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Hans Berliner
Number of games in database: 126
Years covered: 1945 to 2003
Overall record: +55 -33 =37 (58.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1 exhibition game, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (14) 
    E81 E77 E86 E94 E99
 Nimzo Indian (11) 
    E30 E25 E27 E31
 Queen's Gambit Declined (10) 
    D35 D31 D36 D06
 Grunfeld (9) 
    D86 D85 D87
With the Black pieces:
 King's Indian (17) 
    E67 E97 E60 E80 E98
 Alekhine's Defense (11) 
    B03 B04 B05 B02
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (7) 
    D29 D27 D25 D23
 Sicilian (4) 
    B33 B32 B25
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Estrin vs Berliner, 1965 0-1
   Berliner vs A Rott, 1956 1-0
   Berliner vs Bisguier, 1960 1-0
   Berliner vs G Sanakoev, 2003 1/2-1/2
   Berliner vs R H Steinmeyer, 1963 1-0
   Berliner vs J Sloth, 2003 1-0
   Berliner vs G Borisenko, 1965 1-0
   Berliner vs Fischer, 1957 1/2-1/2
   Berliner vs Seidman, 1957 1/2-1/2
   Berliner vs S E Almgren, 1946 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship 1957/58 (1957)
   58th US Open (1957)
   US Championship (1962)
   56th US Open (1955)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   0 -- 5th Correspondence World Championship Final by crawfb5
   US Championship 1957/58 by suenteus po 147
   98_D70-D99_WHITE storming the Grunfeld with h4 by whiteshark

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(born Jan-27-1929, 87 years old) Germany (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

IM and GMC (1968) Hans Jack Berliner was born in Berlin, but when he was eight years old he moved with his family to America. He learned chess at age thirteen and went on to play in several U.S. Championships and earn a spot on his country's Olympiad team in 1952. However, he is famous primarily for his feats in correspondence play, most notably his victory in the 5th World Correspondence Championship with the record score of 14/16. His controversial book The System describes his rigorous and scientific approach to chess analysis. He currently lives in Florida, and has worked to help develop chess computers such as Hitech (Computer) in his later years.

Wikipedia article: Hans Berliner

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 126  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Koltanowski vs Berliner  1-039 1945 SimulD04 Queen's Pawn Game
2. Berliner vs S E Almgren 1-035 1946 47th US OpenC11 French
3. M Aleman Dovo vs Berliner  1-021 1946 47th US OpenC11 French
4. G Kramer vs Berliner  ½-½44 1946 47th US OpenD23 Queen's Gambit Accepted
5. Robert E Byrne vs Berliner 1-053 1946 47th US OpenC34 King's Gambit Accepted
6. Berliner vs A Mengarini 1-026 1949 RochesterC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
7. Berliner vs G Kramer  1-058 1950 US OpenB04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
8. Santasiere vs Berliner  1-041 1950 US OpenE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
9. F Zita vs Berliner  ½-½29 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)A04 Reti Opening
10. H Fajans vs Berliner  0-144 1953 54th US OpenB33 Sicilian
11. M Pavey vs Berliner  ½-½41 1953 54th US OpenD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
12. Dake vs Berliner  ½-½21 1953 54th US OpenE42 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein)
13. Berliner vs C Henin  1-036 1953 US OpenE99 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov
14. H Steiner vs Berliner  ½-½30 1953 54th US OpenD29 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
15. Berliner vs C Brasket  0-137 1953 54th US OpenD85 Grunfeld
16. I A Horowitz vs Berliner  1-044 1953 US OpenD29 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
17. Berliner vs K Burger  0-134 1953 54th US OpenD85 Grunfeld
18. Kujoth vs Berliner  0-135 1953 US OpenE29 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
19. Berliner vs M Colon Romero  1-042 1953 US OpenE25 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
20. C Pilnick vs Berliner  1-048 1954 USA-chB25 Sicilian, Closed
21. Berliner vs K Burger  1-022 1954 U.S. ChampionshipE85 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox Variation
22. Larry Evans vs Berliner  ½-½30 1954 USA-chC00 French Defense
23. Berliner vs J Sherwin  ½-½42 1954 USA-chE86 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.Nge2 c6
24. M Pavey vs Berliner  ½-½23 1954 USA-chE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
25. Berliner vs Seidman  0-127 1954 USA-chD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 126  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Berliner wins | Berliner loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Sorry, but which game are you referring to, SirChrislov?
Apr-21-09  Sicilian Dragon: <JB, my buddy>
This is the brilliant masterpiece!!!

Estrin vs Berliner, 1965

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: What do chessgames members think of Berliner's value of the pieces in "My System", eg

Pawn = 1
Knight = 3.2
Bishop = 3.3
Rook = 5.1
Queen = 8.8

The values are also affected by positional factors as well.

