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David Bronstein
Photo courtesy of Eric Schiller.  
Number of games in database: 2,179
Years covered: 1938 to 1997
Last FIDE rating: 2432
Highest rating achieved in database: 2590

Overall record: +817 -313 =1000 (61.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 49 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (212) 
    B40 B31 B20 B50 B90
 Ruy Lopez (131) 
    C77 C97 C78 C91 C92
 Nimzo Indian (76) 
    E41 E21 E59 E55 E32
 French Defense (63) 
    C07 C15 C18 C05 C02
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (57) 
    C97 C92 C91 C99 C85
 King's Indian (53) 
    E67 E90 E80 E71 E86
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (119) 
    C07 C16 C15 C09 C08
 King's Indian (97) 
    E67 E80 E60 E92 E69
 Ruy Lopez (88) 
    C76 C63 C69 C92 C99
 Sicilian (85) 
    B92 B32 B40 B97 B80
 Caro-Kann (83) 
    B16 B10 B14 B15 B13
 Queen's Pawn Game (50) 
    A45 A40 D02 E00 A46
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Bronstein vs Ljubojevic, 1973 1-0
   Bronstein vs Geller, 1961 1-0
   Bronstein vs Keres, 1955 1-0
   Bronstein vs M20, 1963 1-0
   Pachman vs Bronstein, 1946 0-1
   J Kaplan vs Bronstein, 1975 0-1
   Efimov vs Bronstein, 1941 0-1
   N Bakulin vs Bronstein, 1965 0-1
   V Mikenas vs Bronstein, 1965 0-1
   Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1951 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Botvinnik - Bronstein World Championship Match (1951)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1948)
   Budapest Candidates (1950)
   Saltsjöbaden Interzonal (1948)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)
   USSR Championship (1949)
   USSR Championship 1964/65 (1964)
   USSR Championship (1945)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   USSR Championship (1958)
   USSR Championship 1961b (1961)
   Mar del Plata (1960)
   USSR Championship (1963)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   Petropolis Interzonal (1973)
   USSR Championship (1971)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Challenger Bronstein by Gottschalk
   Sorcerer's Apprentice (Bronstein) by Parmenides1963
   Sorcerer's Apprentice (Bronstein) by Qindarka
   Match Bronstein! by amadeus
   DB by fredthebear
   200 open games by David Bronstein (part 1) by Bluem00n
   200 open games by David Bronstein (part 1) by tak gambit
   200 open games by David Bronstein (part 1) by takchess
   200 Open Games by David Bronstein (part 2) by takchess
   200 Open Games by David Bronstein (part 2) by tak gambit
   Bronstein on the King's Indian by yoyomama
   Bronstein's Odyssey by Everett
   Bronstein's Picturesque Games by Brown
   Power Chess - Bronstein by Anatoly21

Search Sacrifice Explorer for David Bronstein
Search Google for David Bronstein

(born Feb-19-1924, died Dec-05-2006, 82 years old) Ukraine
[what is this?]

David Ionovich Bronstein was born February 19, 1924 in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine.1

Chess and Checkers Club

When Bronstein was six, his grandfather taught him how to play chess. Later, when his family moved to Kiev, he joined the city "Chess and Checkers Club" and soon won the Kiev "Schoolboy's Championship."1 At age fifteen he was invited to play in the 11th Ukrainian Championship in Dnepropetrovsk, where he finished 8th.2 On the strength of this result he was invited back for the 12th Ukrainian Championship in Kiev. He placed 2nd to Isaac Boleslavsky, 3 which garnered him both the Soviet national master title and a place in the USSR Championship Semifinal in Rostov-on-Don.1,4 The semifinal was never finished due to the German invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941, and Bronstein did not play any serious chess for the next three years.1

