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John Cochrane
Scientific American Supplement No. 123
May 11, 1878, p. 1964

Number of games in database: 815
Years covered: 1819 to 1874
Overall record: +463 -277 =66 (61.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 9 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (72) 
    B21 B20 B32 B30 B28
 Petrov (58) 
 King's Indian (39) 
    E76 E77 E61 E71 E90
 Pirc (38) 
    B07 B09
 King's Pawn Game (36) 
    C44 C20 C40
 Evans Gambit (23) 
    C51 C52
With the Black pieces:
 Giuoco Piano (121) 
    C50 C53 C54
 Queen's Pawn Game (46) 
    D00 D02 A40 D05
 King's Pawn Game (38) 
    C20 C44 C40
 Petrov (26) 
    C42 C43
 Philidor's Defense (25) 
 King's Indian Attack (22) 
    A07 A08
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Cochrane vs Mohishunder, 1848 1-0
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1842 1-0
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1843 1-0
   Cochrane vs Mohishunder, 1855 1-0
   Mohishunder vs Cochrane, 1855 0-1
   Cochrane vs NN, 1832 1-0
   Cochrane vs The Turk, 1820 1-0
   Mohishunder vs Cochrane, 1850 0-1
   Cochrane vs Mohishunder, 1854 1-0
   W M Popert vs Cochrane, 1841 0-1

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   John Cochrane vs. Bonnerjee Mohishunder by Penguincw
   First of Each ECO by Penguincw
   Chess Miniatures, Collection XIII by wwall
   Chess Miniatures, Collection XIII by Okavango

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 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.♘f3 ♘f6 3.♘xe5 d6 4.♘xf7!?

Wikipedia article: John Cochrane (chess player)

Last updated: 2023-06-19 12:20:24

 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 815  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Cochrane vs The Turk  0-1221819London exhibithionC00 French Defense
2. Cochrane vs The Turk 1-0301820London000 Chess variants
3. Cochrane vs NN 1-0301820CasualC41 Philidor Defense
4. Cochrane vs The Turk  0-1341820London exhibithionC00 French Defense
5. Cochrane vs A Deschapelles 0-1271821Odds game000 Chess variants
6. Cochrane vs A Deschapelles 0-1251821Odds game000 Chess variants
7. Cochrane vs A Deschapelles 1-0311821casualC44 King's Pawn Game
8. La Bourdonnais vs Cochrane 0-1301821ParisC37 King's Gambit Accepted
9. Cochrane vs NN 1-0131822CasualC53 Giuoco Piano
10. Cochrane vs NN 1-0301822CasualC53 Giuoco Piano
11. Cochrane vs NN 1-0191822CasualC20 King's Pawn Game
12. Cochrane vs NN 1-0251822CasualC53 Giuoco Piano
13. NN vs Cochrane 0-1381822CasualC53 Giuoco Piano
14. G Walker vs Cochrane 1-0261830Unknown-aroundC20 King's Pawn Game
15. G Walker vs Cochrane 1-0151830Unknown-aroundC20 King's Pawn Game
16. Cochrane vs G Walker 0-1271830Unknown-aroundC20 King's Pawn Game
17. G Walker vs Cochrane 1-0241830Unknown-aroundC38 King's Gambit Accepted
18. Cochrane vs NN 1-0141832Odds game000 Chess variants
19. Cochrane vs W Lewis  1-0351840Odds game000 Chess variants
20. W M Popert vs Cochrane 0-1191841Casual gameC53 Giuoco Piano
21. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1211841Casual gameC44 King's Pawn Game
22. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1261841Casual gameC02 French, Advance
23. Cochrane vs Staunton 1-0251841Casual gameC37 King's Gambit Accepted
24. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1271841Casual gameC44 King's Pawn Game
25. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0431841Casual gameC40 King's Knight Opening
 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 815  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Cochrane wins | Cochrane loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Have all Gaige's references been checked? How about the <Land & Water> obituary?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I found a John Cochrane born in Scotland on the 4th February 1798 - this site actually mentions him as chess player - it also said he was a politician, had 10 children and lived to be 100 years old.


