The Last of the Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans

| 27 | Chess Players

Ossip Bernstein (20 September 1882, Russian Empire (now Ukraine) – 30 November 1962 in the French Pyrenees) was a chess grandmaster. Born in Imperial Russia to a family of Jewish heritage, Ossip Bernstein grew up in pre-revolutionary Russia. He earned a doctorate in law at Heidelberg University in 1906, and became a financial lawyer.

I considered Ossip Bernstein to be the last of a generation of true titans of chess.
Although this article is in relation to Bernstein’s approach in chess, I want you to focus on the game against Najdorf. There, in Montevideo 1954, at age 72! Najdorf
protested: "That guy (Bernstein) is much too old to participate in such a tournament!" and… Bernstein beat him! History was being repeated, as in San Sebastian 1911, Bernstein had protested: "That guy (Capablanca) is much too young to participate in such a tournament!" Capablanca beat him in the first round with the first brilliancy price besides! However, Bernstein always denied that he had opposed the participation of Capa in the tournament!

Reinfeld includes this game in his book, “Great Brilliancy Prize Games of the Chess
Masters”. According to Reinfeld, a newspaper called Bernstein "the grandfather of
chess." Reinfeld commented that Bernstein's play was anything but grandfatherly. It’s a great demonstration of the power of a bishop battery…

Bernstein was a successful businessman. He earned considerable wealth before losing it in the Bolshevik Revolution, earned a second fortune that was lost in the Great Depression, and a third that was lost when France was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1940. Bernstein was exiled in Paris, only to be driven out to Spain by the German Nazis, because of his Jewish origin.

Awarded the GM title in 1950, he passed away in a sanatorium in the French Pyrenees in 1962.

I will let you enjoy the game against Najdorf, as well as other positions from his career.













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