Two Grandmaster Titles

By February 1944 the Germans had been driven back to the Dneiper River, and Bronstein joined the USSR Championship Semifinal in Baku.1 His 4th place finish qualified him for the final and drew the interest of Boris Vainstein, who quickly became an avid promoter of Bronstein's chess career. Vainstein was an influential member of the Communist Party, and he managed to have Bronstein relocated to Moscow from his job rebuilding a steel factory in the ruins of Stalingrad.1 Bronstein managed only 15th place at the USSR Championship (1944), but he was hardly disgraced, since he won his game against the incumbent "Absolute Soviet champion": Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1944. 5 Bronstein's 3rd place in the USSR Championship (1945) earned him a spot on the Soviet team in international matches, where he posted good results. Though he was not yet a grandmaster, FIDE invited him to the Saltsjöbaden Interzonal (1948), which he won.6 He was immediately made a Soviet grandmaster,7 and in July 1949 FIDE awarded him the international grandmaster title.8

The World Championship

Bronstein wasted no time proving that if someone wanted to unseat world champion Mikhail Botvinnik, they'd have to go through him. He shared 1st in both the USSR Championship (1948) and the USSR Championship (1949). He went on to tie Boleslavsky for 1st in the Budapest Candidates (1950), and won the subsequent playoff match. Bronstein now had the right to face Botvinnik in a championship match. Botvinnik had played no chess in public since he'd won the FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948), which Bronstein thought was a deliberate ploy to hide his opening preparation.9 Bronstein opened game one with the Dutch Defence, one of the champion's favorite systems. Botvinnik later characterized this strategem as "naive."10 The match was closely fought, and by game 22 Bronstein led by a point and needed only win once more, or draw twice in the last two games, to become world champion. The stage was set for a climactic final game in which Bronstein needed a victory, since the champion would retain his title in the event of a drawn match. This game proved somewhat controversial because Bronstein accepted Botvinnik's draw offer after only 22 moves: Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1951. This engendered speculation that the Soviet government had ordered him not to beat Botvinnik. In a 1993 interview Bronstein explained that "There was no direct pressure (to lose deliberately)... But... there was the psychological pressure of the environment..." in part caused by his father's "several years in prison" and what he labeled "the marked preference for the institutional Botvinnik." Bronstein concluded that "it seemed to me that winning could seriously harm me, which does not mean that I deliberately lost."11

Cold Warrior

The NKVD12 had arrested Bronstein's father in 1935 because he had "tried to defend peasants... who were put under pressure by corrupt officials."13 His father was released after serving seven years in a gulag, and only pardoned for any wrongdoing in 1955. Bronstein never joined the Communist Party, nor any organisations associated with it, such as the Communist Youth Party, the USSR Writer's Union, or the USSR Journalist's Union.13 Nevertheless, for decades Bronstein remained a prominent member of the Soviet chess team. He played in four successive chess olympiads, winning the bronze medal on 3rd board in Helsinki 1952, the silver medal on 3rd board in Amsterdam 1954, and the gold medal on 4th board in both Moscow 1956 and Munich 1958.14 In the USSR - USA Radio Match (1945) Bronstein faced Anthony Santasiere on 10th board, scoring +2 -0 =0 in a 15½ - 4½ Soviet rout of the Americans. In a 1946 USSR-USA match in Moscow, the Soviets won again, with Bronstein splitting a pair of games against Olaf Ulvestad on 10th board. He again helped defeat the USA in two ideologically charged matches in 1954 and 1955. The first was slated for New York in 1953, but Cold War politics got in the way. The Soviet team were on the verge of boarding a ship from Cherbourg when a jittery US State Department abruptly tightened their visa restrictions. Moscow declared this a "violation of all the rules of international hospitality and civility," but the Soviets did manage to play the Americans the following year in New York, and again in Moscow 1955.15 In New York Bronstein played 2nd board and beat Arthur William Dake in one game, and then proceeded to win three straight from Dake's replacement, Arnold Denker. In Moscow he faced Larry Melvyn Evans on 3rd board, scoring +1 -0 =3. The USSR won both events.16

