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Frantisek Zita vs David Bronstein
Moscow-Prague (1946), Prague CSR, rd 6, Mar-12
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Double Fianchetto Attack (E64)  ·  0-1



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Given 48 times; par: 42 [what's this?]

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  LIFE Master AJ: Black to move, 17... '?'
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  LIFE Master AJ: 17...Rxa1!!! and 18...NxP/f2!!

This is game # 20, (page # 47) of the book, "The Golden Dozen," by Irving Chernev.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: According to Fine, White should play 15. bxa4, as 15...♘a4 leads to 16. ♘xa4 ♖xa4 17. ♘xc6! ♕xc6 18. e5 regaining the piece.
Feb-08-12  screwdriver: Nice game. On black's 28th move, I would've exchanged queens and had a superior endgame. But, Bronstein's choice to finish was quicker. Also, it looked like so many combinations almost worked besides the one he played. The practical problem is that white usually doesn't play his dark squared bishop to a1. Without this odd placement of the bishop, black can't get the necessary sacrifice to start things off. But I think black still would've ripped white open here with a different route.
Feb-08-12  sambo: 15. Ba1 seems completely unnatural and weak. <GrahamClayton: According to Fine, White should play 15. bxa4, as 15...a4 leads to 16. xa4 xa4 17. xc6! xc6 18. e5 regaining the piece.>

That seems good, or just b4.

Feb-29-12  paavoh: And a beautiful "flying" Queen in the end.
Aug-20-12  Conrad93: 18. Nxf2 is very nifty.
It's not as obvious as it appears.
Jan-16-16  bobbyperez: After 17...Rxa1, another combination happened!18.Rxa1 Nxf2!,white has five choices.First,19.Qe3 loses immediately to 19...Nxh3+.Second choice,19.Ndb5!? sets up a trap,but after 19...Nfxe4! , white's in trouble.Third choice, 19.Ncb5! saves some chances to win the game.Then the last two choices were:

a.19.Qxf2? Nxe4!
a1.20.Nxe4/20.Bxe4 21.Bxd4 wins the queen.
a2.20.Rxe4 Rxe4! 21.Nxe4/21.Bxe4 Bxd4

b.19.Kxf2? Nxb3! 20.Qd1(The Knight was pinned.)Nxa1 21.Qxa1 Qxd4+ 22.Kf1 Qxc3 and white,who was exchange up,became a piece down in this position.

But instead,Zita played 19.Re3,the best try,but he was lost in this game.Why did he lose?

There are three answers:

First,Zita has no dark-squared bishop that could defend the dark squares.But Bronstein has a dark-squared bishop that is very active.Second,his king was vulnerable.Third,the a7-g1 diagonal was opened so many pins would be dangerous at that diagonal.

Did you like this game?I knew this game before I opened this.I read Bronstein's chess book.I saw this game.

Well,you've seen the sixth best brilliancy of all time.But the game of the century(D.Byrne vs. R.Fischer) has the first best brilliancy of all time.In the game of the century,Fischer imitated Bronstein's move for a brilliancy.That move was Be6!!.I like Fischer and Bronstein.Fischer's favorite player,Bronstein,was almost strong as Fischer.

Just like this game

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The plan of 8 b3 and 9 Bb2 is considered inferior nowadays; one reason is the ease of Black counterplay with ..a5 and ..a4. 12 Qd2?! weakened e4 and d3; better was 12 Qc2 (12..Qxd4? 13 Na4).

Bronstein after 16..Ng4:
" of the most original and valuable ideas in the King's Indian Defense - is that the rook on a8 and and the bishop on c8 are splendidly developed, without making a single move and standing on their original squares."

A few days earlier Pachman had retreated his bishop to a1 in a similar manner against Bronstein and had been similarly punished. In fact, after 16 axb, the position was identical to Pachman-Bronstein except that Qd2 had been played instead of h3. 17 h3? lost by force; 17 Red1..Ne5 18 h3..h5 would have left Black with an advantage but with a lot of play left for both sides.

Sep-17-17  Vermit: I grew up with this game. It was in Golombek's "how to play chess."
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Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Mikhail Tal in his introduction to game six of his first match against Botvinnik:

"Which chess enthusiast is not familiar with David Bronstein's virtuoso combinations in his games against Pachman and Zita (Moscow vs. Prague match, 1946), in which the "inactive" bishop at g7 carried out its destructive work?"

