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David Bronstein vs Ivan Sokolov
Pancevo (1987), It, rd 5
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Byrne (Simagin) Variation (D97)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-31-11  Everett: Anybody has an eval of <18..b4>? Bronstein invites it, Sokolov doesn't play it, but it seems to be a good decision for Black. Yes he gives up c4, but gains influence along the long diagonal and e4 for one of his Ns.

After Bronstein's maneuvers ending with 22.Bb4 I feel he has a very comfortable position. Blacks b-pawn is more vulnerable, and White's heavy pieces in particular are exerting more influence than Black's.

Jul-04-12  Everett: Regarding <18..b4>, I failed to notice the very subtle and masterly Qxb4. I need to review those hard-to-see sideways moves of the Q.
Jul-04-12  Everett: Well, even that isn't so simple, since after a sample line like <18..b4 19.Qxb4 Nxe3 20.fxe3 Rfb1 21.Qa3 Qa7 22.Rd3 Ne8 and Nd6> sees Black quite active, with pressure on e3 and b2, while White has three pawn-islands and awkward play. It's an interesting position.
Jul-04-12  Bishoprick: Everett, why not 28. Rxb6? Looks like the piece is just hanging, or is it some kind of trap?
Jul-04-12  King Death: < Bishoprick: Everett, why not 28. Rxb6? Looks like the piece is just hanging, or is it some kind of trap?>

Bronstein's knight on c3 is hanging if he grabs b6 and this lets all of the pressure he's built up out of the position. What White played is much better, his opponent can barely move.

Jul-04-12  Everett: <KingDeath> <BishopPrick> Right, Nc3 drops in that case. As played, Bronstein keeps the squeeze on. In the end, Bc6 is threatened, adding at least the exchange on top of two pawns and an overwhelming position.

An aside - Bronstein, though he loved the fianchetto, rarely played the Grunfeld, or even the Benoni/Benko unless a favorable version came up from natural KID play. I think this has something to do with the play of both bishops. In e-pawn KI play, both bishops stay close to home and wait for developments, which fits into Bronstein's true style, IMHO. At his best, he kept his options open, and I imagine that the main line Benoni's and Grunfeld's penchant for swapping the Q-bishop early was not in the spirit of his best play.

Jul-05-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: At the end, Black position is absolutely ruined; e.g., 34...Rxb4 35.dxc7 Qxc7 36.Nd4... 1-0

<... Bronstein, though he loved the fianchetto, rarely played the Grunfeld, or even the Benoni/Benko unless a favorable version came up from natural KID play. I think this has something to do with the play of both bishops. ...>

Cool observation.
It is thus interesting to note that Bronstein more or less avoided 'Benko', even though he practically defined it strategically in his famous game Taimanov vs Bronstein, 1953

Jul-05-12  Everett: Thanks for that game <Gypsy>. I was familiar with it but it is always nice to be reminded that Bronstein was able to play so many positions incredibly well.
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