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Ossip Bernstein
O Bernstein 
Wiener Schachzeitung, May 1914, p 81.
ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
 
Number of games in database: 285
Years covered: 1902 to 1961

Overall record: +121 -73 =88 (58.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (28) 
    C69 C66 C80 C61 C79
 Sicilian (23) 
    B73 B23 B45 B57 B46
 Queen's Gambit Declined (13) 
    D37 D30 D38
 French Defense (12) 
    C14 C12 C17 C01 C18
 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 D66
 Queen's Pawn Game (14) 
    D02 D00
 Giuoco Piano (8) 
    C50 C53 C54
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (8) 
    C97 C86 C96 C91 C92
 Queen's Gambit Declined (6) 
    D37 D30 D35 D31
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 NN, 1932 1-0
   O Bernstein vs Smyslov, 1946 1/2-1/2
   O Bernstein vs Metger, 1907 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)
   Coburg (Meisterturnier) (1904)
   Barmen Meisterturnier A (1905)
   St. Petersburg (1909)
   St. Petersburg (1914)
   Berne (1932)
   Zurich (1934)
   San Sebastian (1911)
   Groningen (1946)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Berne 1932 by Tabanus
   Zurich 1934 by suenteus po 147
   Barmen Meisterturnier A 1905 by Phony Benoni
   San Sebastian 1911 by suenteus po 147
   San Sebastian 1911 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Vilnius 1912 (All-Russian Masters) by Phony Benoni
   Stockholm 1906 by Phony Benoni
   London A 1946 by Tabanus
   St Petersburg 1914 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   St Petersburg 1914 by Benzol


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OSSIP BERNSTEIN
(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 285  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. Rubinstein vs O Bernstein 0-12519033rd Russian National TournamentC45 Scotch Game
4. O Bernstein vs Dus Chotimirsky  1-06119033rd Russian National TournamentB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
5. Schiffers vs O Bernstein  0-12819033rd Russian National TournamentB25 Sicilian, Closed
6. Chigorin vs O Bernstein 0-13219033rd Russian National TournamentC30 King's Gambit Declined
7. S Izbinsky vs O Bernstein  ½-½6019033rd Russian National TournamentC78 Ruy Lopez
8. O Bernstein vs P P Benko 1-02519033rd Russian National TournamentC41 Philidor Defense
9. M Lowcki vs O Bernstein  ½-½4119033rd Russian National TournamentD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. Znosko-Borovsky vs O Bernstein 1-02019033rd Russian National TournamentB24 Sicilian, Closed
11. O Bernstein vs Salwe ½-½5319033rd Russian National TournamentC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
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 285  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 1 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-08-02
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

http://www.jewsinsports.org/profile...

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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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

BERNSTEIN, Ossip
http://www.bidmonfa.com/bernstein_o...
_

May-09-09  myschkin: *+~

Ossip Bernstein (by Bill Wall): http://www.geocities.com/SiliconVal...

* GeoCities (1995-2009)

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