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David Bronstein vs Gideon Stahlberg
Budapest Candidates (1950), Budapest HUN, rd 8, Apr-24
French Defense: Alekhine-Chatard Attack. Breyer Variation (C13)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-01-05  Resignation Trap: Round eight, and Bronstein's second loss in this tournament! Things were not looking so well for Devik.

Here is Botvinnik's summary of this game: "French, Chatard. Stahlberg went in for a dubious exchange (rook?) sacrifice. 'Br' did not risk clinging on to the material, evidently fearing a preparation, and played for simplification. If Stahlberg had played 18...gxf6, things would have been unclear. After this 'Br' played very subtly, undermined the central position of the knight, and by the time scramble had faint winning chances. When Stahlberg 'offered' a draw by repetition of moves, 'Br' began playing 'for a win', in time trouble made a mistake, an oversight, and lost. Thus, after a surprise in the opening, he lacks strength in time trouble - and makes mistakes!"

Aug-14-07  amntony: A good demonstration of the blocking nature of the French Defence and using the knight aggressively by Stahlberg :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: The 'repetition of moves' is probably after 42.-,Nd6, where White could play safe with 43.Rd3,Ne5 etc. I think 34.R1f2 may be the losing mistake, it should have been 34.R5f2
Mar-10-11  shalgo: Botvinnik, in his notes to Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1954, suggests an exchange sacrifice for Black at move 17. He adds: "Admittedly, even then it is not so easy to occupy the d5-square with a knight, which is essential if one is to have any hope of fighting successfully with Q + K against Q + R (with the exposed white king). Incidentally, successful exchange sacrifices of this type have occurred a number of times in the games of Stahlberg."

I haven't been able to find any Stahlberg games that fit this description exactly, but this one is close--in the position at move 24, he has a powerful knight at d4 (instead of d5) and an exposed White king as compensation for the Exchange.

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A knight on d4 (for Black) is of course even better than one on d5--perhaps the quote (from the New in Chess book on the Botvinnik-Smyslov matches) includes an error in translating from descriptive notation?

Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: 32.Rdf4 is overambitious and 34.R1f2 is a terrible mistake: Bronstein somehow didn't realize how fast the d-pawn would move. Almost any other move should hold.
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