Golden Age

Although Bronstein never again played a world championship match, he enjoyed a long period of success in strong chess events.1 He came close to a title rematch with Botvinnik when he finished shared 2nd at the Zurich Candidates (1953), two points behind Vasily Smyslov. Bronstein wrote a book about the event, which has become a classic in chess literature: Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953. He won the Gothenburg Interzonal (1955) in fine style, but finished behind Smyslov and Paul Keres in the Amsterdam Candidates (1956). He would never compete in another candidates event, though he did play in the Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Amsterdam Interzonal (1964), and the Petropolis Interzonal (1973). After 1949 he appeared in fifteen more USSR Championships, with his best results coming in 1957 (2nd to Mikhail Tal); 1958 (3rd to Tal); Nov-Dec 1961 (3rd to Boris Spassky); and 1964/1965 (2nd to Viktor Korchnoi). He won or shared 1st in the Moscow Championship in 1946, 1947, 1953, 1957, 1961, and 1968.17 Bronstein also won or shared 1st in a series of international tournaments, including Hastings (1953/54), Belgrade 1954, Gotha 1957, Moscow 1959, Szombathely 1966, East Germany 1968, Sarajevo 1971, Hastings 1975/76, and Jurmala 1978.18

Chess Theory

Bronstein made many contributions to theory in openings such as the Ruy Lopez, King's Indian, and Caro-Kann (e.g. the Bronstein-Larsen variation 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.♘c3 dxe4 4.♘xe4 ♘f6 5.♘xf6 gxf6). He helped revive the King's gambit,1 and also wrote a popular book on one of his favorite weapons: Bronstein On the King's Indian. Although Bronstein preferred some systems over others, the following recollection from biographer Tom Fürstenberg is worth keeping in mind: "David explained many times that he doesn't play openings - he just starts to create an attack... from the first move! ...That is why he does not have a specific opening repertoire. He just plays everything!"1


Bronstein, known affectionately as "Devik" by his friends, married three times, but it was his third marriage to Isaac Boleslavsky's daughter Tatiana in 1984 that seems to have given him the most lasting and satisfying partnership.19 In her memoir, she recalls meeting him several times as a young girl, noting his humour, generosity and, "above all, his gentle smile."19 She also ruefully explains that although Bronstein's patron Boris Veinshtein was indeed a powerful man, he could do nothing to prevent the Soviet Chess Federation from banning him from almost all foreign tournaments for thirteen years.19 Bronstein was banned after Viktor Korchnoi defected in 1976, and Bronstein refused to sign a group letter condemning him. Despite the fact that Boris Gulko, Spassky, and Botvinnik also refused to sign this letter, it was only Bronstein who received this draconian punishment. Foreign tournaments were prized by Soviet masters as a crucial source of income, because they generally paid out prizes in "hard currency." Bronstein had to support himself during this period by writing for "Isvestiya."1 He believed his punishment was so severe because he had helped Korchnoi during the Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1974). 20 In 1990, after the Soviet Union collapsed and the borders opened, Bronstein contracted cancer, but an operation proved successful, and he lived another sixteen years. He spent much of this remaining time touring Europe, glorying in his new freedom by traveling from tournament to tournament, meeting old friends and making new friends. In his typically light hearted manner, Bronstein explained that "...amazed that I was still alive, chess clubs began showering me with invitations"21 He died on December 5, 2006.22

A Magical Fire

"The art of a chess player consists in his ability to ignite a magical fire from the dull and senseless initial position."23

--David Ionovich Bronstein


1 David Bronstein and Tom Fürstenberg, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (Cadogan 1995), p.263-271

2 Rusbase [rusbase-1]

3 Rusbase [rusbase-2]

4 Rusbase [rusbase-3]

5 Though Cafferty and Taimanov do not recognize the USSR Absolute Championship (1941) as a bona fide USSR Championship, the winner Botvinnik was nonetheless considered the Soviet champion at the time. Bernard Cafferty and Mark Taimanov, "The Soviet Championships" (Cadogen 1998), pp.48-51

