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Sidney Norman Bernstein
Number of games in database: 199
Years covered: 1926 to 1987
Overall record: +75 -71 =50 (51.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      3 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (20) 
    B20 B23 B65 B40 B25
 King's Indian (6) 
    E62 E60 E73
 Queen's Pawn Game (6) 
    D02 A46
 Slav (5) 
    D10 D14 D19 D13
 Uncommon Opening (5) 
    A00 B00
 French Defense (5) 
    C18 C01 C04 C11 C13
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (16) 
    B58 B29 B32 B37 B74
 Semi-Slav (8) 
    D47 D45 D43 D49
 Ruy Lopez (8) 
    C86 C85 C66 C89 C70
 Nimzo Indian (7) 
    E22 E34 E30 E28 E24
 Queen's Pawn Game (7) 
    E10 D00 A46 D02 E00
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (5) 
    C86 C85 C89
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   S Bernstein vs Dake, 1936 1/2-1/2
   Reshevsky vs S Bernstein, 1936 0-1
   S Bernstein vs E B Heal, 1940 1-0
   S Bernstein vs Ruth Cardoso, 1974 1-0
   Denker vs S Bernstein, 1957 0-1
   S Bernstein vs Vladimir Ryznar, 1974 1-0
   S Bernstein vs Seidman, 1959 1-0
   Fischer vs S Bernstein, 1956 1/2-1/2
   J F Donovan vs S Bernstein, 1942 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Third Rosenwald Trophy (1956)
   US Championship 1957/58 (1957)
   US Championship (1936)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   COMBAT: Fifty Years of Sidney Bernstein by Resignation Trap
   1954 US Championship by crawfb5
   Third L. J. Rosenwald Trophy Tournament, 1956 by Resignation Trap
   1956 Canadian open by gauer
   US Open 1974, New York by Phony Benoni

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(born Jul-13-1911, died Jan-30-1992, 80 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
Sidney Norman Bernstein was born in 1911 in New York, New York, USA. In 1977 he published a collection of his own games "Combat: My 50 Years at the Chessboard". He passed away in New York in 1992.

Wikipedia article: Sidney Norman Bernstein

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 199  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. N Grossman vs S Bernstein  1-020 1926 Individual High School Student ChampionshipC66 Ruy Lopez
2. Rubinstein vs S Bernstein 0-124 1928 Simul, 15bB04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
3. Lasker vs S Bernstein 1-046 1928 Clock simul, 10bB03 Alekhine's Defense
4. Capablanca vs S Bernstein ½-½37 1928 Simul, 46bA52 Budapest Gambit
5. L Matibet vs S Bernstein  0-134 1933 Rive Gauche Ch.C42 Petrov Defense
6. Factor vs S Bernstein  0-152 1936 US ChampionshipE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
7. S Bernstein vs Kashdan  0-167 1936 US ChampionshipD21 Queen's Gambit Accepted
8. Reshevsky vs S Bernstein 0-141 1936 US ChampionshipE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
9. S Bernstein vs Dake ½-½70 1936 US ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. H Steiner vs S Bernstein 1-040 1936 US ChampionshipA47 Queen's Indian
11. S Bernstein vs G N Treysman  ½-½40 1936 US ChampionshipD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. W Adams vs S Bernstein 1-024 1936 US ChampionshipB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
13. S Bernstein vs Kevitz  0-158 1936 US ChampionshipC13 French
14. Kupchik vs S Bernstein  ½-½68 1936 US ChampionshipB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
15. S Bernstein vs Harold Morton  0-144 1936 US ChampionshipA46 Queen's Pawn Game
16. A Simonson vs S Bernstein  1-039 1936 US ChampionshipD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
17. Fine vs S Bernstein 1-045 1936 US ChampionshipD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
18. Denker vs S Bernstein  ½-½41 1936 US ChampionshipE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
19. S Bernstein vs M L Hanauer  ½-½31 1936 US ChampionshipD19 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
20. S S Cohen vs S Bernstein  1-035 1936 ACF CongressB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
21. S Bernstein vs M Fox  1-041 1936 37th ACF Congress. Preliminary 2A49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
22. Dake vs S Bernstein  1-035 1936 37th ACF Congress. Prelim 2D31 Queen's Gambit Declined
23. S Bernstein vs Denker  0-140 1936 37th ACF Congress. FinalC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
24. M Fox vs S Bernstein  1-030 1936 37th ACF Congress. ChampionshipE10 Queen's Pawn Game
25. S Bernstein vs Kashdan  0-132 1936 ACF Congress (Final)B13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 199  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>
Apr-18-08  Riverbeast: <PLEASE somebody say something about him!>

I remember him stopping by the old 'Bar Point' Chess Club in New York City to observe a tournament. This was in the 1980s, I was a kid and he was in his seventies or thereabouts.

Everyone was gathered around him, talking to him and treating him with reverence. He was a true old schooler and a link to the past.

Apr-18-08  Petrosianic: A shame that somebody can play that long and only have 79 games in the database.

I've been going back through old US Championships, trying to build complete .pgn files for the events. While the 1940 championship is complete, and the 1936 one is nearly complete, it's extremely difficult to get games from any other championship before 1950. Chess Review in those days only published a handful of annotated games. There were years in the 60's and 70's when Chess Life published every game from the championship.

I wonder if Bernstein's book has got any that aren't in the databases?

There are even some championship games from as late as 1961 that don't appear in any databases. Scary.

Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: <Petrosianic> I have found in my years of uploading games and complete tournaments in the database that US Championships are so deficient because few to no complete records exist, at least online. You're more likely to find a complete tournament PGN from 1859 than to find even one game played in the 1953 US Championship.
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: He writes a book, "My 50 years at the chessboard".. He must have been a darn slow player.
Apr-18-08  Riverbeast: <technical draw> Good one.

Guess he came from the pre-clock era

Apr-18-08  Petrosianic: <suenteus po 147> <I have found in my years of uploading games and complete tournaments in the database that US Championships are so deficient because few to no complete records exist, at least online.>

That could be. The 1940 championship is probably easy to find because there was a book published on it which was easy to get fairly recently.

<You're more likely to find a complete tournament PGN from 1859 than to find even one game played in the 1953 US Championship.>

Well, by the 50's it's pretty good. There's only one game from the 1951 championship that I couldn't find.

Similarly, there's only one game missing from the 1961 championship (which Bernstein played in, making it marginally on topic.) Chess life printed every game from this tournament, but left out Seidman's win over Benko, either by mistake, or because Benko was proofing that issue.

Oddly though, there are a dozen missing games from the 1960 championship, including about 4 played by Robert Byrne. You wouldn't think any tournament Fischer had been in would have that many missing games. Neither Chess Life or Chess Review printed a complete set of games that year, so they're probably gone for good.

Apr-18-08  unsound: <<Sidney Bernstein was born in New York City on July 13, 1911.> His biography above says 1931, which would indeed be impressive if he played in the US Championship at the age of 5.>

I find it still more impressive that, according to the database, he won his first game at the age of minus eight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  samsloan: I am writing a book about Sidney Bernstein. I need to get as many of his games as possible. If you have any of his games, in any format, please send them to me by email.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Is that the real Sam Sloan? =)
May-01-08  Karpova: A long and very interesting feature article by Edaward Winter: "A Great Chess Figure", 2004

Sidney N. Bernstein was a contributor to Chess Notes and Edward Winter therefore gives insight into their correspondence (taking place during the late eighties): Reinfeld (Reinfeld as a ghostwriter, the end of their friendship), Dr. Fine (Bernstein contacted him several times to gather information (on Bogoljubov) for Chess Notes), Bernstein's own simul events (especially the encounters with Capablanca and Alekhine are mentioned) and recent (i.e. 1988) events also.

Premium Chessgames Member
  samsloan: Yes. I am the Real Sam Sloan. (This is a legitimate question because the Fake Sam Sloan is still posting out there.)

Does Karpova suggest that Reinfeld was a Ghost Writer for Bernstein or the other way around?

The Real Sam Sloan

May-03-08  Karpova: <samsloan: Does Karpova suggest that Reinfeld was a Ghost Writer for Bernstein or the other way around?>

No, quite obviously not as is evident from Edward Winter's article.

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: The biographical data here on Mr Bernstein is a mess. There are 3 sets of conflicting data:

-- data below his name at the top of the page contradicts

-- the first line of the Bio which

-- contradicts the second line of the Bio.

R.I.P. Mr.Berstein.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <brankat> <The biographical data here on Mr Bernstein is a mess. There are 3 sets of conflicting data: -- data below his name at the top of the page contradicts

-- the first line of the Bio which

-- contradicts the second line of the Bio.>

<brankat> The first game given here might have been played by someone else.

How does the first line in the bio contradict the second line?

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: <Benzol> The first game was probably played by Dr.Ossip Bernstein. Looks like a simul game.

<How does the first line in the bio contradict the second line?>

It doesn't any more :-)

But only yesterday the first line read:

"...born July 13/1931.."

the second line:

"...born July 13/1911..".

So, it has been corrected.

Jul-15-08  Resignation Trap: I've been steadily (but not systematically) uploading games by Sidney Bernstein to our database. My goal is to have all the games from his book here, as well as all available games from the various U.S. Championships and from the Ventnor City events.

Meanwhile, I hope that properly deals with the games S Bernstein vs Fischer, 1968 and S Bernstein vs NN, 1903 by giving other players named Bernstein credit for playing them.

Sep-19-08  Mibelz: Sidney Bernstein did not play against Bobby Fischer at Netanya 1968. Actually, it was Yaacov Bernstein who took 14th place there (
Dec-24-10  Lonnie Lurko: Has there been a stronger chessplaying Sidney than this?
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: Probably not, but for <Norman> and <Bernstein> we have Norman Weinstein and Ossip Bernstein as candidates
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: In 1931, U.S. Master Sidney Bernstein turned up 1 hour 59 1/2 minutes late for a match, but he overcame the obstacle of 40 moves in 30 seconds and drew his game!

(Source: S.T.A.R. Chess by Paul Motwani)

Jul-01-11  Gaius Marius: Sidney Bernstein has played a game before he was born! Date of birth July 13 - 1911
Date of his first game S. Bernstein vs NN 1-0 1903 Berlin.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Sidney Bernstein.
Jul-13-14  Strongest Force: I played Bernstein only once in a tournament that Danny Kopec won. It was a 19-move draw. I was on adjacent boards, in that tournament, a couple of rounds with Joel Bejamin and we both viewed each other's games as much as our own. In between rounds Kopec wanted to play me in blitz but when I tried to get him to play Max Dlugy Kopec though Max was some kind of fish. Little did he know.
Jul-13-16  BIDMONFA: Sidney Norman Bernstein


Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Sidney Bernstein.
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