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🏆 Zurich Candidates (1953) Chess Event Description
This event was played in Neuhausen am Rheinfall and Zürich. ... [more]

Player: Isaac Boleslavsky

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 28  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Stahlberg vs Boleslavsky ½-½481953Zurich CandidatesE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
2. Boleslavsky vs Kotov 1-0421953Zurich CandidatesD28 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
3. Geller vs Boleslavsky 0-1441953Zurich CandidatesE12 Queen's Indian
4. Boleslavsky vs Smyslov  ½-½171953Zurich CandidatesD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
5. Keres vs Boleslavsky 1-0221953Zurich CandidatesA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
6. Boleslavsky vs Reshevsky ½-½221953Zurich CandidatesC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
7. Bronstein vs Boleslavsky  ½-½211953Zurich CandidatesE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
8. Boleslavsky vs Gligoric ½-½421953Zurich CandidatesB65 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...Be7 Defense, 9...Nxd4
9. Taimanov vs Boleslavsky ½-½411953Zurich CandidatesE97 King's Indian
10. Boleslavsky vs Najdorf ½-½321953Zurich CandidatesE85 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox Variation
11. Petrosian vs Boleslavsky  ½-½211953Zurich CandidatesA26 English
12. Boleslavsky vs Averbakh ½-½481953Zurich CandidatesD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
13. Szabo vs Boleslavsky ½-½181953Zurich CandidatesC07 French, Tarrasch
14. Boleslavsky vs Euwe  ½-½411953Zurich CandidatesB59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
15. Boleslavsky vs Stahlberg ½-½421953Zurich CandidatesC19 French, Winawer, Advance
16. Kotov vs Boleslavsky 0-1681953Zurich CandidatesE66 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav Panno
17. Boleslavsky vs Geller 0-1401953Zurich CandidatesB58 Sicilian
18. Smyslov vs Boleslavsky  ½-½171953Zurich CandidatesA48 King's Indian
19. Boleslavsky vs Keres 0-1331953Zurich CandidatesC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
20. Reshevsky vs Boleslavsky 1-0381953Zurich CandidatesE64 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav System
21. Boleslavsky vs Bronstein ½-½491953Zurich CandidatesA21 English
22. Gligoric vs Boleslavsky  ½-½191953Zurich CandidatesB91 Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (Fianchetto) Variation
23. Boleslavsky vs Taimanov ½-½601953Zurich CandidatesE19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
24. Najdorf vs Boleslavsky  ½-½571953Zurich CandidatesE64 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav System
25. Boleslavsky vs Petrosian  ½-½241953Zurich CandidatesB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 28  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Boleslavsky wins | Boleslavsky loses  

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-04-12  Conrad93: Jim Bartle those games refer to the games themselves, not to the tournament.

This is the tournament forum.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Taimanov vs Najdorf, 1953 must be my favorite game from this tournament. And it still has to be GOD... perhaps no one could come up with a good pun.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Yes, Conrad, I was just pointing out there's been lots of interest. As phony benoni pointed out, the tournament page is new.
Dec-05-12  Conrad93: What exactly motivated Bronstein to write a book on this tournament?

Obviously it wasn't his success.

Dec-05-12  rilkefan: I've been playing over the games in Bronstein's book using a physical set in the hope of interesting my kids in the game.

Thanks to those who set this page up, it's nice to have an easy way to look up commentary.

Aug-21-13  nescio: For years Bronstein's famous book (in a hardcover edition titled "The Chess Struggle in Praxis") was the only chess book I owned. Since then I have also read Euwe's excellent book on this tournament in Dutch. Not translated in English so far, but Euwe used a special language in his chess books with a limited vocubulary of only about a thousand words so that everybody can read it with a little effort.

I heard there was still a third tournament book and it turned out to be completely different from the other two, but also the best of the lot. Najdorf evidently liked anlyzing as much as playing and sometimes he approached the quality of Boleslavsky or Keres in his annotations. It has now been translated in English:

Aug-21-13  Karpova: Najdorf, Miguel 'Zürich 1953 - 15 Contenders for the World Chess Championship', 2012, Milford CT USA

Indeed an excellent book which by no means needs to hide itself from the other two classics on this tournament.

Sadly, the editing was done poorly and often* the game scores are partly incomplete. So I had to reconstruct some of the game scores myself (if only a few moves were missing, this is possible by looking at later moves or diagrams) but in some cases this was not possible with too many moves missing so I had to look it up elsewhere.

That's a serious objection, but apart from that the book is so outstanding that not even this can be considered a reason not to recommend it. You have a preface by Averbakh, biographhies of the players, Najdorf's great annotations and supplementary material by Taylor Kingston.

