Bronstein-Ljubojevic: A Walk On the Wild Side

Bronstein-Ljubojevic: A Walk On the Wild Side

NM GreenLaser
May 1, 2011, 12:00 AM |
11 | Amazing Games

David Bronstein (1924-2006) earned his international grandmaster title in 1950, the same year that Ljubomir Ljubojevic was born. In 1951, Bronstein lost his challenge for the World Championship by scoring 12-12 against Mikhail Botvinnik. In 1970 Ljubojevic became an IGM. The two met in Bronstein’s last interzonal at Petropolis in round 11, when Ljubojevic was leading the event. There were two interzonals that year with 18 players in each. Three players would qualify from each to participate in candidates matches. After the Bronstein-Ljubojevic game, Ljubojevic lost ground and finished in places 9-10 with 9/17, the same score as Boris Ivkov. Bronstein came in sixth with 10.5/17, just a half a point behind former world champion Smyslov. Henrique Mecking was in clear first place with 12/17. Efim Geller, Lev Polugaevsky, and Lajos Portisch scored 11.5 and had a playoff in Potoroz. Geller came in third as the other two qualified. The other interzonal was held in Leningrad. Viktor Korchnoi and Anatoly Karpov scored 13.5/17, while Robert Byrne scored 12.5 to qualify for the candidates matches.

The Bronstein-Ljubojevic game qualifies to be in the category of Amazing Games. It was truly a Walk On the Wild Side, which was a hit song by Brook Benton (pictured) in 1962. The players had styles that could lead their opponents, or themselves, into trouble. This was pleasing to the spectators, including the other players. One of the players in the same tournament was Paul Keres. His ideas are included in the notes. The opening was the Alekhine Defense. The Four Pawns Variation was played with the good, dubious, or exciting 6...c5. Bronstein, as White, enjoyed an advantage in space. He played to attack, even at the cost of a rook. This was something, the spectator Keres, who was also an attacking player, did not see the point of for awhile. The result of this game did not decide the fate of the line chosen. It would still be played and continued to be part of Ljubojevic’s practice. Why not? After all, we are still trying to figure this out at leisure. Over the board, even with preparation, it could feel wilder, as the nerves, new moves, and the clock challenge the memory.

 

 

 

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