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David Bronstein
Photo courtesy of Eric Schiller.  

Number of games in database: 2,371
Years covered: 1938 to 1997
Last FIDE rating: 2432
Highest rating achieved in database: 2590
Overall record: +877 -337 =1090 (61.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 67 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (211) 
    B31 B20 B90 B50 B96
 Ruy Lopez (134) 
    C77 C97 C78 C92 C91
 Nimzo Indian (82) 
    E41 E55 E21 E59 E32
 French Defense (68) 
    C07 C15 C18 C11 C02
 King's Indian (64) 
    E67 E80 E86 E90 E61
 Queen's Pawn Game (59) 
    A46 D02 A45 D01 A40
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (125) 
    C07 C16 C15 C09 C08
 King's Indian (107) 
    E67 E80 E60 E92 E69
 Ruy Lopez (92) 
    C76 C63 C69 C99 C92
 Caro-Kann (91) 
    B16 B10 B13 B15 B14
 Sicilian (87) 
    B92 B32 B90 B51 B59
 English (59) 
    A13 A10 A15 A16 A17
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Bronstein vs Ljubojevic, 1973 1-0
   Bronstein vs Geller, 1961 1-0
   Bronstein vs Keres, 1955 1-0
   Pachman vs Bronstein, 1946 0-1
   Efimov vs Bronstein, 1941 0-1
   N Bakulin vs Bronstein, 1965 0-1
   J Kaplan vs Bronstein, 1975 0-1
   Bronstein vs M20, 1963 1-0
   Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1951 1-0
   F Zita vs Bronstein, 1946 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Botvinnik - Bronstein World Championship Match (1951)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   URS-sf Moscow (1945)
   Moscow-Prague (1946)
   Budapest Candidates (1950)
   Moscow Championship (1946)
   Belgrade (1954)
   Saltsjobaden Interzonal (1948)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)
   Moscow Championship (1953)
   Moscow Championship (1961)
   Asztalos Memorial (1966)
   USSR Championship (1949)
   USSR Championship 1964/65 (1964)
   Yerevan Seniors (1981)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Challenger Bronstein by Gottschalk
   DB told secrets to FTB Isa24 by fredthebear
   Sorcerer's Apprentice (Bronstein) by kaspi124
   Sorcerer's Apprentice (Bronstein) by Qindarka
   Sorcerer's Apprentice (Bronstein) by Ziiggyy
   Sorcerer's Apprentice (Bronstein) by isfsam
   Sorcerer's Apprentice (Bronstein) by hought67
   Sorcerer's Apprentice (Bronstein) by doug27
   Sorcerer's Apprentice (Bronstein) by Parmenides1963
   Sorcerer's Apprentice (Bronstein) by rpn4
   Match Bronstein! by docjan
   Match Bronstein! by amadeus
   0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 68 by 0ZeR0
   200 open games by David Bronstein (part 1) by Southernrun

Search Sacrifice Explorer for David Bronstein
Search Google for David Bronstein

(born Feb-19-1924, died Dec-05-2006, 82 years old) Ukraine
[what is this?]

David Ionovich Bronstein was born February 19, 1924 in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine.1

Chess and Checkers Club

When Bronstein was six, his grandfather taught him how to play chess. Later, when his family moved to Kiev, he joined the city "Chess and Checkers Club" and soon won the Kiev "Schoolboy's Championship."1 At age fifteen he was invited to play in the 11th Ukrainian Championship in Dnepropetrovsk, where he finished 8th.2 On the strength of this result he was invited back for the 12th Ukrainian Championship in Kiev. He placed 2nd to Isaac Boleslavsky, 3 which garnered him both the Soviet national master title and a place in the USSR Championship Semifinal in Rostov-on-Don.1,4 The semifinal was never finished due to the German invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941, and Bronstein did not play any serious chess for the next three years.1

Two Grandmaster Titles

By February 1944 the Germans had been driven back to the Dneiper River, and Bronstein joined the USSR Championship Semifinal in Baku.1 His 4th place finish qualified him for the final and drew the interest of Boris Vainstein, who quickly became an avid promoter of Bronstein's chess career. Vainstein was an influential member of the Soviet administration (though not an actual Communist Party member), and he managed to have Bronstein relocated to Moscow from his job rebuilding a steel factory in the ruins of Stalingrad.1 Bronstein managed only 15th place at the USSR Championship (1944), but he was hardly disgraced, since he won his game against the incumbent "Absolute Soviet champion": Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1944. 5 Bronstein's 3rd place in the USSR Championship (1945) earned him a spot on the Soviet team in international matches, where he posted good results. Though he was not yet a grandmaster, FIDE invited him to the Saltsjöbaden Interzonal (1948), which he won.6 He was immediately made a Soviet grandmaster,7 and in July 1949 FIDE awarded him the international grandmaster title.8

