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Ossip Bernstein vs Miguel Najdorf
Montevideo (1954)  ·  Old Indian Defense: Normal Variation (A55)  ·  1-0
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Given 27 times; par: 53 [what's this?]

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find similar games 1 more O Bernstein/Najdorf game
sac: 21.Nd5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-08-02  morphynoman3: An splendid game by Bernstein. Its really a swan song.
Mar-25-03  Green Bishop: If 25...Bxd4 26. Re7,Qf5 27. Bxd4,Qxc2 28. Bxg7+,Kh7 29. Bxf8+,Kg6 30. Bf7+,Kf6 31. Bg7+,Kxg7 (Kf5 32. Re5++) 32. Bb3+ with an easy win.

This game is a masterpiece. Bernstein was 72 years old! (Najdorf was 44).

Mar-25-03  kostich in time: Reinfeld includes this game in his book, Great Brilliancy Prize Games of the Chess Masters.According to reinfeld, a newspaper called Bernstein "the grandfather of chess" Reinfelds comment was Bernsteins play was anything but gradfatherly.Its a great demonstration of the power of a bishop battery..
Feb-25-04  Whitehat1963: Great show of calculation.
Apr-01-04  capanegra: 29.Re8!! must have shocked Don Miguel. Terrible power of those “Jans”! Had the legendary David lived to see this game, he would have envied Bernstein.
May-12-04  nikolaas: Montevideo 1954, Najdorf protesting: "That guy (Bernstein) is much too old to participate in such a tournament!" Bernstein beated him... San sebastian I don't know when, Bernstein protesting: "That guy (Capablanca) is much too young to participate in such a tournament!" Capablanca beated him...
Nov-24-04  aw1988: San Sebastian 1911.
Feb-01-05  fgh: <nikolaas>: actually, there is also a similar story about San Sebastian 1911.

Before the tournament has began, Capablanca was very lucky about being here, because Nimzowitsch complained that such a weak player as Capablanca should not have been invited. Capablanca not only beated Nimzowitsch in the first round, but also won the tournament.


May-07-05  OverDjinn: Two days ago I used this game to teach a student how to analyze the board for tactics. Remarkably good play from the white side of the board but, from the black side, we are presented with an interesting type of plan failure. Najdorf, with moves like 15…f5?! Is really playing dangerous and exciting ideas at a time before the full force of the center was known for attack and defense purposes. Indian players today would be aware that a kingside pawn assault in this and similar positions almost always fails even to a positional treatment by white, thanks to his lordship in the center, but Nadjdorf, not having our databases was really on the cusp of strategy taking risks, I think. It seems obvious to me at least that most modern players would have thrown in 15…b6, develop the bishop and stop white’s queenside from cramping his game but what about 17…Bf6? A weak move, considering black’s incredible queenside deficiencies could be alleviated with a trade of the e6 knight, via 17…Ng5! 18. Nxg5 Bxg5 and the white queen’s bishop has room to breathe, the rooks to be connected, etc. How would modern experts/masters handle this idea? Anyway, 21. Nd5! Was really startling.
Nov-29-05  blingice: A lot of sacrifices...
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I had seen some of Bernsteins losses to Capablana. I had no idea he was still playing during the 1950s. This is really a nice game. I'm assuming 34 Re8+ works as well; it even has the advantage of attacking the rook when the pawn goes to d7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Bernstein was about 72 years old when he played this. To beat a world class player such as Najdorf at that age, wow!
Nov-24-09  newzild: This won the brilliancy prize, if I recall correctly. Maybe it should be a game of the day?
Nov-24-09  newzild: I guess we'd need a pun "(something) killed the 'video star"?
Jul-25-10  hugoqu: What a wonderfull win from Bernstein, at age 72(!) against Najdorf who was pretty much at the height of his career. All these awesome sacrifices which can't be refuted.

This was the last round of a big tournament, Najdorf leading with 1/2 point above Bernstein. Najdorf was convinced he would win the tournament, beforehand he convinced the organisers to double the first price. To get this money, they had to reduce the other prices. He didn't see this coming obviously.

May-02-11  Everett: Yes, this is a great game, but this is greater, with Bronstein even older and the competition much stiffer.

Bronstein vs Lputian, 1996

May-02-11  psmith: <Everett> "The competition much stiffer" -- Lputian in 1996 much stiffer competition than Najdorf in 1954 -- how are you judging that?

According to

at the time this game was played, Najdorf would have been rated around 2700-2750, and ranked around #4-8 in the world.

I don't know Lputian's rating in 1996, but his highest rating in the database is 2640. that is from April 2005 according to

On that list Lputian was #59 in the world.

So? I just don't know on what basis you are making the comparison here.

May-02-11  Everett: <psmith> You are absolutely correct. I mistakenly posted on this page instead of the Bronstein-Vedder page. My statements regarding stiffer competition was comparing Vedder and Lputian. I also got the dates wrong, as Bronstein was younger in the game vs Lputian.

Apologies for the confusion!

Sep-27-11  romni: According to Edward Lasker(in 'Chess Secrets) the story was that Capablanca, who was Cuban champion, had never won a European tournament, and because of this, some players, including Bernstein, questioned his 'right' to participate in such a strong tournament!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eduardo Bermudez: nikolaas: Montevideo 1954, Najdorf protesting: "That guy (Bernstein) is much too old to participate in such a tournament!" Bernstein beated him... San sebastian I don't know when, Bernstein protesting: "That guy (Capablanca) is much too young to participate in such a tournament!" Capablanca beated him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: "In 1954, [Bernstein] tied for 2nd-3rd with Miguel Najdorf, behind René Letelier, at Montevideo at age 72. Nadjorf protested that it was unfair to play such an aged opponent, and then became so confident of victory that he convinced the tournament organizers to double the First Prize money at the expense of reducing the payouts for the lesser prizes, a gamble that backfired in spectacular fashion as the septuagenarian Bernstein routed him in a 37-move Old Indian Defense that won the latter the Brilliancy Prize." I don't know how likely tournament organizers are to rearrange the prizes in favor of one of the competitors while the tournament is in progress, though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  posoo: Now dis - DIS - is da finest example of da posooian style! Put da peeces into ACTION and see what happens!

I bet u ossipo didn't work ANY of dis out in advance! No. Da wily old fellow just played on GILE and INTOOTION

Feb-09-16  devere: A great game! Najdorf must have been very overconfident to play 20...h5?, and Bernstein smashed his position with 21.Nd5!.

Bernstein missed the astounding 26.Re7!! Bxe7 27.Qg6!! Rf6 28.Rh4!!

click for larger view

I'm not sure that even Gary Kasparov would have seen that.

But then he found 29.Re8!!. This would be a great game to play when you are 22 or 32; at age 72 it is amazing

Aug-26-16  daveinsatiable: How has this not been GOTD?
Just for want of a pun? (cf. Newzild)
"Hot Ossip"?
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