Searight was engaged by James Ferrie as a trainer for his thirty game match for the Championship of Scotland in May 1891. His own most ambitious exploit was his match of thirty games in the spring of 1892. This was with DG McKelvie for £50 and the Championship of Glasgow. James was brilliant and defeated McKelvie 11-1-9. The 1893 Scottish Tourney saw him knocked out in the second round by the redoutable AB Scott 0-2-3. After the tournament he was defeated by W Beattie 1-2-4. In the next Scottish Tourney he had his revenge on AB Scott polishing him off 3-0-2. In the second round he met W Bryden and the two players "fought it out" over over eighteen games, from Tuesday until Saturday. At the end James was the victor 2-1-15, but it was Phyrric, as he now had to leave the tournament for his work, so he and McKelvie divided the third and fourth prizes.
He was a regular choice for the international teams against England in 1899, 1903 and 1910, although he was unable to play in the last match. As part of the Scottish "big five" contingent against the USA in 1905 James performed very well scoring 9-1-26. James Searight died on April the 17th 1939.