David Bronstein.3

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David Bronstein

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David Bronstein
Full name David Ionovich Bronstein
Country  Ukraine  Soviet Union
Born
February 19, 1924
Bila TserkvaUkrainian SSR
Died
December 5, 2006 (aged 82)
MinskBelarus
Title Grandmaster

David Ionovich Bronstein (Дави́д Ио́нович Бронште́йн; February 191924 – December 52006) was renowned as a leading chessgrandmaster and writer. Described as a creative genius and master of tactics by pundits the world over, Bronstein provided ample evidence that chess should be regarded as part science, part art.

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[edit]Early life

Bronstein was born in Bila TserkvaUkraine, into a Jewish family. He learned chess at age six from his grandfather. As a youth in Kiev, he was trained by the renowned International Master Alexander Konstantinopolsky. He was second in the Kiev Championship at age 15, and achieved the Soviet Master title at 16 for his second-place result in the 1940 Ukrainian Chess Championship, behind Isaac Boleslavsky, who became a very close friend and chess companion. Much later in life, Bronstein married Boleslavsky's daughter, Tatiana, in 1984.

After completing high school, his plans to study Mathematics at Kiev University in 1941 were interrupted by the eastern European spread of World War II. He did study for a time at Leningrad Polytechnical Institute after the war.

Judged unfit for military service, Bronstein spent the war in various menial jobs including reconstruction of war-damaged buildings. His father, Johonon, was imprisoned for several years in the Gulag without proper process or evidence, and later it was formally acknowledged there was no evidence that he had committed any crimes.

The rumor that Bronstein was related to the disgraced former Soviet Communist leader Leon Trotsky (whose real family name was Bronstein), was treated as unconfirmed but doubtful by Bronstein in his book The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1995). This rumor may explain the imprisonment of Bronstein's father.

[edit]Towards Grandmastership

With the tide turning towards an eventual Soviet war victory over the Nazi invaders, Bronstein was able to once again play some competitive chess, and he defeated Soviet championMikhail Botvinnik at the 1944 USSR Championship. Bronstein raised his skill dramatically to place third in the 1945 USSR Championship, and he won both his games played on board ten, helping the Soviet team to victory in the famous 1945 USSR vs. USA Radio Chess Match. He then competed successfully in several team matches, and gradually proved he belonged in the Soviet chess elite.

[edit]World Title Challenger (1948-1951)

Bronstein's first major international tournament success occurred at the Saltsjöbaden Interzonal of 1948, which he won. He earned his Grandmaster title in 1950, when FIDE, the World Chess Federation, formalized the process. His Interzonal win qualified him for the Candidates' Tournament of 1950 in Budapest. Bronstein became the eventual winner over Boleslavsky in a (Moscow) 1950 play-off, after the two tied in Budapest. The period 1945-50 saw a meteoric rise in Bronstein's development, as he reached the World Chess Championship challenge match, in 1951.

Bronstein is widely considered to be one of the greatest post-war players not to have won the World Championship (an accolade he shares with the likes of Paul Keres and Victor Korchnoi). He came agonizingly close to his goal when he drew the 1951 challenge match for the title of World Champion by a score of 12-12 with Mikhail Botvinnik, the reigning champion.

In a match where the lead swung back and forth several times, the two titans tested each other in a wide variety of opening formations, and every game (except the 24th) was full-blooded and played hard to a clear finish. Bronstein often avoided lines he had favored in earlier events, and frequently adopted Botvinnik's own preferred variations. This strategy seemed to catch Botvinnik by surprise; the champion had not played competitively for three years since winning the title in 1948. The quality of play was very high by both players, although Botvinnik would later complain of his own weak play. He only grudgingly acknowledged Bronstein's huge talent. Bronstein led by one point with two games to go, but lost the 23rd game and drew the 24th and final game. Under FIDE rules, the title remained with the holder, and Bronstein was never to come so close again. He later wrote that it was likely better that he didn't win the world title, since his artistic personality would have been at odds with Soviet bureaucracy.

Botvinnik wrote that Bronstein's failure was caused by a tendency to underestimate endgame technique, and a lack of ability in simple positions. But this seems unfair, given Botvinnik's enormous advantage in experience when dealing with adjourned positions, which largely decided the 1951 match, since Botvinnik won four virtually level endgames after the adjournments. Bronstein proved, both before and after that match, that he was a very skilled endgame player, and could handle any chess position as well as practically anyone else.

It has often been alleged that Bronstein was forced by the Soviet authorities to throw the match to allow Botvinnik to win. Similarly, in the 1953 Candidates' Tournament at Neuhausen andZurich, it has been speculated that there was pressure on the top non-Russian Soviets, Keres and Bronstein, to allow Vasily Smyslov to win. Even in the wake of glasnost, however, Bronstein never fully confirmed these rumors in his public statements or writings, admitting only to 'strong psychological pressure' being applied.

