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Karl Burger
K Burger 
Photo courtesy of 
Number of games in database: 446
Years covered: 1949 to 1996
Last FIDE rating: 2310
Overall record: +158 -166 =122 (49.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
E12 Queen's Indian (19 games)
B18 Caro-Kann, Classical (16 games)
A07 King's Indian Attack (11 games)
A46 Queen's Pawn Game (11 games)
B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation (9 games)
E11 Bogo-Indian Defense (9 games)
B10 Caro-Kann (8 games)
A15 English (7 games)
D00 Queen's Pawn Game (5 games)
A04 Reti Opening (5 games)

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(born Jan-22-1933, died Apr-01-2000, 67 years old) United States of America

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Karl Burger was an International Master (with two GM norms) who competed in the 1969 U.S. Chess Championship, with 4 draws and 7 losses. He was a physician and a former chess teacher to Robert James Fischer at the Manhattan Chess Club. He played chess in over 20 countries and 47 of the 50 states. In 1993 he won the Georgia State Championship.

Last updated: 2022-10-15 06:41:12

 page 1 of 18; games 1-25 of 446  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J Platz vs K Burger  1-0221949New York ccC77 Ruy Lopez
2. H Daly vs K Burger  0-134195253rd US OpenA45 Queen's Pawn Game
3. K Burger vs C Lyon 1-033195253rd US OpenC78 Ruy Lopez
4. L T Magee vs K Burger  0-143195253rd US OpenD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
5. K Burger vs Evans  0-151195253rd US OpenB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
6. A Mengarini vs K Burger  1-045195253rd US OpenB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
7. K Burger vs A J Fink  ½-½24195253rd US OpenC70 Ruy Lopez
8. C Sharp vs K Burger  0-125195253rd US OpenD94 Grunfeld
9. K Burger vs M Colon Romero  1-049195253rd US OpenE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
10. R Brieger vs K Burger  0-124195253rd US OpenB32 Sicilian
11. K Burger vs D Byrne 0-122195253rd US OpenD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. H Steiner vs K Burger  ½-½26195253rd US OpenD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. K Burger vs E Mednis  ½-½21195253rd US OpenE29 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
14. K Burger vs A C Ludwig  1-035195354th US OpenD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
15. Dake vs K Burger  1-036195354th US OpenE65 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav, 7.O-O
16. K Burger vs I A Horowitz  1-046195354th US OpenE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
17. N Whitaker vs K Burger  0-155195354th US OpenB10 Caro-Kann
18. K Burger vs H Meifert  1-029195354th US OpenD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. Hal White vs K Burger  0-121195354th US OpenB23 Sicilian, Closed
20. K Burger vs M Pavey  0-155195354th US OpenD98 Grunfeld, Russian
21. H Daly vs K Burger  1-040195354th US OpenA45 Queen's Pawn Game
22. K Burger vs G Hartleb  1-026195354th US OpenD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
23. H Berliner vs K Burger  0-134195354th US OpenD85 Grunfeld
24. K Burger vs H Steiner  1-060195354th US OpenD79 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O, Main line
25. H Berliner vs K Burger 1-0221954United States ChampionshipE85 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox Variation
 page 1 of 18; games 1-25 of 446  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Burger wins | Burger loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-26-06  NakoSonorense: I thought it was Karl's Jr. Is it another branch or what?
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: This is the original Chess Burger.
Mar-09-08  wolfmaster: At McDonald's you can always get a Burger at Knight!
Mar-13-08  whiteshark: Karl Burger ♔ ain't got the Whopper.
Premium Chessgames Member
  stoy: Was not Karl Burger a NYC area physician? I remember him from the 1960s. I recall seeing him at the Marshall CC.
Apr-18-08  Strongest Force: You are right, stoy. My predominant memory of him is taking a bunch of masters in two cars to the best pizza place in NYC at the time; it was a hangout of mine that i told him about.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: K. Burger has an interesting career trajectory: active for over 60 years; the database contains 30 games for the first 30 years, almost all played in the U.S.; over 300 in the next 30 years, mostly in Europe; and most of his games in the past ten years have been Internet chess.

Is it possible that there is more than one K. Burger?

