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John Cochrane
Number of games in database: 767
Years covered: 1820 to 1874
Overall record: +449 -252 =62 (62.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      4 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (71) 
    B21 B20 B32 B30 B27
 Petrov (58) 
 King's Indian (39) 
    E76 E77 E61 E71 E90
 Pirc (38) 
    B07 B09
 King's Pawn Game (26) 
    C44 C20 C40
 Philidor's Defense (22) 
With the Black pieces:
 Giuoco Piano (117) 
    C50 C53 C54
 Queen's Pawn Game (49) 
    D00 D02 A40 A45 D05
 Petrov (25) 
    C42 C43
 King's Pawn Game (24) 
    C20 C44 C40
 Philidor's Defense (23) 
 King's Indian Attack (22) 
    A08 A07
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Cochrane vs Mohishunder, 1848 1-0
   Popert vs Cochrane, 1841 0-1
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1842 1-0
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1842 1-0
   Cochrane vs NN, 1832 1-0
   Cochrane vs A Deschapelles, 1821 1-0
   Cochrane vs Mohishunder, 1854 1-0
   Cochrane vs The Turk, 1820 1-0
   Cochrane vs Mohishunder, 1855 1-0
   Cochrane vs Mohishunder, 1850 1-0

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Chess Miniatures, Collection XIII by wwall
   rook sacs by obrit
   Black - Giuco Piano - Best line by gaborn
   Blunderchecked games I by nimh

Search Sacrifice Explorer for John Cochrane
Search Google for John Cochrane

(born Feb-04-1798, died Mar-02-1878, 80 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]
Scottish barrister John Cochrane became a leading London player in the early 19th century. In 1821 he went to France and played an odds match (a pawn and two moves) against Alexandre Louis Honore Lebreton Deschapelles and a level terms match against Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais and lost both. He went to India in 1824 and remained there until his retirement in 1869, but he took leave in 1841-43 and returned to London. During this period he played hundreds of casual games against Howard Staunton (losing the majority) and a match (which he won (+6, =1, -4)) against Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint Amant.

His name is associated with a variation of the Petroff Defense, the Cochrane Gambit: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf7!?

 page 1 of 31; games 1-25 of 767  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Cochrane vs The Turk 1-030 1820 London000 Chess variants
2. Cochrane vs NN 1-030 1820 CasualC41 Philidor Defense
3. La Bourdonnais vs Cochrane 0-130 1821 ParisC37 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Cochrane vs A Deschapelles 0-124 1821 Odds game000 Chess variants
5. Cochrane vs A Deschapelles 0-127 1821 casual odds game000 Chess variants
6. Cochrane vs A Deschapelles 1-031 1821 casualC44 King's Pawn Game
7. NN vs Cochrane  0-138 1822 CasualC53 Giuoco Piano
8. Cochrane vs NN 1-030 1822 CasualC53 Giuoco Piano
9. Cochrane vs NN 1-025 1822 CasualC53 Giuoco Piano
10. Cochrane vs NN 1-013 1822 CasualC53 Giuoco Piano
11. Cochrane vs NN 1-019 1822 CasualC23 Bishop's Opening
12. Cochrane vs NN  1-034 1825 UnknownC33 King's Gambit Accepted
13. Cochrane vs G Walker  0-127 1830 Unknown-aroundC20 King's Pawn Game
14. G Walker vs Cochrane  1-026 1830 Unknown-aroundC20 King's Pawn Game
15. G Walker vs Cochrane 1-024 1830 Unknown-aroundC38 King's Gambit Accepted
16. G Walker vs Cochrane  1-015 1830 Unknown-aroundC20 King's Pawn Game
17. Cochrane vs NN 1-014 1832 Odds game000 Chess variants
18. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-136 1841 London m1C44 King's Pawn Game
19. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-121 1841 London m1C44 King's Pawn Game
20. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-039 1841 London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
21. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-030 1841 London (England)C51 Evans Gambit
22. Cochrane vs Staunton ½-½35 1841 London m1C53 Giuoco Piano
23. Cochrane vs Popert  ½-½23 1841 UnknownC44 King's Pawn Game
24. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-135 1841 London m1C53 Giuoco Piano
25. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-031 1841 London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
 page 1 of 31; games 1-25 of 767  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Cochrane wins | Cochrane loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-28-11  Ziggurat: <"The great chess men have generally been long lived and have preserved their faculties to the last. I remember well receiving a note from John Cochrane, a famous player, in London just before the tournament in Paris in 1878. He was then ninety years of age and said that he would like to explain to me some new ideas. He did so, and I was surprised to see a man of his advanced years write out from memory variations sixteen moves deep. The next day I read in the papers a notice of his death. I cannot imagine a happier way to die. It is so with almost all who devote their time to the game of chess. They live long and they retain mental vigor to the end of their days.">

