< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 35 OF 38 ·
|May-28-11|| ||keypusher: <Gypsy>
Good point. But although I don't know how adjournments were handled, it seems unlikely they played a critical role in the struggle for first. Bronstein-Stahlberg may have, though.
Of the games I discussed, the following were likely adjourned:
Bronstein vs Szabo, 1953 (Round 20)
Bronstein vs Stahlberg, 1953 (Round 22) (Bronstein probably thought he was lost at adjournment; if the adjournment wasn't played off for a long time, this may have affected him in the critical rounds)
Keres vs Kotov, 1953 (Round 22)
Boleslavsky vs Bronstein, 1953 (Round 23)
Reshevsky vs Geller, 1953 (Round 23)
Smyslov vs Reshevsky, 1953 (Round 25; not much suspense at adjournment for this one)
Bronstein vs Reshevsky, 1953 (Round 28)
In the tournament book, Bronstein's description of Keres-Smyslov makes it sound as if there were no unplayed adjournments for either player before the game.
|May-28-11|| ||keypusher: <Gypsy> According to OMGP IV, Reshevsky-Geller was adjourned after 41 moves (in a won position for White) and not played off until after Round 25.|
|Jun-22-11|| ||Everett: <keypusher> <gypsy> thank you for your work. I certainly dont know what to believe. I do know that Bronstein has not been consistent, and was idiosyncratic enough to talk himself out of promising coaching positions (see latest SA). |
My take on it is that "something" was going on behind the scenes, and not only in '53, and this tweaked Bronstein in some way. Perhaps this unhinged him competitively and in other ways. Just speculation.
Regarding his comments about Zurich '53, it is quite possible that Bronstein over the years has misremembered the facts. He may be ardent and honest but wrong at the same time.
|Jun-24-11|| ||keypusher: <Gypsy> In <The Quest for Perfection> Keres writes that his 2-4th finish at Zurich gave him a slot in the next Interzonal but gave him no right to play in the Candidates.|
|Jun-24-11|| ||Everett: <keypusher> <wouldn't the troika have wanted another Soviet to finish ahead of Reshevsky? <Even if they didn't like Bronstein or Keres, they certainly liked both better than Reshevsky, right?> So I cannot think of a reason the troika would want Bronstein to lose this game, and Bronstein doesn't suggest one that makes sense.>|
Is it possible that the authorities really only wanted the Russian Smyslov and no other? Whatever happened in '51 behind the scenes, maybe they really didn't want a repeat, and they didn't want the Estonian either. Having Smyslov as their favorite, and seeing that they could do some things to try to make him the next challenger over a troublesome Ukranian, a stoic Estonian, and a hated American, they did so. This seems consistent with Bronstein's take.
Further, the "authorities" are human, and also could make mistakes in judgement and execution.
|Jun-24-11|| ||keypusher: <Everett>
<Further, the "authorities" are human, and also could make mistakes in judgement and execution.>
As for the rest, of course Botvinnik was himself a Jew. The status of Jews seems to have waxed and waned in the Soviet era, but 1953 was (as far as I know) a particularly bad time, with the <Jewish doctorsí plot> and the campaign against <rootless cosmopolitans>, a term that might as well have come straight from <Mein Kampf>. (Do you ever get the sense, by the way, that Europe between, say, 1910 and the mid-1950s was simply insane?) So a particularly ferocious campaign against Jews might have hurt Bronstein, but it shouldnít have helped the World Champion either.
Now, Keres. On the Keres-Smyslov game page I posted his own comments about that game; he blamed his defeat on his tendency to ďstake everything on a single card.Ē Nothing about pressure. The comments are taken from a Batsford reprint, <The Quest for Perfection>; I think the original publication was in the 1960s. I wouldnít expect him to be forthright about pressure if there was any, but I wouldnít expect him to write so eloquently about the game either. (Sort of the same way I feel about Bronsteinís tournament book, incidentally; if the tournament was fixed and a fraud, why did he write such a wonderful book about it? Itís not like there werenít other great tournaments he could have written about instead.)