Nov-01-08  Granny O Doul: <al wazir> He was wheelchair-bound in his later years (effects of diabetes). He went to Europe because he had made a lot of money as a doctor and it was time to start spending it.
May-14-10  myschkin: . . .

<Cheapo> a phrase coined by U.S. Master Dr. Karl Burger, who has won a large percentage of his games by such a maneuver; a move which threatens something so obvious that only an idiot would fall for it, and he does.


Apr-19-11  Bent76: Bent76: Whitout mentioned about chess;
I just finish a book, and
the Writer's name is:

A Memoir of the
Nazi Couterfeiting Operation.
about 300 pages
April 19 2011

Oct-18-13  epistle: He always goes to tournaments with
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: He gets his whoppers and onion rings at special discount.
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Which states didn't he play in?
Mar-16-16  luftforlife: From the Augusta Chronicle, March 25, 1998:

"Today, I have a very great hatred of salami." -- IM Karl Burger, M.D.

To learn just why Burger came to hate salami, see "Chess Monk (Salami Drippings on a Chessboard)":

Mar-16-16  luftforlife: On his weblog "Tankeboxen," Søren Dippel writes about IM Karl Burger, M.D. in his February 2001 entry "Burger til Bobby," which features a photograph of Burger taken by Donny Gray.

Here's the link:

Mar-16-16  luftforlife: Søren Dippel: User: dippel. He has posted fruitfully here on IM Karl Burger, M.D. (and on Donny Gray) vis-à-vis GM Bobby Fischer.
Dec-06-17  whiteshark: A Burger worth noting.
Jun-02-18  Agferna: Was it necessary for his bio to say he took last place in a tournament?

A weak tournament result is something incidental that could happen for a multitude of reasons, not necessarily related to chess.

Jun-02-18  Count Wedgemore: <Agferna> Yes, seems like a nothingburger.
Apr-08-19  wordfunph: from Chess Life 1982 October:

Karl Burger, who has been a master for many years, recently decided to give up his job so that he can devote all of his time to chess and achieving the GM title. He's a New York medical doctor who gave up his private practice after realizing that rating points were more valuable to him than money - at least in the short run.

Aug-17-19  Granny O Doul: Reading Burger's above bio (at least, as it appears today), it does not actually specify a last-place finish, but does report a score in the 1969 US Championship tourney suggestive of such a placement, and a bit of research confirms this was indeed the one reached.

As this was the tournament whose absence from which might have deferred Bobby Fischer's world championship aspirations for three years, it was possible for the biographer instead to play up Burger's selfless decision to step aside for Fischer after Benko, Lombardy, Donald Byrne, Evans, Mednis, Zuckerman, Bisguier, Robert Byrne, and Saidy had each in turn done the same. But given that the tournament represents the totality of Burger's championship experience, one can also understand why the biographer felt a simple report of the score achieved was the most informative use of the space allotted.

Nov-30-21  Petrosianic: <But given that the tournament represents the totality of Burger's championship experience, one can also understand why the biographer felt a simple report of the score achieved was the most informative use of the space allotted.>

It's not the totality of his championship experience. Burger also played in the 1954 Championship, finishing 11th out of 14.

Mar-09-22  Zugzwangovich: He also played in the 1965 US Championship, but scored only one win, four draws, and six losses, finishing equal 10th out of 12.
Jul-31-22  wrap99: <LivBlockade> Greetings from 2022! You cannot imagine what will happen in the next decade and a half. Buy something called "Bitcoin" and never sell -- if you buy soon enough, you could be a billionaire. Trump is elected president in 2016 and some really crazy stuff happens after that. As for writing down moves, there must be many stories. I can't believe I used to use descriptive notation for a long time, resisting algebraic -- heck, I can't believe that anyone used descriptive. As for figurine: I noticed that some very good players were extremely meticulous in their recording of moves, some having fantastic handwriting -- their games meant a lot to them. I also recall Lone Pine 40 or so years ago when one young player could not be bothered to record his moves (the event was free -- completely philanthropic tournament thanks to its sponsor L. Statham) and the director yelling at the kid -- that kid came to no good, and maybe this was no coincidence.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: He must have founded this restaurant:
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