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James Thompson
J Thompson 
Number of games in database: 45
Years covered: 1845 to 1867
Overall record: +15 -26 =4 (37.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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000 Chess variants (20 games)
C52 Evans Gambit (5 games)
C44 King's Pawn Game (2 games)
C02 French, Advance (2 games)
C33 King's Gambit Accepted (2 games)

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(born Sep-23-1804, died Dec-02-1870, 66 years old) United Kingdom (federation/nationality United States of America)

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James Thompson was one of the strongest chess players in New York in his day. He formed the New York Chess Club in 1839. He was born in London and died in New York City.

<James Thompson, Esq.—This player is well and favorably known to all New-Yorkers, especially to the disciples of Epicurus [sic; Epicures], as the famous Restaurant-keeper, on Broadway. As a general thing we do not intend to make any allusion to the occupation of the individuals whose chess-portraitures will find a place in our gallery, but the question is so often asked in chess-circles by young players, who hear of the prowess of Mr. Thompson at the game, whether it is the Mr. Thompson—i.e. the caterer—that we make an exception to our rule in this instance. The subject under notice ranks deservedly high at the club, having won more matches there, we believe, than any other member. He is perhaps the most attacking player we have—often giving away a clear piece—and without positive advantage to himself sometimes—rather than be foiled in an attack, or act on the defensive. With players a shade weaker than himself he is very successful in this species of tactics, frequently winning by intimidation,—his adversary fearing that "if it be madness" thus to throw away his game, "yet is there method in it," and believing half the time that is only some latent mine or battery, masking a mate. The Evans Gambit is his favorite opening and he manages it with remarkable skill and variety. In the hands of a finished player this gambit affords great facilities for carrying on the kind of warfare we have indicated. He prosecutes the attack at any and every hazard. The celebrated phrase of Danton applies well to him —better indeed than to any other player of our acquaintance;— de l’audace, el encore de l’audace, el toujours de l’audace! His defence is always the strongest—counter-attack.

Mr. Thompson is a very interesting player, and his board usually has as many lookers-on as any other in the room, because original, complicated and beautiful positions and combinations are likely to be found there if anywhere. He frightens his opponents out of their victory, not unfrequently [sic], not only by his bold play, but also by talking confidently of his own game and disparagingly of theirs - a sort of bullying one’s adversary, as it were. This last peculiarity, however, is not idiosyncratic with Mr. Thompson. We know several others that indulge in the vile habit (for we cannot otherwise characterize it) whose force as players and instincts as gentlemen should teach them to forbear its use. We make this remark abstractly and impersonally, and not with reference to any particular individual, certainly not to Mr. Thompson, who is now in Europe, where he has been for a long time, and where he designs remaining for a year or two to come. He has recently written from Paris that the average play of our best twenty club players is much above that of the same number picked from the Cercle des Echecs of that city. Our Minister to Portugal, Mr. J. L. O'Sullivan, played a match at Paris, last summer, with St. Amant, winning three and drawing three out of twenty-seven. Rather a great disparity, to be sure, but Mr. T. can beat the plenipotentiary easily. We expect to hear some match, creditable to Americans, before Mr. Thompson returns. We are quite willing to exhibit him to our neighbors over the Atlantic Ferry as a fair specimen of our players, and are fully confident that they will find him a pretty tough American (chess) nut to crack. We trust that he will favor is with some chess correspondence during his sojourn in Europe. We regret that we have not any game of Mr. Thompson’s to publish with this notice. It is our intention to give with each portraiture, a game played by the party sketched, to verify our statements in regard to their skill as players or problem makers.

We must not forget to state that, although Mr. Thompson’s general play is such as we have described, yet no man is more careful than he in a set match; then he plays for victory, not brilliancy, and is an ugly customer to deal with, as our old Boston opponent, of ten years agone, Mr. Hammond can testify. By the way, can any of our Boston readers tell us whether Mr. H. is in the land of the living? We intend to sketch him, and would like some fresh material. He was a most promising and indefatigable player. But of him more anon.>
-Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1856.01.19, p91.

Wikipedia article: James Thompson (chess player)

Last updated: 2020-05-02 11:21:53

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. C Vezin vs J Thompson 1-0221845PhiladelphiaB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
2. A Zerega vs J Thompson  1-0371845New York Chess Club MatchB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
3. A Zerega vs J Thompson  1-0141845New York Chess Club MatchC33 King's Gambit Accepted
4. A Zerega vs J Thompson  ½-½321845New York Chess Club MatchC02 French, Advance
5. J Thompson vs A Zerega  1-0261845New York Chess ClubC33 King's Gambit Accepted
6. F Perrin vs J Thompson  0-1411855New York Chess Club TournamentD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
7. J Thompson vs N J Hamilton  1-0321855New York Chess Club Tournament000 Chess variants
8. N Marache vs J Thompson  0-1201855New York Chess Club TournamentC44 King's Pawn Game
9. J Thompson vs N Marache  0-1471855New York Chess Club TournamentC00 French Defense
10. N Marache vs J Thompson  ½-½471855New York Chess Club TournamentC44 King's Pawn Game
11. J Thompson vs N Marache  1-0221855New York Chess Club TournamentC01 French, Exchange
12. N Marache vs J Thompson  ½-½681855New York Chess Club TournamentC45 Scotch Game
13. J Thompson vs N Marache  0-1251855New York Chess Club TournamentD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. N Marache vs J Thompson  0-1501855New York Chess Club TournamentC20 King's Pawn Game
15. A Moehle vs J Thompson  0-1641855New York Chess Club Tournament000 Chess variants
16. A Moehle vs J Thompson  0-1191855New York Chess Club Tournament000 Chess variants
17. J Thompson vs C Mead 0-1271857New York mC52 Evans Gambit
18. J Thompson vs C Mead 1-0381857New York mC52 Evans Gambit
19. J Thompson vs C Mead  ½-½401857New York mC52 Evans Gambit
20. J Thompson vs Morphy 0-1261857New YorkC51 Evans Gambit
21. J Thompson vs Morphy 0-1281857Casual gameC52 Evans Gambit
22. Morphy vs J Thompson 1-04818571st American Chess CongressB44 Sicilian
23. J Thompson vs Morphy 0-12118571st American Chess CongressC50 Giuoco Piano
24. J Thompson vs Morphy 0-1421857New YorkC52 Evans Gambit
25. J Thompson vs Morphy 0-14618571st American Chess CongressC53 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Thompson wins | Thompson loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member Is this the same fellow as J C Thompson ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: I think so. Steinitz played during 1880s many casual games with some Morphy's friends like James McConnell or Charles Maurian. He also played some games with "Mr. Thompson". I don't know it for certain, but it is very probable that Steinitz's opponent Thompson was James Thompson.
Jul-29-05  Calli: James Thompson was born 1804 and died in 1870. Not the same Thompson that Steinitz played. Okay, so I'm two years late with the answer!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: New York Herald, 3 Dec 1870:

<Mr. James Thompson, a well known citizen of New York, died, after a lingering illness, yesterday, at his residence, No. 4 Forty-eight street, in the sixty-seventh year of his age. He was born in England, and came to this country, accompanied by his father, at the age of thirteen. After having completed his education at Baltimore, he settled early in life in New York, and by industry and perseverance, aided by superior business abilities and by directing his energies in one direction, he rose to a high degree of eminence as a merchant and accumulated considerable wealth. He was distinguished for his great ability as a chess player. He used to spend much of his leisure time over the chess board, and became one of the most celebrated players in America. He died sincerely regretted by his friends and mourned by his relatives.>

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