GM David Bronstein was born on February 19, 1924.

GM David Bronstein was born on February 19, 1924. One of the strongest players of the mid-twentieth century, he narrowly missed becoming the world champion in 1951, drawing the match with Mikhail Botvinnik 12-12 (so the title stayed with the holder).

David Bronstein in 1968 | Photo: Erich Koch, Wikipedia)

David Ionovich Bronstein (Russian: Дави́д Ио́нович Бронште́йн; February 19, 1924 – December 5, 2006) was a Soviet chess player. Awarded the title of International Grandmaster by FIDE in 1950, he narrowly missed becoming World Chess Champion in 1951. Bronstein was one of the world’s strongest players from the mid-1940s into the mid-1970s, and was described by his peers as a creative genius and master of tactics. Also a renowned chess writer, his book Zurich International Chess Tournament 1953 is widely considered one of the greatest chess books ever written.

David Ionovics Bronstejn (oroszul: Дави́д Ио́нович Бронште́йн, (Bila Cerkva, 1924. február 19. – Minszk, 2006. december 5.) szovjet, orosz, ukrán sakkozó, nemzetközi nagymester, világbajnoki döntős, négyszeres olimpiai bajnok, kétszeres szovjet bajnok, teoretikus, sakk szakíró. Az 1940-es évek második felétől az 1970-es évek közepéig a világ egyik legerősebb sakkozójának számított. Két sakkvilágbajnoki zónaközi döntőt is nyert (Saltsjöbaden, 1948 és Göteborg, 1955). 1951-ben a Mihail Botvinnik elleni világbajnoki párosmérkőzésen 12–12 arányú döntetlent ért el. Elismert szakíró, a Zurich International Chess Tournament 1953 című könyvét a világ valaha írt legjobb sakk könyvei között tartják számon.


Az 1951-es sakkvilágbajnokság a Nemzetközi Sakkszövetség (FIDE) által szervezett 24 játszmás párosmérkőzés, amelyre a címvédő szovjet Mihail Botvinnik és a kihívó szovjet David Bronstejn között Szovjetunióban, Moszkvában került sor 1951. március 15. – május 11. között. A verseny helyszíne a moszkvai Csajkovszkij Koncertterem volt. A bírói tisztet Karel Opocensky cseh nemzetközi mester és Gideon Stahlberg svéd-argentin nemzetközi nagymester látta el.
Ez volt az első párosmérkőzés, amelyre a FIDE új szabályai szerint, a kihívó személyének versenyeken történő kiválasztása alapján került sor.
Mihail Botvinnik megvédte világbajnoki címét, miután a mérkőzés 12–12 arányú döntetlennel ért véget, és a világbajnokság szabálya szerint ez az eredmény a világbajnok címének megvédését jelentette akkor

[Event “Botvinnik – Bronstein World Championship Match”]
[Site “Moscow URS”]
[Date “1951.05.06”]
[EventDate “?”]
[Round “22”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “David Bronstein”]
[Black “Mikhail Botvinnik”]
[ECO “A91”]
[WhiteElo “”]
[BlackElo “”]
[PlyCount “75”]

1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nc3 O-O 6.e3 d5 7.Nge2 c6 8.b3 Ne4 9.O-O Nd7 10.Bb2 Ndf6 11.Qd3 g5 12.cxd5 exd5 13.f3 Nxc3 14.Bxc3 g4 15.fxg4 Nxg4 16.Bh3 Nh6 17.Nf4 Bd6 18.b4 a6 19.a4 Qe7 20.Rab1 b5 21.Bg2 Ng4 22.Bd2 Nf6 23.Rb2 Bd7 24.Ra1 Ne4 25.Be1 Rfe8 26.Qb3 Kh8 27.Rba2 Qf8 28.Nd3 Rab8 29.axb5 axb5 30.Ra7 Re7 31.Ne5 Be8 32.g4! { This move is featured in the chapter “Improving the Worst-Place Piece” in “Secrets of Chess Intuition” by Adrian Mikhalchishin and Alexander Beliavsky. White offers a pawn to get his bad bishop into the frey. } 32…fxg4 33.Bxe4 dxe4 34.Bh4 Rxe5 ( 34…Rg7 35.Qe6 { with Bf6 coming } ) 35.dxe5 Bxe5 36.Rf1 Qg8 37.Bg3! { The star move, and not easily found since White has many forcing moves and this move is also a retreat. } 37…Bg7 ( 37…Qxb3 38.Bxe5+ ) 38.Qxg8+ { The Rb8 is en prise. } 1-0