I've raised this point many times before, but I think it's quite significant, so I'll raise it again. In 1952 the Soviet Union sent a team to the chess Olympiad for the first time ever. It was a big deal. (They sent a team to the sports Olympics for the first time too.) Botvinnik wasnít on the team. Iíve read different things about what happened, but what makes the most sense is that the rest of the team wanted to put Keres rather than Botvinnik on first board. Rather than agree, Botvinnik quit. So the Soviets competed without him. (Keres actually did rather poorly on first board, scoring 6.5 out of 12 per Marmot PFL.)
Itís hard for me to square this story with Botvinnik occupying a very privileged place in Soviet chess, at least at that moment in time. All he would have had to do, if he really was as strong bureaucratically as he was supposed to be, was make a phone call or two, and Keres, Bronstein, and Smyslov would have abandoned their little rebellion in a hurry.
|Jun-24-11|| ||bronkenstein: The way I see it , there was much more individual (or 3man , if you like ) actions and improvisation (high authorities had their own priorities back in 1953 anyway...) , together with different conflicts and personl relations inside the USSR delegation , than average conspiracy theorists (esp US ones -˝commie cheaters!˝ ;) normally tend to present.|
|Jun-25-11|| ||Everett: <keypusher> interesting points, looking at the sentiments toward Jews at that time. Perhaps Botvinnik was mildly protected by being the WC who brought the title to Russia/USSR in the first place, and just being the incumbent in general. Was Keres Jewish, or just Estonian?|
<Bronkenstein> yes, I feel there is not so much of a consensus amongst the top leaders at times! This is why stories of the Illuminati are hard to believe: how can so many powerful people agree? Not saying it is not possible, but imagine it is quite difficult to maintain.
Not sure what Bronstein said regarding the source, but I felt that whatever happened in '53 was not coming from Botvinnik.
Another thought: a Russian Jew may be tolerable, yet satellite Jews may not. And how did Botvinnik conduct himself: more as a Russian and good Soviet or more as a Jew? I had believed it was the former...
|Jun-25-11|| ||bronkenstein: Averbakh`s POW on Bronstein , Botvinnik , Zurich and Curacao conspiracies , jewishness in USSR and so on :|
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour... (part 1)
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour... (part 2)
Second time I am posting it , but I think it belongs to Bronstein`s page anyway ( no matter the not-so-pleasant light it puts on David in some aspects =)
|Jun-25-11|| ||Everett: <Bronkenstein> thank you very much. I do agree, albeit from a much greater distance and lack of information, that Averbakh's take on Bronstein rings true. The man was brilliant, but very much conflicted and ultimately inconsistent in his explanations. I do hope he found peace in the end. I for one cannot stop looking at his games, Learning something every time.|
Other things from the article: Smyslov was indeed "preferred" to win in '53, though there is no confirmation that anything was done about it.
Botvinnik's orchestration of the rematch clause and the limit of the number of candidates from one country is... I don't know what to say. Ugly, maybe. Just plain ugliness. He is quoted by Averbakh as calling Bronstein, Petrosian and Averbakh "weak grandmasters." well, it seems Botvinnik did make the most of his position, and... I really have nothing positive to say.
Who was the FIDE president at the time? If it was Euwe, I guess his wanting to see Fischer have a shot at the WC made him think the Botvinnik rule is like some kind of chessic affirmative action.
Reading this stuff reminds me how much I love this game, love the great tournaments throughout history, but really dislike the politics and machinations surrounding The WC title. It adulterates everything.
|Jun-25-11|| ||bronkenstein: ˝The youngest SSSR master˝ ( the times when master title mattered...=), that should be 1940.|
The president of Sport Committee was constantly threatening to David that he will not allow him to enter the playing hall (1944. USSR championship )next time he appears in that (simple green mechanical worker uniform) inappropriate outfit.