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <‘The Inner Temple Admissions Database indicates that John Cochrane was admitted to the Inner Temple on 13 May 1819, the third son of the Honourable John Cochrane, of Edinburgh, that he was called to the Bar on 29 June 1824...> (

This gives the impression he was inducted into the Inner Temple for a full five years, but is the process of being called to the Bar separate to the legal training? I'm wondering if he finished his studies somewhat earlier.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: A bit out of my sphere this one, My contact with the Inner Temple just confirmed the dates and no documentation of D.O.B required. As to what went on there, I've no idea.

His education is on my bucket list. The Cochrane family mainly went in for private tutors. The famous Lord Cochrane about whom quite a few books have been written (I have read a some of them) so we have his life fairly well doc'd had a French Tutor who he thought highly off. (later he earned a bucket load of medals fighting the French)

Whether John was privately tutored I do not know, have to assume yes. Though I did search for John McDougall or Cochrane in schools from that period. (no joy - but all schools were very helpful and searched what records they had.)

The school which was a good bet as it was very near a Cochrane Edinburgh address and the time scale matched perfectly was pulled down to make way for an extension of the Edinburgh University, all records are lost. (every path leads to either a brick wall, though in this case a demolished brick wall. But I'm determined to climb over it.)

During his time at the Inner Temple he wrote his treatise on chess, dedicated to Lewis and giving his address as the Inner Temple 1822.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I assume that many of the Inner Temple inductees would already have studied Law at Oxbridge, so maybe this explains why Cochrane's training took longer than normal (assuming it did).
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Traditionally Oxford and Cambridge did not see common law as worthy of study, and included coursework in law only in the context of canon and civil law and for the purpose of the study of philosophy or history only. The apprenticeship programme for solicitors thus emerged, structured and governed by the same rules as the apprenticeship programmes for the trades.[18] The training of solicitors by apprenticeship was formally established by an act of parliament in 1729. William Blackstone became the first lecturer in English common law at the University of Oxford in 1753, but the university did not establish the programme for the purpose of professional study, and the lectures were very philosophical and theoretical in nature.[19] Blackstone insisted that the study of law should be university based, where concentration on foundational principles can be had, instead of concentration on detail and procedure had through apprenticeship and the Inns of Court.[20]

The Inns of Court continued but became less effective, and admission to the bar still did not require any significant educational activity or examination. Therefore in 1846 the Parliament examined the education and training of prospective barristers and found the system to be inferior to the legal education provided in the United States. Therefore, formal schools of law were called for, but not finally established until later in the century, and even then the bar did not consider a university degree in admission decisions.>

Or maybe not.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <At the moment I am going around church yards looking at tombs (not everything is online - all you get is a few lines in a parish register. Some of these old tombs contain a wealth of info) Today was at Prestonpans looking for the tomb of Maggie MacDougall's father - a day before that I was in a graveyard in Dalkeith.

Next week Leith and Newhaven [and Dubai]. If nothing then Culross (again!)>

Inspired by <Miss Sally>'s peregrinations, I've been to visit Cochrane's last known addresses:

<The age of John Cochrane the chessplayer was given as 72 in the 1871 census (National Archives, RG 10/165, folio 48), his place of birth being entered as Edinburgh. At that time, he was living as a lodger in a boarding house at 32 Seymour Street, Marylebone, described as “Barrister in Practice”. In the same house were two women by the name of Emily Cochrane; their ages were given as “60” and “30-40”.


His own will is referenced in the National Probate Calendar, which shows that he died on 2 March 1878 and that his personal estate was valued at under £200; the sole executrix was his niece, Emily Cochrane, a spinster, and the address of both was entered as 12 Bryanston Street, (which, incidentally, differs from the 6 Bryanston Street given for Cochrane’s death in the Inner Temple Admissions Database.)>

32 Seymour St. seems to be there much as he left it - maybe the doors and windows have been changed occasionally - and it's still split into flats, as the number of door bells attest. I took a nice picture. Next door, #28-30, is a small hotel once named after the late, great <Edward Lear>. There used to be a blue plaque to mark his residence at #30, but it was removed during a recent makeover. It's been upgraded to the <Zetter Townhouse>:


But still lives on as:

#32 can be glimpsed in this shot:

6/12 Bryanston St. is another matter. Those properties are gone. There's a DoubleTree Hilton Hotel at #4, and a modern office complex labelled #16 Bryanston St fills in the rest. But from #18 onwards, there are period style houses.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The Standard, March 6th 1878, p.1:

<COCHRANE - March 2, at No. 12 Bryanston-street, John Cochrane, Esq., late of Calcutta, aged 78.>

A similar notice (it specifies <in his seventy-eight year>) appears in the <Morning Post>, p.8, of the same date.

