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David Bronstein vs Robert Byrne
"The Slow Byrne" (game of the day Dec-30-2006)
Helsinki Olympiad Final-A (1952), Helsinki FIN, rd 2, Aug-22
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Bogoljubow Defense (D24)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-14-06  who: annotated at
Nov-14-06  sagahelten: Here's the analysis by Byrne from New York Times:

Bronstein’s 4 Nc3 introduced a sharp gambit, in which Black has trouble even if he refuses it. If 4 ... e6 5 e4 Be7 6 Bc4, White has the superior pawn center without being obliged to pay anything for it.

After 9 ... f6, the white knight was denied the invasion squares at e5 and g5. [...]

This move 10 g3 was tried out repeatedly after this battle and is still the subject of debate. At first I thought Bronstein’s fianchetto was the right way to go. But I later learned that my old friend Al Horowitz, a star on Olympiad teams in the 1930s and later the chess columnist for The New York Times, had discovered an even more dangerous weapon in the weak-looking yet powerful 10 Be2!

After 12 Be3, it was necessary to get my queen off the semi-open e file as soon as possible, but 12 ... Qc8 13 d5, threatening to open the game before I had finished my development, was dangerous.

White’s 15 ab was wrong because it opened the a file before he was ready to exploit it. He should have considered 15 h4 with the idea of 16 Kh2 and 17 Bh3. I am not sure I could have defended against an incursion on e6.

If 35 ... Rc5, then 36 Ra8 would have won for my opponent.

But 35 ... Re5 virtually finished the struggle. If 36 Qc6, then 36 ... Qc6 37 Rc6 Kf7 38 Rc8 Ke6 39 c6 Kd6 40 Kg2 Rc5 wins.

So, hoping against hope, he played 36 Qh3. But after 42 ... Rd5, he resigned.

Nov-15-06  dakgootje: Is there much, if any, difference between 36. Qxc6 and 36. Rxc6? Dont think so myself, but curious if anyone has other thoughts
Dec-30-06  Achilles87: They both look bad to me, Id say taking with the rook is worse tho.
Dec-30-06  aldehyde: was white in a mood of gifting away his centre pawns? i mean, just look at his game, first, he lets go his c4 pawn, then he lets go his e pawn, and then he doubles his centre d pawn to c file and that too not connected after the knight exchange. i bet i can play much better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: This was a very fine win (with the Black pieces, no less) by GM Robert Byrne over Bronstein when the latter was at the height of his powers. It is little surprising that GM Byrne chose this game to feature in his valedictory column when he retired from the NY Times last month. (See the link provided in the comment by <who>, above.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Mr. Byrne did something I wouldn't have believed:he defeated one of the best players NEVER to have won a championship with shoddy play. First,he violated a golden rule of queen's gambit play-try with all force to hold on to the pawn captured. Then he doesn't castle (all right,he did it in a very odd way,without moving the bishop).

So isn't is ironic-that black wins the game with THREE pawns plus?!

Dec-30-06  HannibalSchlecter: I agree Kevin86 black should have been punished but Bronstein violated a golden rule too, "don't trade too many pieces when you're attacking".
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Was it David versus Golaeth? This time the Biblical David couldn't knock down the giant. It was a ding dong battle where Byrne stuck to his material advantage & completely controlling the strategic sqaures giving no chance to Bronstein for any invasion the latter gave up in disguise.
May-23-07  nolanryan: 35 Re5 is a pretty sweet move.

I'm surprised that Byrne could pick Bronstein apart like this.

Feb-03-11  Everett: Bronstein amended his play in this lesser-known gem.

Bronstein vs Korchnoi, 1964

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: This game was part of an excellent Olympiad performance by Robert Byrne where he scored 70% and picked up a board prize:

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game here:

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