6 Kotov and Yudovich, "Soviet Chess School" (Raduga Publishers 1982), pp.77-78

7 "Tidskrift för Schack" nr.8-9 (Aug-Sept 1948), pp.180-181. Translation by User: Tabanus

8"Tidskrift för Schack" nr.7-8 (July-Aug 1949), p.159. Translation by User: Tabanus

9 Bronstein and Fürstenberg, pp.16-17

10 Mikhail Botvinnik "Match for the World Championship- Botvinnik Bronstein Moscow 1951" Igor Botvinnik ed. Ken Neat transl. (Edition Olms 2004), p.16

11 "Revista Internacional de Ajedrez" (Mar 1993), pp.38-42. In Edward Winter, Chess Note 4753:

12 The NKVD (Peoples Commissariat for Internal Affairs) was a predecessor of the KGB.

13 Bronstein and Fürstenberg, p.269

14 "Men's Olympiads"

15 Andrew Soltis, "Soviet Chess 1917-1991" (McFarland 1997), pp.221-227

16 Gino Di Felice, "Chess Results 1951-1955" (McFarland 2010) pp.422, 522-23

17 1946 [rusbase-4]; 1947 [rusbase-5]; 1953 [rusbase-6]; 1957 [rusbase-7]; 1961 [rusbase-8]; 1968 [rusbase-9]

18 <Hastings 1953-1954> (Di Felice, "Chess Results 1951-1955," p.317); <Belgrade 1954> (Di Felice, "Chess Results 1951-1955," p.333); <Gotha 1957> (Di Felice, "Chess Results 1956-1960," p.129); <Moscow 1959> (Di Felice, "Chess Results 1956-1960," p.342); <Szombathely 1966> (Di Felice, "Chess Results 1964-1967," p.429); <East Germany 1968> (Di Felice, "Chess Results 1968-1970," p.12 <Sarajevo 1971> ( <Hastings 1975/76> -<Jurmala 1978> (

19 Bronstein and Fürstenberg, pp.19-24

20 David Bronstein and Sergey Voronkov, "Secret Notes" Ken Neat, transl. (Edition Olms 2007), pp. 14-15

21 Bronstein and Voronkov, pp.12-13

22 Leonard Barden, David Bronstein obituary in "The Guardian" (7 Dec 2006)

23 Bronstein and Voronkov, p.34

 page 1 of 88; games 1-25 of 2,179  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. E Poliak vs Bronstein 0-1361938KievD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
2. Bronstein vs I Zaslavsky 1-0251938KievC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
3. L Kanevsky vs Bronstein  0-1341939Soviet UnionC46 Three Knights
4. Y Lembersky vs Bronstein 0-1371939Kiev-tm USSR/YUGC25 Vienna
5. Bronstein vs B Ratner 1-0351939Soviet UnionB20 Sicilian
6. Bronstein vs V Gaiwevsky  1-0481939DniepropetrovskC66 Ruy Lopez
7. Bronstein vs Y Kaem 1-0281939DniepropetrovskC71 Ruy Lopez
8. Bronstein vs R Piatnitsky 1-0151940Kiev jrC41 Philidor Defense
9. Bronstein vs L Morgulis 1-0341940Kiev-tm USSR/YUGC26 Vienna
10. Bronstein vs Gorenstein ½-½151940KievC29 Vienna Gambit
11. Bronstein vs S Zhukhovitsky 1-0321940Kiev jrC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
12. Bronstein vs E Kuzminykh  0-1411941Rostov on Don (Russia)C79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
13. Efimov vs Bronstein 0-1121941Kiev URSC34 King's Gambit Accepted
14. S Belavenets vs Bronstein 0-1241941URSE64 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav System
15. Bronstein vs V Mikenas 1-0251941URSC40 King's Knight Opening
16. Bronstein vs Boleslavsky ½-½221944Kiev (Ukraine)C16 French, Winawer
17. Lilienthal vs Bronstein  1-0581944Ch URS (1/2 final)E67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
18. V Makogonov vs Bronstein 1-0421944KievE90 King's Indian
19. Bronstein vs Panov  ½-½291944Baku ch-URS sfC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
20. Sokolsky vs Bronstein 1-0271944Kiev (Ukraine)C52 Evans Gambit
21. Bronstein vs Flohr  ½-½531944KievB10 Caro-Kann
22. Bronstein vs B Goldenov 1-0241944KievC12 French, McCutcheon
23. Tolush vs Bronstein 0-1401944USSR ChampionshipA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
24. Bronstein vs Alatortsev 0-1391944USSR ChampionshipC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
25. Lisitsin vs Bronstein  ½-½461944USSR ChampionshipE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
 page 1 of 88; games 1-25 of 2,179  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Bronstein wins | Bronstein loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 34 OF 43 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  MaxxLange: ya gotta admit, he has a point....Jesus Christ did not seem to be a real big fan of Capitalism, according to the Big Book where he talks about giving away all your stuff to the poor and so on
Jan-21-11  bronkenstein: You are free to find creative aspects in even , lessay , washing the dishes ,)

