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Frantisek Zita vs David Bronstein
Moscow-Prague (1946), Prague CSR, rd 6, Mar-12
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Double Fianchetto Attack (E64)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-14-04  kostich in time: This game stunned Reuben Fine. He analysed it in his book The Worlds a Chess Board. He said that he ( and most others) had dismissed the K.I.D and related systems, saying they were too passive, and that d5..leading to grunfuldt type positions,was necessary. However, this game was a revelation. He said that Boleslavsky and his disciple Bronstien, had discovered that the the key to black sucess in the Kings Indian was counterattack. Note Boleslavskys gigantic sucess with the K.I.D at Groningen the same year.(albeit, in less spectacular style)
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Would be interesting to see Botvinnik's comments on this game too, <resignation trap>.
Jul-26-05  Resignation Trap: <keypusher> Botvinnik's notebook on Bronstein began with the 1948 Interzonal. Sorry!
Aug-02-05  Averageguy: In Bronstein's book "The Sorcerers Apprentice", Bronstein sais that in this game he was tempted by 17...Nxf2. After 18. Kxf2 he was going to play 18...Nxb3 19.Rxb3 Bxd4+ 20. Kf1 Qxb3 or after 18. Qxf2 he was planning 18...Nd3. However, he states that after 20...Qxb3 white could play 21. Qxd4 and begin dangerous counterplay down the long diagonal after moves like 22. Nd5. Also, after 17...Nxf2, he notes that white had the intermezzo 18. Na4! Then he sais that is why he first sacd his rook for the a1 bishop before taking on f2. A good illustration of how if an enemy piece alone is getting in the way of all your plans, simply remove it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: The final manoeuvre Qb6-b4-f8-h6 is very pretty. It really shows the power of the Queen.
Jun-10-07  sanyas: <Averageguy> How could Bronstein claim to not know about the sac when he had played the exact same thing a few rounds previously? It would be the first move that one would consider. He would barely need to calculate the idea if t had worked so well already - I mean an extra sac can't hurt, right?
Jul-30-07  syracrophy: 19.♖e3 ♘xh3+ 20. ♔h2 <20.Bxh3 Bxh3 with two pawns and a strong pair of bishops for the exchange> 20...♘f2! <Decisive return of the knight, that threatens 21...Ng4+. If 21.Qxf2 Bxd4 with an easy victory> 21.♖f3 ♘cxe4 22. ♕f4 ♘g4+ 23. ♔h1 f5 24. ♘xe4 <In case of 24.Nde2 Bh6 traps the queen> 24...♖xe4 25. ♕xd6 ♖xd4 26. ♕b8 ♖d8 27. ♖a8 ♗e5 28. ♕a7 ♕b4! <Stronger than the exchange of queens> 29.♕g1 ♕f8! <Nice way of coordinating the attack. The queen entrance on h6 is mortal> 30. ♗h3 ♕h6 <And White resigns. In case of 30.Qg2 Rd2! 31.Rxc8+ Kg7 32.Qf1 Rh2+ 33.Kg1 Bd4+ with mate> 0-1

Jul-30-07  syracrophy: Zita - Bronstein
Prague, 1946

1. c4 e5 2. ♘c3 ♘f6 3. ♘f3 d6 4. d4 ♘bd7 5. g3 g6 6. ♗g2 ♗g7 7. O-O O-O 8. b3 c6 9. ♗b2 ♖e8 10. e4 exd4 11. ♘xd4 ♕b6 12. ♕d2 <Better was 12.Qc2 to continue with 13.Rad1, because its not possible 12...Qxd4? 13.Na4! trapping the queen> 12... ♘c5 13. ♖fe1 a5 14. ♖ab1 a4! <The same attacking theme that we saw on Pachman vs Bronstein, 1946; 15.♗a1 axb3 16. axb3 ♘g4! 17. h3? <Falling in Bronstein's trap. It was necessary to play 17.Red1 Ne5 18.Nce2> 17...♖xa1! <The same combination as in the game noted above> 18.♖xa1 ♘xf2!! <The key of Bronstein's combination! The knight is untouchable:

a) 19.Kxf2 Nxb3 20.Qd3 Qxd4+

b) 19.Qxf2 Nd3 20.Qd2 Bxd4+

c) 19.Kh2 Ncd3 with huge material advantage on all cases>

Aug-14-07  wolfmaster: 17...Rxal!
Nov-22-08  Emma: One of my favoutite games
Jun-07-09  The Brain99: Ray Keene says this is a prime example of weak color square complexes (in this case, the dark squares). That's also how he explains the rook sacrifice on white's dark square bishop, saying that Bronstein played it to weaken White's dark squares because he had his dark squared bishop on the long diagonal. I'm not sure if this is why as I've heard different things from different sources, anyone know anything more about this?
Jul-15-10  The Famous Chess Cat: In the book "Tal-Botvinnik 1960" written by Mikhail Tal, Tal says the following:

"White's edge in the center, stemming from the passivity of Black's king Bishop 'biting on granite' with the pawn on e5, cramped Black's position and no one had much faith in it. At the end of teh 1930s, a group of Ukrainian chessplayers headed by Konstantinopolsky, Boleslavsky, and Bronstein undertook a most detailed investigation of this abandoned opening and gave it a 'second life'. What chess fan is not familiar with Bronstein's masterly combinations in his games against Pachman and Zita (Moscow-Prague Match, 1946) in which the 'inactive' bishop on g7 carried out all the destructive work? To do this of course, Black 'only' sacrificed a Rook. "

It was Tal's comments which led me to this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Black's quite a puzzle catch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Black to move, 17... '?'
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: 17...Rxa1!!! and 18...NxP/f2!!

This is game # 20, (page # 47) of the book, "The Golden Dozen," by Irving Chernev.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: According to Fine, White should play 15. bxa4, as 15...♘a4 leads to 16. ♘xa4 ♖xa4 17. ♘xc6! ♕xc6 18. e5 regaining the piece.
Feb-08-12  screwdriver: Nice game. On black's 28th move, I would've exchanged queens and had a superior endgame. But, Bronstein's choice to finish was quicker. Also, it looked like so many combinations almost worked besides the one he played. The practical problem is that white usually doesn't play his dark squared bishop to a1. Without this odd placement of the bishop, black can't get the necessary sacrifice to start things off. But I think black still would've ripped white open here with a different route.
Feb-08-12  sambo: 15. Ba1 seems completely unnatural and weak. <GrahamClayton: According to Fine, White should play 15. bxa4, as 15...a4 leads to 16. xa4 xa4 17. xc6! xc6 18. e5 regaining the piece.>

That seems good, or just b4.

Feb-29-12  paavoh: And a beautiful "flying" Queen in the end.
Aug-20-12  Conrad93: 18. Nxf2 is very nifty.
It's not as obvious as it appears.
Jan-16-16  bobbyperez: After 17...Rxa1, another combination happened!18.Rxa1 Nxf2!,white has five choices.First,19.Qe3 loses immediately to 19...Nxh3+.Second choice,19.Ndb5!? sets up a trap,but after 19...Nfxe4! , white's in trouble.Third choice, 19.Ncb5! saves some chances to win the game.Then the last two choices were:

a.19.Qxf2? Nxe4!
a1.20.Nxe4/20.Bxe4 21.Bxd4 wins the queen.
a2.20.Rxe4 Rxe4! 21.Nxe4/21.Bxe4 Bxd4

b.19.Kxf2? Nxb3! 20.Qd1(The Knight was pinned.)Nxa1 21.Qxa1 Qxd4+ 22.Kf1 Qxc3 and white,who was exchange up,became a piece down in this position.

But instead,Zita played 19.Re3,the best try,but he was lost in this game.Why did he lose?

There are three answers:

First,Zita has no dark-squared bishop that could defend the dark squares.But Bronstein has a dark-squared bishop that is very active.Second,his king was vulnerable.Third,the a7-g1 diagonal was opened so many pins would be dangerous at that diagonal.

Did you like this game?I knew this game before I opened this.I read Bronstein's chess book.I saw this game.

Well,you've seen the sixth best brilliancy of all time.But the game of the century(D.Byrne vs. R.Fischer) has the first best brilliancy of all time.In the game of the century,Fischer imitated Bronstein's move for a brilliancy.That move was Be6!!.I like Fischer and Bronstein.Fischer's favorite player,Bronstein,was almost strong as Fischer.

Just like this game

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The plan of 8 b3 and 9 Bb2 is considered inferior nowadays; one reason is the ease of Black counterplay with ..a5 and ..a4. 12 Qd2?! weakened e4 and d3; better was 12 Qc2 (12..Qxd4? 13 Na4).

Bronstein after 16..Ng4:
" of the most original and valuable ideas in the King's Indian Defense - is that the rook on a8 and and the bishop on c8 are splendidly developed, without making a single move and standing on their original squares."

A few days earlier Pachman had retreated his bishop to a1 in a similar manner against Bronstein and had been similarly punished. In fact, after 16 axb, the position was identical to Pachman-Bronstein except that Qd2 had been played instead of h3. 17 h3? lost by force; 17 Red1..Ne5 18 h3..h5 would have left Black with an advantage but with a lot of play left for both sides.

Sep-17-17  Vermit: I grew up with this game. It was in Golombek's "how to play chess."
Feb-02-18  takchess:
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Mikhail Tal in his introduction to game six of his first match against Botvinnik:

"Which chess enthusiast is not familiar with David Bronstein's virtuoso combinations in his games against Pachman and Zita (Moscow vs. Prague match, 1946), in which the "inactive" bishop at g7 carried out its destructive work?"

"Life and Games," p. 188

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