[Event “Botvinnik – Bronstein World Championship Match”]
[Site “Moscow URS”]
[Date “1951.05.08”]
[EventDate “?”]
[Round “23”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “Mikhail Botvinnik”]
[Black “David Bronstein”]
[ECO “E60”]
[WhiteElo “”]
[BlackElo “”]
[PlyCount “113”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c6 4.Bg2 d5 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Nh3 Bxh3 8.Bxh3 Nc6 9.Bg2 e6 10.e3 O-O 11.Bd2 Rc8 12.O-O Nd7 13.Ne2 Qb6 14.Bc3 Rfd8 15.Nf4 Nf6 16.Qb3 Ne4 17.Qxb6 axb6 18.Be1 Na5 19.Nd3 Bf8 20.f3 Nd6 21.Bf2 Bh6 22.Rac1 Nac4 23.Rfe1 Na5 24.Kf1 Bg7 25.g4 Nc6 26.b3 Nb5 27.Ke2 Bf8 28.a4 Nc7 29.Bg3 Na6 30.Bf1 f6 31.Red1 Na5 32.Rxc8 Rxc8 33.Rc1 Rxc1 34.Nxc1 Ba3 35.Kd1 Bxc1 36.Kxc1 Nxb3+ 37.Kc2 Na5 38.Kc3 Kf7 39.e4 f5 40.gxf5 gxf5 41.Bd3 Kg6 42.Bd6 Nc6 43.Bb1 Kf6 44.Bg3 fxe4 45.fxe4 h6 46.Bf4 h5 47.exd5 exd5 48.h4 Nab8 49.Bg5+ Kf7 50.Bf5 Na7 51.Bf4 Nbc6 52.Bd3 Nc8 53.Be2 Kg6 54.Bd3+ Kf6 55.Be2 Kg6 56.Bf3 N6e7 57.Bg5 1-0

[Event “World Championship 19th”]
[Site “Moscow”]
[Date “1951.??.??”]
[Round “24”]
[White “Bronstein, David I”]
[Black “Botvinnik, Mikhail”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[WhiteElo “”]
[BlackElo “”]
[ECO “D44”]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.a4 Bb4 7.e4 c5 8.Bxc4 cxd4
9.Nxd4 h6 10.Be3 Nxe4 11.O-O Nf6 12.Qf3 O-O 13.Rad1 Qe7 14.Rfe1 Nc6 15.Qg3 Kh8
16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.Bd4 Rd8 18.Rd3 Bb7 19.Ree3 Rxd4 20.Rxd4 Bc5 21.Rd1 Bxe3 22.Qxe3 1/2-1/2

[Event “Petropolis Interzonal”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “1973.08.07”]
[Round “11”]
[White “Bronstein, David I”]
[Black “Ljubojevic, Ljubomir”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “B03”]
[WhiteElo “2585”]
[BlackElo “2570”]
[Annotator “Johannes Fischer”]
[PlyCount “81”]
[EventDate “1973.07.23”]
[EventType “tourn”]
[EventRounds “17”]
[EventCountry “BRA”]
[EventCategory “12”]
[SourceTitle “IZT”]
[Source “ChessBase”]
[SourceDate “1999.07.01”]
[SourceVersion “1”]
[SourceVersionDate “1999.07.01”]
[SourceQuality “1”]