˝But it was the only one i had...˝ =) http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate...
Bronstein-Botvinnik draw (1945) seen through the caricaturist`s eyes. Bronstein changed his green uniform for the event :
˝Ratner (?) fell into the spider web of Bronstein`s cunning combinations˝
David in SSSR 1946 team:
How the caricaturists saw Botvinnik around these years =)
They had this to say after he chained few draws in 1947 championship:
Photo from the same championship: http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate...
`Notorious` Weinstein , Bronstein`s second ( Also co-author of few books with him , and his powerful protector as well. In turbulent 1953. , not so long after Stalin and Beria (and not only them...) died , Bronstein found out that he will be the only Russian GM without a second , due to political situation... Weinstein promised that he will later on explain to David in a letter what happened , but the letter was never written. After the tournament , he admitted that he was afraid for his own life , and remained silent for that reason. Who knows , if Bronstein had secondīs support and company during Zurich , the history might look different... =)http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate...
|Jun-25-11|| ||bronkenstein: And speaking of Botvinnik`s intrigues , he surely knew how to use his political ties much earlier than 50s. There is detailed story (on Russian thou http://www.chesspro.ru/_events/2007...) explaining how he used his ˝protectors˝ to simply `improvise` another USSR championship (!) only few months after he finished only 6th (!) in the 12th USSR championship 1940.( http://www.chesspro.ru/_events/2007... , table is on the bottom , and there is few interesting photos meantime if you dont know Russian ). Needles to say , his fragile dreams of match with Alekhine crumbled to dust in such situation.|
The artificial USSR championship , called ˝The absolute˝ (as you might recall from the history books) to justify and distinguish it from the ˝normal˝ one in which Bondarevsky ( later on the Spassky`s second, man without whom Boris might never become the WC) and Lilienthal shared USSR champ title only few months prior to that.
Just for the flavor , I will try to translate first few lines of this mammoth text :
<˝Operation Absolute Championship˝
After 12th championship Botvinnik lived in shock for 2 months , and he had good reason : all his hopes for Match against Alekhine suddenly vanished! OFC , he could try to return the title in a year on the next championship , but he couldn`t wait that long. and who guaranteed that he will succeed ? His position seemed hopeless , when he came up with desperate idea :
˝In december I sent a letter to Snegirev (Chess Sportcommittee) , ironising the fact that the champion of the state , ie leader of USSR chess , will become the winner of the Bondarevsky-Liliental match (both of them are very talented players , but without signifucant chess achievements) , while Keres and me had such , and international BTW , achievements .
Snegirov knew himself , that such match has no value concerning the Alekhine`s challenger; He understood my sign , and started working - as always , silently but with great energy. How he persuaded the higher authorities , I have no clue , he didn`t talk too much about that , but in 2 months it was declared that 6 winners of the 1940. championship ...> Why exactly 6? Remember , Botvinnik was, accidentally, 6th...just an innocent remark ;) < ...will play for the title of ˝absolute˝ champion . The meaning of the word ˝absolute˝ was clear: the ˝absolute˝ USSR champ would play the match against Alekhine.˝...>
Keyword was ˝silent˝ , players had no idea what is happening until it was too late, and what is most important, nobody mentioned Botvinnik`s name in the process. He was diligently preparing , while :
<... Lilienthal remembers that he , relaxed by the promises ( by Snegirov? ) that he and Bondarevsky will be , without any match , declared the USSR champions , went traveling to Syberia: ˝Suddenly i recieved a letter from the president of Sportcommittee , Snegov , to immediatelly return to Moscow , to take part in so called absolute championship. I was shocked. I was very angry : I simply did not expect anything like that. Needless to say , i went totally unprepared ˝...> Keywords shocked , suddenly + unprepared =)
<...Young Bondarevsky told angrily to Keres one year later : ˝I was simply inexperienced...I should simply decline , and that`s it!˝...> BTW , decline in 1941 USSR ? keyword: inexperienced =)
<...Keres , accepting the participation , had no idea how high the stakes were. Neither previous nor this championship did he consider connected in any way with the world championship , and he payed dearly for being so naive. If up to that moment Keres was seen as the Alekhine`s challenger (he was placed above Botvinnik twice in important tournaments)...> key one being AVRO , considered ac the ˝candidates˝ by many <... after the ˝Absolute˝ Botvinik had every right to say ˝It is clear now who should challenge Alekhine˝...> And it was only the first of the cruel games that destiny played with Paul...keywords, cruel games + naive =(
PS You can compare the scoretables in first and second tournament to compare how successful ˝Operation Absolute˝ was for Botvinnik =)
PPS My English is not perfect , and Russian even worse than that , so the translation is prolly far from accurate @ some points.
