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Isaac Boleslavsky
Number of games in database: 816
Years covered: 1938 to 1971
Overall record: +317 -91 =407 (63.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1 exhibition game, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (139) 
    C97 C99 C89 C83 C77
 Sicilian (88) 
    B32 B56 B85 B84 B76
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (66) 
    C97 C99 C89 C92 C91
 French Defense (39) 
    C11 C15 C19 C16 C18
 Nimzo Indian (31) 
    E59 E53 E46 E39 E54
 Caro-Kann (28) 
    B10 B11 B17 B15 B18
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (115) 
    B65 B63 B58 B59 B88
 King's Indian (92) 
    E67 E64 E87 E81 E86
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (35) 
    B65 B63 B62 B60 B67
 Grunfeld (33) 
    D94 D85 D97 D81 D75
 French Defense (27) 
    C07 C11 C19 C09 C15
 English (20) 
    A15 A16 A10 A17 A19
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Alatortsev vs Boleslavsky, 1950 0-1
   Boleslavsky vs Lisitsin, 1956 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Dzindzichashvili, 1967 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Kotov, 1953 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Fine, 1945 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Kasparian, 1947 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Bronstein, 1950 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs B Goldenov, 1947 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Smyslov, 1950 1-0
   Tal vs Boleslavsky, 1958 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1945)
   USSR Championship (1947)
   Budapest Candidates (1950)
   Moscow (1947)
   Saltsjöbaden Interzonal (1948)
   USSR Championship (1944)
   USSR Absolute Championship (1941)
   USSR Championship (1952)
   USSR Championship (1940)
   USSR Championship (1949)
   Groningen (1946)
   USSR Championship (1950)
   USSR Championship (1956)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   Zurich Candidates (1953)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Isaac Boleslavsky - Selected Games by Benzol
   King's Indian pioneers by keywiz84
   WCC Index [Budapest 1950] by nescio2

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Isaac Boleslavsky
Search Google for Isaac Boleslavsky

(born Jun-09-1919, died Feb-15-1977, 57 years old) Russia
[what is this?]
Isaac Efremovich Boleslavsky was born in Zolotonsha. He learned to play chess at the age of nine, but it was not until after World War Two that he first made a name for himself with second place in two consecutive Soviet championships. He continued his rise to the top in 1950, when he became the first player ever to go through a Candidates' tournament undefeated, tying David Bronstein for first place. To determine who would challenge Mikhail Botvinnik for the World Championship, Boleslavsky and Bronstein then contested a twelve-game playoff match; this was tied too. Finally Bronstein won the second tie-break game and gained the right to play Botvinnik.

After this near-miss, Boleslavsky played in another Candidates' tournament in 1953, and then devoted his chess ability more toward coaching and serving as a "second" to his fellow Soviet players. He left behind several contributions to theory for both the King's Indian Defense and Sicilian Defense openings.

Boleslavsky died in Minsk at age 57 after a fall on an icy sidewalk. He broke his hip and could not overcome an infection acquired during his hospitalization.

Wikipedia article: Isaac Boleslavsky

 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 816  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Belakovsky vs Boleslavsky  0-131 1938 Ukraine ChA84 Dutch
2. Boleslavsky vs E Korchmar 1-040 1938 Ukraine ChC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
3. Polyak vs Boleslavsky 0-123 1938 Ukraine ChC07 French, Tarrasch
4. Boleslavsky vs A Budo  1-029 1939 Tournament of candidates and mastersE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
5. Boleslavsky vs Batyev 1-051 1939 Tournament of candidates and mastersB10 Caro-Kann
6. Boleslavsky vs V Makogonov 1-036 1940 USSR ChampionshipB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
7. Boleslavsky vs I Rudakovsky  ½-½44 1940 USSR ChampionshipB83 Sicilian
8. Boleslavsky vs Polyak 1-034 1940 Exhibition TournamentB10 Caro-Kann
9. V Petrov vs Boleslavsky  0-152 1940 USSR ChampionshipA45 Queen's Pawn Game
10. Boleslavsky vs Panov  1-054 1940 USSR ChampionshipC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
11. Keres vs Boleslavsky  ½-½41 1940 USSR ChampionshipC15 French, Winawer
12. E Gerstenfeld vs Boleslavsky  1-057 1940 USSR ChampionshipC07 French, Tarrasch
13. Boleslavsky vs Smyslov ½-½55 1940 USSR ChampionshipB10 Caro-Kann
14. Boleslavsky vs V Mikenas  ½-½49 1940 USSR ChampionshipB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
15. Boleslavsky vs P Dubinin 0-144 1940 USSR ChampionshipB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
16. Boleslavsky vs Kotov 1-033 1940 USSR ChampionshipB85 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Classical
17. Levenfish vs Boleslavsky 0-177 1940 USSR ChampionshipA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
18. Bondarevsky vs Boleslavsky  ½-½34 1940 USSR ChampionshipC09 French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line
19. Boleslavsky vs Lisitsin ½-½28 1940 USSR ChampionshipC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
20. Boleslavsky vs Lilienthal  ½-½42 1940 USSR ChampionshipC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
21. Rudakovsky vs Boleslavsky  0-152 1940 Ukraine ChC09 French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line
22. Veresov vs Boleslavsky  ½-½41 1940 USSR ChampionshipE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
23. Konstantinopolsky vs Boleslavsky  ½-½26 1940 USSR ChampionshipD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
24. Boleslavsky vs M Stolberg  1-032 1940 USSR ChampionshipC11 French
25. Botvinnik vs Boleslavsky 1-049 1940 USSR ChampionshipE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 816  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Boleslavsky wins | Boleslavsky loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-09-14  CountryGirl: I hadn't realised how close Boleslavsky came to a world championship match: equal first in the Candidates then tying a play-off match. All the fuss over Bronstein tying Botvinnik, and being 'co-world champion' in someone's words, and actually, Boleslavsky was pretty much just as good as either of those two! And finally, dying from a broken hip after a fall.
This bloke sure had some lousy luck!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Boleslavsky was the first player ever to go through a Candidates' tournament undefeated!

