On Bronstein's style...and the Stonewall

On Bronstein's style...and the Stonewall

Sep 30, 2012, 12:09 PM |

Recently, GM David Smerdon published a letter on chessvibes titled
" An Open Letter To The Stonewall". It is a very heartfelt letter in which he is deciding never to play the Stonewall again. Botvinnik used to play it with some success, and today, going through Bronstein's "A Sorcerer's Apprentice" (1st Edition, 1995), I found a very nice game against Vladimir Andreevich Makogonov.


                  Vladimir Andreevich Makogonov


Makogonov was a strong GM, with victories against some of the best players of his era, including Botvinnik, Bronstein, Smyslov, Keres, Boleslavsky, Flohr, Tolush and Taimanov. He was one of Garry Kasparov's first trainers, and he helped train Smyslov for his 1957 WC Match against Botvinnik, (which Smyslov won).






                          David Bronstein


I like Bronstein quite a bit, as a player and as a person. His chess style is imaginative, daring, courageous, technically sound and unique enough to be recognized. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that two of Bronstein's sources of inspiration are Morphy and Tartakower....

In his notes on a game against Semion Furman (who later became famous as Karpov's trainer), Bronstein tells that, after the Interzonal Tournament in 1955, Furman said to him, "I now know how you manage to win so many games. You maneuvre your pieces in such a way that the opponent can never attack them in one move and even if they can, there might be a hidden trick. Besides, you can see the intention of your opponent most of the time and act accordingly." Bronstein then says, "Of course he was right!"

The game we are talking about is the game Makogonov-Bronstein, USSR Championship, Leningrad 1947. 1947! Two years after WWII....Leningrad must have been in ruins. In his book, Bronstein talks about how sometimes the audience would be full of soldiers in their uniforms, so he felt he had to give them a dynamic, creative, entertaining game, and not just a technically good game.

So, to the game, and let us see if at some point we can discover Bronstein's style in it....It is a great game, and a great victory for the Dutch Stonewall...I can only hope that GM Smerdon sees this game and decides to play it, like Bronstein, on occasion.