Bernstein Defense

In 1918, because he was a legal advisor to bankers, the famous chess player Ossip Bernstein was arrested in Odessa by the Cheka and scheduled for execution. As the firing squad lined up, a superior officer asked to see the list of prisoners' names and, seeing Bernstein's name, demanded whether he was the International Grandmaster of the same name. When Bernstein replied in the affirmative, the skeptical officer challenged him to a game. Unless the prisoner won the game outright, he would be shot. Bernstein won with ease. Having literally won his freedom, he promptly fled on a British ship and settled in Paris.
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