The first Canadian open chess championship held in Montreal from August 25 to September 2, 1956 was a tremendous success in more ways than one. Firstly, it drew a record of 88 entries representing most of Canada, seven states of the U.S., and two players from Guetemala. Secondly, it was a financial success in that the amount of prize money given away was high by Canadian standards. Thirdly, the organization of the tournament was smoothly run by the Montreal committee. If one single member can be singled out from this committee, it would be Moe Moss who worked indefatigably day and night to make this event the success that it was. And finally, it was one of the the strongest tournament ever to be held in North America. Canada was represented by Frank Anderson, current Canadian champion, Paul Vaitonis, Maurice Fox and D. Abe Yanofsky, former Canadian champions, Lionel Joyner, Montreal champion, Geza Fuster, Ontario champion and a host of top notch players from Montreal and Toronto areas. The U.S. was represented by Larry Evans, former U.S. champion, James T. Sherwin, runner up in the last US open, William Lombardy whose match with Reshevsky made him famous, Edmar Mednis, former New York state champion, Sidney Bernstein, one of the strongest player in the Marshall chess club and young sensation Bobby Fischer who at 13 won the US junior championship this year.
Fischer showed strong defensive ability in his game against Bernstein in round 9 :
Bernstein - Fischer
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.e3 O-O 6.Be2 Nh5 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Bg3 Nxg3 10.hxg3 c5 11.Qd3 e6 12.Ne5 f5 13.g4 f4 14.O-O-O Nc6 15.Rxh6 Bxh6 16.Qg6+ Bg7 17.Bd3 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Rf7 19.Nb5 Kf8 20.Nd6 Rd7 21.Bb5 Rxd6 22.exd6 Bd7 23.Bxd7 Qxd7 24.Qxg5 fxe3 25.Qf4+ Kg8 26.fxe3 Rf8 27.Qg5 Qxd6 28.Rh1 Qe5 29.Qh4 Qxb2+ 30.Kd1 Qb1+ 31.Kd2 Qb4+ 32.Kd1 Qe4 33.Qh5 Rf2 0-1