Chess Grand Master Ossip Bernstein was arrested by the Bolshevik secret police and ordered to be shot. As the firing squad lined up, an officer asked if he was really the famous chess master. The officer made Bernstein play a game for his life against him. Bernstein won easily and was released.

Lined Up For The Firing Squad, This Chess Master Was Offered To Play a Game of Chess For His Life

Ossip Samoilovich Bernstein was a Ukrainian-born chess player who went on to become a master in the most memorable of ways. He was born in 1882 to a wealthy Jewish family. He started playing chess at the age of nineteen while he was simultaneously studying to become a lawyer.In July of 1902 he played in a blindfold exhibition match against the famous Pillsbury. Pillsbury took that match, but by no means was this going to be one most important matches of Bernstein’s life.

Bernstein earned his master title after winning at the General Chess Federation of Berlin in 1902. He then began winning titles all over the place. Chessmetrics has Bernstein’s highest rating as 2688 and ranked #9 in the world from April 1904 to March 1906. His individu… Continue Reading