The World Championship

Bronstein wasted no time proving that if someone wanted to unseat world champion Mikhail Botvinnik, they'd have to go through him. He shared 1st in both the USSR Championship (1948) and the USSR Championship (1949). He went on to tie Boleslavsky for 1st in the Budapest Candidates (1950), and won the subsequent playoff match. Bronstein now had the right to face Botvinnik in a championship match. Botvinnik had played no chess in public since he'd won the FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948), which Bronstein thought was a deliberate ploy to hide his opening preparation.9 Bronstein opened game one with the Dutch Defence, one of the champion's favorite systems. Botvinnik later characterized this strategem as "naive."10 The match was closely fought, and by game 22 Bronstein led by a point and needed only win once more, or draw twice in the last two games, to become world champion. The stage was set for a climactic final game in which Bronstein needed a victory, since the champion would retain his title in the event of a drawn match. This game proved somewhat controversial because Bronstein accepted Botvinnik's draw offer after only 22 moves: Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1951. This engendered speculation that the Soviet government had ordered him not to beat Botvinnik. In a 1993 interview Bronstein explained that "There was no direct pressure (to lose deliberately)... But... there was the psychological pressure of the environment..." in part caused by his father's "several years in prison" and what he labeled "the marked preference for the institutional Botvinnik." Bronstein concluded that "it seemed to me that winning could seriously harm me, which does not mean that I deliberately lost."11

Cold Warrior

The NKVD12 had arrested Bronstein's father in 1935 because he had "tried to defend peasants... who were put under pressure by corrupt officials."13 His father was released after serving seven years in a gulag, and only pardoned for any wrongdoing in 1955. Bronstein never joined the Communist Party, nor any organisations associated with it, such as the Communist Youth Party, the USSR Writer's Union, or the USSR Journalist's Union.13 Nevertheless, for decades Bronstein remained a prominent member of the Soviet chess team. He played in four successive chess olympiads, winning the bronze medal on 3rd board in Helsinki 1952, the silver medal on 3rd board in Amsterdam 1954, and the gold medal on 4th board in both Moscow 1956 and Munich 1958.14 In the USSR - USA Radio Match (1945) Bronstein faced Anthony Santasiere on 10th board, scoring +2 -0 =0 in a 15½ - 4½ Soviet rout of the Americans. In a 1946 USSR-USA match in Moscow, the Soviets won again, with Bronstein splitting a pair of games against Olaf Ulvestad on 10th board. He again helped defeat the USA in two ideologically charged matches in 1954 and 1955. The first was slated for New York in 1953, but Cold War politics got in the way. The Soviet team were on the verge of boarding a ship from Cherbourg when a jittery US State Department abruptly tightened their visa restrictions. Moscow declared this a "violation of all the rules of international hospitality and civility," but the Soviets did manage to play the Americans the following year in New York, and again in Moscow 1955.15 In New York Bronstein played 2nd board and beat Arthur William Dake in one game, and then proceeded to win three straight from Dake's replacement, Arnold Denker. In Moscow he faced Larry Melvyn Evans on 3rd board, scoring +1 -0 =3. The USSR won both events.16

Golden Age

Although Bronstein never again played a world championship match, he enjoyed a long period of success in strong chess events.1 He came close to a title rematch with Botvinnik when he finished shared 2nd at the Zurich Candidates (1953), two points behind Vasily Smyslov. Bronstein wrote a book about the event, which has become a classic in chess literature: Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953. He won the Gothenburg Interzonal (1955) in fine style, but finished behind Smyslov and Paul Keres in the Amsterdam Candidates (1956). He would never compete in another candidates event, though he did play in the Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Amsterdam Interzonal (1964), and the Petropolis Interzonal (1973). After 1949 he appeared in fifteen more USSR Championships, with his best results coming in 1957 (2nd to Mikhail Tal) ; 1958 (3rd to Tal); Nov-Dec 1961 (3rd to Boris Spassky) ; and 1964/1965 (2nd to Viktor Korchnoi) . He won or shared 1st in the Moscow Championship in 1946, 1947, 1953, 1957, 1961, and 1968.17 Bronstein also won or shared 1st in a series of international tournaments, including Hastings (1953/54), Belgrade 1954, Gotha 1957, Moscow 1959, Szombathely 1966, East Germany 1968, Sarajevo 1971, Hastings 1975/76, and Jurmala 1978.18

