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Isaac Boleslavsky
Number of games in database: 840
Years covered: 1938 to 1971

Overall record: +331 -94 =414 (64.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (146) 
    C97 C99 C89 C83 C92
 Sicilian (89) 
    B58 B32 B41 B85 B47
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (70) 
    C97 C99 C89 C92 C91
 French Defense (39) 
    C11 C15 C19 C16 C07
 Nimzo Indian (31) 
    E46 E59 E54 E53 E33
 Caro-Kann (29) 
    B10 B11 B17 B15 B18
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (110) 
    B65 B63 B58 B59 B88
 King's Indian (94) 
    E67 E64 E87 E81 E86
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (36) 
    B65 B63 B60 B62 B67
 Grunfeld (35) 
    D85 D94 D81 D93 D97
 French Defense (28) 
    C07 C11 C19 C15 C09
 English (20) 
    A15 A16 A10 A19 A17
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Boleslavsky vs Lisitsin, 1956 1-0
   Alatortsev vs Boleslavsky, 1950 0-1
   Boleslavsky vs Dzindzichashvili, 1967 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Kotov, 1953 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Smyslov, 1950 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Fine, 1945 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Lilienthal, 1941 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Gurgenidze, 1960 1-0
   Kan vs Boleslavsky, 1952 0-1
   Boleslavsky vs Bronstein, 1950 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Ukrainian Championship (1938)
   Moscow Championship (1942)
   USSR Championship (1947)
   USSR Championship (1945)
   Budapest Candidates (1950)
   USSR Championship (1944)
   Moscow (1947)
   Saltsjobaden Interzonal (1948)
   USSR Championship (1952)
   Parnu (1947)
   USSR Championship (1940)
   6th Soviet Team Cup (1968)
   Groningen (1946)
   USSR Championship (1949)
   USSR Championship (1950)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Isaac Boleslavsky - Selected Games by igiene
   Isaac Boleslavsky - Selected Games by Benzol
   Isaac Boleslavsky - Selected Games by mneuwirth
   Secret Hero Boleslavsky by Gottschalk
   Beasts Best Left Alone Says Fredthebear by fredthebear
   King's Indian pioneers by keywiz84

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Isaac Boleslavsky
Search Google for Isaac Boleslavsky

(born Jun-09-1919, died Feb-15-1977, 57 years old) Ukraine (federation/nationality Belarus)
[what is this?]

Isaac Efremovich Boleslavsky was born in Zolotonsha. He learned to play chess at the age of nine, but it was not until after World War Two that he first made a name for himself with second place in two consecutive Soviet championships. He continued his rise to the top in 1950, when he became the first player ever to go through a Candidates' tournament undefeated, tying David Bronstein for first place. To determine who would challenge Mikhail Botvinnik for the World Championship, Boleslavsky and Bronstein then contested a twelve-game playoff match; this was tied too. Finally Bronstein won the second tie-break game and gained the right to play Botvinnik.

After this near-miss, Boleslavsky played in another Candidates' tournament in 1953, and then devoted his chess ability more toward coaching and serving as a "second" to his fellow Soviet players. He left behind several contributions to theory for both the King's Indian Defense and Sicilian Defense openings.

Boleslavsky died in Minsk at age 57 after a fall on an icy sidewalk. He broke his hip and could not overcome an infection acquired during his hospitalization.

Wikipedia article: Isaac Boleslavsky

Last updated: 2017-10-02 12:17:10

 page 1 of 34; games 1-25 of 840  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Konstantinopolsky vs Boleslavsky  1-0491938Ukrainian ChampionshipB40 Sicilian
2. A Zamikhovsky vs Boleslavsky  1-0351938Ukrainian ChampionshipA90 Dutch
3. A Khavin vs Boleslavsky  0-1411938Ukrainian ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
4. Belakovsky vs Boleslavsky 0-1311938Ukrainian ChampionshipA84 Dutch
5. Y Polyak vs Boleslavsky 0-1231938Ukrainian ChampionshipC07 French, Tarrasch
6. Boleslavsky vs G Chumichev  1-0341938Ukrainian ChampionshipB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
7. Boleslavsky vs E Korchmar 1-0401938Ukrainian ChampionshipC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
8. V Sozin vs Boleslavsky  0-1471938Ch Trade Unions (team sf)A04 Reti Opening
9. Boleslavsky vs A Kofman  1-0311938Ukrainian ChampionshipC78 Ruy Lopez
10. Boleslavsky vs A Budo  1-0291939Tournament of candidates and mastersE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
11. Boleslavsky vs Batyev 1-0511939Tournament of candidates and mastersB10 Caro-Kann
12. A Chetalbash vs Boleslavsky  0-1551939Ukrainian ChampionshipA84 Dutch
13. Boleslavsky vs B Goldenov  1-0351939Ukrainian ChampionshipC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
14. Boleslavsky vs A Gaevsky  1-0501939Ukrainian ChampionshipC66 Ruy Lopez
15. B Y Ratner vs Boleslavsky 0-11031939Ukrainian ChampionshipA48 King's Indian
16. Boleslavsky vs A Khavin  1-027194012th Ch UkraineB10 Caro-Kann
17. Boleslavsky vs S Zhukhovitsky  1-036194012th Ch UkraineC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
18. Konstantinopolsky vs Boleslavsky  ½-½22194012th Ch UkraineB40 Sicilian
19. Boleslavsky vs Polyak 1-0341940Exhibition TournamentB10 Caro-Kann
20. I Rudakovsky vs Boleslavsky  0-152194012th Ch UkraineC09 French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line
21. Boleslavsky vs Lilienthal  ½-½421940USSR ChampionshipC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
22. Botvinnik vs Boleslavsky 1-0491940USSR ChampionshipE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
23. Boleslavsky vs I Rudakovsky  ½-½441940USSR ChampionshipB83 Sicilian
24. Bondarevsky vs Boleslavsky  ½-½341940USSR ChampionshipC09 French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line
25. Boleslavsky vs Lisitsin ½-½281940USSR ChampionshipC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
 page 1 of 34; games 1-25 of 840  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Boleslavsky wins | Boleslavsky loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-30-15  Petrosianic: Ludek Pachman's book, Checkmate in Prague, doesn't have any games in it, either. It doesn't mean it's a bad book, necessarily.
Apr-30-15  offramp: <knightour: Do not buy the book titled "Isaac Boleslavsky" by Jesse Russel and Ronald Cohn...>