{A lot of top players annotated this game, one of them was Paul Keres. In his
book “Power Chess: Great Grandmaster Battles from Russia” he writes: “If I
were asked to name the most prolific modern grandmaster in terms of innovative
ideas, I would name neither Fischer, Spassky, Larsen or Petrosian, but…
Bronstein! I speak of new ideas and variations not only on the chessboard but
in many other aspects of the game as well. … But Bronstein’s most
interesting and valuable ideas are still produced on the chessboard. I had the
pleasure of watching him play at the Interzonal tournament in Petropolis,
where among his many magnificent battles his brilliant game against Ljubojevic
deserves special mention. Bronstein’s rook sacrifice on move sixteen was a
tremendous surprise, and during the game it took me quite a while to find the
point of it.”} 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. c4 Nb6 5. f4 dxe5 6. fxe5 c5 7.
d5 e6 8. Nc3 exd5 9. cxd5 c4 10. Nf3 Bg4 11. Qd4 Bxf3 12. gxf3 Bb4 13. Bxc4 O-O
14. Rg1 g6 $5 {This move is a novelty. Ljubojevic had played this position
before – with White against Honfi, in Cacak 1971. White won that game with a
swift and brutal mating attack:} (14… Qc7 15. e6 f6 16. Bh6 Qxc4 17. Rxg7+
Kh8 18. Rg8+ {and Black is mated.}) 15. Bg5 Qc7 {[#] And now? Black attacks
the bishop on c4 and threatens 16…Bc5, winning a rook.} 16. Bb3 $1 {Weiß
gibt einen ganzen Turm, um auf Angriff zu spielen.} Bc5 17. Qf4 Bxg1 18. d6 Qc8
19. Ke2 $6 {This king move is perhaps a bit too creative. Later analyses
showed that} (19. O-O-O {is better. After e.g.} N8d7 20. Rxg1 Nc5 21. Rd1 Nxb3+
22. axb3 Qe6 {the engines claim a slight plus for White.}) 19… Bc5 $2 ({
Better was} 19… Qc5 {z.B.} 20. e6 N8d7 21. exf7+ Kg7 22. Ne4 Qb5+ 23. Ke1 Nd5
24. Qd2 N5f6 25. Bh6+ Kh8 26. Nxf6 Nxf6 27. Qc3 Qf5 28. Rd1 {and in this
confusing position Black should be able to hold and keep an advantage. But as
Keres writes: “The character of the position makes exhaustive analysis
extremely difficult. … A position like this is to be played to the end, not
analyzed to death!”}) 20. Ne4 N8d7 21. Rc1 {A quiet move that prepares another
sacrifice.} Qc6 22. Rxc5 $1 Nxc5 23. Nf6+ Kh8 24. Qh4 {[#] Weiß hat einen
ganzen Turm und eine Qualität weniger und sein König steht exponiert, aber
steht auf Gewinn. Schwarz kann den weißen Angriff nicht abwehren.} {White is
a rook and an exchange down and his king is exposed but he is winning because
Black cannot parry White’s attack.} Qb5+ 25. Ke3 h5 26. Nxh5 Qxb3+ {A
desparate sacrifice.} 27. axb3 Nd5+ 28. Kd4 Ne6+ 29. Kxd5 Nxg5 30. Nf6+ Kg7 31.
Qxg5 Rfd8 32. e6 fxe6+ 33. Kxe6 Rf8 34. d7 a5 35. Ng4 Ra6+ 36. Ke5 Rf5+ 37.
Qxf5 gxf5 38. d8=Q fxg4 39. Qd7+ Kh6 40. Qxb7 Rg6 41. f4 1-0

[Event “Gothenburg Interzonal”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “1955.08.25”]
[Round “7”]
[White “Bronstein, David I”]
[Black “Keres, Paul”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “E47”]
[Annotator “Johannes Fischer”]
[PlyCount “77”]
[EventDate “1955.09.15”]
[EventType “tourn”]
[EventRounds “21”]
[EventCountry “SWE”]
[Source “ChessBase”]
[SourceDate “1999.07.01”]
[SourceVersion “1”]
[SourceVersionDate “1999.07.01”]
[SourceQuality “1”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Bd3 b6 6. Nge2 Bb7 7. O-O cxd4 8.
exd4 O-O 9. d5 h6 10. Bc2 Na6 11. Nb5 $5 {Initiating a creative attack and the
sacrifice of two pawns. After the knight move White threatens to win the
bishop on b4 with 12.a3 and emphatically asks Black to take the white pawn on
d5.} exd5 12. a3 Be7 13. Ng3 dxc4 {[#]} 14. Bxh6 $5 {This surprising sacrifice
is the point of the eleventh move. Black has to defend precisely.} gxh6 15. Qd2
Nh7 $2 ({Later analyses showed that} 15… Nc5 {was better, e.g.} 16. Qxh6 Be4
17. Nxe4 Nfxe4 18. Qh5 d5 19. f3 Ng5 20. h4 Qd7 21. hxg5 Nd3 {with a confusing
position in which the engines like better for White.}) 16. Qxh6 f5 17. Nxf5
Rxf5 18. Bxf5 Nf8 19. Rad1 {Black has two pieces for rook and pawn but White
still has a strong attack. The engines consider this position as won for White.
} Bg5 20. Qh5 Qf6 21. Nd6 Bc6 22. Qg4 Kh8 23. Be4 {White eliminates the strong
bishop to avoid possible counterplay by Black.} Bh6 24. Bxc6 dxc6 25. Qxc4 Nc5
26. b4 Nce6 27. Qxc6 {Now White has three pawns and a rook for two minor
pieces – a clear material advantage.} Rb8 28. Ne4 Qg6 29. Rd6 Bg7 30. f4 Qg4
31. h3 Qe2 32. Ng3 Qe3+ 33. Kh2 Nd4 34. Qd5 Re8 35. Nh5 Ne2 36. Nxg7 Qg3+ 37.
Kh1 Nxf4 38. Qf3 Ne2 39. Rh6+ 1-0

