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Sidney Norman Bernstein
S Bernstein 
Number of games in database: 200
Years covered: 1926 to 1987

Overall record: +75 -72 =50 (50.8%)*
   * 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:
 Sicilian (20) 
    B20 B23 B65 B40 B45
 King's Indian (6) 
    E62 E60 E73
 Queen's Pawn Game (6) 
    D02 A46
 Nimzo Indian (5) 
    E33 E43
 Uncommon Opening (5) 
    A00 B00
 Slav (5) 
    D10 D14 D13 D18
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (16) 
    B58 B32 B29 B74 B35
 Queen's Pawn Game (8) 
    E10 A50 D02 E00 A46
 Semi-Slav (8) 
    D47 D45 D43 D49
 Ruy Lopez (8) 
    C86 C77 C89 C70 C66
 Nimzo Indian (7) 
    E34 E22 E24 E28 E30
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (5) 
    C86 C85 C89
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   S Bernstein vs Dake, 1936 1/2-1/2
   S Bernstein vs Vladimir Ryznar, 1974 1-0
   E Moskow vs S Bernstein, 1976 0-1
   Reshevsky vs S Bernstein, 1936 0-1
   S Bernstein vs E B Heal, 1940 1-0
   J F Donovan vs S Bernstein, 1942 0-1
   S Bernstein vs A Cass, 1939 1-0
   S Bernstein vs Ruth Cardoso, 1974 1-0
   Denker vs S Bernstein, 1957 0-1
   J Bonin vs S Bernstein, 1977 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Third Rosenwald Trophy (1956)
   US Championship 1957/58 (1957)
   US Championship 1961/62 (1961)
   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

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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 200  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. N Grossman vs S Bernstein  1-0201926Individual High School Student ChampionshipC66 Ruy Lopez
2. Rubinstein vs S Bernstein 0-1241928Simul, 15bB04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
3. Lasker vs S Bernstein 1-0461928Clock simul, 10bB03 Alekhine's Defense
4. Capablanca vs S Bernstein ½-½371928Simul, 46bA52 Budapest Gambit
5. L Matibet vs S Bernstein  0-1341933Rive Gauche Ch.C42 Petrov Defense
6. Factor vs S Bernstein  0-1521936US ChampionshipE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
7. S Bernstein vs Kashdan  0-1671936US ChampionshipD21 Queen's Gambit Accepted
8. Reshevsky vs S Bernstein 0-1411936US ChampionshipE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
9. S Bernstein vs Dake ½-½701936US ChampionshipD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
10. H Steiner vs S Bernstein 1-0401936US ChampionshipA47 Queen's Indian
11. S Bernstein vs G N Treysman  ½-½401936US ChampionshipD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. W Adams vs S Bernstein 1-0241936US ChampionshipB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
13. S Bernstein vs Kevitz  0-1581936US ChampionshipC13 French
14. Kupchik vs S Bernstein  ½-½681936US ChampionshipB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
15. S Bernstein vs Harold Morton  0-1441936US ChampionshipA46 Queen's Pawn Game
16. A Simonson vs S Bernstein  1-0391936US ChampionshipD06 Queen's Gambit Declined
17. Fine vs S Bernstein 1-0451936US ChampionshipD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
18. Denker vs S Bernstein  ½-½411936US ChampionshipE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
19. S Bernstein vs M L Hanauer  ½-½311936US ChampionshipD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
20. S Bernstein vs M Fox  1-041193637th ACF Congress. Preliminary 2A49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
21. S S Cohen vs S Bernstein  1-0351936ACF CongressB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
22. Dake vs S Bernstein  1-035193637th ACF Congress. Prelim 2D31 Queen's Gambit Declined
23. S Bernstein vs Denker  0-140193637th ACF Congress. FinalC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
24. M Fox vs S Bernstein  1-030193637th ACF Congress. ChampionshipE10 Queen's Pawn Game
25. I A Horowitz vs S Bernstein 1-0381936ACF CongressE10 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 200  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  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


Jul-13-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Sidney Bernstein.
Premium Chessgames Member
  yiotta: <<Lonnie Lurko>Has there been a stronger chessplaying Sidney than this?><vonKrolock>Probably not...>> May I offer for your consideration Sidney Thomas Sharp who deserves to be remembered for beating Capablanca 5 times in simuls! As the 10 time Pennsylvania champion, he also scored 2 wins and a draw vs. Lasker in simuls as well as a win vs Alekhine, drawing Reshevsky and beating Kashdan and Marshall in classical games among other fine results.
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: <yiotta> I see, Sydney Thomas Sharp is a very respectable player too - interesting to know the both Sidneys particular score - if there was any ?!
Jan-06-17  notatiger54: Am submitting just now to the webmaster a game I played against Bernstein in 1983, that isn't currently in the database.
Jul-13-17  JohnTal: One of the few players who would aggressively sacrifice a piece against Fischer and survive, even though he never beat Bobby -- at least he was entertaining and not simply an intimidated wimp who lacked any fight.
Jul-13-17  Howard: As I recall, Soltis said in his book on the U.S. championship (all three editions, in fact) that starting with the Fischer era, in 1957, "no member of the old guard ever achieved a plus score in a U.S. championship again". He even had that phrase in italics!

He did add that there were two exceptions. One was a one-time exception on Bernstein's part.

The other was the "constant exception" of Reshevsky.

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