How much did that book cost?

Apr-30-15  knightour: The book currently costs $19.95 and $2.95 shipping.Perhaps someone can give a review of the book and point out the positive values. I bought the book to get some sort of collection of Boleslavsky's games.I no longer have the book.
May-01-15  offramp: I've bought it! I hope it's good!
May-01-15  offramp: It has just arrived! What a piece of @#$%! Who recommended that! Total and utter garbage. I want my money back!!
May-01-15  john barleycorn: <offramp> which part of the world are you from where they work on "labour day" delivering books?
May-01-15  offramp: I'm in Peking.
May-01-15  john barleycorn: good for Peking
May-01-15  offramp: I'm slightly unlucky in that I was born in Hong Kong to British parents but in 1997 I became a Chinese citizen and I was called up into the Chinese air force. I regret that I have killed about five thousand people.
May-01-15  john barleycorn: Your profile says:

<I was born and I live and work in London. My father was from Limerick and my mother is from Chorlton-cum-Hardy, near Manchester.>

May-01-15  Olavi: The 1957 book by Boleslavsky on his selected games feels good, but I don't read Russian.
May-01-15  offramp: <john barleycorn: Your profile says:
<I was born and I live and work in London...>

Yes, indeed. Wonderful, wonderful days.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Olavi> You might not have to read Russian. Jimmy Adams did a translation of Boleslavsky's book that can still be obtained although it maybe a bit pricey these days. See Game Collection: Isaac Boleslavsky - Selected Games as a sampler.


May-01-15  zanzibar: The Russell-Cohn book is among a long list of books by the same:

For the Boleslavsky book there's this blurb:

<High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Isaac Yefremovich Boleslavsky (Ukrainian: Ісаак Єфремович Болеславський, Исаак Ефремович Болеславский) (June 9, 1919 Zolotonosha, Ukraine – February 15, 1977 Minsk) was a Soviet–Jewish chess Grandmaster.>

Many (most?) of the other books are also wiki reprints.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <offramp: I'm in Peking.>

I recommend that you try the duck.

May-02-15  zanzibar: <offramp> you mean to say "I'm <off> in Peking" don't you?
May-02-15  john barleycorn: <zanzibar> is that <off> related to an opium den?
May-02-15  zanzibar: I don't really know where <offramp> draws his inspiration from. I always thought it a bit transcendental, but perhaps the source is indeed a bit more terrestrial.

Who knows?

Jun-09-15  TheFocus: Happy Birthday, Isaac!!
Nov-02-15  zanzibar: A picture of the tombstone on his grave:

Is there a discrepancy for his dod?

<The picture features Boleslavsky’s son, Stanislaw, and his daughter, Tatiana (David Bronstein’s widow). Our correspondent mentions that Boleslavsky’s grave is about ten paces away from that of Bronstein, his son-in-law (see C.N. 5859).> (CN #6389)

Feb-10-16  offramp: <zanzibar: A picture of the tombstone on his grave: Is there a discrepancy for his dod? >

At first I thought you meant his month of death. The date of death looks like "14/11/77", but the middle numeral is a Roman II, i.e. 2.

But that is not the discrepancy: the date given in his bio here at is 15/2/77. A day later. I suppose he might have died overnight, in his sleep.

Feb-15-16  TheFocus: Rest in peace, GM Isaac Boleslavsky.
Jun-09-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Isaac Boleslavsky.
Jun-09-17  Howard: Chess Life & Review had a brief article on his death, and said that it would have "an appreciation" article on him in a future issue, but the latter never took place. Probably lack of space I suspect.

At any rate, Boleslavsky was best remembered as one of the leading Soviet players after WWII.

Jan-01-22  jerseybob: Boleslavsky has been much on my mind this past year, and it's got nothing to do with chess. In February '21, I slipped and broke my ankle, badly. The rehab has been painful and slow. My running days are over, but walking is a blessing I'll never again take for granted. Also a blessing:the medical professionals who got me to this point in time.
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