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Laszlo Szabo vs David Bronstein
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 5, Sep-06
Old Indian Defense: General (A53)  ·  1-0


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Given 8 times; par: 56 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-01-03  refutor: in time trouble Szabo overlooks 37.Qf6 when Black can't stop mate
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: 32.Qf4 would also have been much more effective.
Jan-10-05  ughaibu: Could someone with the book give a precise of Bronstein's remarks about this game, please.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <ughaibu> Here are Bronstein's notes to this game from "The Chess Struggle In Practice".


After Black's 5th move P-B3

"White's development seems beyond reproach, but it is not flawless: he has not taken control of his K4, and Black makes immediate use of this to prepare P-K4 and P-Q4. Szabo prefers to exchange on his K5, but then Black gets easy play and even starts thinking about seizing the initiative".

After White's 11th move N-R4

"One of the characteristics of modern chess is the dynamic position in which, although the chances for each side may be determined, it is difficult to decide which of them has the advantage. Each player usually thinks he stands better, although at times one thinks he is worse. The basic factor in the present struggle is Black's KP. Supported by the Queen and Rook it might easily get to K6. To counter this, White wants to disrupt the enemy ranks by Knight raids on the flanks. Black decides not to lose time retreating the Bishop because if it is exchanged his Knight will occupy a good post on QB4 and a diagonal will be opened for his QB; futhermore, his next move prevents the Knight on KR4 from retreating to B3. All this would repay the "sacrifice" of the King's Indian Bishop with interest".

After White's 13th move B-R3

"With the unequivocal threat of 14.B-B4; however, now Black has time to hide his Bishop, not only opening the Queen's way to QR4 but also accentuating the unfortunate position of White's Knight on QR4. After 13.NxB NxN 14.N-K3 the game would be about even, but now the initiative goes completely over to Black. Grandmaster Szabo is not satisfied with the bird in his hand and goes after the two in the bush, which soon fly away".

After White's 15th move B-N2

"Necessary because the threat to move the Knight from Q2 would have created an unpleasant pin on Black's QB1-KR6 diagonal".

After Black's 17th move Q-KR4

"Also strong is 17...PxP e.p. 18.PxP Q-Q5".

After 18.P-KR3

"In view of Black's positional threat of N-B4, B-R6, etc., White is practically forced to sacrifice his KP".

After 18...QxKP

"The Black Queen sets out on a long and dangerous journey. Five Queen moves for one pawn is obviously unprofitable arithmetic for Black. But what can White accomplish during those five moves?".

After 21...Q-B2

"As it turns out, White has made one useful move, QR-Q1; as for the advance of the King-side pawns, that may be called rather more double-edged than favorable for White. It must be added that Black could have managed his pieces even better; for instance, 19...N-B4 20.N-B3 and only then 20...Q-Q6. In that case Black's Knight would have stood actively on B4, his QB would have an open diagonal, and White's QB would have been temporarily deprived of QB3. What conclusion can we draw from all this? That with good development it is not dangerous to spend a few moves to win an important pawn. It is necessary, however, to evaluate the position sensibly and to calculate all the variations exactly".

After 22...B-N2

"Captivated by his plan to get as much advantage as possible from the position of White's Knight on R5, Black violates both requirements just mentioned. The obvious 22...P-QN4 would force White to trade his most threatening piece, the QB. The variation 23.BxN NxB 24.PxP Q-R4 seemed not clear enough to me and I decided to make some waiting move. Now ... P-QN4 really is a threat, but ...".

After 23.P-N5 P-N4

"Alas! Black must give up a Knight so as not to fall into a mating attack - 23...N-R4 24.BxB NxB 25.N-N4, and then with Q-B3 White takes full command of the QR1-KR8 diagonal. Knowing Szabo's ability to conduct a direct attack, I did not doubt the outcome of the game if I entered this variation. Now Black must continue the fight with the energy of desperation".

After 24.PxN B-B1

"The Bishop returns home without glory, it's horse lost on the way".

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: (PART TWO)

After 27. P-B5

"The reason for this pawn move can be seen in the variation 27...PxN 28.PxP RPxP 29.N-K7ch BxN 30.PxB RxP 31.Q-R6 N-K4 32.R-Q8ch R-K1 33.BxN!. Black's next move is directed against this threat: he connects Rooks and defends his first rank".

After 30...P-N5

"At least there is a moment to deflect the horrible Bishop from the long diagonal".

After 31.BxNP

"31.Q-B4 is not bad".

After 32.B-QB3

"Szabo definitely wants to give mate. B-R3, preserving the pawn on K7, is good enough to win".