Chess Theory

Bronstein made many contributions to theory in openings such as the Ruy Lopez, King's Indian, and Caro-Kann (e.g. the Bronstein-Larsen variation 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.♘c3 dxe4 4.♘xe4 ♘f6 5.♘xf6 gxf6). He helped revive the King's gambit,1 and also wrote a popular book on one of his favorite weapons: Bronstein On the King's Indian. Although Bronstein preferred some systems over others, the following recollection from biographer Tom Fürstenberg is worth keeping in mind: "David explained many times that he doesn't play openings - he just starts to create an attack... from the first move! ...That is why he does not have a specific opening repertoire. He just plays everything!"1


Bronstein, known affectionately as "Devik" by his friends, married three times, but it was his third marriage to Isaac Boleslavsky's daughter Tatiana in 1984 that seems to have given him the most lasting and satisfying partnership.19 In her memoir, she recalls meeting him several times as a young girl, noting his humour, generosity and, "above all, his gentle smile."19 She also ruefully explains that although Bronstein's patron Boris Veinshtein was indeed a powerful man, he could do nothing to prevent the Soviet Chess Federation from banning him from almost all foreign tournaments for thirteen years.19 Bronstein was banned after Viktor Korchnoi defected in 1976, and Bronstein refused to sign a group letter condemning him. Despite the fact that Boris Gulko, Spassky, and Botvinnik also refused to sign this letter, it was only Bronstein who received this draconian punishment. Foreign tournaments were prized by Soviet masters as a crucial source of income, because they generally paid out prizes in "hard currency." Bronstein had to support himself during this period by writing for "Isvestiya."1 He believed his punishment was so severe because he had helped Korchnoi during the Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1974). 20 In 1990, after the Soviet Union collapsed and the borders opened, Bronstein contracted cancer, but an operation proved successful, and he lived another sixteen years. He spent much of this remaining time touring Europe, glorying in his new freedom by traveling from tournament to tournament, meeting old friends and making new friends. In his typically light hearted manner, Bronstein explained that "...amazed that I was still alive, chess clubs began showering me with invitations"21 He died on December 5, 2006.22

A Magical Fire

"The art of a chess player consists in his ability to ignite a magical fire from the dull and senseless initial position."23

--David Ionovich Bronstein


1 David Bronstein and Tom Fürstenberg, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (Cadogan 1995), p.263-271

2 Rusbase [rusbase-1]

3 Rusbase [rusbase-2]

4 Rusbase [rusbase-3]

5 Though Cafferty and Taimanov do not recognize the USSR Absolute Championship (1941) as a bona fide USSR Championship, the winner Botvinnik was nonetheless considered the Soviet champion at the time. Bernard Cafferty and Mark Taimanov, "The Soviet Championships" (Cadogen 1998), pp.48-51

6 Kotov and Yudovich, "Soviet Chess School" (Raduga Publishers 1982), pp.77-78

7 "Tidskrift för Schack" nr.8-9 (Aug-Sept 1948), pp.180-181. Translation by User: Tabanus

8"Tidskrift för Schack" nr.7-8 (July-Aug 1949), p.159. Translation by User: Tabanus

9 Bronstein and Fürstenberg, pp.16-17

10 Mikhail Botvinnik "Match for the World Championship- Botvinnik Bronstein Moscow 1951" Igor Botvinnik ed. Ken Neat transl. (Edition Olms 2004), p.16

11 "Revista Internacional de Ajedrez" (Mar 1993), pp.38-42. In Edward Winter, Chess Note 4753:

12 The NKVD (Peoples Commissariat for Internal Affairs) was a predecessor of the KGB.

13 Bronstein and Fürstenberg, p.269

14 "Men's Olympiads"

15 Andrew Soltis, "Soviet Chess 1917-1991" (McFarland 1997), pp.221-227

16 Gino Di Felice, "Chess Results 1951-1955" (McFarland 2010) pp.422, 522-23

17 1946 [rusbase-4] 1947 [rusbase-5] 1953 [rusbase-6] 1957 [rusbase-7] 1961 [rusbase-8] 1968 [rusbase-9]

18 <Hastings 1953-1954> (Di Felice, "Chess Results 1951-1955," p.317); <Belgrade 1954> (Di Felice, "Chess Results 1951-1955," p.333); <Gotha 1957> (Di Felice, "Chess Results 1956-1960," p.129); <Moscow 1959> (Di Felice, "Chess Results 1956-1960," p.342); <Szombathely 1966> (Di Felice, "Chess Results 1964-1967," p.429); <East Germany 1968> (Di Felice, "Chess Results 1968-1970," p.12 <Sarajevo 1971> ( <Hastings 1975/76> -<Jurmala 1978> (

