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Wilbur Lyttleton Moorman
Number of games in database: 29
Years covered: 1909 to 1921
Overall record: +6 -16 =7 (32.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
C41 Philidor Defense (6 games)
C45 Scotch Game (4 games)
C50 Giuoco Piano (2 games)
D02 Queen's Pawn Game (2 games)

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(born Jan-19-1859, died Sep-07-1934, 75 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

He was a former Virginia state chess and checkers champion. Moorman was a Lynchburg, Virginia tobacconist and one of the largest owners of real estate in that area. He came from a prominent family that was part of the Quaker community that originally settled in Lynchburg. He died while going over chess puzzles.

Last updated: 2022-03-11 15:18:02

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 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 29  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. W Moorman vs C Jaffe 1-050190922nd New York State Chess Association ChampionshipB40 Sicilian
2. W Moorman vs H Rosenfeld 0-128190922nd New York State Chess Association ChampionshipC00 French Defense
3. Marshall vs W Moorman 1-050190922nd New York State Chess Association ChampionshipA53 Old Indian
4. W Moorman vs H Daly ½-½53190922nd New York State Chess Association ChampionshipC42 Petrov Defense
5. O Roething vs W Moorman 0-129190922nd New York State Chess Association ChampionshipC50 Giuoco Piano
6. J McClure vs W Moorman  0-139191415th Western ChampionshipD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
7. W Moorman vs J S Morrison  0-142191415th Western ChampionshipC41 Philidor Defense
8. D D Barkuloo vs W Moorman  ½-½36191516th Western ChampionshipB12 Caro-Kann Defense
9. N Whitaker vs W Moorman 1-042191516th Western ChampionshipC14 French, Classical
10. Showalter vs W Moorman  1-027191516th Western ChampionshipD02 Queen's Pawn Game
11. W Moorman vs J H Adams 1-0271915Washington - Baltimore mD60 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
12. Showalter vs W Moorman  ½-½73191617th Western ChampionshipC41 Philidor Defense
13. Ed. Lasker vs W Moorman  ½-½54191617th Western ChampionshipA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
14. W Moorman vs N Whitaker ½-½39191617th Western ChampionshipC40 King's Knight Opening
15. W Moorman vs G Gessner  0-147191617th Western ChampionshipC45 Scotch Game
16. H H Hahlbohm vs W Moorman 1-012191617th Western ChampionshipC41 Philidor Defense
17. W Moorman vs R S Hoff 0-124191617th Western ChampionshipC45 Scotch Game
18. W Moorman vs J Daniels 0-148191617th Western ChampionshipD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
19. J T Beckner vs W Moorman  1-036191617th Western ChampionshipC41 Philidor Defense
20. J T Beckner vs W Moorman  0-132191718th Western ChampionshipC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
21. W Moorman vs Ed. Lasker 0-141191718th Western ChampionshipC45 Scotch Game
22. W Moorman vs Showalter 0-131191718th Western ChampionshipC54 Giuoco Piano
23. Ed. Lasker vs W Moorman 1-040191718th Western ChampionshipD02 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Showalter vs W Moorman ½-½72191718th Western ChampionshipC41 Philidor Defense
25. Ed. Lasker vs W Moorman  1-019191819th Western ChampionshipC70 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 29  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Moorman wins | Moorman loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Moorman was a Virginian chess player, whose memory is perpetuated by the Virginia State Championship trophy being named the Wilbur Moorman trophy.

Some information on the trophy and Moorman's career from the VirginiaChess website:

"The Wilbur Moorman trophy, a black and silver plaque, will be engraved and sent to Lt Matheson. He will keep it one year and then the players will compete again for the trophy. The winner will also receive other awards given by the federation. Winners in the lower classes will be given prizes ... It was decided to stage the next tournament in Norfolk at the invitation of that club. Officers elected for the coming year were W W Inge of Staunton, President; John N Buck of Lynchburg, Vice-President; Commander Charles Porter of Norfolk, Treasurer; and Capt John E Manning of Norfolk, Secretary."

The interesting thing here is that the Moorman trophy we use today is not a "black and silver plaque." It's a hefty silver loving cup, about 18 inches tall with its base, engraved with names of every state champion from Matheson in 1936 right through to the present. (After 1972 they ran out of room on the cup itself, so names from 1973 forward appear on silver plates affixed to the wooden base.) The "black and silver plaque" most likely describes a second, perhaps one that the champion was permitted to keep permanently. The Moorman Cup is a rotating trophy, passed from champion to champion.

The question naturally arises: who was Wilbur Moorman and why is our state championship trophy named after him? The answer comes from the previously-mentioned reminiscences by John Buck. In the May 1963 Chess Review, Buck wrote about "my onetime good friend and chess coach Wilbur L Moorman," who he called "probably the strongest chess player Virginia ever had."

"During the summer of 1934, [Moorman] was kind enough to play a long series of semi-serious games with me. (I was trying to sharpen up for the State Tournament to be held in Staunton over Labor Day that year.) From time to time I'd urge him to enter the tournament (even though it had been years since he'd undertaken tournament chess). I told him and meant it quite seriously that no state title would have any meaning unless he played. Finally, in spite of his advanced age, he consented to enter. And he soon made me regret my importuning by defeating me in an early round . As we sat down for the final round, Lt John Matheson (now the retired Colonel who conducts the Armed Forces Tournament), who was Intercollegiate Champion that year, was leading the tournament by a half point. I turned to Moorman, who was playing back and said half in jest: 'Well, you put me out of it. Now put me back in. If you'll beat Matheson, I'll beat Mitchell" (our good friend W M P Mitchell of Brookline, who passed away in '62). As luck would have it, Moorman did just that (and so did I) and I skimmed through to the top. The remarkable thing to me is that in his late 70s or early 80s (I don't know his exact birth date, unfortunately) Wilbur Moorman finished third in a strong state tournament and had the satisfaction of beating both the players (much younger than he) who finished ahead of him. On Friday of that same week, (September 7, 1934), Moorman [died] suddenly while sitting at his chess table playing over a game from the state tournament in which he had just competed. He was a grand old gentleman."

Sep-06-11  DarthStapler: I bet he plays the Joseph Smith-Morra Gambit
Jan-19-12  brankat: R.I.P. Mr Moorman.
Jan-19-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Wilbur Moorman.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: New York Herald, October 16th, 1909, p.11:

<J. R. Capablanca, the young Cuban chess champion, made another remarkable record in simultaneous play last night, winning thirteen out of fifteen games at the Washington Chess Club against the strongest players in a little more than an hour's time. Mr. Moorman, champion of the club, scored the only win. Mr. Adams, a former club champion, drawing his game.

Mr. Capablanca gave an idea to-day of his skill at straight away over the board informal chess playing against Mr. Moorman, who has held his own in quick games against some of the strongest masters. Mr. Mieses, the international master, at a recent visit here won three out of six against Mr. Moorman. Capablanca to-day won sixteen straight games.

Asked if he would consent to play Lasker for the championship of the world, Capablanca said he did not think he would stand much chance, an opinion which is not shared by his admirers.>

To avoid confusion, the simultaneous took place on the 14th, so the report dates to the 15th. Mr. Adams had prior form: Edward Beckley Adams

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