According to chessmetrics, historical ELO by Jeff Sonas, Boleslavsky was shortly no. 3 of the World, after his performance at Budapest (Candidates) in 1950, and for more than a decade a top-ten player; today a prominet <forgotten player>, it seems he often has not gotten his rightful place in chess history, as from the soviet (post) war era - in no particular order, among others may be most prominently - Nezhmetdinov, Illivitsky, Kholmov, and Iivo Nei (still living):
(hommage by A.J. Goldsby, also known as constructive and sometimes controversial contributor to pages)

Premium Chessgames Member Great picture!
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <perfidious: The drop-down menu is a feature I rarely use, if ever, but I agree: Boleslavsky rates a spot as a prominent player.>

I agree - perhaps if we threaten to go on strike

Apr-30-15  knightour: Do not buy the book titled "Isaac Boleslavsky" by Jesse Russel and Ronald Cohn. It doesn't have any chess games of the grandmaster or anyone else for that matter. The worst chess book I ever bought.
Apr-30-15  Petrosianic: Ludek Pachman's book, Checkmate in Prague, doesn't have any games in it, either. It doesn't mean it's a bad book, necessarily.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <knightour: Do not buy the book titled "Isaac Boleslavsky" by Jesse Russel and Ronald Cohn...>

How much did that book cost?

Apr-30-15  knightour: The book currently costs $19.95 and $2.95 shipping.Perhaps someone can give a review of the book and point out the positive values. I bought the book to get some sort of collection of Boleslavsky's games.I no longer have the book.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I've bought it! I hope it's good!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It has just arrived! What a piece of @#$%! Who recommended that! Total and utter garbage. I want my money back!!
May-01-15  john barleycorn: <offramp> which part of the world are you from where they work on "labour day" delivering books?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I'm in Peking.
May-01-15  john barleycorn: good for Peking
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I'm slightly unlucky in that I was born in Hong Kong to British parents but in 1997 I became a Chinese citizen and I was called up into the Chinese air force. I regret that I have killed about five thousand people.
May-01-15  john barleycorn: Your profile says:

<I was born and I live and work in London. My father was from Limerick and my mother is from Chorlton-cum-Hardy, near Manchester.>

May-01-15  Olavi: The 1957 book by Boleslavsky on his selected games feels good, but I don't read Russian.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <john barleycorn: Your profile says:
<I was born and I live and work in London...>

Yes, indeed. Wonderful, wonderful days.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Olavi> You might not have to read Russian. Jimmy Adams did a translation of Boleslavsky's book that can still be obtained although it maybe a bit pricey these days. See Game Collection: Isaac Boleslavsky - Selected Games as a sampler.


May-01-15  zanzibar: The Russell-Cohn book is among a long list of books by the same:

For the Boleslavsky book there's this blurb:

<High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Isaac Yefremovich Boleslavsky (Ukrainian: Ісаак Єфремович Болеславський, Исаак Ефремович Болеславский) (June 9, 1919 Zolotonosha, Ukraine – February 15, 1977 Minsk) was a Soviet–Jewish chess Grandmaster.>

Many (most?) of the other books are also wiki reprints.

May-02-15  thegoodanarchist: <offramp: I'm in Peking.>

I recommend that you try the duck.

May-02-15  zanzibar: <offramp> you mean to say "I'm <off> in Peking" don't you?
May-02-15  john barleycorn: <zanzibar> is that <off> related to an opium den?
May-02-15  zanzibar: I don't really know where <offramp> draws his inspiration from. I always thought it a bit transcendental, but perhaps the source is indeed a bit more terrestrial.

Who knows?

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy Birthday, Isaac!!
Nov-02-15  zanzibar: A picture of the tombstone on his grave:

Is there a discrepancy for his dod?

<The picture features Boleslavsky’s son, Stanislaw, and his daughter, Tatiana (David Bronstein’s widow). Our correspondent mentions that Boleslavsky’s grave is about ten paces away from that of Bronstein, his son-in-law (see C.N. 5859).> (CN #6389)

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