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David Bronstein vs Abram Khasin
USSR Championship (1957), Moscow URS, rd 11, Feb-06
Indian Game: West Indian Defense (E61)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
May-03-06  TIMER: I am surprised that no-one has commented here. Look at the position after move 24, what is the (only) clearly winning move?

Some acclaimed it to be the most remarkable, unbelievable winning move in chess, I saw it shown in The Golden Dozen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Catfriend: Why is it winning? Suppose Black plays something passive, like 25..Rfe8. How does White proceed?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Catfriend> Aparently 'russians' analysed it extensively afterwards and found it winning in all variations. Bronstein states that he played it on intuitive basis.

The strategic key is that Black steeds are off to a pasture and never return back into the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: The position after 24...Bxe6 slightly favors black. White pretty much has to lose a pawn - 25.Ne1 f4 or 25.Nb1 Na5.

Could black have improved with either 26...Nc7 27.b4 g4; 26...Na5 27.b4 Nb3 or 26...Rce8 27.Bf2 Nc7 - each line scoring roughly -0.55?

28...b5 was another possible improvement. After 28...Bxf2+? the initiative passes to white.

35.Qc3 or 35.Nxh6! were better ways for white to finish off.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: In his book "The golden dozen" Irving Chernev quotes another author describing the move 25 Qa3!! as the most unbelievable winning move in chess.

The move is the first of a group of moves of which the second will be f4! and the third, in reply to the response to f4, namely, ...g4, will be e4! beginning an attack upon Black's g pawn. The idea is that Black will lack time then to defend his g pawn by ...h5.

After the g pawn falls by the capture Nxg4, White obtains a winning attack on the King's side. Bronstein was an imaginative fellow, and I understate his reputation by saying that.

One can say that the purpose of inducing the capture 25...Bxc4 by 25 Qa3!! is to make Black lose time towards defending his King side pawns after f4 and e4 in reply to ...g4.

May-06-11  LIFE Master AJ: Chernev says Black resigns because of the following continuation: << "39...PxP; 40.QxNP, R-KN1; 41.Q-R5 check, K-N2; 42.RxQP!, QxN; 43.R-Q7 check, K-B3; 44.Q-B7 check, K-K4; 45.Q-Q5 check, K-B5; 46.R-B1 check, K-K6; 47.Q-Q2 mate." >>

[39.g5 hxg5; 40.Qxg5 Rg8; 41.Qh5+ Kg7; 42.Rxd5 Qxg3; 43.Rd7+ Kf6; 44.Qf7+ Ke5; 45.Qd5+ Kf4; 46.Rf1+ Ke3; 47.Qd2#.]

May-06-11  LIFE Master AJ: This is a game - used as just a fragment - to illustrate what wonderful moves Bronstein was capable of making.
May-06-11  LIFE Master AJ: See the book, "The Golden Dozen," by the (late) great Irving Chernev. (Begins on page #42 - I have the original hard-back edition.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  ghardy1988: Neil McDonald says in his chess planning book:

"Bronstein replied to the effect that Khasin had a weak nervous system, so he, Bronstein, had decided to sac the pawn straightaway with 25 Qa3... Bronstein knew that this was his best winning chance against an emotionally unstable opponent."

Looks like psychological chess rather than deep combination.

Mar-06-13  EvanTheTerrible: @ghardy1988, that's why I'm here too. I am surprised there are not many comments here.
Feb-16-18  Nova: I must ask what is so special about 25. Qa3? Is it that White is inducing Black to capture on c4? I must have much to learn about chess, because White's attack comes so quickly and effectively over Black
Feb-16-18  sudoplatov: Why not 24...Rce8? or something. Black should be in no hurry to open the position until he can bring the Knights back to the center. Perhaps Qa3 allows for a later b4 and Queenside infiltration or maybe the Black Queen's Pawn is too weak and that ...Rd8 will be necessary. I don't get the Bd4 at all as Black's Bishop seems as strong as White's. On the other hand, I'm not near these guys strength.
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