Steinitz, quoted in the current Urcan column at ChessCafe. (

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <I remember well receiving a note from John Cochrane, a famous player, in London just before the tournament in Paris in 1878. He was then ninety years of age and said that he would like to explain to me some new ideas.>

Subtraction was not Steinitz's forte.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <keypusher: Subtraction was not Steinitz's forte.>

I think that Steinitz can be forgiven considering that this was an interview and he probably didn't know every birthyear of every chessplayer up to 1894. Cochrane was still 80 years old and Steinitz' enthusiasm justified.

There are a lot of factually wrong or at least strange claims from famous chessplayers (not even counting the more recent ones). Like Marshall calling Johannes Zukertort a former Worldchampion and the story of the "Five First Grandmasters" at St. Petersburg 1914.

So let's just correct that mistake and appreciate the fact that a strong and important master like John Cochrane was still in such a good shape shortly before he died at the age of 80 (in the 19th century!).

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Karpova> You are absolutely right, of course.

It is nice to see you posting regularly here again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Was Steinitz making the same error confusing John Cochrane b 1878 with James Cochrane b. 1870?

<ARubinstein> <SBC> and <Calli> debate this on pages 3 and 4 of this page.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. John Cochrane.
May-09-13  Graham1973: I think I've found a Cochrane-Mohishunder game that does not appear to be in the database.

It was printed in the St Louis Globe-Democrat of 13/07/1879. Supposedly it was from a private collection and had originally been published in the Glasgow Herald.

The article (Link below) contains annotations allegedly by Cochrane himself, but does not give any dating or location details.

My transcription of the moves is:

1.P-K4 P-K4
2.KKt-B3 QKt-B3
3.B-QB4 B-QB4
4.P-QKt4 BxP
5.Castles KKt-B3
6.B-Qkt2 Castles
7.KtxP KtxKt
8.BxKt KtxP
9.Q-KKt4 Kt-KKt4
10.BxKBP RxB
11.QxB P-Q3
12.B-QKt2 Kt-R6
13.PxKt Q-KKt4
14.K-Rsq BxP
15.QxKtP BxR
16.QxR R-KBsq
17.Q-K4 RxB
18.Q-K8 R-Bsq
19.Q-K6 K-Rsq
20.Q-K4 P-Q4

Assitance in converting to algebraic notation would be greatly appreciated.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Graham1873> See Cochrane vs Mohishunder, 1852
May-09-13  Graham1973: <Calli> Thanks for identifying the game. I'm going to incorporate the Cochrane annotations into the existing file and upload as a correction.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gottschalk: [Event "Unknown"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "John Cochrane"]
[Black "H W Popert"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C44"]
[PlyCount "45"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Bb4+ 5. c3 dxc3 6. O-O d6 7. a3 Bc5 8. b4 Bb6 9. Nxc3 Nf6 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 g5 12. Nxg5 hxg5 13. Bxg5 Be6 14. Nd5 Bd4 15. b5 Be5 16. f4 Bxa1 17. bxc6 Bxd5 18. Bxd5 Bc3 19. cxb7 Rb8 20. Qd3 Ba5 21. Bxf6 Qxf6 22. Qb5+ Ke7 23. Qxa5 1/2-1/2

Source: Simbase from Netherlands.

Jun-17-13  thomastonk: <Gottschalk> The game has been published in "The Chess Player's Chronicle", Vol. III, p19. The game score is incomplete, because there it is stated after 23.♕xa5: "AND BLACK DREW THE GAME, BY GIVING `` PERPETUAL CHECK."

So, 23.. ♕d4+ has to be added, but then it's ambiguous. The easy solution is 24.♖f2 ♕d1+ 25.♖f1 ♕d4+. But also 24.♔h1 ♖xh2+ 25.♔xh2 ♖h8+ 26.♔g3 ♖g8+ should lead to a perpetual, but White's next move can be 27.♔h2 or 27.♔f3.

The easy solution is more probably, because otherwise, Staunton would have published the additional moves, I think.

The game has been played in London during Cochrane's visit from 1841 to 1843, and since the CPC appeared some time after April 27, 1842, the year is 1841 or 1842.

I couldn't find the game under the link you gave, because Cochrane's games are unavailable there. However, such collector databases often miss important information for such old games, which you can complete by using primary sources. Many useful links can be found for example here Calli's Game Collections or here, respectively.