Sep-30-09  AnalyzeThis: I think these numbers are affected somewhat by your choice of opening. For Berliner's openings, they were probably right on the money.
Sep-30-09  DrCurmudgeon: Bah, humbug! All that stuff means is that if you win the queen but have to give up a rook, 2/3 of a bishop and 1/2 of a knight, you'd better have some other compensation up your sleeve or else file for Chapter 11.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sisyphus: It's much like the numbers Larry Kaufman determined and published in Chess Life some years ago. From memory: P=1, N=3.25, B=3.25, R=5, Q=9.5. In addition, he gave an extra half-pawn for having a bishop pair.

It's useful for evaluating certain exchanges, such as (1) two pieces are better than a rook and a pawn, and (2) sacrificing a rook for a piece and a pawn gives up less in material than some people think, and can be more easily justified by other compensation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a great interview with Berliner undertaken by the Computer History Museum:

Sep-12-10  GamerMan: I beleive kaufman's is 9.75 for the queen, also -1/8 to the rook for each pawn over 5 (and +1/8 for each pawn under 5) and +1/16 to the knight for each pawn over 5.

I think more interesting is his valuing the pawns based on their locations, does anyone have that list to post up here?

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <GamerMan> or here:
Sep-13-10  GamerMan: i actually meant hans berliner's complete pawn worth valuation
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <GamerMan> Wiki's <Chess piece relative value> gives you the quintessence of Berliner's pawn evaluations as published in <The System>*, p16-20.

You'll find the same content, but probably better arranged here:

*(Berliner, Hans (1999), The System: A World Champion's Approach to Chess, Gambit Publications, ISBN 1-901983-10-2) - Worth reading, anyway

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Oral History of Hans Berliner>
Feb-06-11  theagenbiteofinwit: I was rereading the Silman review of Berliner's System and had a chuckle at this gem:

<My angst towards postal chess began when I read that many postal aficionados honestly felt that a postal World Champion would beat an over-the-board World Champion in a postal game. The postal caste never seemed to realize that their understanding of chess as a whole was so far below any over-the-board World Champion's as to make the argument virtually laughable. >

If Berliner could draw against a future World Champion OTB, what is so ridiculous about saying that he could beat a OTB champ in a CC match?

Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <Sneaky: The System is one of the most brilliant chess books of the modern era. I'll match "The System" up against "My System" any day. That's a strong statement, I know.>

'Ich bin ein Berliner.' The System has taken a very bad rap, undeservedly because of its tone, perhaps. But it is an excellent chess tome.

Sep-18-11  Cemoblanca: I am currently reading "The System: A World Champion's Approach to Chess" by Hans Berliner. I really liked the part "I am not Alone" at the beginning and I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy! :0)

<Over 60 years ago Alekhine appreciated something that is still not common knowledge today.

After the moves:

1 d4 d5
2 c4 c6
3 Nc3

"In my opinion this move gives White more chances of obtaining an opening advantage..."

4 e4!

"It is almost incredible that this quite natural move has not been considered by the so-called theoreticians. White obtains now an appreciable advantage in development, no matter what Black replies."

Alexander Alekhine, 1937>

P.S. HB looks a bit like Christopher "Dracula" Lee ;0) >>>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy Birthday (yesterday)!
Jan-27-12  Marmot PFL: <After the moves:

1 d4 d5
2 c4 c6
3 Nc3

"In my opinion this move gives White more chances of obtaining an opening advantage...">

Many play 3 Nf3 to avoid the complications of 3 Nc3 e5 4 de d4, even if it isn't quite sound.

Jan-27-12  King Death: <Marmot PFL> Most players were using 3.Nf3 before that gambit became popular as the result of this game: Karpov vs Bareev, 1992.
Jan-27-12  waustad: I confess that for today's B'day I'd be hard pressed not to pick Captain Evans. Happy B'day to Hans Berliner too, but buckle my swashes matey!
Jan-30-12  Hesam7: <Poisonpawns: Berliner crushes 12..Qa3 in Grunfeld in response to critics>...

Berliner's analysis did not stand the test of time. In fact Black' main line (10. Rc1 cxd4 11. cxd4 Qa5+ 12. Kf1 Qa3 13. Rc3 Qd6 14. h4 h5 15. f3 Rd8 16. Bd5 <e5!>) is missing from his analysis.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

<" Castle if you must, or if you want to, but not because you can! ">

-- Hans Berliner

Aug-26-13  JoergWalter: <whiteshark> to my knowledge this quote is attributed to Pillsbury. don't have the source right now.
Aug-26-13  Karpova: W.E. Napier's 'Paul Morphy and The Golden Age of Chess' (New York, 1957 and 1971), page 18: <Once I asked Pillsbury whether he used any formula for castling. He said his rule was absolute and vital: castle because you will or because you must; but not because you can.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Researching Yankton (1957) finds this bio snippet:

<Hans J. Berliner, 28-year old Naval Research Laboratory engineering psychologist, won the Labor Day Champion of Champions Chess Tournament at Yankton, S.D.

The District's chess master took the trophy after winning a tie-breaking game with Curt Brasket of Minneapolis. Both men had scored 5 1/2 points in earlier games.>

Washington Post and Times Herald, 1957-09-04, pg B8

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, CC World Champion Hans Berliner.
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