And i would surely be the last one to argue against that .

Jan-23-11  bronkenstein: MaxxLange: ya gotta admit, he has a point....Jesus Christ did not seem to be a real big fan of Capitalism, according to the Big Book where he talks about giving away all your stuff to the poor and so onxxLange

That little book, The Bible (which , btw , translates virtually as THE Book ) was used quite cleverly and quite often by kings and presidents to make ppl kill each other or pay taxes ( ofc they would use even some chess manual if they only could incorporate it in their hypnopropaganda somehow ).

Speaking of religious themes , Carlsen is about to break 2500 pages on his page ... JEEZ !

We `re not working hard enough obviously -.- ... off to check Tal and Tartakover , bye.

Jan-30-11  Everett: IMHO the saddest thing about Bronstein's career is that he gave no indication of moving past his relations with Botvinnik. His various writings exposes a very conflicted person.

Both were outstanding chess-players, who's styles differed in various ways; most markedly in the emphasis of play vs. analysis. They both were capable in these areas, yet Botvinnik's strength seemed to be opening plans and endgame analysis. He was a thinker, a studier, a researcher and a player. Bronstein, however, was mostly a player, and only seemed to enjoy those other rolls in passing and/or when absolutely necessary.

<keypusher> As I stated, sure my cut-off was arbitrary. Interesting that my hunch seems to have some truth to it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: I read one account of Bronstein who had a game as White. He sat there for an hour before making his first move. When asked about it, Bronstein replied, "I was just thinking about all of the possibilities!" His opponent was mind jobbed and lost the game! I bet that Bronstein scared the crap out of the Soviet Politboro. How do you control something you absolutely do NOT understand? Spasibo, Grandmaster Bronstein and Happy Birthday where ever you are. You will ALWAYS be a Champion for Chess, for Russia and for me.
Feb-19-11  apollokonrad: Bronstein will always be one of my favourite chess players, for his boundless imagination and creativity, will to fight, depth of ideas (that sometimes even chess engines cannot comprehend), and most of all, for his principles at a time when politics was having its heyday in the defunct Soviet Union. He was not only a chess player, he was a wonderful personality. I read a lot about him, I have most of his books - and as point of fact, I downloaded all these kibitzes, all 34 pages of it, and pasted everything on MS Word. Thanks for the inputs, gentlemen, I shall learn more about Bronstein because of this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: happy birthday David.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. <David Bronstein>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: his quotes, in memory of Devik..

"The essence of chess is thinking about what chess is."

"The most powerful weapon in chess is to have the next move."

"Chess is imagination."

"There is not a single true chessplayer in the world whose heart does not beat faster at the mere sound of such long beloved and familiar words as 'gambit games'."

"It is my style to take my opponent and myself onto unknown grounds. A game of chess is not an examination of knowledge; it is a battle of nerves."

"To play a game of chess is really just one way of carrying on an argument."

"But whatever the transient fashion in openings, the Spanish Game itself is always in fashion. Because of all the ways known in chess theory of crossing the equator, this one is the best."