PPPS I will repost this to Keres and Botvinnik page , since they are the ˝main actors˝ here.
|Jun-26-11|| ||Gypsy: <keypusher: ...
Sort of the same way I feel about Bronsteinís tournament book, incidentally; if the tournament was fixed and a fraud, why did he write such a wonderful book about it? Itís not like there werenít other great tournaments he could have written about instead.
Itís hard for me to square this story with Botvinnik occupying a very privileged place in Soviet chess, at least at that moment in time. All he would have had to do, if he really was as strong bureaucratically as he was supposed to be, was make a phone call or two, and Keres, Bronstein, and Smyslov would have abandoned their little rebellion in a hurry. ...>
You touch upon an interesting but much broader topic: The art of 'Reading Between the Lines'.
It is a quickly disappearing art, at least in Central/Eastern Europe, and thank god for that. It was closely coupled and practiced with the related, difficult to practice, and rather dangerous art of 'Writing Between the Lines'. Both were evolving arts, and never made it into a science; for obvious reasons. Imprecise arts! Yet, much of information was thus thankfully transferred to ears and eyes hungry for knowing.
To thoroughly explain 'Reading Between the Lines', one would need tomes. Fortunately, "The Wall", by Peter Sis
makes it kind of understandable to children through one anecdote: "Which way, in this budding artist's rendition, does the wind blow?!"
Yes, just the likely accidental fact that the wind in a picture may be implying that the "wind is blowing from the West", could doom a publication, sometimes almost post-mortem.
But at other times, "wind from the East" could become a problem: Had somebody used a hot-air balloon to cross the Iron Curtain to West Germany, suddenly, 'wind from East' could be interpreted as an incitement for a mass exodus.
I talk lightly, but I am not kidding about the facts, nor former seriousness of the matter.
Presently, I am visiting my childhood 'hunting grounds'. After I'll finish this note, I will take a stroll by a small factory that older locals still call "Kniha" (Book). During the communist era, the place belonged to the main national publishing outfit (N.P. Kniha), but no book was ever produced there. Instead, the place was totally dedicated to burning of those hundreds of thousands of books where 'tainted' information was discovered only after the book was printed.
The local wisdom about the thing? Their claim is that it is surprisingly hard to burn books an masse, they burn poorly if pages not taken apart.
|Jun-28-11|| ||keypusher: <Gypsy>
<You touch upon an interesting but much broader topic: The art of 'Reading Between the Lines'.>
I am familiar with the phenomenon, thankfully not from direct experience. But its explanatory power here is limited. In particular, it does not make Bronstein's (recent) allegations about the Geller game any more credible, unless we assume that the troika was irrational in a way wholly and obviously inimical to their own best interests. And given his failure to mention the game in his recent piece, it doesn't do anything to explain Bronstein vs Kotov, 1953 from Round 24. Still less does it explain why Bronstein wrote the book in the first place.
<bronkenstein> Thanks for those. I have to wonder, though, if (judging from your summary) the author of <Operation Match-Tournament> didn't let his indignation get the better of his judgment. Botvinnik, who finished 5-6, supposedly had his dreams of a match with Alekhine ruined by the 1940 championship, but Keres, who finished 4th, only a half-point further up, suffered no change in his status? Doesn't make sense, does it?