"Life and Games," p. 188

Apr-23-23  Brenin: This game, with its dark square magic from Bronstein, is a bit too famous. Clearly 17 ... Rxa1 18 Rxa1 Nxf2 creates massive holes in White's position: the N cannot be taken, e.g. 19 Qxf2 Nd3, or 19 Kxf2 Nxb3, with a big advantage to Black. White's best defence is to concede a P and the better position with 18 hxg4 Rxb1 19 Rxb1 Bxg4.
Apr-23-23  mel gibson: Nothing stood out - it's a fairly closed position. I thought 17...Nxf2

Stockfish 15 says:

17. .. Rxa1

(17. .. Rxa1 (Ra8xa1 h3xg4 Ra1xb1 Re1xb1 Bc8xg4 b3-b4 Nc5-d7 Nd4-c2 Nd7-e5 Nc2-e3 Bg7-h6 c4-c5 d6xc5 b4-b5 Qb6-a5 f2-f4 Re8-d8 Qd2-c2 Bg4-e6 Kg1-h1 Rd8-d3 b5xc6 b7xc6 Ne3-d1 Rd3xg3 f4xe5 Bh6-f4 Rb1-b8+ Kg8-g7 Qc2-a4 Qa5xa4 Nc3xa4 Bf4xe5 Rb8-b1 c5-c4 Rb1-c1 Be6-g4 Nd1-f2 Bg4-e2 Nf2-h3 Rg3-d3 Nh3-g1 Rd3-d1 Rc1xd1 Be2xd1 Ng1-f3 Be5-f6 e4-e5 Bd1xa4 e5xf6+ Kg7xf6) +4.61/40 212)

score for Black +4.61 depth 40.

My move choice is close to a draw according to SF.

Apr-23-23  jrredfield: 17 ... Rxa1 totally escaped me. I kept looking for a Knight move like 17 ... Ne5 or 17 ... Nxf2. Then when I saw nothing really promising, I chose 17 ... Bh6. These appear to be drawish at best. Bring on Monday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Pretty spectacular, even after replaying the game multiple times. Knew this one and Saturday, 5/5 for the week. Only a fair result if you already know the difficult ones.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: A bit famous.
Apr-23-23  goodevans: <agb2002: A bit famous.> Maybe they should have presented us with N Gertsyk vs E Orekhov, 2010 instead?
Apr-23-23  thegoodanarchist: Baked Zita.
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  chrisowen: I quiffer its wo dug jah its lo Rxa1 against aqua its kong its a fig pug bubble vociferous bez its cog Rxa1 dud :)
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  ChessHigherCat: I looked at Nxf2 first but figured out it was best to eliminate the B first with RxBa1. Not only did I not anticipate 19. Re3, but even now I still don't really understand it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <goodevans: <agb2002: A bit famous.> Maybe they should have presented us with N Gertsyk vs E Orekhov, 2010 instead?> Can't speak for others but as an old King's Indian player I would have recognized the position instantly.
Apr-23-23  King.Arthur.Brazil: My idea is: 17...Rxa1 18. Rxa1 Nxf2 19. Qxf2 Nd3 20. Qe2 Qxd4+ 21. Kh1 Nxe1 22. Rxe1 Qxc3... or 17...Rxa1 18. Rxa1 Nxf2 19. Kxf2 Nxb3 20. Qd3 Bxd4+ 21. Kf1 Nxa1 22. Rxa1 Qb2 23. Qxd4 Qxa1+.

Maybe, White could answer differently like: 17...Rxa1 18. hxg4 Rxb1 19. Nxb1 Nxb3 20. Nxb3 Qxb3 21. Qxd6 Bxg4 22. e5 Qxc4, the advantage is not great. Other possibility is 19... Nxe4 20. Rxe4 Rxe4 21. Bxe4 Bxd4 22. Qc2 Bxg4 23. Nc3 Qb4!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: It took a while to understand why 17...Rxa1 is necessary instead of 17...Nxf2 directly. That's because white has 18 Na4 if 17...Nxf2, attacking the queen as well as protecting the d4 knight twice.

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  Breunor: I’m with Jim, I saw the basic combination but you have to see 17 Rxa1!
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