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Ossip Bernstein
O Bernstein 
Wiener Schachzeitung, May 1914, p 81.
ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
Number of games in database: 284
Years covered: 1902 to 1961

Overall record: +121 -72 =88 (58.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (28) 
    C69 C66 C79 C61 C73
 Sicilian (23) 
    B73 B23 B45 B57 B50
 Queen's Gambit Declined (13) 
    D37 D30 D38
 French Defense (12) 
    C14 C17 C12 C01 C00
 Tarrasch Defense (8) 
    D32 D34
 Ruy Lopez Exchange (7) 
    C69 C68
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (36) 
    C65 C66 C78 C97 C63
 Orthodox Defense (17) 
    D51 D50 D56 D52 D57
 Queen's Pawn Game (14) 
    D02 D00
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (8) 
    C97 C96 C91 C84 C92
 Giuoco Piano (8) 
    C50 C53 C54
 Queen's Gambit Declined (6) 
    D30 D37 D31 D35
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   O Bernstein vs J Mieses, 1904 1-0
   O Bernstein vs Najdorf, 1954 1-0
   Albin vs O Bernstein, 1904 0-1
   O Bernstein vs Smyslov, 1946 1/2-1/2
   O Bernstein vs Metger, 1907 1-0
   O Bernstein vs NN, 1932 1-0
   O Bernstein vs NN, 1931 1-0
   O Bernstein vs NN, 1927 1-0
   O Bernstein vs NN, 1927 1-0
   O Bernstein vs Kotov, 1946 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Stockholm (1906)
   Vilnius All-Russian Masters (1912)
   London A (1946)
   Barmen Meisterturnier A (1905)
   Coburg (Meisterturnier) (1904)
   St. Petersburg (1909)
   Berne (1932)
   St. Petersburg (1914)
   Zurich (1934)
   San Sebastian (1911)
   Groningen (1946)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Barmen Meisterturnier A by Phony Benoni
   Berne 1932 by Tabanus
   Zurich 1934 by suenteus po 147
   San Sebastian 1911 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   San Sebastian 1911 by suenteus po 147
   Vilnius 1912 (All-Russian Masters) by Phony Benoni
   London A 1946 by Tabanus
   Stockholm 1906 by Phony Benoni
   St Petersburg 1914 by Benzol
   St Petersburg 1914 by JoseTigranTalFischer

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(born Oct-02-1882, died Nov-30-1962, 80 years old) Ukraine (federation/nationality France)

[what is this?]
Ossip Samoilovich Bernstein was born in Zhitomir*. Awarded the GM title at its inception in 1950, he was Moscow Champion in 1911.

In tournaments, Bernstein finished =2nd after Mikhail Chigorin at the All-Russian tournament 1903, 4th= with Georg Marco at Coberg 1904, 4th= with Carl Schlechter at Barmen 1905, 1st= with Schlechter at Stockholm 1906, 5th at Ostend 1906, 1st= with Akiba Rubinstein at Ostend 1907, 5th at St Petersburg 1909, and 2nd after Rubinstein at Wilno (now Vilnius) in 1912 ahead of Aron Nimzowitsch and Alexander Alekhine.

After the First World War and the Russian Revolution, Bernstein moved to France. In 1933, he drew a training match (+1, =2, -1) with Alekhine. His last great result was at Montevideo in 1954 where he was 2nd= with Miguel Najdorf behind Rene Letelier Martner.

He passed away in a sanatorium in the French Pyrenees in 1962.