It also says that Keres was considered to have the best claim to challenge Alekhine up until the match tournament, and that he had no idea what was at stake in the "Absolute" championship. Putting aside for a moment the author's evidently low opinion of Keres' intelligence, it is clear that Keres himself did not think he was the top challenger to Alekhine even before the Absolute. In an article published at the beginning of 1941 in the American magazine <Chess Review> (before the match-tournament) Keres evaluated the chances of the six leading challengers (Keres, Botvinnik, Fine, Reshevsky, Euwe, and Flohr) and concluded that Botvinnik would have the best chance of beating Alekhine. He also makes clear that he does not regard himself as having priority. See summary below.
Of course Keres was a somewhat unwilling resident of the Soviet Union by then, and it's possible we should be reading his article <between the lines> as it were. But if that's the case, then Botvinnik's "fragile dreams" didn't really "crumble to dust" after the 12th USSR Championship, did they?
|Jun-28-11|| ||bronkenstein: Well, Voronkov deffo speculates more than I would , but I wouldn`t say that fact/speculation ratio in your arguing is much higher than in his article (the author of ...) .|
The ˝Absolute˝ was definitely ˝artificial˝ ie premature , and definitely a surprise for many ( = too short, or no time to prepare) , number 6 is strange coincidence too , Botvinnik`s letter and reactions of other players speak much as well , and so on . Sport was elsewhere @ that moment .
Match against Alekhine was , as we all already know , just an illusion @ that point anyway , but no1 could know it then , and the deed remains ...
Speaking of my expression <...his fragile dreams of match with Alekhine crumbled to dust...> , I will not defend it , nor I can proove it OFC ...(anyway , it is irrelevant to the dirty deed in itself IMO ) , consider it a moment of indignation if you like :)
|Jun-28-11|| ||Everett: Unfortunately, as a middle manager for some time in my life, my only recourse to survive a terrible superior was "writing between the lines," with the hope that his boss would get the hint.|
I'm no longer in management.
It was my understanding that Bronstein was approached to write the book. Besides simply enjoying chess and people in general, Bronstein may have found it helpful to move on by focusing on the chess itself.
|Jun-29-11|| ||Gypsy: <Still less does it explain why Bronstein wrote the book in the first place.>|
<...if the tournament was fixed and a fraud, why did he write such a wonderful book about it? Itís not like there werenít other great tournaments he could have written about instead. ...>
Oh, how hard it was for an 'untried outsider' to get something, anything(!), into print behind the Iron Curtain.
The way things usually worked, for Bronstein it almost certainly was either this tournament or none at all. Given the opportunity to write about Zurich 1953, Bronstein was handed a big chance to become a chess journalist, a writer. It was an opportunity to either take or waste and forever hold peace.
Only a true life-long westerner may believe that Bronstein could have chosen to write about any old interesting tourney. That is not how things worked on the other side of the Curtain...
|Jun-29-11|| ||keypusher: <Gypsy> OK, thanks. Still leaves the nonsense in "Treachery in Zurich" unexplained.|
|Jun-29-11|| ||Gypsy: <keypusher> You are welcome.|
|Jul-01-11|| ||Everett: <keypusher>
Bronstein is positing that the powers at hand wished to see Smyslov and none other as victor of Zurich '53. To sick Geller, a tail-ender who had no chance to defeat Smyslov, on Bronstein makes perfect sense.
The tournament was not completely <fixed> nor a complete <fraud.> It was merely manipulated.