19 Bronstein and Fürstenberg, pp.19-24

20 David Bronstein and Sergey Voronkov, "Secret Notes" Ken Neat, transl. (Edition Olms 2007), pp. 14-15

21 Bronstein and Voronkov, pp.12-13

22 Leonard Barden, David Bronstein obituary in "The Guardian" (7 Dec 2006)

23 Bronstein and Voronkov, p.34

Wikipedia article: David Bronstein

Last updated: 2020-07-15 20:30:04

 page 1 of 95; games 1-25 of 2,372  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Bronstein vs I Zaslavsky 1-0251938KievC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
2. Y Polyak vs Bronstein 0-1361938KievD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
3. L Kanevsky vs Bronstein  0-1341939Soviet UnionC46 Three Knights
4. Bronstein vs I Lipnitsky 1-0261939Kiev ChampionshipC19 French, Winawer, Advance
5. Y Lembersky vs Bronstein 0-1371939URSC25 Vienna
6. S Kotlerman vs Bronstein  1-0641939Ukrainian ChampionshipC01 French, Exchange
7. Bronstein vs B Ratner 1-0351939Ukrainian ChampionshipB20 Sicilian
8. R Gorenstein vs Bronstein  ½-½191939Ukrainian ChampionshipC46 Three Knights
9. B Goldenov vs Bronstein  1-0321939Ukrainian ChampionshipA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
10. Bronstein vs A Gaevsky  1-0481939Ukrainian ChampionshipC66 Ruy Lopez
11. Bronstein vs Y Kaem 1-0281939Ukrainian ChampionshipC71 Ruy Lopez
12. Bronstein vs R Piatnitsky 1-0151940Kiev jrC41 Philidor Defense
13. Bronstein vs R Gorenstein ½-½151940KievC29 Vienna Gambit
14. Bronstein vs S Zhukhovitsky 1-0321940Ukrainian ChampionshipC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
15. I Appel vs Bronstein  0-1281940Ukrainian ChampionshipA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
16. Bronstein vs L Morgulis 1-0341940?C26 Vienna
17. Efimov vs Bronstein 0-1121941Kiev URSC34 King's Gambit Accepted
18. Bronstein vs E Kuzminykh 0-1411941Ch URS (1/2 final)C79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
19. S Belavenets vs Bronstein 0-1241941Ch URS (1/2 final)E64 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav System
20. Bronstein vs V Mikenas 1-0251941Ch URS (1/2 final)C40 King's Knight Opening
21. Bronstein vs Flohr  ½-½531944KievB10 Caro-Kann
22. Bronstein vs Panov  ½-½291944Baku ch-URS sfC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
23. Bronstein vs Boleslavsky ½-½221944KievC16 French, Winawer
24. Sokolsky vs Bronstein 1-0271944KievC52 Evans Gambit
25. V Makogonov vs Bronstein 1-0421944KievE90 King's Indian
 page 1 of 95; games 1-25 of 2,372  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Bronstein wins | Bronstein loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 45 OF 45 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-30-22  Honest Adin Reviews: i did not post it twice, i had no idea this was here before, duh!
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Honest Adin Reviews: i did not post it twice, i had no idea this was here before, duh!>

Liar. You've been posting this identical garbage under multiple handles for years.

Kramnik - Leko Classical World Championship Match (2004) (kibitz #1838)

Emanuel Lasker (kibitz #2390)

David Bronstein (kibitz #1108)

Botvinnik - Bronstein World Championship Match (1951) (kibitz #102)

Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1951 (kibitz #37)

Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910) (kibitz #107)

Carl Schlechter (kibitz #447)

Biographer Bistro (kibitz #25170)

Kibitzer's Café (kibitz #302030)

Delete your account and get lost.

Nov-02-22  Reviews By AdiN: chessgames, be freaking fair once in your miserable existence... if u delete a post, then delete what jerk keypusher said too...


this is my only other account... now i said, it was the same post for david and i did not lie, however i did post same games on other talk pages associated with these draws and players involved in these games as they are (DUH) very important; there are players in WCC history if they simply drew drawn last game, they could have been world champions.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Reviews By AdiN>, do try and be civil. Would it hurt to write <KEYPUSHER, PLEASE SHUT THE HELL UP>?
Nov-02-22  stone free or die: <MIssy>, the new <Miss Etiquette of CG>!
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <on other talk pages associated with these draws and players involved in these games as they are (DUH) very important; there are players in WCC history if they simply drew drawn last game, they could have been world champions.>

<Reviews by AdiN>

<[Round "24"]
[Comments "Weird game, Bronstein had easy draw, was it bad nerves cuz it was final game?"] >

These games are important? Then why can't you be bothered to get the facts straight about them? Why has it never registered with you that the Botvinnik-Bronstein game you've repeatedly described as the 24th game of the match was actually the sixth game of the match?

