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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
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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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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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kinghunt: 22. Rxc5! has eluded finding by engines for some time. However, Stockfish 6 now finds the move at d=33 (~2 minutes on my laptop).
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Glad this fantastic conception was conjured up by a human long before good old silicon got there.
Feb-04-15  morfishine: Its impossible to assign a single adjective describing this unbelievable game. Alekhine may have conjured up "gigantic conceptions"; but this game by Bronstein is conceptually humongous in the extreme. In a sense, its simple to understand whats going on: White exchanges off both his Rooks for Black's DSB. For the material spent, White gets a positional stranglehold on the dark squares. White continues to sacrifice, pressing for mate; in turn, Black tosses his Queen trying to relieve the pressure; but then White's King marches outrageously right up the middle of the board, gobbling up one of the unprotected Knights.

In the end, Black is forced to trade down to avoid mate and ends up with a losing Q vs R ending

Bronstein won many games that could be labeled "Immortal"

This is one of them


Apr-27-15  DrGridlock: <<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.>

Game is presented in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" with comments from Keres, Timman and Bronstein. Unanimous opinion is that 19 ... Qc5 is better for black. Keres' conclusion that "Qc5 would have given him excellent chances to repulse the attack," seems to understate black's chances, with Timman's "clear advantage for Black in both cases (20 e6 and 20 Ne4)" more accurately states Black's edge in the game.

Komodo finds:

David Bronstein - Ljubomir Ljubojevic

click for larger view

1. (-1.67): 20.e6 Qf2+ 21.Kd1 N8d7 22.exf7+ Kg7 23.Bh6+ Kh8 24.Bg5 h5 25.Bh4 Qd4+ 26.Qxd4+ Bxd4 27.Be7 Be5 28.Bxf8 Rxf8 29.Ne4 Kg7 30.Ke2 Bxh2 31.Rc1 Bf4 32.Rc7 h4 33.Be6 Nf6 34.Rxb7 Nxe4 35.fxe4 Bxd6

2. (-1.85): 20.Rxg1 Qxg1 21.e6 N8d7 22.exf7+ Kg7 23.Bh6+ Kh8 24.Qh4 Qc5 25.Be3 Qe5 26.Qd4 Qf6 27.Ne4 Qg7 28.Qxg7+ Kxg7 29.Bd4+ Kh6 30.Be3+ Kh5 31.Be6 g5 32.Bxg5 Kg6 33.Be7 Kg7 34.Bxf8+

3. (-2.76): 20.Ne4 Qb5+ 21.Kd2 Nc4+ 22.Kc2 Be3 23.Nf6+ Kh8 24.Qxc4 Qxc4+ 25.Bxc4 Bxg5 26.Nd5 Rc8 27.Nc7 Bf4 28.Kb3 Nc6 29.Bxf7 Bxe5 30.Nxa8 Rxa8 31.d7 Rd8 32.Be8 Bxh2 33.Rd1 Kg7 34.Kc4 Ne5+ 35.Kb5 Nxf3

In the suggested line, Qb4 is not check, so one suspects Qb5+ is the proffered move. In that line, after Kf1 white may be "perfectly fine" but his king is still in check. After a legal continuation (such as Kd2), black's edge is significant.

Aug-28-15  tjipa: Whatever the engines say, as a human game, it is just pure magic. MAGIC!
Aug-29-15  hcgflynn: how about 26. - qd3+? it looks good.
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