[Event “World-ch18 Botvinnik-Bronstein +5-5=14”]
[Site “Moscow”]
[Date “1951.05.08”]
[Round “23”]
[White “Botvinnik, Mikhail”]
[Black “Bronstein, David I”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “D71”]
[Annotator “Botvinnik,M”]
[PlyCount “113”]
[EventDate “1951.03.16”]
[EventType “match”]
[EventRounds “24”]
[EventCountry “URS”]
[SourceTitle “MainBase”]
[Source “ChessBase”]
[SourceDate “1999.07.01”]
[SourceVersion “2”]
[SourceVersionDate “1999.07.01”]
[SourceQuality “1”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 5. cxd5 cxd5 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Nh3 Bxh3 8.
Bxh3 Nc6 9. Bg2 e6 10. e3 O-O 11. Bd2 Rc8 12. O-O Nd7 13. Ne2 Qb6 14. Bc3 Rfd8
15. Nf4 Nf6 16. Qb3 Ne4 17. Qxb6 axb6 18. Be1 Na5 19. Nd3 Bf8 20. f3 Nd6 21.
Bf2 Bh6 22. Rac1 Nac4 23. Rfe1 Na5 24. Kf1 Bg7 25. g4 Nc6 26. b3 Nb5 27. Ke2
Bf8 28. a4 Nc7 29. Bg3 Na6 30. Bf1 f6 31. Red1 Na5 32. Rxc8 Rxc8 33. Rc1 Rxc1
34. Nxc1 Ba3 35. Kd1 Bxc1 36. Kxc1 Nxb3+ 37. Kc2 Na5 38. Kc3 Kf7 39. e4 f5 40.
gxf5 gxf5 41. Bd3 Kg6 {Botvinnik.” Here I had to seal the move. The plan is
obvious. One bishop should be placed on d6, after White has to play Bb1,
exchange the pawns on d5 and win pawn d5. For twenty minutes I was thinking
which was stronger: 42.Bd6 or 42.Bb1. Finally, I decided to choose 42. Bd6.}
42. Bd6 ({I found that after} 42. Bb1 {(the move I did not seal)} Nc6 ({
If Black chose} 42… fxe4 {the game opens up after} 43. fxe4 dxe4 44. Bxe4+
Kg7 {and White’s bishops obviously prevail. An interesting variation was found
by Flohr:} 45. Bxb7 Nxb7 {followed by followed by Kc3-c4-b5-a6-b6 and the
‘a’-pawn eventually queens.}) 43. exd5 exd5 44. Ba2 Nab4 ({or} 44… Ne7 45.
Bh4) 45. Bb3 {Black loses a pawn.}) 42… Nc6 43. Bb1 Kf6 {The previous two
moves had been found the best and they were made immediately upon the
resumption. However, Black’s last move was not the only solution. All night I
was trying to find the way to continue the game. Only at 8 o’clock in the
morning I was lucky to find a remarkable idea which I employed during the
adjournment. If Bronstein had suspected about the surprise move, he would have
found the line} (43… Na7 {honestly I did not find this move during my
analysis.} 44. exd5 exd5 45. Ba2 b5 46. a5 b4+ $1 47. Kd3 Nb5 48. Be5 Nac7 49.
Kc2 Kf7 50. Kb3 Na6 {thus drawing the game and, most likely, becoming the 7th
World Champion. However, after the natural 43.Kf6 an unplesant surprise lay in
store for him:}) 44. Bg3 $3 {Zugzwang!} (44. exd5 exd5 45. Ba2 Ke6 {and White
cannot make headway}) 44… fxe4 ({Now} 44… Nab4 {is met by} 45. Be5+ $1 {
and Black’s King is pushed to g6, after which White wins by} ({In passing I
would note that} 45. Bc7 {would only lead to a draw after} dxe4 46. fxe4 fxe4
47. Bxe4 Nd5+ $11) 45… Kg6 46. Bd6 Na6 47. exd5 exd5 48. Ba2) 45. fxe4 h6 46.
Bf4 h5 47. exd5 exd5 48. h4 Nab8 49. Bg5+ Kf7 50. Bf5 Na7 ({More resistant was
} 50… Ne7 {but White had a good choice anyway:} 51. Bxe7 Kxe7 52. Bg6 Nc6 53.
Bxh5 Na7 54. Kb4 Nc6+ 55. Kb5 Nxd4+ 56. Kxb6) 51. Bf4 Nbc6 52. Bd3 Nc8 53. Be2
Kg6 54. Bd3+ Kf6 55. Be2 Kg6 56. Bf3 N6e7 ({or} 56… N8e7 57. Bg5 Nf5 58. Bxd5
Nfxd4 59. Be4+ Kf7 60. Kc4) 57. Bg5 {Here Bronstein resigned. Although Black
still has an extra pawn, he loses because of the zugzwang, the second zugzwang
in this game.} ({The continuation could be} 57. Bg5 Nc6 58. Bxd5 Nd6 59. Bf3
Kf5 60. Bc1 b5 61. Bxc6 bxc6 62. a5) 1-0