"When you play the Ruy Lopez, it's like milking a cow."

"The King’s Indian is a greater risk for black than the King’s Gambit for white."

"It is a well-known fact that during a practical game, players do not check variations entirely but just trust each other."

"There were good moves and there were bad moves, but the most essential was missing - the player who put all the good moves into one plan." (on the 23rd game of his 1951 World Championship match)

"Backing up for a running jump, the initiative has passed to Black."

"Having made a mistake or inexact move, you should not think 'everything is lost', and be vexed, but quickly orientate yourself, and in the new situation, look for a new plan."

"I had the pleasure of introducing Boris Spassky to the great American player (Fischer). They became friends instantly and have remained so until this day."

"How does Tal win? It is very simple: he places his pieces in the center and he sacrifices them somewhere."

"If one side were to play concretely, however, while the other side contented himself with following the rules, the winner would not be difficult to predict..."

"Chess miracles, as opposed to the other sort, still happen on occasion, thanks to the players' fantasies and the game's endless possibilities."

"Three small mistakes equate to one losing mistake, so limit yourself to two small mistakes."

"Beauty is the most important aspect of chess. We are passing our knowledge and our understanding of beauty to the next generations, and thus life goes on forever."

"Botvinnik cheated by excluding Boleslavsky and Najdorf from the 1948 World Championship. Boleslavsky was more deserving than Smyslov, but Botvinnik decided the one Soviet Jew was enough --- him."

"The quality of a game lays in how much originality, fighting spirit, beauty the player brings --- not technique."

"It has long been known that if the game of chess could talk, it would say: 'Love me with black! Anyone will love me with white.'"

"Chess should be fun."

"Sometimes it makes sense to sacrifice material to lure enemy king into the open." (on Bronstein-Euwe Candidates' Tournament game in 1953 Neuhausen/Zurich)

"The chess army consists of eight pawns and seven pieces. Yes, seven pieces as the king has its own code of conduct."

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: continuation..

"Probably, if I were to play more safely, I would make more points in every tournament but then, where is the joy in that?"

"I believe that my greatest quality in the chess world is that I never play routine games."

"We should never forget that we are all one big family of chess amateurs!"

"The bitterness of defeat will always be forgotten at the joyous moment of victory."

"Not all old moves are by any means old."

"That's the way I play. I create and work like a painter producing a picture." (on his long think to decide on his first move)

"The shortest way to a day of rest for the chess pieces is a sharp combination!"

"In every combination, there is a piece which works harder than the others. The only problem is how to find this piece and put it to work!"

"Since both Tal and I suffer from the habit of losing in the first round, neither of us was against starting the tournament with a half-point. A half-point from which we would build success." (on their drawn game in 1964 Amsterdam Interzonal Tournament)

"Today rapid chess is played for the most part by the very same people who are good at conventional chess. I hold to the bold idea that entirely different people will be good at quickplay: a new generation who won't even understand why chess should be played slowly."

"Every grandmaster has his style, his virtues, his shortcomings."

"The closer a player is to time trouble, the less he thinks about strategy and the more about tactics."

"The best move seen at first glance should not be analyzed extensively; it simply must be a good move."

"If your library is crammed with weighty tournament bulletins and if millions of chess combinations are preserved in these yellowing volumes, then, willingly or unwillingly, your heart too cannot remain indifferent to them; you too are afflicted with an unquenchable thirst for exploration and chess adventures." (in his book 200 Open Games)

"At first you see the position clearly, within three moves it becomes somewhat like in a fog. And within five moves you only see the contours of the position."

"In a winning position it is easy to play pretty moves."

"When evaluating a chess position, the first thing we shall look at is the position of the Kings."

"I was wondering what to play." (when asked why he spent 50 minutes on his very first move!)

"In time trouble everybody grabs pawns."

"Computers teach man not to fear difficult positions."

