidor Defense (25 games)
C53 Giuoco Piano (14 games)
D00 Queen's Pawn Game (8 games)
C20 King's Pawn Game (7 games)
C30 King's Gambit Declined (6 games)
C25 Vienna (4 games)
C55 Two Knights Defense (3 games)
C50 Giuoco Piano (3 games)
A80 Dutch (2 games)
A00 Uncommon Opening (2 games)

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(born Jan-04-1840, died Dec-30-1923, 83 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
James Moore Hanham was born in Woodville, Mississippi. Despite his Southern origins, he fought on the side of the Union during the Civil War and was promoted to major in the U.S. Army. He saw action at Fort Pickens and Baton Rouge. After the Civil War, he moved to Manhattan. In 1885, he took 2nd place at the 7th Manhattan Chess Club championship. In 1885, he took 2nd in the 8th Manhattan Chess Club championship. In 1888, he tied for 2nd-3rd in the 1st United States Chess Association tournament in Cincinnati, won by Jackson Whipps Showalter. He reintroduced at the New York tournament 1889 the "Lord Variation" with the idea of maintaining a strong defensive center. This variation reached by 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nbd7, and known today as the "Hanham Variation" after him, has become one of the main lines of the Philidor Defense (C41). In 1891, he won the New York State Chess Association championship. He died in Manhattan, at age 83 the oldest player of master rank in the United States.

Wikipedia article: James Hanham

 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 101  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Zukertort vs J M Hanham  ½-½6318662nd BCA CongressA53 Old Indian
2. M Judd vs J M Hanham  1-0261886New YorkC11 French
3. E Schallopp vs J M Hanham  1-0471886NottinghamC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
4. Blackburne vs J M Hanham 1-0261889New YorkC25 Vienna
5. J M Hanham vs Gunsberg 0-1341889New YorkC20 King's Pawn Game
6. Chigorin vs J M Hanham 1-0501889New YorkC51 Evans Gambit
7. J M Hanham vs Bird 0-1411889New YorkB30 Sicilian
8. N MacLeod vs J M Hanham 0-1431889New YorkC20 King's Pawn Game
9. J W Baird vs J M Hanham 1-0191889New YorkC41 Philidor Defense
10. J M Hanham vs E Delmar  0-1351889New YorkC24 Bishop's Opening
11. Burn vs J M Hanham 0-1721889New YorkC41 Philidor Defense
12. J M Hanham vs Taubenhaus 1-0851889New YorkC53 Giuoco Piano
13. J M Hanham vs W Pollock 0-1351889New YorkC55 Two Knights Defense
14. D M Martinez vs J M Hanham 1-0421889New YorkC41 Philidor Defense
15. J M Hanham vs M Judd  ½-½621889New YorkC50 Giuoco Piano
16. J Mason vs J M Hanham 1-0421889New YorkD00 Queen's Pawn Game
17. J M Hanham vs Burille ½-½391889New YorkC50 Giuoco Piano
18. Max Weiss vs J M Hanham 1-0661889New YorkC41 Philidor Defense
19. J M Hanham vs Gossip 1-0371889New YorkC20 King's Pawn Game
20. Showalter vs J M Hanham ½-½701889New YorkC41 Philidor Defense
21. J M Hanham vs D G Baird 1-0291889New YorkC20 King's Pawn Game
22. Lipschutz vs J M Hanham  1-0251889New YorkC30 King's Gambit Declined
23. J M Hanham vs Blackburne  ½-½711889New YorkC53 Giuoco Piano
24. Gunsberg vs J M Hanham  ½-½351889New YorkC41 Philidor Defense
25. J M Hanham vs Chigorin 0-1301889New YorkC53 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 101  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Hanham wins | Hanham loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-22-05  Knight13: No comment on this player? <At his death at age 84, he was the oldest chessplayer of master rank in the United States.> I didn't know that. So it's James Moore Hanham. I'm gonna remember that.
Jan-06-06  Rama: Somewhere in his writings, Nimzovich referenced the "Hanham Defense" in the Philidor. It is noted in the write-up above as the "Lord Variation." Now I know where it came from!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Knight13: <... I'm gonna remember that.>> Really? :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Rama: <Somewhere in his writings, Nimzovich referenced the "Hanham Defense" in the Philidor.>>

Nimzowitsch annotated Teichmann vs Nimzowitsch, 1911 in 'My System' (game#2)

You may wonder why he didn't do it here: Teichmann vs Nimzowitsch, 1911


Jan-04-09  WhiteRook48: is he part of the Muslim Moores?
Jan-04-09  sleepyirv: Born in Mississippi but fought for the Union? That shows principle- or he moved to the North young.
Jul-18-09  Knight13: Or maybe he was one of the few in the south who hated the institution of slavery.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy 171st birthday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Player of the Day


Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Morphy didn't fight for either side (he was hardly the type), but absented himself from the country for much of the Civil War. While in school, I believe a few years before the war began, he wrote a paper on the limited circumstances in which he thought it was proper for a state to secede from the Union. Judging from the paper, he did not consider that the South had a legitimate basis for secession.
Jan-04-14  waustad: His Philidor line with different move order has been played often of late. I've seen it a lot from some Austrian players and occasionally elsewhere. When e5 is delayed it seems to be called the "Improved Hanham" variation. I'd say "happy b'day" but he isn't likely to read it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. James Moore Hanham.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <waustad> Right. Often people play move orders like 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7. The problem with the straight Hanham move order <1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nd7> is <4.Bc4!> almost forcing <4...c6> [4...Nf6? 5.Ng5; 4...Be7? 5.dxe5 Nxe5 (5...dxe5?? 6.Qd5!) 6.Nxe5 dxe5 7.Qh5! winning a pawn; 4...h6? 5.dxe5 dxe5 (5...Nxe5 6.Nxe5 dxe5 7.Bxf7+!) 6.Bxf7+! Kxf7 7.Nxe5+! Kf6 and now 8.Nc3! is supposed to be a forced win for White] <5.Nc3 Be7> (5...Ngf6 6.Ng5) <6.dxe5! dxe5> (6...Nxe5? 7.Nxe5 dxe5 8.Qh5!) <7.Ng5! Bxg5> (7...Nh6 8.Ne6! fxe6 9.Bxh6 gxh6 10.Qh5+ Kf8 11.Bxe6 ) <8.Qh5!> winning the bishop pair. White scores very heavily from that position. Opening Explorer
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, sir.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: In connection with his performance at <2nd BCA Congress - London (1886)>

<"Of Major Hanham's play it is not necessary to say much as during most of the Tournament he was indisposed and played more from a sense of duty than anything else. At times, how ever, he showed what he could do, and under more favourable circumstances he will doubtless show a better score."

- BCM v7 p355>

Jan-04-19  Nosnibor: It looks like he made a major contribution to the Philidor`s Defence.
Jan-04-19  Milesdei: This guy has wins against Showalter, Pillsbury, and Steinitz. Not bad!
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