[edit]Career after 1951

David Bronstein
David Bronstein

Bronstein challenged throughout in Switzerland, and finished tied for second through fourth places, together with Keres and Samuel Reshevsky. This result qualified him directly for the 1955 Goteborg Interzonal, which he won with an unbeaten score. From there it was on to another near miss in the 1956 Candidates' tournament in Amsterdam, where he wound up in a large tie for third through seventh places, behind winner Smyslov and runner-up Keres.

Bronstein had to qualify for the 1958 Interzonal, and did so by placing third at the USSR Championship, Riga 1958. At the 1958 Interzonal inPortorož, Bronstein, who had been picked as pre-event favorite by Bobby Fischer, missed moving on to the 1959 Candidates' by half a point, dropping a last-round game to the much weaker Filipino Rodolfo Tan Cardoso, when the power failed during the game, and he was unable to regain concentration. Bronstein missed qualification at the Soviet Zonal stage for the 1962 cycle. Then at the Amsterdam 1964 Interzonal, Bronstein scored very well, but only three Soviets could advance, by a FIDE rule, and he finished behind countrymen Smyslov, Mikhail Tal, andBoris Spassky, who finished as the joint winners, along with Larsen. His last Interzonal was Petropolis 1973, where at age 49 he placed a solid sixth, but did not advance further.

He took many first prizes in tournaments, among the most notable being the Soviet Chess Championships of 1948 (jointly with Alexander Kotov) and 1949 (jointly with Smyslov). He also tied for second place at the Soviet Championships of 1957 and 1964-65. He tied first with Mark Taimanov at the World Students' Championship in 1952 at Liverpool. Bronstein was also a six times winner of the Moscow Championships, and represented the USSR at the Olympiads of 1952, 1954, 1956 and 1958, winning board prizes at each of them, and losing just one of his 49 games in those events. Along the way he won four Olympiad team gold medals. In the 1954 team match against the USA, held in New York, Bronstein scored an almost unheard-of sweep, at this level, of all four of his games on second board.

Further major tournament victories were achieved at Hastings 1953-4, Belgrade 1954, Gotha 1957, Moscow 1959, Szombathely 1966, East Berlin 1968, Dnepropetrovsk 1970, Sarajevo1971, Sandomierz 1976, Iwonicz Zdrój 1976, Budapest 1977, and Jūrmala 1978.

[edit]Legacy and later years

David Bronstein also wrote many chess books and articles, and had a regular chess column in the Soviet newspaper Izvestia for many years. He was perhaps most highly regarded for his authorship of Zurich International Chess Tournament 1953 (English translation 1979). This book was an enormous seller in the USSR, going through many reprints. More recently, he co-authored the autobiographical The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1995), with his friend Tom Furstenburg. Both have become landmarks in chess publishing history; Bronstein seeks to amplify the ideas behind the players' moves, rather than burdening the reader with pages of analysis of moves that never made it onto the scoresheet. Bronstein's romantic vision of chess was shown with his very successful adoption of the rarely-seen King's Gambit in top-level competition. His pioneering theoretical and practical work (along with fellow Ukrainians Boleslavsky and Efim Geller) in transforming the King's Indian Defence should be remembered, and is evidenced in his key contribution to the 1999 book, Bronstein on the King's Indian. Bronstein played an exceptionally wide variety of openings during his long career, on a scale comparable with anyone else who ever reached the top level.

Two more variations are named after him. In the Caro-Kann Defence, the Bronstein-Larsen Variation goes 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6. In the Scandinavian Defence, the Bronstein Variation goes 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6.

Bronstein refused to sign a group letter denouncing the 1976 defection of Viktor Korchnoi, and he paid a personal price for this independence, as his state-paid Master's stipend was suspended, and he was also barred from major tournaments for more than a year.

Bronstein was a chess visionary. He was an early advocate of speeding up competitive chess, and introduced a digital chess clock which adds a small time increment for each move made, a variant of which has become very popular in recent years. He challenged computer programs at every opportunity, usually achieving good results.

In later years, Bronstein continued to stay active in tournament play, often in Western Europe after the breakup of the USSR. He maintained a very good standard (jointly winning theHastings Swiss of 1994-5 at age 70), wrote several important chess books, and inspired young and old alike with endless simultaneous displays, a warm, gracious attitude, and glorious tales of his own, rich chess heritage. His health was in decline in his last couple of years, suffering from high blood pressure, and he died on December 52006 at MinskBelarus.