*Wikipedia article: Zhytomyr
Wikipedia article: Ossip Bernstein

 page 1 of 12; games 1-25 of 284  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. O Bernstein vs B Leussen  1-0471902DSB-13.Kongress Hauptturnier AC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
2. Pillsbury vs O Bernstein  ½-½261902Hanover Blindfold ExhibitionC14 French, Classical
3. Znosko-Borovsky vs O Bernstein 1-02019033rd Russian National TournamentB24 Sicilian, Closed
4. O Bernstein vs Salwe ½-½5319033rd Russian National TournamentC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
5. Rubinstein vs O Bernstein 0-12519033rd Russian National TournamentC45 Scotch Game
6. O Bernstein vs Dus Chotimirsky  1-06119033rd Russian National TournamentB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
7. Schiffers vs O Bernstein  0-12819033rd Russian National TournamentB25 Sicilian, Closed
8. Chigorin vs O Bernstein 0-13219033rd Russian National TournamentC30 King's Gambit Declined
9. S Izbinsky vs O Bernstein  ½-½6019033rd Russian National TournamentC78 Ruy Lopez
10. O Bernstein vs P P Benko 1-02519033rd Russian National TournamentC41 Philidor Defense
11. M Lowcki vs O Bernstein  ½-½4119033rd Russian National TournamentD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Spielmann vs O Bernstein ½-½281904BerlinC39 King's Gambit Accepted
13. Albin vs O Bernstein 0-1241904ViennaC50 Giuoco Piano
14. W John vs O Bernstein 0-1331904Coburg (Meisterturnier)C69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
15. O Bernstein vs M Brody  1-0731904Coburg (Meisterturnier)C73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
16. H Wolf vs O Bernstein  ½-½381904Coburg (Meisterturnier)C78 Ruy Lopez
17. O Bernstein vs G Marco  ½-½611904Coburg (Meisterturnier)C78 Ruy Lopez
18. J N Berger vs O Bernstein  ½-½311904Coburg (Meisterturnier)D32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
19. O Bernstein vs H Suechting  ½-½521904Coburg (Meisterturnier)C42 Petrov Defense
20. Von Gottschall vs O Bernstein  ½-½391904Coburg (Meisterturnier)C28 Vienna Game
21. O Bernstein vs Swiderski  1-0561904Coburg (Meisterturnier)C12 French, McCutcheon
22. L Forgacs vs O Bernstein  ½-½611904Coburg (Meisterturnier)C63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
23. Schlechter vs O Bernstein ½-½391904Coburg (Meisterturnier)D51 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. O Bernstein vs Von Bardeleben ½-½621904Coburg (Meisterturnier)C92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
25. H Caro vs O Bernstein 1-0481904Coburg (Meisterturnier)A84 Dutch
 page 1 of 12; games 1-25 of 284  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Bernstein wins | Bernstein loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: We still have a picture of Jacob Bernstein and not Ossip on this page.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <Ziggurat: Larsen writes that before his game with Bernstein in Amsterdam 1954, a man came up to him and said: "Young man, it must be interesting for you to play Bernstein, who decided to give up chess already in 1907!">

Larsen also writes that he played Bernstein on his 72th birthday 20 September. has 20 Sept. (not 2 October) 1882.

Other pictures:

Oct-02-10  rapidcitychess: Happy Birthday to you, you played good chess Ossip.

Now guys! Cut the Ossip!

Mar-24-11  Caissanist: Wrt Sneaky's story, Bernstein told the story to Arnold Denker around 1946, who had this to say about it: <Yes, I know--yet another story about a last-minute reprieve from a firing squad. But Bernstein was absolutely convincing when he described at length how his hands were shaking when playing against the officer, and I believed his story then and I believe it still.>
Jul-11-11  Gaius Marius: I agree with both of VonKrolok's remarks already made on Jan-09-07! However to meet his remarks Ossip Bernstein's photograph is needed to exchange the present photograph of Jacob Bernstein, which has to be moved to his own site. I will sent by e-mail three photographs of Ossip Bernstein and one photograph with Jacob Bernstein & Oscar Chajes from the tournament Karlsbad 1923. It is obvious that the present photograph of Jacob Bernstein is the left half of the photograph with Jacob Bernstein & Oscar Chajes. The right half is the still missing photograph for the site of Oscar Chajes! Members of the Management have now the possibility to complete the three sites of Ossip Bernstein, Jacob Bernstein and Oscar Chajes with the own photograph!
Jan-02-12  King Death: <News is to hand that Dr. O. Bernstein, one of the great figures in chess, who was resident in Fance for the last 20 years, has been interned in unoccupied France, apparently solely for 'racial reasons.'...>

Bernstein was lucky to survive his internment. The Nazis would round up any Jews they could find and send them east especially as the tide turned against them.

