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David Bronstein vs Ljubomir Ljubojevic
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (game of the day Dec-08-06)
Petropolis Interzonal (1973)  ·  Alekhine Defense: Four Pawns Attack (B03)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Given 23 times; par: 62 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-09-06  Fisheremon: <csmath: Critical, missing from analyses is the following (given just briefly by Bronstein): 18...Qc5 19. Ne4 Qd4 (anything else loses too) 20. Rd1 Qxb2 21. Nf6!! Kh8 22. Rd2 Qc1 (see further for 22. Qa1) 23. Kg2! Bc5 24. Ne4!! Nbd7 25. Bf6 Nxf6 26. Qxf6 Nc4 27. Bxc4 Qxc4 28. Bb4 Qe5! 29. f5 exf8Q+ 30. Rxf8 Nf6 31. Rxf6 d7! and black does not have much to hope for. Or black has probably a better option in 22...Qa1 23. Bd1!! (covering a-rank) ... Be3 (this is sorry choice but there is nothing better) 24. Qxe3 Nc4 25. Ng4 Nd7 26. Qd4 Qxd4 27. Rxd4> In your lines some typos and missing moves. In the line with 22...Qc1+ 23. Ke2 Bc5 White could finish with a mate attack 24. Qh4, so a better choice for Black is 23...Qc5, then 24. Kf1 leads to a fierce attack. In the line with 22...Qa1! (marked by Bronstein), he noted 23...Be3!! forces Queens exchange, and a further analysis shows White loses. So Bronstein proposed 20. Kf1 with compensation, but in most of lines I realized White could have just a draw.
Dec-13-06  DHW: This is such an amazing game! David Bronstein had nerves of steel to sacrifice material like this especially as it looks like the white king becomes exposed to blacks queenside pieces. Just spectacular!
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: All the regular chess columnists had to pick a favourite Bronstein game to go with his obituary. I'd used this one already in a 'pick the game of the century' poll so went with Bronstein-Tal Falkbeer Counter-Gambit 1968 instead.
Sep-07-07  lionel15: what a truly marvellous game. I remember going through his match v Botvinnick when I was younger in the early 50's, but at that time I never saw a game like this.
Feb-19-08  jovack: very good game
even though ljubo lost, i enjoy his exciting style of play a overlooked a few of bronstein's moves which ended up in his loss
Aug-29-09  LIFE Master AJ:

My attempt at analyzing this wonderful game ...

Oct-28-09  Bryce101: "The final clock times were 2.29 : 0.55!" page 108 of Jonathan Speelman's "Best Chess Games 1970-80":
Nov-07-09  WhiteRook48: nice sacrificial game
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: This wonderful game is analyzed in multiple sources - the most recent of which is in The Giants of Power Play by Neil McDonald.

"Bronstein isn't just willing to give up a knight for the sake of his pawns. ...he sacrifices a rook to keep them intact."

Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: Bronstein is wonderfully married to the objective and remains single-minded and effective in attaining it, sharply.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game here:

May-06-11  LIFE Master AJ: A truly wonderful game by (the now departed) <great> GM David I. Bronstein.
Sep-30-11  Crazychess1: Incredibly well played by Bronstein. Ljubo told Bronstein he was "lucky" to find 25. Ke3. . . I think we all were lucky he found it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Wow. An active ♔.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eduardo Bermudez: One of my favorite chess game of all time
Feb-12-12  Siksika: Fantastic! This game defines why I love chess.
Feb-28-12  drukenknight: maybe I am missing something but after 25 Ke3 why isnt it 25...Qd3+?
Feb-28-12  mistreaver: <drukenknight: maybe I am missing something but after 25 Ke3 why isnt it 25...Qd3+?> If Qd3+ then Kf2 wins, since there is no Queen check and Ne4+ is met by Nxe4 or Qxe4 when all white threats are still in the air. And if 25... Qd3+ 26 Kf2 h5 27 Nxh5 Ne4+ then white wins by 28 fxe4 Qd4+ 29 Kg2 Qxb2+ 30 Kh3 Qc3+ 31 Ng3+ and black king will be mated
Feb-28-12  drukenknight: what a mess...
Oct-01-12  Conrad93: Ljubojevic's choice of opening was poor.

The variation loses by force:

[Event "Petropolis"]
[Site "Petropolis"]
[Date "1973.08.07"]
[Round "11"]
[White "David Bronstein"]
[Black "Ljubomir Ljubojevic"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B03"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "

click for larger view

"] [PlyCount "19"]
[EventDate "1973.??.??"]

8. Nc3 exd5 9. cxd5 c4 10. d6 Nc6 11. Nf3 Be6 12. Nb5 Rc8 13. Bg5 Qd7 14. a4 h6 15. Be3 f6 16. Rc1 Nd5 17. Bxa7 1-0

click for larger view

Oct-01-12  Conrad93: If someone can find a better move for black, call me up.

10.d6 is such a natural move. I'm surprised it isn't played more often.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Apart from its wonderful fighting chess, this game marked the beginning of the end for Ljubo's dreams of qualification. He entered the round on 7.5 from ten games, but would win no further game. Ljubojevic's three successive losses in round 14-16 (to Smyslov, Geller and Gheorghiu) capped a slide of -4 =2, ended only by a perfunctory draw with Mecking in the final round, the latter having already ensured his place in the candidates cycle.
Feb-06-13  blunderclap: Although it's fair enough as it is, echoing the title of his book, I just can't shake the feeling that this game should have been called "The Sorcerer".

Sure don't look like no apprentice to me;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <Conrad93> In your 10. d6 line, try 11...Bg4 instead of 11...Be6. Now if 12. Nb5?! Bxf3 13. Qxf3 Nxe5 looks good for Black, so best is probably 12. Bf4 to guard the e-pawn. Play may continue 12...Qd7 13. Be2 (13. Ne4? Qf5! wins a piece) O-O-O 14. O-O f6 with very messy complications, e.g. 15. ef gf 16. Ne4 h5 17. Nxf6 Qf5.
Jul-09-14  Conrad93: < TheAlchemist: <keypusher> As far as I know it was Ljubojevic who was the better prepared before this game, but missed 18...Qc5! (18.Ke2 is a mistake, better was 18.O-O-O). Bronstein was in serious time trouble, that's why Ljubojevic kept playing on even in a desperate position.

So, obviously, the game with Gheorghiu was played after this one.>

Keres mentions this line.

It's not as strong as you think. White has 19. Ne4, and if 19...Qb4+ 20. Kf1 and white is perfectly fine.

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