The <Homeward Mail from India, China and the East>, March 11th 1878, p.261, likewise, except <aged 77>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: H J R Murray in his 'History of Chess' has his D.O.B. as (? 1792 - 1878) the '?' indicates he has no proof or is is unsure.

It's very possible he got that from the March 1882 BCM who gave John's age at the time of death as 86 ( 1878-86 =1792) but H.J.R. could not confirm it.

(Murray confirms as a source BCM 1881 and onwards.)

Westminster Papers have our John at 87 when passed away.

Reports indicate our John was always shy about his past. 'reticent ' is the word often used.

(maybe a relative tampered with the D.O.B. details to bump themselves up for the next in line for the Earldom ladder. Made him younger, born in 1798 instead of 1792 to counter any claim our John might have. I'll contact Dan Brown this can be his next novel.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: After the big match is over, are you intending to stop off in Calcutta, <aka Kolkata>, to scope some of our boy's old haunts?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Buckinghamshire Advertiser, June 15th 1878, p.4:

<BAKER & SONS Will sell by auction, at the Mart, Tokenhouse-yard, on Friday, June 21st, 1878, at 2, in two lots,

TWO HOUSES and SHOPS, No. 28, Edgware-road, and No. 60 (late 12), Bryanston-street, one door from Edgware-road, both let on repairing leases, and held for long unexpired terms. Particulars and conditions of sale may be had at the Mart; [...]>

Hmm, does <late 12> mean what I think it does? That shortly after Cochrane's death, Bryanston St. was renumbered? In which case, Cochrane lived at the Edgware Road end of Bryanston St (which has been completely redeveloped). It might even explain why the Inner Temple Admissions Database has his final address as 6 Bryanston St - could it actually be 60?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: He certainly went to a great deal of trouble to cover his tracks. He even swapped the door numbers around on his street.

My best bet will be the family letters between 1801 and 1805 (the time of the will.) He was left £1,000 some other family members got nothing.

One of the family must have griped. 'How come that ?? year old got £1,000. (and the '??' will give us the D.O.B.)

Or "Is he really John's son." and a reply might be most enlightening.

Last time I was there the clerk brought me a trolley load of boxes.

I admit now I was looking in the wrong places. I was spending most of time looking for his death details because we knew those and I knew what to look for but got carried away reading, basically, junk mail (though interesting junk mail.)

Next time I'll narrow my search to these dates.

I'm still a paid up member of whatever it is I am a member of that allows a trusted me to look at these things. I have a special I.D. card (somewhere) I cannot recall the exact title but it's valid and actually looks pretty cool. (more official looking than my bus pass.)

So Covid permitting I'll make an appointment and see what's what. (if it turns out he was woman masquerading as a man to join the navy then so be it. Joanna saw it here first.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <That shortly after Cochrane's death, Bryanston St. was renumbered?>

It's possible, of course, I've got things back to front - that the renumbering occurred before his death. In which case, he did die at #12, but the property had earlier been a higher number.

Or maybe I'm reading far too much into it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <I admit now I was looking in the wrong places. I was spending most of time looking for his death details because we knew those and I knew what to look for but got carried away reading, basically, junk mail (though interesting junk mail.)>

I'm still hopeful that his sojourn back to Britain (only to London?) in 1841-42 might reveal something interesting. Why did he come back? A career break? Some family business to attend to? He seems to have spent most of his time playing chess with Staunton and Stanley. I wondered before if Cochrane may have acted as peacemaker, permitting Staunton's acceptance into the St. George's club (without which the matches with St. Amant would probably not have occurred). Could he also have inspired or even helped finance Stanley's emigration to America?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Miss Scarlett,

According to Wiki and his page seems well researched, he '...had accumulated a lot of leave and he spent 1841 to 1843 in the UK."

