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|Sep-08-02|| ||Sneaky: Bernstein, Ossip Samoilovich
In 1918 Ossip Bernstein was arrested in Odessa by the Cheka and ordered shot by a firing squad just because he was a legal advisor to bankers. As the firing squad lined up, a superior officer asked to see the list of prisoners' names. Discovering the name of Ossip Bernstein, the officer demanded whether he was the famous master. Not satisfied with Bernstein's affirmative reply, he challenged Bernstein to a game. If the prisoner lost or drew, he would be shot. Bernstein won in no time and was released. He escaped on a British ship and settled in Paris.
|Jun-23-04|| ||holierthanthou: So it was Bernstein, not Alekhine, who had to play for his life? Or perhaps they both had to! |
|Aug-11-04|| ||nikolaas: "I have always been a sworn enemy of draws and ruined many games by playing sharply for a win in drawn positions," The International Grandmaster Ossip Bernstein once remarked. "In one tournament the veteran master Burn, who was a good friend of mine, offered me a draw on the twelfth move. I refused, played for a win and ended up in a completely lost position. For the fun of it, I then offered Burn a draw myself. With his eyes flashing slyly at me through his glasses, he replied frowningly: 'Had you accepted my offer then, I would accept yours now,' upon which I resigned." |
|Sep-26-04|| ||percyblakeney: There can't be many others that have played both Mikhail Chigorin and Bent Larsen |
|Dec-22-04|| ||Benzol: Ossip Samuel Bernstein
Born 2nd October 1882 in Zhitomar
Died 30th November 1962 in France
Moscow champion in 1911 he was awarded the GM title in 1950.
|Dec-22-04|| ||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!" |
|Feb-19-05|| ||Gypsy: < Ossip Bernstein used to claim he was the only grandmaster who lost three fortunes. Son of a wealthy Jewish family and a successful Tsarist advocate, he was a 1911 Moscow champion and played in the great tournament of St Petersburg 1914 but had to flee peniless from the Bolsheviks. Resettled in France, he became one of France's most prosperous financial lawyers only to lose it all again in the Wallstreet crash. Then in the 1930s he tied a match with world champion Alekhine, and created yet another fortune until this, too, was seized by the Nazis in 1940. Finally he achieved a life-long dream when he flew back to his belowed Moskow as No 1 board for France in the 1956 Olympiad---but the excitement brought on a heart attack.> Leonard Barden, "Basford Chess Puzzles" |
|May-13-05|| ||mack: I just read the story Sneaky recounts here somewhere else; does anyone (WMD?) know if it's definitely true?|
|Jun-19-05|| ||TheAlchemist: A few anecdotes about Bernstein, a brief translation of a translation of Edward Lasker's column in Chess Review, April 1963.|
When Bernstein's family was living in Paris, Ossip's career as a lawyer began flourishing again. Soon he had established an office in Berlin, where he also spent 2 years. He seriously thought about moving there, but his wife's intuition saved the day. She was opposed to it and she explained it: "No, no and no! I want to stay in Paris! And you know why? Because whenever you're feeling down, you take your coat and take a walk on te Parisian streets. After just a few minutes, you're full of life again. What other city can offer you that? Certainly not Berlin..." Phew. It was 1931.
Like many people of a powerful intellect, he loved jokes and wasn't offended, if they were directed at him. After a tournament in Zurich, Bernstein showed a game to Emanuel Lasker, where he blundered terribly and lost to a much weaker player. Bernstein: "Aren't I a real chess idiot?" Lasker answered politely: "Well, let's just say there isn't a better explanation for your move." Bernstein was relentless: "But could you confirm that with a signature?" Lasker:"Of course." And Bernstein took a piece of paper, whereupon he wrote: "I, Emanuel Lasker, confirm that I have seen with my own eyes, that Ossip Bernstein is, without any doubts - a chess idiot." And Ossip happily showed this historic document to everybody.