After 33.Q-R6

"A tactical finesse: White provokes the Black Knight to K4 so that he can attack two pieces. Strangely, this move gives Black hope of defending because White's QR1-KR8 diagonal is momentarily closed 33.Q-N5 QR-K1 34.RxN and 35.Q-B6 is stronger".

After 34...Q-K1

"Black is so terrorized by White's QB that he can think only of quickly playing QR-B1xB. Q-K1 is a thoughtless move; just now it is necessary to try 34...QR-K1 and to reply to Euwe's recommended 35.R-Q8 with the simple R-K3, somehow remaining suspended over the abyss".

After 36...RxB

"For the first time since the 23rd move I took an easy breath, only now noticing 37.Q-B6! with mate in a few moves".

After 38...R-N2

"Earlier Black wrestled with the Bishop on QB6; now he struggles with its ghost. Correct is 38...K-B2, but White has enough advantage to win".

And finally after 42.R-R6

"After checking the sealed move and determining that the time limit had not been exceeded, Black resigned".

Jan-11-05  ughaibu: Benzol: That's great, thanks.
Aug-02-05  Averageguy: This is a fine example of attraction tactical motif.
Aug-24-05  notyetagm: For more examples of this "can't quite reach his lady" theme, a <decoy (attraction) into a king and queen skewer>, check out the ending of Short vs S Azarov, 2004 and also the victory by Vallejo Pons given below in PGN:

[Event "Erevan Wch-jr"]
[Site ""]
[Date "1999.??.??"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"]
[Black "Perelshteyn, Eugene"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2515"]
[BlackElo "2415"]
[NIC "KF 8.6"]
[ECO "B27"]
[PlyCount "65"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. c3 Bg7 4. d4 cxd4 5. cxd4 d5 6. e5 Bg4 7. Nbd2 Nc6 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Nxf3 e6 10. h4 h5 11. Bd3 Nge7 12. Kf1 Qb6 13. b4 Qxb4 14. Rb1 Qa5 15. Rxb7 Rb8 16. Rxb8 Nxb8 17. Bg5 Nbc6 18. g3 Kd7 19. Kg2 Rb8 20. Qe2 Qa3 21. Bb5 Rb6 22. Rb1 Nf5 23. Rb3 Qa5 24. a4 Bh6 25. Bxh6 Nxh6 26. Qe3 Nf5 27. Qg5 Kc7 28. Rd3 a6 29. Bxc6 Rxc6 30. Qf6 Qxa4 31. Qxf7 Kb6 32. Qe8 Qb5 33. Rb3 1-0

Jun-26-06  notyetagm: One more example of the theme, from the 2004 Calvia Olympiad in Short vs S Azarov, 2004.

Here Nigel was forced to resign after 58 ... ♖a1! since, once again, the Lady vanishes after 59 ♕x♖ ♕h1+ and 60 ... ♕x♕.

Jul-09-12  Poisonpawns: I found two amazing draws for Bronstein late in the game: 34..Rae8= and after Szabo missed mate in three on move 37, Bronstein has the amazing 37..f5!! and How can black make progress?This was truly and incredible game. Bronstein stated in the Zurich 1953 book that he should have played 22..b5!, I think this gives black a slight plus. Also at move 10, I think Bronstein should simply play Nb6! stopping Na5,Nf5 and attacking c4 with =
Dec-23-12  Ulhumbrus: Najdorf says that the five moves which Bronstein spends with his queen are too much for the pawn, and he may be right. Although 22...Bg7 leads to defeat, Black gets into trouble after 22...b5 as well eg 23 Bxf6 Nxf6 24 cxb5 Qa5 25 Qxc6 Rb8 26 g5 Bb7 27 Qc4 Nh5 28 Rd7 Rf8 29 Qb3 Ng3 30 Nc4 trapping Black's queen
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Najdorf and Bronstein agree that 23....Nh5 24.Bxg7 Nxg7 25.Ng4 is unplayable for Black, but I have a hard time seeing how it is worse than giving up a piece as in the game.
Mar-07-16  notyetagm: Szabo vs Bronstein, 1953

39 ?

click for larger view

39 ♖d1-d8!

click for larger view

39 ... ♕e8x♖d8 40 ♕h6-h8+ <skewer>

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <keypusher: Najdorf and Bronstein agree that 23....Nh5 24.Bxg7 Nxg7 25.Ng4 is unplayable for Black, but I have a hard time seeing how it is worse than giving up a piece as in the game.>

More pertinently, SF (after 15 min.) also thinks ...Nh5 and ...Nxg7 was playable.

analysis of move 25...?

Dec-24-18  Saniyat24: 37.Qf6 would have been a bomb move...!
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