"Burn all the books! Chess shouldn't be a science."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: David Bronstein, my chess hero. thanks for the quotes, <wordfunph>
Feb-19-11  parisattack: Wonderful compilation <Wordfunph> Thanks for taking the time, sharing.
Feb-19-11  laskereshevsky: One of my chess-hero.....

I meet him several years ago, in my younghood, but at the time i didnt yet understand how much big he was.....

what a pitty that I was able only to ask him an autograph with only few words added.....

Feb-19-11  laskereshevsky: BTW,

i saw in the same day Botvinnik, Smislov, Bronstein, Miles and Anand...and other 20/30 GMs/IMs....

Changing same words with a lot of them...(!)

JEEEEE! what an emotional day in my life.

Feb-19-11  Everett: For those fans of mythology, perhaps having read "Trickster Makes this World" by Lewis Hyde, it is easy to see Bronstein as a trickster figure. He pushed the boundaries of what is possible, intentionally made things difficult on the board (and perhaps in life) to test and sharpen his imagination. There are more competitive and rigorous practitioners of chess, but few can match his playfulness.

Some of his wins are legendary, as well as his losses. Please check out the meager collection I put together on his draws and losses. I feel there are some very interesting positions which Bronstein would not begrudge us to study!

Game Collection: Bronstein's Remarkable Draws and Losses

I hope to add some more to it. Please feel free to point me in the direction more imaginative gems that show Bronstein coming up short, especially draws.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Thanks for the quotes <wordfunph>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Hi all

I am tempted to order "The Sorcerer's apprentic" from Amazon:

Do you think it is a good book?!
Also apparently there is a deal if you get it with:

"Questions of Modern Chess Theory: A Soviet Classic (Chess Classics) [Paperback]"

Which seems to have good reviews. Do any of you have this book as well?!

Premium Chessgames Member
  theagenbiteofinwit: Hey <kingscrusher>. It's an excellent book. 222 games, and the most touching, emotional introduction to a chess book I've every seen. Bronstein is probably my favorite old player. Not too dry like Botvinnik, not too crazy like Tal...just right.

I love it.

BTW. Someone emailed me one of your videos. I was showing some guys at the club the Nimzowitsch gambit and they thought I was the only person on Earth who played such a thing.

Then one of the guys who apparently follows your videos religiously saw you talking about it.

It is my favorite answer to the French.

Mar-06-11  ewan14: '' The Sorcerer's ( ? ) Apprentice ''

I think it is a wonderful book , he was such a creative , artistic player

and I enjoy the background he gives about some of the games

On a more serious note the documents relating to his father's treatment by Stalin etc are really horrifying !

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: My bronstein video annotation playlist - many thanks to Jessicafischerqueen:

Mar-08-11  bronkenstein: 'The judge Opochensky gave the start sign , and 4 D-pawns , 2 C-pawns and one E pawn moved forward ' (from the very beginning of his 'The Zurich Grandmasters Tournament ').

Lovely opening of a lovely book :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <Botvinnik-Bronstein 1951>

Live film footage of the World Championship Match:

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Looked recently at the Zurich book again, and in particular the race for first between the 20th and 26th rounds.

In the 20th Round, Bronstein won a fine game over Szabo. It was to be his last win while first place was still in doubt. Keres and Reshevsky also won, while Smyslov played a short draw with Boleslavsky. With 20 rounds down and ten to go, Smylov led with 12 1/2, Reshevsky had 12, Bronstein had 11 1/2 and Keres had 10 1/2. All still had a bye.

In rounds 21 and 22 Bronstein faced the tail-enders, Euwe and Stahlberg. It was a chance to move up, but he only got two draws. Against Stahlberg, in fact, he avoided defeat only by a miracle.

Also in Round 21, Keres crushed Boleslavsky and Reshevsky drew with Stahlberg -- Bronstein chastised the American in the tournament book for his lack of dynamism with Black. Nevertheless, it was good enough to put Reshevsky in a tie for first. Smyslov suffered his only loss of the tournament, to Kotov.

In Round 22, Smyslov bounced back to beat Geller, Reshevsky beat Boleslavsky, and Keres drew a tough battle with Kotov.

