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David Bronstein vs Isaac Boleslavsky
Bronstein - Boleslavsky Candidates Playoff (1950), Moscow URS, rd 13, Aug-25
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Classical Fianchetto (E67)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-11-02  PVS: Boleslavsky and Bronstein were two honourable men and great chess lovers. They tied for first place in the 1950 Candidates tournament at Budapest. A three way match/tournament for the title was proposed, but vetoed by the powerful and paranoid Botvinnik. Instead the pair were pitted in a twelve game playoff match sans purse. The match stood at two wins apiece and went into a tiebreak. They played an amazing game considering what was on the line (this is that game), then Bronstein won with black in game fourteen to win the match Boleslavsky vs Bronstein, 1950 Both men loved chess for its beauty and became great friends. Both were repulsed by the philistine approach and criminal shenanigans of Botvinnik. Many years later Bronstein married Boleslavky's daughter Tatiana. I don’t think the unassuming Boleslavsky really wanted a vicious battle with Botvinnik against whom he had never won a game at that point.
Dec-11-02  bishop: Why did Boleslavsky feel it necessary to give up his Queen with 55...Qxe7? It seems that ...Kf7 is ok.
Dec-11-02  PVS: Black trades a queen for a knight, white ignores black's passed pawns, and the overall play was ultra-sharp. As I said, there are many aspects of this game which are amazing, especially when one considers what was at stake. I do not think Boleslavsky relished a battle with Botvinnik. I would speculate that they might have agreed to a draw in advance and then let it rip.
Dec-11-02  ughaibu: Perhaps black was in time trouble and rather than risk further complications prefered to get a new queen and threaten mate. A wonderful game, I wonder if Bronstein annotated it? His idiosyncratic notes are a treat.
Dec-11-02  Vilkacis: This game looks very weird to me.
Dec-11-02  Kulla Tierchen: Perhaps neither man wanted to eliminate the other so refused to take the win when it was there. This would be unique in the annals of world championship history.
Dec-12-02  Sabatini: I am as perplexed as bishop by the queen move. Does anyone know if there was time trouble as ughaibu suggests? If not, I would take the suggestions of PVS and Kulla Tierchen that friendship played some role.
Dec-13-02  PVS: I don't think there could have been that much time trouble. 55...Kf7 suggested by bishop seems natural.
Mar-10-04  ughaibu: Catfriend!!
Jul-18-12  BUNA: <A three way match/tournament for the title was proposed, but vetoed by the powerful and paranoid Botvinnik.>

The "paranoid Botvinnik", who didn't understand, why he should play against two challengers? Who had plottet in the first place to win the candidates tournament _together_, as Bronstein later admitted. Because to each of them alone "the paranoid Botvinnik" seemed invincible. Can you imagine what a three way match would have been like, considering these circumstances?

It's really amazing that Bronstein, who according to his own confession became a challenger only because of collusion, is still treated as a victim.

And Boleslavski who quietly put up with all of this must have been quite a character.

Jul-18-12  ughaibu: 43.Ba7 really is an extraordinary move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < Kulla Tierchen: Perhaps neither man wanted to eliminate the other so refused to take the win when it was there....>

Some of the 2002 comments on this game strike me as bizarre, and possibly none more so than this snippet-how would one explain the outcome of the next game, then? Did Boleslavsky 'chicken out'?

Oct-07-12  Everett: <Because to each of them alone "the paranoid Botvinnik" seemed invincible>

Bronstein didn't think so, certainly, and made Botvinnik look quite mortal in the WC. Botvinnik was lucky that Bronstein did t analyze his adjourned positions responsibly.

And Botvinnik was well known to use the levers of his position to the detriment of all of his opponents. Tal, Smyslov and a whole generation of chessplayers were indeed <victims> of Botvinnik's machinations.

Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: I can't remember ever seeing this many pawns reaching the queening square in a serious game at this level.

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