|Jul-13-05|| ||AdrianP: <mack> <sneaky> Bill Wall has the same anecdote in "Off the Wall: Chess Trivia" but that's no guarantee of its veracity.|
|Jul-20-05|| ||TheAlchemist: <AdrianP> Edward Lasker (in the article I mentioned above) also wrote about that, so it should be true.|
|Nov-21-05|| ||Koster: <In 1918 Ossip Bernstein was arrested in Odessa by the Cheka and ordered shot by a firing squad just because he was a legal advisor to bankers. As the firing squad lined up, a superior officer asked to see the list of prisoners' names. Discovering the name of Ossip Bernstein, the officer demanded whether he was the famous master. Not satisfied with Bernstein's affirmative reply, he challenged Bernstein to a game. If the prisoner lost or drew, he would be shot. Bernstein won in no time and was released. He escaped on a British ship and settled in Paris.>|
This sounds like the story The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig, where the main character, Dr. B., a Viennese lawyer, is arrested by the Gestapo. Later, on the board the ship he meets and defeats the world champion, Czentovic, an illiterate son of a Danube boatman, "incapable of writing any sentence in any language without making spelling mistakes". Dr. B's chess ability is accounted for by his inprisonment in solitary confinement with no diversions but a chess book stolen from a guard. He replays every game in the book so often that he has them memorised. This makes him a world class player, but also drives him insane. Far-fetched of course, I doubt insanity among top players is any more comon than among people in general, perhaps less. Someone said chess didn't drive Fischer crazy, it was the only thing that kept him sane, relatively at least.
|Nov-29-05|| ||Kangaroo: Another NOTABLE game is
O Bernstein vs Najdorf, 1954
|Nov-29-05|| ||WTHarvey: Here is a little collection of puzzles from Ossip's games: http://www.wtharvey.com/bern.html|
|Nov-29-05|| ||dakgootje: <In one tournament the veteran master Burn, who was a good friend of mine, offered me a draw on the twelfth move. I refused, played for a win and ended up in a completely lost position. For the fun of it, I then offered Burn a draw myself. With his eyes flashing slyly at me through his glasses, he replied frowningly: 'Had you accepted my offer then, I would accept yours now,' upon which I resigned.> Maybe this game?|
Burn vs O Bernstein, 1906
|Nov-29-05|| ||keypusher: <dakgootje> That's funny, Tal recounts something similar in his autobiography about his famous win over Spassky in the 1958 championship. Tal offered a draw around move 25, Spassky refused and gained an advantage. Close to move 70 the advantage went to black and Spassky offered a draw, which Tal refused. The "journalist" interviewing Tal says, "So, if he had accepted the draw yesterday, you would have accepted it today?"|
Spassky vs Tal, 1958
Bernstein seems to have been a witty man. In his best games collection Tartakower includes a casual game with Bernstein in which Tartakower won with a double rook sacrifice. "An immortal game!" said an onlooker. "'Mortal, rather, for me,' replied the ever-alert Bernstein."
|Aug-29-06|| ||syracrophy: I remember a position from one of his games, that appears in a book of chess problems, and does not appears here. It's just wonderful:|
Bernstein - NN, San Petersburg, 1909
click for larger view
White to play and win
Solutions? Ideas? Anyone?
|Aug-29-06|| ||ughaibu: c5 looks strong.|
|Aug-29-06|| ||syracrophy: <ughaibu> You're right! It's a charming mate in three, indeed. After 1.c5!:|
<a)>1...bxc5 2.♘c4+ ♔b5 3.a4#
<b)>1...b5 2.a3! ♘e6 3.♘b7#
<c)>1...♘e6 2.♘b7+ ♔b5 3.a4#
|Jan-09-07|| ||vonKrolock: The photo presented here is from Jacob Bernstein More details and the entire caption here http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/... number 4796|
|Jan-09-07|| ||vonKrolock: furthermore, the Bernstein who played the Carlsbad Tournament from 1923, was also Jacob|
|Sep-16-08|| ||Oliveira: <syracrophy> Great puzzle of a great player!|
1.c5!!, b5; 2.a3!, b4; 3.a4! - zugz!
|Sep-28-08|| ||ravel5184: 3. axb4#|
|Oct-02-08|| ||BIDMONFA: Ossip Bernstein|
|May-09-09|| ||myschkin: *+~
Ossip Bernstein (by Bill Wall): http://www.geocities.com/SiliconVal...
* GeoCities (1995-2009)
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