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Hans Berliner
H Berliner 
Number of games in database: 136
Years covered: 1945 to 2001

Overall record: +59 -36 =39 (58.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 2 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (15) 
    E94 E86 E81 E77 E99
 Nimzo Indian (12) 
    E30 E25 E31 E27 E24
 Queen's Gambit Declined (10) 
    D35 D31 D06
 Grunfeld (9) 
    D86 D85 D87
 French Defense (4) 
    C11 C14 C10
With the Black pieces:
 King's Indian (18) 
    E67 E60 E97 E80 E81
 Alekhine's Defense (11) 
    B03 B04 B05 B02
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (7) 
    D29 D27 D25 D23
 Queen's Pawn Game (4) 
    A45 D02 A46 D04
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Estrin vs H Berliner, 1965 0-1
   H Berliner vs A Rott, 1956 1-0
   H Berliner vs S E Almgren, 1946 1-0
   R H Steinmeyer vs H Berliner, 1959 0-1
   H Berliner vs Bisguier, 1960 1-0
   H Berliner vs G Sanakoev, 2001 1/2-1/2
   H Berliner vs G Borisenko, 1965 1-0
   H Berliner vs Fischer, 1957 1/2-1/2
   L Gilden vs H Berliner, 1959 0-1
   H Berliner vs H Seidman, 1957 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship 1957/58 (1957)
   60th US Open (1959)
   US Championship (1962)
   58th US Open (1957)
   54th US Open (1953)
   56th US Open (1955)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   5th Correspondence World Championship Final by crawfb5
   US Championship 1957/58 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1957/58 by shankartr2018
   Yankton 1946 by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Hans Berliner
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(born Jan-27-1929, died Jan-13-2017, 87 years old) Germany (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

IM and GMC (1968) Hans Jack Berliner was born in Berlin.

Berliner entered public school just as Hitler was rising to power. In 1937, his family immigrated to the Washington, D.C. area to escape Nazi persecution. A nephew of his uncle Emile Berliner, Joseph Sanders, arranged for several members of the extended Berliner family to immigrate to America. (1)

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, making him the ICCF World Champion from 1965-68.

His controversial book The System describes his rigorous and scientific approach to chess analysis. In his later years, he worked to help develop chess computers such as Hitech (Computer). He died in Riviera Beach, Florida on January 13, 2017.

(1) Biography by Bill Wall
(2) Wikipedia article: Hans Berliner

Last updated: 2017-01-23 12:29:57

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 136  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Koltanowski vs H Berliner  1-0391945SimulD04 Queen's Pawn Game
2. H Berliner vs Larry Friedman 0-1291946US Junior ChC57 Two Knights
3. H Berliner vs S E Almgren 1-035194647th US OpenC11 French
4. M Aleman Dovo vs H Berliner  1-021194647th US OpenC11 French
5. G Kramer vs H Berliner  ½-½44194647th US OpenD23 Queen's Gambit Accepted
6. R Byrne vs H Berliner 1-053194647th US OpenC34 King's Gambit Accepted
7. L E Marquez vs H Berliner  1-0301946Yankton International TournamentD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
8. W M Byland vs H Berliner  ½-½271946Yankton International TournamentB01 Scandinavian
9. H Berliner vs R Cintron  1-0481946Yankton International TournamentC10 French
10. A Powers vs H Berliner  0-1431946Yankton International TournamentD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. H Berliner vs A Margolis  0-1461946Yankton International TournamentC14 French, Classical
12. H Berliner vs F Planas Garcia  ½-½321946Yankton International TournamentC11 French
13. H Berliner vs M Colon Romero  1-0231946Yankton International TournamentB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
14. H Berliner vs A Mengarini 1-0261949RochesterC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
15. H Berliner vs G Kramer  1-058195051st US OpenB04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
16. Santasiere vs H Berliner  1-041195051st US OpenE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
17. F Zita vs H Berliner  ½-½291952Helsinki Olympiad Final-AA04 Reti Opening
18. H Fajans vs H Berliner  0-144195354th US OpenB33 Sicilian
19. M Pavey vs H Berliner  ½-½41195354th US OpenD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
20. Dake vs H Berliner  ½-½21195354th US OpenE42 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein)
21. H Berliner vs C Henin  1-036195354th US OpenE99 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov
22. H Steiner vs H Berliner  ½-½30195354th US OpenD29 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
23. H Berliner vs C Brasket  0-137195354th US OpenD85 Grunfeld
24. I A Horowitz vs H Berliner  1-044195354th US OpenD29 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
25. H Berliner vs K Burger  0-134195354th US OpenD85 Grunfeld
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 136  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Berliner wins | Berliner loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-14-11  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.>


