Learning from Masters: David Bronstein. Part two.

Learning from Masters: David Bronstein. Part two.

| 13 | Tactics

If you excuse my liberty, I would like to slightly alter the iconic Coca-Cola jingle:

Whenever there's a pool, there's always a thirst. Whenever there is school, there'll always be homework. Whenever there's a beat, there's always a drum. Whenever there's King's Gambit, there's always Bronstein!

(the original can be seen here:

Indeed one of the oldest known openings - King's Gambit - should thank David Bronstein for its presence in modern tournaments.  While being by far the most popular opening for about 300 years, it started losing its appeal in the beginning of the 20th century. One of the strongest players of his time, GM Tarrasch even pronounced the opening "a decisive mistake" and wrote that "it is almost madness to play the King's Gambit."  As a result, one of the most romantic openings virtually disappeared from the games of top chess players.  A big fan of the King's Gambit, GM Rudolf Spielmann even wrote an article aptly named "From the Sickbed of the King's Gambit."

But the King's Gambit didn't die.  It was just awaiting its Knight in Shining Armor. And the Knight, named David Bronsein, "single handedly brought the opening back to respectability in modern play" (the quote from wikipedia).

Let's see some games and enjoy Bronstein's unlimited creativity!

The following gem makes a very strong impression thanks to the amazing energy of the White pieces supported by a cascade of sacrifices.

(Just like in most of my articles I give you a chance to test your tactical skills, so the games are given as a Quiz.  Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list.")



Bronstein's opponent in the following game was a long time friend and second of Michael Tal. White's unexpected shot demonstrates why Bronstein earned a nickname "tricky David."
This game of two magicians shows that even endgames in the King's Gambit are extremely sharp.
The last two miniatures don't have mind-boggling sacrifices. They just prove that the Black King can never feel safe in the King's Gambit!
David Bronstein was a very modest person and his whole life was devoted to chess.  As far as I know, there is no one single tournament in the World called the David Bronstein Memorial (I'll be happy to learn that I am wrong here).  If you can play the King's Indian Defense or the King's Gambit in your next game (even if it is just a blitz), it will be the best tribute to the great artist!
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