How do you honor these games' importance by spamming identical garbage about them over and over and over and over?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: <keypusher>, We can expect this, and so much more, from the poster whose sensational claims about Wikipedia are supported by links to a website that appears to be maintained by the same poster.
Nov-02-22  Reviews By AdiN: scarlett letter, know thyself said wise philosopher:

this goes for everybody else, such behavior, wikiselfcontradiction you can do on wiki-PEDO-ia where you know other users, so no matter how correct you are, you will be outvoted, reverted, cz if the lie is repeated too many times, it becomes "truth" then again whole world could be wrong but just one person right! =1333 wikivomit antandrus/ferien/havahurricane et al intentional mistakes

Nov-02-22  Reviews By AdiN: cz=because
Aug-06-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: It is not correct that Botvinnik refused to sign the letter condemning Korchnoi for defecting from the Soviet Union.

He said that he wanted to compose his own letter of condemnation.

Why exactly he did not sign the letter is not clear.

It is reported that Karpov did not sign it, either.

Maybe someone here knows whether it was because he was not asked to sign it.

Aug-06-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Spassky was asked to sign it at the Soviet Embassy in Paris but refused to do so.

Obviously by this time the authorities had lost their leverage.

The irony is that the following year during their Candidates Final match, Spassky pushed his Soviet flag, under which he was still playing, onto Korchnoi's side of the table.

The gentlemanly Spassky, who reportedly had charmed everyone with his aristocratic manners in Iceland, turned out not to be such a gentleman after all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: By the time of their 1977-78 match, relations between Spassky and Korchnoi had deteriorated for reasons I do not recall.
Aug-06-23  Granny O Doul: I'm curious as to why, if Botvinnik wanted to write his own letter of condemnation, he (apparently) did not do so. Maybe, Abe Lincoln style, he wrote but did not send it. At the time, I remember an explanation that Botvinnik was at an age where one feels closer to God than to the sports committee chairman.

To bring it back on topic, happy belated heavenly birthday, Dave. At least I still have a chance to remember your centennial next February.

Nov-13-23  Youcefattoui: Where's Bronstein immortal against Richard vedders 1997 .. should appear in notable games
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Youcefattoui: Where's Bronstein immortal against Richard vedders 1997 .. should appear in notable games>

The reason this game does not make the list of notable games is that it is featured in a mere 34 game collections, the criterion for inclusion.

I just reviewed four of the games listed above, and the game which is in the fewest members' collections to make it in that top ten had 150.

Bronstein-Vedder is a brilliant combinative idea, but we are spoilt for choice by le grand maitre.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: says:

<Sorry, we have no names that exactly match 'VEDDERS' in our database.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <Youcefattoui: Where's Bronstein immortal against Richard vedders 1997 .. should appear in notable games>

Here you are: Bronstein vs R Vedder, 1997 - but do not expect the notable games to get updated.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: <offramp>, we have him as "Vedder", no 's': Richard Vedder
He's searchable, but some names are much harder to get a result with. For example, the only way I can successfully search for the well-known player and author Hugh Edward Myers is to enter the full name, 'Hugh Edward Myers'. No other combo works!
It would be a much better search function if it could produce a list of similar surnames.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In the same way, one can only manually search for Wesley So's games by typing in the forename.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: So bogus!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: One does not, curiously enough, achieve the same results by entering 'pampered goldfish' as a search term.

Have to contact <stevemcd87> about that rather obvious flaw in the software.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <perfidious: In the same way, one can only manually search for Wesley So's games by typing in the forename.>

We're lucky his first name isn't Jim. Or Boris.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Yes, in that case we would be absolutely buggered.
Nov-19-23  Morpheu Torre Petto: From Bronstein vs Lputian, 1996

click for larger view

26. ♖xe7!! ♖xe7 27. ♘f6 ♔h8 28. ♘d7 ♘e5 29. ♘xe5 ♔g8 30. ♘c6!

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
St Vincent (2014)⭐⭐⭐⭐

Has anyone here seen... ?

It's a funny film, with Bill Murray. I always like his films.

The co-star is Melissa McCarthy. She portrays a woman called Margaret Bronstein. She is served papers to request her to appear at the family court at 38:00.

Her husband was named David Bronstein.

When this film was shown in Moscow, the name was pixelated out.

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