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David Bronstein vs Walter Shawn Browne
"Stunned Speechless" (game of the day Feb-16-12)
Reykjavik (Iceland) (1990)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Main Line (B99)  ·  1-0
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Given 8 times; par: 32 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-09-08  Ulhumbrus: 15 Qh5 makes what is in fact in fact a double attack . It attacks the Black KB on g5 directly but also- and this is less less obvious- it attacks the e6 pawn indirectly by pinning the f7 pawn and so threatening f5xe6 as well as Qxg5.

On 15...Qd8 instead of playing 16 fxe6 at once, Bronstein delays this by the skewer 16 Rg1! attacking the Bg5 again and the g7 pawn behind it. This induces 16...h6 defending the Bg5 again but also weakening the g6 pawn and exposing the 7th rank to attack, and only now does Bronstein play fxe6. The choice of 16 Rg1! instead of 16 fxe6 at once can be called, for this brief moment in the game, a miniature lesson in attacking play.

On 26 Rc6! instead of 26 Rb6 induces 26...Rfc8 which blocks this square for the attacked B on f5. Now on 27 Rb6 The black QB cannot go to c8 and 27...Bd7 invites the skewer 28 Rd7 in reply, and 27...Bd8 does not help as on 28 Rd6 Be7 29 Rd4 Black's QB is still short of squares. Another small lesson in attacking play.

27...Rxc3 looks like an act of desperation, seeing no other way to save the Black QB. Bronstein declines to recapture the Rc3 but takes the B on f5 instead, starting an attack on the point g6 with tempo, as Black's R is attacked on c3. 29 Bd3 delays a capture on g6 and instead develops the KB towards the attack on the b1-h7 diagonal. This is another small lesson in attacking play.

Whereas Black can do nothing useful in reply, the move Bd3 increases the power of the attack in addition to developing the B, so it does more than Black's reply which does nothing useful.

The 31 a4 delays the thrust f6 in order to remove the threat of a back rank mate by ...Rd1. Then 32 f6 resumes the attack and once again Browne offers the exchange by 32...Rxd3, seeing no other way to answer it. Once again Bronstein declines the offer and continues the attack by 33 Rg7+ Kh8 and Bronstein delays the capture cxd3 to threaten mate instead by 34 Rh1! threatening 35 Rxh6 mate. After 34...Be3 35 cxd3 White threatens Re7 as well as f7. Browne resigned at this point.

As well as being entertaining, this game contains several small lessons in the art of attacking play.

One lesson given twice in the game is to delay a recapture in order to threaten something which then extracts a further concession from the opponent Thus Bronstein delays 16 fxe6 by 16 Rg1 in order to threaten the Bg5 by 16 Rg1, extracting the concession of 16...f6. He delays 26 Rb6 by 26 Rc6, extracting the further concession of 26..Rfc8. He delays the recapture

Another lesson, given twice, is to decline material and play an attacking move instead. Thus instead of the recapture 28 bxc3 Bronstein plays the attacking move 28 exf5 and instead of 33 cxd3 he plays the attacking move 33 Rg7+.

Another lesson is to delay a recapture in order to play a move which does more than to develop if the opponent has nothing useful in reply. Thus 29 Bd3 delays a recapture on g6 in order to do more than to just make a developing move with the Bishop, as the bishop makes a contribution to the King side attack as well. Black has, it seems, no useful reply.

It occurs to me that this game is packed with instruction as well as being entertaining. To repeat what Seirawan said, this was played by a 65 year old man against an expert in the Najdorf.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: Seirawn telling the story:
Dec-18-09  ReDDaWN: There is no word for describing his unbelievable tactics. I am wondering what kind of brain function he had. In fact Bronstein was humble enough to sacrifice himself from becoming world champion. But he was making fun out of everyone with his creative tactics. He reminds me so much of Archimedes. I wish i could meet with him...
Dec-18-09  ughaibu: Archimedes? Give me a break.
Dec-18-09  Jim Bartle: My uneducated guess: The long think was after 21. Nf5+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I video annotated this game here:

Jul-13-11  birthtimes: If 21...Bxf5 then 22.exf5. White has compensation for the pawn, since Black's d pawn is isolated, it's king unsafe, it's pieces not coordinated, and White has control of the critical central squares.
Jul-14-11  birthtimes: If 27...Bxc5 then better for White is 28.Rb7+ Kg8 29.Rh1 Be6 30.Rxh6 Bf7 31.a4 Bd4 32.axb5 axb5 33.Rxb5 Bxc3 34.bxc3 Rxc3 35.Bd3 and White has 2 passed pawns with same colored bishops. Browne saw this, and decided to sac the exchange instead.
Feb-16-12  piltdown man: He should have been world champion.
Feb-16-12  Gogia: is this the game GM Seirawan was recalling in one of his interviews? Seirawan was saying that Bronstein showed him a chess boarad in his hotel room prior to the game with the certail possision on and saying that he wants to have this possision next day playing against Browne.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Great game, pure Bronstein.

On a side note, how does the pun work? Being a pun purist, I fail to see a connection between the pun language and this chess game/players.

Feb-16-12  Penguincw: A fairly tactical game, IMO.
Feb-16-12  KingV93: At first look I thought the Queen exchange was dubious but Bronstien does an excellend job of combining attack with protecting the vulberable back rank. Excellent and tactically accurate.(to a patzers eyes)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A strange game:the attack faded out,only to return...and resulted in a Browne-out.
Feb-16-12  Archswindler: <Pawsome: Jeez <Ulhumbrus> thanks for the lecture. Very fine. Are you a GM?>

Ulhumbrus? I'd be honestly surprised if his playing strength is any higher than about 1600 or 1700. Half the games on this site are filled with his "analysis", much of it very weak. Any game where someone moves their h or g pawn will probably have an inane kibitz by Ulhumbrus about "disturbing the kingside pawns without necessity" (this includes games where the pawn move is well established theory, such as the Keres Attack).

Feb-16-12  ewan14: Wonderful
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I think both sides are winning!!
Feb-16-12  erniecohen: <<birthtimes>: If 27...Bxc5 then better for White is 28.Rb7+ Kg8 29.Rh1 Be6 30.Rxh6 Bf7 31.a4 Bd4 32.axb5 axb5 33.Rxb5 Bxc3 34.bxc3 Rxc3 35.Bd3 and White has 2 passed pawns with same colored bishops. Browne saw this, and decided to sac the exchange instead.>

I don't know why Browne didn't do this. All black has to do is trade his B+P for 2P to get to a drawn ending, right?

Feb-16-12  Jim Bartle: "I think both sides are winning!!"

Wasn't it Bronstein who once said during a game he was playing, "Both sides stand badly"?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Bronstein describes this game in <The Sorceror's Apprentice>. He doesn't say specifically which position Seirawan saw in his hotel room (and which, in Seirawan's story, had Geller staring at the board in open-mouthed amazement). However, I would guess it was the one after 21.Nf5+. Bronstein does say that Browne's <21...Kh7> was unexpected, which leads me to believe his idea was the pawn-down attack that follows 21...Bxf5 22.exf5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <jim bartle>

<Wasn't it Bronstein who once said during a game he was playing, "Both sides stand badly"?>

Tarrasch wrote that about the main line of the Chigorin defense to the Ruy Lopez, which he didn't care for.

Feb-16-12  Siksika: I agree with archswindler, Ulhumbrus' "analysis" displayed here is rather just a rambling move by move commentary. In truth its tedious simply because there's no value in it. If you want an authoritative commentary on attacking chess read Vladimir Vukovic's classic.
Feb-17-12  King Death: < Siksika: ...Ulhumbrus' "analysis" displayed here is rather just a rambling move by move commentary. In truth its tedious simply because there's no value in it...>

As far as I can tell he's on the other end of the pole from <Once> who provides entertaining commentaries. For the <Ulhumbrus> machine the word "banal" is a good description of the rambling generalities with tons of pointless twaddle. <U> read one too many Reinfeld books as a kid but has gone as far as those will take him.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: The first new move in this game (judging by Chessgames' database) was 20.h4
Apr-08-13  Everett: How frightening would that be: Bronstein addressing the opening like a professional.
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