[edit]Notable chess games

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033554," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033554,">Sergei Belavenets vs David Bronstein, USSR Championship semi-final, Rostov-on-Don 1941, King's Indian Defence, Fianchetto Variation (E67), 0-1 The 17-year-old Bronstein meets the Chairman of the USSR Classification Committee, who had just awarded him the title of Master; the youth shows that it was the right decision!
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033633," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033633,">Ludek Pachman vs David Bronstein, tt Prague 1946, King's Indian Defence, Fianchetto Variation (E67), 0-1 A stunning original tactical onslaught which attracted worldwide acclaim.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033780," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033780,">David Bronstein vs Isaac Boleslavsky, Candidates' Playoff Match, Moscow 1950, game 1, Grunfeld Defence (D89), 1-0 Bronstein offers a far-seeing exchange sacrifice, which ties Black up, leading to a beautiful strategical win.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1032212," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1032212,">Mikhail Botvinnik vs David Bronstein, World Championship Match, Moscow 1951, Nimzo-Indian Defence, Rubinstein Variation (E47), 0-1 Although Bronstein had a slight minus record against Botvinnik, he beat Botvinnik several times with the Black pieces. Here's one of his wins from their 1951 World Championship match.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1032210," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1032210,">David Bronstein vs Mikhail Botvinnik, World Championship Match, Moscow 1951, game 22, Dutch Defence, Stonewall Variation (A91), 1-0 A very deep combination exploits Black's back-rank weakness, giving Bronstein a one-game lead with two to play.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033870," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033870,">Samuel Reshevsky vs David Bronstein, Zurich Candidates' 1953, King's Indian, Fianchetto Variation (E68), 0-1 Beforehand, Bronstein was ordered by Soviet chess authorities to win this crucial game, in order to stop Reshevsky's chances of winning the tournament. He gives it everything he has, and triumphs over stout defense. This game was chosen by grandmaster Ulf Andersson as his favourite game by another player and he analyses it in Learn from the Grandmasters.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033895," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033895,">David Bronstein vs Paul Keres, Goteborg Interzonal 1955, Nimzo-Indian Defence, Rubinstein Variation (E41), 1-0 A dramatic game between two attacking geniuses.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033948," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033948,">Itzak Aloni vs David Bronstein, Moscow Olympiad 1956, King's Indian Defence, Saemisch Variation (E85), 0-1 This virtuoso game sees Bronstein sacrifice three pawns to open queenside lines into Aloni's King position.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1262289," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1262289,">Stefan Brzozka vs David Bronstein, USSR 1963, Dutch Defence, Leningrad Variation (A88), 0-1 A surprising and deep positional breakthrough. The most interesting part of the game starts with White's 42nd move, trying to sacrifice an exchange in order to achieve a seemingly sterile blocked position.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1034538," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1034538,">Lev Polugaevsky vs David Bronstein, USSR 1971, English Opening, Symmetrical Variation (A34), 0-1 Bronstein offers an original, problematic pawn sacrifice, which Polugaevsky accepts, leaving him tied up for the rest of the game; Bronstein converts his positional advantage with deep tactics.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1034661," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1034661,">David Bronstein vs Ljubomir Ljubojevic, Petropolis Interzonal 1973, Alekhine's Defence, Four Pawns' Attack (B03), 1-0 A long-range rook sacrifice eventually brings home the point in scintillating style to win the First Brilliancy Prize.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1034937," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1034937,">David Bronstein vs Viktor Kupreichik, USSR Championship sem-final, Minsk 1983, King's Indian Defence (E90), 1-0 Kupreichik goes toe-to-toe with Bronstein in the King's Indian, and the old master shows the young one a trick or two!
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1034951," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1034951,">David Bronstein vs Ivan Sokolov, Pancevo 1987, Grunfeld Defence, Russian Variation (D98), 1-0 Another young master experiences Bronstein's aging but potent chess powers.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1034995," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1034995,">Stuart Conquest vs David Bronstein, London 1989, Caro-Kann Defence (B10), 0-1 A dazzling tactical display leaves White helpless in only 26 moves.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; -webkit-background-clip: initial; -webkit-background-origin: initial; background-color: initial; padding-right: 13px; color: #3366bb; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1035015," rel="nofollow" href="http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1035015,">David Bronstein vs Walter Browne, Reykjavik 1990, Sicilian Defence, Najdorf Variation (B99), 1-0 In a very deep theoretical variation, Bronstein comes up with some new ideas, and even Najdorf guru Browne, a six-time U.S. champion, can't find his way.

[edit]Sample game

Image:chess zhor 26.png
Image:chess zver 26.png a8 b8 ql c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 Image:chess zver 26.png
a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 pd h7
a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 kd