Aug-18-12  Karpova: <Ein in Hannover nach Congressschluss gespielter Wettkampf zwischen Heinrich Wolf und S. O. Bernstein wurde als unentschieden abgebrochen, nachdem die ersten vier Partien remis geworden, jeder eine weitere Partie gewonnen und die 7. und 8. Partie wiederum remis geworden waren.>

Source: Page 183 of the 1902 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

So +1 =6 -1 between the two players. A remarkable result for Ossip who was still at the beginning of his chess career (Wolf was 7 years older).

Aug-25-12  Karpova: Bernstein won the 1911 Moscow Championship with +12 =2 ahead of Selezniev (+12 =1 -1) followed by K. Wygodtschikow with 9.5/14, K. I. Issakow with 8.5/14 and N. M. Pavlov together with Estrin (both 7.0). D. R. Pavlov was Bernstein's main competitor at the beginning but dropped due to an illness.

From pages 337-338 of the 1911 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Jul-16-13  Caissanist: According to Denker, Bernstein was only interned in France for a short time, after which he and his wife fled over the Pyrenees and were allowed to stay in Spain for the remainder of the war.
Aug-29-13  Karpova: 1.5 years after quitting chess (temporarily), the <ingenious Russian Pillsbury> Dr. Bernstein gave two Simul exhibitions in 1909 to support the fund for St Petersburg (1909) - one in Moscow (+20 =2 -7) and one in St. Petersburg (+14 =1 -1). In the latter Simul, about 480 moves were played in 1.5 hours, with his opponent using up 1 hour.

Source: Page 56 of the 1909 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Bernstein.
Oct-06-13  Karpova: The Paris Chess Chlub "Fou du Roi" invited Dr. Bernstein to a 53-board Simul on June 6, 1926. It lasted 5 hours. The result was +37 -1 =15 (the sole winner was F. Guittet).

From pages 220-221 of the July 1926 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Aug-27-14  The17thPawn: Was Bernstein the fellow who ended up crazy and believing he had a standing game with God? I only ask as it mentions he died in a Sanatorium.
Aug-28-14  Karpova: <The17thPawn: Was Bernstein the fellow who ended up crazy and believing he had a standing game with God?>

No. Wilhelm Steinitz allegedly believed that. The story is most likely apocryphal, though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Karpova> Wasn't the story attributed to Steinitz that, towards the end of his life, he claimed he was able to give God odds of pawn and move? Never heard this angle regarding Steinitz so far as I recall.
Aug-28-14  Karpova: <perfidious>

As is usual in such cases, the accounts differ and yes, pawn odds are also often mentioned. Here is a good overview:

Back to Bernstein, I think it's also useful to point out that a sanatorium is not necessarily a psychiatric hospital.

Aug-28-14  The17thPawn: <Karpova & Perfidious> - Thank you both for clearing up my misinformation. Fascinating speculation regarding Steinitz, nonetheless.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: An anecdote by Bernstein about Burn:

Amos Burn (kibitz #71)

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Ossip Bernstein.
Oct-02-16  Hodor: What's the use of it?
Nov-09-16  bengalcat47: Does anyone know if there is a book written about Dr. Bernstein which would include the best games of chess that he played?
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: I remember of a book (if memory not fails) by Tartakower with games - analysis etc
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: "Moderne Schachstrategie" 1930 by Savielly Tartakower
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Ossip Bernstein.
Mar-12-17  JohnBoy: Handsome young man. Nice choice of pic.
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