Could be as simple as that, a holiday.

Regarding my, Alan and Tony's interest in this matter I think the answer will be by sniffing about in the early 1800's and see if there was debate about the will.

In 1806 The Earl of Vincent wrote;

"The Cochranes are not to be trusted out of sight, they are all mad, romantic, money-getting and not truth-telling—and there is not a single exception in any part of the family."


I have to admit I've plummeted to new depths of nerdiness. I have the famous Admiral Cochrane's book: 'The Autobiography of a Seaman.' in CD format. I have copied it to my mp3 player and listen to it on my jaunts about town.

You can listen to it here;

It's been transcribed by Timothy Ferguson, an Australian and I've started speaking with an Australian accent!

Alan thinks I'm fixated and should seek help.

G'day Cobber.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: What induced Cochrane to spend 41 years in India? Were the brown holes of Calcutta that inviting? Maybe he got a taste for it in the Caribbean.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <I'm still hopeful that his sojourn back to Britain (only to London?) in 1841-42 might reveal something interesting. Why did he come back? A career break? Some family business to attend to? He seems to have spent most of his time playing chess with Staunton and Stanley.> John Cochrane (kibitz #207)

John Townsend from <Notes on the life of Howard Staunton>, p.50:

<At the time the [Staunton - Cochrane] games were played, Cochrane was a barrister based at 10 Symond's Inn, Chancery Lane, so Goode's would have been about half a mile's walk for him - considerably nearer than Leicester Square.>

He refers to the <Post Office London Directory> of 1842 and 1843 (of which I can only confirm 1843).

Symond's Inn was an Inn of Chancery, rather than an Inn of Court:

These inns were associated more with solicitors than barristers, but Cochrane is listed as a barrister in 1843. Seems the young Dickens briefly worked in Symond's Inn, which was demolished in 1873:

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I should clarify that Cochrane's British return lasted from about August 1841 to April 1843.

In the <CPC>, vol.i (1841), p.234, Staunton notes: <We are informed that Mr. Cochrane, the author of an admirable Treatise on Chess, and some years since the most brillliant player in the metropolis, after a long absence in India, has just arrived in this country.> The same number includes a letter from William Lewis dated August 2nd.

Walker in <Bell's Life in London>, April 30th 1843, p.2, signalled his departure:<We regret to say London no longer holds that splendid chess-player Mr Cochrane; who sailed for India about a fortnight back. His absence leaves a void in the St George's Club it will be difficult to fill. We shall one of these days give a precis of his chess doings while in England.>

Oct-09-22  stone free or die: <<MIssy> The same number includes a letter from William Lewis dated August 2nd.>

What's the reason for noting this here?

(Did the letter have anything to do with Cochrane?)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The point is that it helps date that particular number to August. Dating the weekly parts of the first three volumes of the <CPC> (which cover May 1841 to October 1842) is somewhat tricky, because the online volumes omit the original weekly covers that would have distinguished the date and edition number. I haven't yet gone to the trouble of systematically working those out for volume 1.
Oct-09-22  stone free or die: Thanks <Missy>.

And yes, I also regret the google scans where they skip over title and cover pages for that very same reason.

Sometimes I too make indices for a given volume in my notes. Too bad us biographers can somehow share such work, like on zanchess or perhaps <jnpope>'s reference pages.


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Are you sure it's the Google scanners at fault? I've always assumed it was the practice of the original publishers.
Oct-10-22  stone free or die: <<Missy> Are you sure it's the Google scanners at fault? >

No, I can't guarantee it 100%.

Somehow I formed that impression, and I have recollections that different scans would sometimes have them, and other times not.

E.g. <jnpope>'s site has the excellent feature of showing different scans from different libraries - very useful when one scan doesn't have the OCR and the other does (or when one scan, or source(?), is missing pages and the other not)...

But as I said - your conjecture could as easily explain the difference - but there's so many examples where those pages are included, I guess I tended to assume it general practice.

Oct-11-22  coventrian:

has "K Lepge"on page 39 of Schachzeitung, Volume 13, 1858

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Latest updated details on John Cochrane.

This link should perhaps be added to his Bio.

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