In Round 23, Bronstein had a confusing, difficult draw with Boleslavsky. Smyslov had his bye, Keres beat Geller, and Reshevsky damaged his own cause by losing to Kotov from a superior position. So, after 23 rounds, Smyslov and Reshevsky had 13 1/2 (with Smyslov holding the "bye" advantage), and Bronstein and Keres both had 13. Obviously first place was still very much still in play.

But in Round 24, with White against Kotov, Bronstein drew in 17 moves! If he had said the leaders of the Soviet delegation made him do it, I would probably believe it, because frankly drawing in 17 moves at such a critical phase of the tournament is disgraceful. In the tournament book he wrote, "White's try for advantage was made with too cautious, and therefore harmless, means." Smyslov scored his famous win over Keres, and Reshevsky damaged himself further by blowing a clearly won ending against Geller.

In Round 25 came Bronstein's loss to Geller, discussed at length in "Treachery at Zurich." I won't rehash this here except to say that this is where Bronstein's late-life apologia is least convincing. Geller was in next to last place. Bronstein was tied for second; if Smyslov suddenly collapsed (remember, this was supposed to be a real possibility -- it's the whole rationale for the Soviet delegation's fixing efforts Bronstein alleged in 64), 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.

In the tournament book, Bronstein wrote of Smyslov-Reshevsky and Geller-Bronstein: <[These games] decided first prize, for all practical purposes. Smyslov displayed all his best qualities, while I played this important game with Geller in a manner far beneath any possible criticism.>

In this round, Keres had the bye, and Smyslov beat Reshevsky.

So, after 25 rounds, Smyslov was definitely in the driver's seat. He had 15 1/2 and had already had his bye. Reshevsky had 14, but had the bye still to go, and Bronstein was on 13 1/2, with the bye still to go. Keres had 13 and was all but out of it. But Bronstein had White against Smyslov (and Reshevsky had White against Keres). So, if Bronstein had won, he would still have been just one point behind, with three games for him and four games for Smyslov. Certainly not an enviable position, but a chance.

But he drew in 21 moves. Meanwhile Reshevsky drew with Keres in 14, and was strongly criticized by Bronstein for taking a draw in a superior position. The only thing you can say with any certainty about Bronstein-Smyslov was that White was playing very determinedly for a draw. So either Bronstein had given up, or he was pressured. Smyslov, in his response to the 64 article, said that Bronstein prearranged the draw with him because he wanted to make sure he finished second and got an automatic seed into the next Candidates tournament. This may be true: Bronstein (despite his "shame" when Reshevsky supposedly cleared his throat when Bronstein played 4.Bxc6 against Smyslov) nevertheless beat the American, his rival for second place, in Round 28 (with 4.Ba4).

In Round 27, Keres and Bronstein met. Keres launched the Four Pawns Attack against the King's Indian, and got a promising game, but they drew in 21 games. Smyslov drew his last four. Bronstein, as noted, beat Reshevsky for the second time in Round 28. Keres beat Gligoric in the same round. In the end, Smyslov finished two points clear of the field, and Bronstein, Keres, and Reshevsky finished in a tie for 2-4. None of them got a seed into the next Candidates tournament, though, AFAIK.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <None of them got a seed into the next Candidates tournament, though, ...>

Well, Keres and Bronstein took the trip to Goetheborg, 1956 Interzonal as a very welcome extra opportunity to play in the West. (According to Brostein, it was Keres who made him wake up and see the light of day on this.)

Apparently, FIDE offered one seeded spot to the next Candidates, to be fought over by Keres, Bronstein, and Reshevsky. Since Keres and Bronstein decided that a tournament in Goetheborg actually sounded kind of nice, they vacated their claims to the one spot to Sammy Rehevsky. But he apparently did not pursue it either.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: As for the progress table of Zurich, 1953. The data that is missing for a real assessment is which games were adjourned, when and in which positions they were adjourned, and when they were finished.
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