[Event “URS-ch15”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “1947.??.??”]
[Round “10”]
[White “Bronstein, David I”]
[Black “Dubinin, Peter Vasilievich”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “C39”]
[Annotator “Johannes Fischer”]
[PlyCount “53”]
[EventDate “1947.02.02”]
[EventType “tourn”]
[EventRounds “19”]
[EventCountry “URS”]
[SourceTitle “URS-ch”]
[Source “ChessBase”]
[SourceDate “1999.07.01”]
[SourceVersion “1”]
[SourceVersionDate “1999.07.01”]
[SourceQuality “1”]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. h4 g4 5. Ne5 h5 6. Bc4 Rh7 7. d4 Bh6 8. Nc3
Nc6 $146 {A new move in an old variation. A typical previous game continued} (
8… c6 9. Nd3 Qf6 10. e5 Qf5 11. Nc5 Qg6 12. Bd3 Qg7 13. Bxh7 Qxh7 14. N3e4 b6
15. Nd6+ Kd8 16. Nd3 f6 17. Bxf4 Ba6 18. Qd2 Bf8 19. Rf1 Bxd6 20. exd6 Qe4+ 21.
Qe3 f5 22. Qxe4 fxe4 23. Bg5+ Ke8 24. O-O-O {1-0 (24) Suhle,B-NN Manchester
1859}) 9. Nxf7 {Played in the style of the romantics: White sacrifices
material to expose (and mate) the enemy king.} Rxf7 10. Bxf7+ Kxf7 11. Bxf4 $1
Bxf4 12. O-O Qxh4 13. Rxf4+ Kg7 14. Qd2 {Black has two pieces for a rook but
his position is difficult to play. Black’s queenside is not developed yet and
the black king is exposed. The engines think that White is better.} d6 15. Raf1
Nd8 16. Nd5 Bd7 ({After} 16… Be6 {White continues with} 17. Nxc7 {attacking
the rook on a8 and threatening the devastating 18.Ne8+.}) ({And after} 16…
Ne6 17. Rf7+ Kh8 18. Nf6 $1 {White has a winning attack, e.g.} Ng5 ({or} 18…
Nxf6 19. Qh6+ Kg8 20. R7xf6 {and White mates.}) 19. Qxg5 $1 Qxg5 20. Rh7#) 17.
e5 dxe5 18. dxe5 Bc6 19. e6 $1 {White opens the position and is winning.} Bxd5
20. Rf7+ Nxf7 21. Rxf7+ Kh8 (21… Kg6 22. Qd3+ Kh6 (22… Kg5 23. Qf5+ Kh6 24.
Rh7#) 23. Qh7+ Kg5 24. Rf5#) 22. Qc3+ Nf6 23. Rxf6 Qxf6 {Black gives the queen
to avoid being mated immediately. But he is still lost.} (23… Qg5 24. Rh6+
Kg8 25. Rh8#) 24. Qxf6+ Kh7 25. Qf5+ Kh6 26. Qxd5 Kg6 27. Qd7 1-0