Jul-24-15  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

Jan-27-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, CC World Champion Hans Berliner.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: He died on January 13.
Jan-17-17  savagerules: Berliner was the left handed version of Weaver Adams who famously said 1 e4 and wins. Berliner said 1 d4 and wins. Some years ago he did a lengthy analysis which he claimed busted the Gruenfeld forever but overlooked a rather simple resource for Black around move 15 or 16 that destroyed all his analysis. He also said back in the early 1960s he tried to talk Fischer into playing 1 d4 by showing him some of his analysis.
Jan-17-17  Everyone: RIP CC World Champion Hans Berliner

On a long enough timeline the survival rate for <Everyone> drops to zero.

Jan-17-17  Eastfrisian: R.I.P. Master Berliner.
Jan-17-17  Howard: If I remember correctly, the late Larry Evans said in his CL column many years back that Berliner--among others--suspected that the initial starting position was probably a forced win for White, and that computers would eventually find that "win".

As for Everyone's comment, who was it who said, "In the long run, we're all dead." ?

Jan-17-17  todicav23: RIP Hans Berliner. I remember reading somewhere that he started a PhD when he was 40 years old and he finished it at 45. He is an example that people can achieve great things later in life.
Jan-17-17  wordfunph: rest in peace, master Hans.
Jan-17-17  cro777: "Hans Berliner won the 5th World Correspondence Chess Championship, which began in 1965 and lasted three years. His margin of victory in the final was the largest in history: his final score was 14.0/16 (twelve wins, four draws), three points ahead of any opponent.

But it was the game Estrin vs Berliner, 1965 from the Championship that followers of chess particularly remember. Andy Soltis ranked the game No. 1 in his book 'The 100 Best Chess Games of the 20th Century'(2000)."

R.I.P. International Master and Correspondence Grandmaster Hans Berliner, a legend of correspondence chess, and a pioneer in chess programming. He built the first machine that exceeded 2400 Elo points.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: I added a Berliner bio to my chess page at
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: RIP, Champion. According to crawfb5's game collection, Berliner won his qualifying section 6-0 and his semifinal 11.5-0.5. If my calculations are correct, that means he won the WCC with 29 wins, 5 draws--and 0 losses.


Premium Chessgames Member I had a brief encounter with Mr. Berliner that, to me, spoke volumes.

Back in 2009 or so, my partner Alberto Artidiello gave me a copy of "The System", claiming that it was must-read material for any chess player. I ended up reading it at least twice, and gained great appreciation for the man.

Then I came to learn that he lived only a half hour drive away from me in West Palm Beach, Florida. So I called him on the phone, explaining what Chessgames is, and enquiring if he would be willing to be a participant in the Chessgames Challenge.

Sadly, he explained that he doesn't play chess any more due to health issues.

I clarified that he would be able to use computers for assistance, and made it clear that he would be financially compensated. What impressed me is that he didn't even stop to ask "how much?" — he simply said that he didn't believe that his chess would be as good as possible.

I will cherish that well-thumbed book, until I too pass it on. You will never be forgotten, Hans Berliner.

Jan-20-17  Ironmanth: Thank you, Grandmaster, for your wonderful contribution to our game, and for your fighting spirit in life to believe and achieve. RIP, Mr. Hans Berliner.
Aug-13-18  swampdragon: I encourage everyone to read Mr. Wall's bio of Berliner at the link he provided. Although his pioneer status in computer chess is probably objectively more impressive, I mostly remember picking up Chess Reviews decades apart and seeing Berliner still sitting on top of the correspondence rankings, with no one else within a light year of him.
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