Evidence abounds including when we factor in religious belief, which you have mentioned. Even Averbakh states Smyslov was favored. Collaboration! Of course he doesn't completely agree with everything that Bronstein wrote. Then again, on another day, Bronstein may not even agree with himself. This does not mean he speaks complete falsehoods.
|Jul-01-11|| ||Everett: Let me retract <Evidence> as too strong a word, without the tag <circumstantial> attached to it. Nonetheless, Bronstein's story to me is <plausible> but certainly not <ironclad>.|
|Jul-02-11|| ||keypusher: <Everett> Well, we are starting to repeat ourselves. At least I am. But I can hardly express how unlikely it is that the troika would favor the victory of an American Jew (Reshevksy) over a Soviet Jew (Bronstein), with the winner getting a shot at the world championship. You think if Reshevsky wins the tournament the leaders of the Soviet delegation are going to go home and see their bosses and say: at least we stopped Bronstein... |
1) Smyslov is supposed to be threatened by physical collapse (I don't believe that either, but such is Bronstein's story)
2) Smyslov was playing Reshevsky in Round 25 while Bronstein was playing Geller.
3) Keres is pretty much out of it by this point.
So the troika double-crosses the only Soviet besides Smyslov with a realistic shot of finishing ahead of Reshevsky? What if Reshevsky had defeated Smyslov in Round 25? You think that wasn't a possibility? Would you stake your livelihood on it, if you were on the troika?
Sorry, no. Bronstein's story about the Geller game isn't plausible. It doesn't even attain implausibility. It's just ridiculous.
|Jul-02-11|| ||Everett: Sorry, <yes>, with Smyslov favored, and by round 25, both Bronstein and Reshevsky were nipping at his heels. Smyslov has white, and was master of his own and Reshevsky's destiny. The troika, however, had to slow down Bronstein. So... Let Geller have a go at him to prevent Bronstein from considering 1st place. Further, Bronstein faced Reshevsky with white in round 28, and if both Bronstein and Reshevsky were close to Smyslov then, the troika would have a dilemma. They couldn't control Reshevsky (maybe, but his late game collapses in the crucial stretch are quite strange, eh?) but they could mess with Bronstein's head and his results before round 28, when they could let him go after Reshevsky.|
What's plausible is that they wanted Smyslov only, and hedged their bets with Bronstein, and felt they can hinder both Reshevsky (by cracking the whip behind his opponents) and Bronstein, effectively to ensure Smyslov's victory.
|Jul-03-11|| ||Everett: Now I understand why Bronstein loved Fischer: besides loving the beautiful and strong chess of Fischer, he despised the Soviet regime, and here was a strong westerner to blow it up.|
BTW, according to the the SA 2nd edition, Bronstein's apartment was covered in chess material regarding Fischer.
... Which is funny, because they really are different people in some blatant ways. Perhaps Bronstein saw "fairness" without collusion in the same light as Fischer.
|Jul-03-11|| ||drnooo: It seems to me all these conspiracy theories collapse when behind when them all was the simple threat of execution. The soviets never had to really worry about Bronstein: they had their favorites and knew that ultimately they had not a worry one about Bronstein or Keres with the Gulags offstage only steps, or shall we say steppes away. Hey, don't get too cute or you know what will happen to you and your dad and maybe a few others.
We got our puppet Misha, he's doing just fine and you start to mess with those strings too much and that's it pal. Look at what happened: Bronstein chickened out at the last, finally content with saying I just wanted to prove he was not a God. He did and in the most blatant way, whethere by accident or design committed one of the worst blunders in the history of the final deciding game of a so called world championship. Ha ha, exeunt with ironic laughter.
None of those guys ever stood a chance and as for Tal, by then ole Bot was getting close to propping his feet on the footstool of retirement and Tal was probably untameable, but that is another story far from this discussion:
Keres and Bronstein were kept around as trophy dolls, little more than shrunken heads by the jungle headhunters of the KGB
we have no notion of the ghastliness, the true horror for either but to start cooking up some vague or even more detailed reasons for the failure of either to reach the top you need to look no further than a knife or a gun
and a friendly chilling smile and nod
from offstage in the wings of the monstrous stage they were playing on otherwise they would never have let either get that far hi guys, yeah we're still here (as they pat a coat pocket bulging with their weaponry)
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 35 OF 38 ·