Sep-06-13  thomastonk: Why do we have January 2, 1878 as his date of death, whereas usually March 2, 1878 is given? has a John Cochrane, who died in London in January 1878, and who was born about 1800, but ... no.

I've checked the CPC of 1878, p.73 and British newspapers (wherein his death is noticed only in March), and hence I change the date.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <thomastonk> Actually has "Jan-Feb-Mar 1878" which may well be March 1878. I think it's him, the one who died in Marylebone London.
Sep-06-13  thomastonk: <Tabanus> Okay and thanks. A guest at like me cannot see such details.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: I believe they were recorded by Cochrane:

I just noticed the Cleveland library put his manuscript online. I just downloaded all four parts, but I haven't had a chance to go through the files.

Oct-14-13  thomastonk: <jnpope> Great!

I've found the games in the database, which is described and can be downloaded from

The game Cochrane vs Mohishunder, 1854 is transcribed therein with the date January 3, 1854.

Oct-14-13  thomastonk: <jnope> The game Cochrane vs Mohishunder, 1854 is in volume 1, pdf page 52. Additional comment: "Time 13 minutes".
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: re: Jay Whitehead database

I met Jay at the John G. White collection when I was finishing up my Pillsbury research and he was starting his research into games not found in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Chess Games. I had a 486 laptop at the time with Chess Base 3 and my Pillsbury game collection and I was going through the White collection scrapbooks looking for miscellaneous Pillsbury games. Jay was impressed with the technology and asked if I would be interested in creating a database of games from the hundreds of pages he had already photocopied. I spent that summer doing data-entry and then sent his photocopies back to him along with a print-out of the games and copy of the database. I suspect a large number of the games in his final database are the ones I entered into Chess Base years ago... I never utilized his discoveries (but I may have sent them to John Hilbert as part of a larger historical database when John was doing his Napier research). I'm happy to see Jay kept up on his research and that the games he found eventually made their way into public circulation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He is PoTD again today. Was no other chess player born on February 4th?

He is one of my favourites, though. A very attacking player. He was also a barrister. It is hard to be a barrister and play chess as well. Those customers won't wait for their coffee!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. John Cochrane, probably best known for his 448 games versus Bonnerjee Mohishunder. If you ask me, +155 is pretty impressive (though score of "only" 67.3%).

On an unrelated note, it has been 216 years since his birth. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Penguincw: ... On an unrelated note, it has been 216 years since his birth.>

As in six cubed!?! Great Capablanca's ghost! It'll be 127 years until Johnnie Cochran's next perfect cube birthday! We'll all be dead. :-(

Feb-05-14  Sally Simpson: Of course but for a trip to India just after the London to Edinburgh correspondence match started we would having been calling the Scotch Opening - The Cochrane Opening for it was he that suggested London play it in 1825.

London played it in the first game
Edinburgh played it in the third and fifth games.

At that time White did not always go first. For the duration of the match London had White pieces and Edinburgh the Black. But Edinburgh had the move in 3 of these games.

So this is infact what Edinburgh saw when playing the Scotch gambit in the 2nd half of the 1820's.

click for larger view

I Spent a few days with a very experinced chess historian in St.Andrews House, Edinburgh looking for the birthplace of John Cochrane.

We know it was Edinburgh, but where?
We could find no birth cert just his registration.

The mix up with the dates in February and March is because in them days you were usually registered weeks after you were born.

That is if you were a male, often females were never registered.

JC was born in February, registered in March.
We could not find out anything about where he spent his childhood or his early teens.

JC was a cousin to Admiral Thomas Cochrane.
This is the lad whose exploits inspired Captain Hornblower.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Sally Simpson: ... At that time White did not always go first.>

Correct. Very few people know this. For example, in the Immortal Game, Anderssen played with the Black pieces, even though he moved first. For more, see my Wikipedia article

Feb-06-14  Sally Simpson: Cheers FSR, because I never knew that either.

Not that it makes much difference but it would be good to tell them they are infact looking at the wrong position next time some dip and their computer are trying to pull this masterpiece of creativity to shreds.

Chernev nails these sad people in 'Chess Companion' when he says some baseball spectators don't look at the majestic flight of a ball, they are too busy scribbling down stats and the batting average.

Made an error in my dates. The London - Edinburgh started in 1824 (Cochrane left London for India early 1825, that is where I stumbled).

OK one year out but considering I've seen and read the letters sent up by London for this match it was pretty clumsy of me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < Feb-04-14 FSR: <Penguincw: ... On an unrelated note, it has been 216 years since his birth.>

As in six cubed!?! Great Capablanca's ghost! It'll be 127 years until Johnnie Cochran's next perfect cube birthday! We'll all be dead. :-( >

Make that 126 years now. ;)

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