Iron Man Jim is a Fighter, But a Quiet One
by Philip Maclin (Press-Scimitar Staff Writer)
Memphis Press-Scimitar, Tuesday, June 24, 1980
If you were told that you were going to battle "Iron Man Jim," you might picture a bare-knuckle boxer outside a saloon–but James A. Wright doesn't fit that image. Wright, 60, is small in stature; friendly with a pleasant smile and a Southern gentleman farmer from Millington, TN who rarely raises his voice. He earned the nickname of "Iron Jim" by being one of the best (players at the Memphis Chess Club) . . . He was third in the city (chess championship) finals this year (1980). He was Tennessee State champion twice – in 1964 and 1970.
"I never made Master (2200 rating or higher), " Wright said. "The closest I got was 2127 (expert) in 1970." His current rating is 1886 (Class A).
The Memphis Chess Club Inc. site reprinted this notice from the Commercial Appeal, December 2, 2003:
"JAMES ALFRED WRIGHT, 83, of Millington, TN, retired cotton and cattle farmer, died Tuesday at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Millington, where he was a deacon and Sunday school teacher, with burial in Woodhaven Memory Garden. Munford Funeral Home Millington Chapel has charge.
He was a graduate of Bartlett High School and the University of Tennessee at Martin, director of Millington Housing Authority, a World War II veteran and winner of the Memphis Mid-South Open, Tennessee Open and Alabama Open chess tournaments. Mr. Wright, the husband of Mary Virginia Wright for 60 years, also leaves four daughters, Mary Lynn White of Covington, Catherine Elaine Taylor of Como, Miss., Rebecca Margaret Crosier of Cookeville, Tenn., and Marcia James Thorp of Memphis; a sister, Ruth Conn of Memphis; a brother, Joseph E. Wright of Nashville, 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. The family requests that any memorials be sent to First Baptist Church building fund."
The game below was played in the West Tennessee State Championship held in Memphis, TN at the Howard Johnson's Motor Inn, 3280 Elvis Presley Blvd, June 11-12, 1977. The time control was 50 moves in two hours. Mahlon A. Smith came in first in the tournament with 4 1/2 points out of five. The half point was with James A. Wright.