*I can't give numbers, but much too often for my taste as a game collection should be authoritative on the game scores in my opinion.

Jan-29-14  thomastonk: I just enjoyed this gallery:, though I had seen it some time before.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

Both <Boleslavsky> and <Smyslov> were seeded directly into this tournament due to their results at the Budapest Candidates (1950): Boleslavsky 2d place, Smyslov 3d place.


<"3d place in the <<<Budapest 1950 Candidates Tournament>>> gave me the automatic right to a place in the next Candidates Tournament.">

-Vasily Smyslov, "Smyslov's 125 Selected Games" Ken Neat transl. (Cadogen 1983), p.125

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <thomastonk> Thanks for posting that excellent gallery!
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: I've tried to identify all the people pictured in the group photograph (3/63).

Standing: left-to-right

1. Petrosian 2. Kotov 3. Gligoric 4. Geller 5. Averbakh 6. Smyslov 7. Boleslavsky 8. Taimanov 9. Bronstein 10. Keres 11. Nadjorf

Seated: left-to-right

1. Dmitri Postnikof (USSR chess chief) 2. Szabo 3. Euwe 4. Folke Rogard (FIDE President) 5. Reshevsky 6. Stahlberg

There is likely a couple of mistakes. Corrections/affirmations appreciated.

Mar-18-14  ozmikey: <zanzibar> I think No.3 in the top row is Szabo, not Gligoric. In fact, I don't think anyone in the front row is a competitor at the event (it's clearly not the full photo).
Mar-18-14  Olavi: <ozmikey: <zanzibar> I think No.3 in the top row is Szabo, not Gligoric. In fact> Correct. 2nd left seated is Ari Ilmakunnas.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Thanks, <ozmikey> and <Olavi>. We'll hash it out. I had trouble with several of them.

But all the fifteen participants are there according to the caption:

<< Folke Rogard, FIDE-President

Dmitri Postnikof (first row l), Folke Rogard (first row, 4th from left) and the 15 tournament participants >>

(That makes 3 certain identifications - since I'm only 100% sure I got Petrosian right!)

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Here's my guess with the suggestion of Szabo. It's a bit like musical chairs, permutating the candidates around:

Standing L-R:
1. Petrosian 2. Kotov 3. Szabo 4. Geller 5. Averbakh 6. Smyslov 7. Boleslavsky 8. Taimanov 9. Bronstein 10. Keres 11. Nadjorf

Sitted L-R:

1. Dmitri Postnikof (USSR chess chief) 2. Stahlberg 3. Gligoric 4. Folke Rogard (FIDE President) 5. Reshevsky 6. Euwe

I think it's right, with a measure of uncertainty for the following 3 pairs:

Geller and Taimanov look very similar to me, but I think I got that right.

Gligoric's should have been easier to identify, but I thought his hair wasn't right. But given Szabo placement, where else can he be?

Strahlberg was unknown to me, and so difficult. Euwe apparently was a larger man than I originally thought.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <thomastonk: I just enjoyed this gallery:, though I had seen it some time before.>

Thanks for that gallery!

In this picture, Smyslov is holding one of those resiny fake-bronze trophies available at any cobbler/key-cutter for a tenner; in fact the man on the top of the trophy has a tennis racquet in his hand!

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Some other great pictures! Taimanov's trousers are the eighth wonder of the world! Undoubtedly he has a miniature version of UNIVAC sellotaped to his shins. The players are standing along that thin harbour wall exactly according to their tournament standing! I wonder what are the medals worn by Averbakh & Keres but not by Smyslov?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <offramp: Some other great pictures! Taimanov's trousers are the eighth wonder of the world! Undoubtedly he has a miniature version of UNIVAC sellotaped to his shins. The players are standing along that thin harbour wall exactly according to their tournament standing! I wonder what are the medals worn by Averbakh & Keres but not by Smyslov?>

Sorry - those links don't seem to work; but if you go through the pictures you'll see the ones I mean.

Dec-01-15  siggemannen: the photos are relocated to

nice ones, especially Geller looks pretty sharp =)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Two different tournaments for Euwe: +1 the first half and -6 in the second.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: Euwe scored 7.5 out of the first rounds. And than only 4 out of the last rounds. What happened with him in this 1953 Canidates and the 1948 tournament? Poor health, poor condition, or?
Jun-08-18  Howard: Age may very well have been a factor. He was almost certainly the oldest player in the event, at 51.
Jun-09-18  HeMateMe: maybe the most famous tournament book ever.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <maybe the most famous tournament book ever.> #redundancy #ifnothingtosaysaynothing #jogon
Jun-09-18  HeMateMe: are you and Harry still blowing people? I mean blowing kisses, as was described yesterday?
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