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Mark Taimanov vs David Bronstein
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 1, Aug-30
Benoni Defense: Modern Variation (A56)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-04-04  Backward Development: of interest:
on annotating one's own games and the psychological effect: "It's a difficult thing to maintain objectivity when commenting on one's own games. Variations running in the commentator's favor are always interesting, so details flow quick and plentiful from the pen; variations which favor one's opponent, however, are often unclear as can be. For one's own mistakes, one seeks(and generally finds) justification; while the opponent's errors seem so natural as to need no explanation whatever. So even before beginning to comment on my game from Round One, I feel compelled to note that black did not have a decisive advantage until very late in the game, almost the very end. psychologically, white's loss can be traced to the fact that he missed the turning point of the game, at which it was necessary for him to begin giving serious thought to the problem of how to get a draw." On black's 5th move
"what does black achieve by sacrificing a pawn? First, he undermines the spearhead of the white pawn chain, the pawn on d5; in addition, after the unavoidable a6 and ba, he obtains the good diagonal a6-f1 for his bishop, which would have far fewer prospects elsewhere. The two open files black obtains on the queenside, allowing him active play against white's a and b pawns also speak in favor of the sacrifice. Nor ought we to forget black's bishop at g7: since black intends to leave is 3pawn at e7 in this system, the bishop's sphere of activity is automatically increased. And finally, there is the interesting strategic idea of the developing the queen's rook without moving it." phew! there's more but that's enough!
Dec-05-04  aw1988: A Benoni-Benko hybrid??
Jan-25-05  filipecea: <aw1988> The Benko Gambit (sometimes called Volga) is a defence of the Benoni System.

In fact, the modern Benoni Lines are 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 (3.dxc5 e6 followed by 4...Bxc5 with easy equality) 3...b5!? (the gambit itself). Other possibilities are:

3...d6 Hromadka System
3...e6 Tal's Method

Jan-25-05  aw1988: Well, true enough. Thanks!
May-20-09  superstoned: Bronstein describes a simple plan to combat the Volga as White that has helped me win some nice games where I've nursed that extra pawn all the way to promotion. Everyone needs to check out his excellent book on the superstrong Zurich candidates tournament of 1953.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I agree with <superstoned>; Bronstein's book on Zurich 1953 is one of the best chess books ever. This game is in itself of great interest, because until Benko came along, these "proto-Benko" gambits were extremely rare. There was a brief period of interest in them in the Nordic countries during the Twenties, but between then and 1967 (if memory serves), you hardly saw them in any form.
Jul-07-09  Sam K: I also agree about Bronstein's book of Zurich 1953 - that it is really an excellent/enjoyable book so far that I have read!! However, is there a missing knight capture here, hahah? I mean, in this game on move 21 Taimonov moves Q-d2 to avoid exchanging queens; however, one of the variations that Bronstein gives in this book (after exchanging queens 21 Qxa6 R8xa6) is 22 Rab1 Rxa2 23 Rb8 Ra8 24 Reb1 Ra1 ... here, have White play 25 Rxe8 +! (with check, no less). Then, Taimanov would be up a piece after Black takes the rook on e8 (or even just moves his king) and White can re-take the other rook on a1!? I would like to ask GM D. Bronstein if I'm missing something here (if he's still alive, which I heard unfortunately he passed away).
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <sam k> Your comment looks right to me! I don't have the book handy though. Couldn't Black just play ...R4xa6 instead of ...R8xa6 and avoid all this?
Jul-08-09  Sam K: <keypusher> - I think you're right - if White had taken the queen and if Black played R4xa6 instead, the Rxe8+ move could be avoided. Maybe though the concern has something to do with the following line: 21. Qxa6 R4xa6 22. Re-b1 Rxa2 23. Rxa2 Rxa2 24. R-b8 (!) and K-f1 (don't think the R-a1 + by Black leads to anything). Now, how about 25. N-g5 threatening check on h7 winning a pawn? So, 25... h6 26. N-h7 + K-g7 Rxe8 27. Kxh7 Rxe7! Then, I think Black will probably get White's c-pawn, but White will probably get Black's d-pawn perhaps?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <sam K> yes, I agree again. But maybe after 21. Qxa6 R4xa6 22. Reb1 Black could do better with 22....Nf6, getting out of the pin in advance, so to speak, and also attacking the e-pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I will add Bronstein's book on the 1953 Zurich tournament to my list of chessbooks I still need to read.

The others on the list are Reti's "masters of the chess board" and Tal's "Tal-Botvinnik 1960".

All 3 are widely heralded.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Bishoprick: Is that the Bronstein Zurich book which also has has all those lovely King's Indian games? If it is the same, I should like to say that it is a great book, but the typeface leaves much to be desired.
Nov-30-11  SimonWebbsTiger: @<Bishoprick>

it can only be the book of the Zurich 1953 Candidates.

I have the Dover edition (translated by Jim Marfia)and never been bothered by the appearance, which I think is OK despite looking like it was written on a typewriter. As I understand it, Batsford also issued their own copy. I've never seen it so don't know what it looks like physically.

Nov-30-11  Retireborn: <SWT> I have the Batsford hardback and it looks good. Those Dover editions are excellent value for money, though; my New York 1924 tournament book lasted for many years.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: Bronstein thinks white's plan with 11.Re1 and 13.Qe2 intending e5 is a mistake - better to develop the bishop to f4 and the queen to d2 and wait patiently for simplification. Again according to Bronstein, 23.e5 and especially 26.Nb3 are mistakes, 'born of Taimonov's natural optimism,' (better 26.Kf1) that throw away the draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzersmurf: Najdorf's book on Zurich 1953 gives Taimanov's 20th move as Qe3 and states the response 20. ... Qa6 is "A move of dubiuos value." Najdorf's note after 21.Qd2 looks at alternative variations starting with 21.e5 and 21.Qh6 which confirms his version of the game had the Queen on e3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jbennett: I'm doing a series of videos on the Zurich 1953 tournament. For round 1 I selected this game to cover:
Jul-21-14  Tjm50: In the e-book version of this book which I have, the last move of the game is 42. ... Rf2. As for the comments about whether White's move 20 was Qd3 (Bronstein) or e3 (Najdorf) -- Bronstein's notes say that he was going for an advantage in the ending and so offered a Queen exchange with 20. ... Qa6. Therefore it seems probable that Taimanov did in fact play Qd3, not e3.
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