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Isaac Boleslavsky
Number of games in database: 823
Years covered: 1938 to 1971

Overall record: +321 -92 =409 (63.9%)*
   * 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 (140) 
    C97 C99 C89 C77 C83
 Sicilian (88) 
    B32 B58 B41 B85 B47
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (67) 
    C97 C99 C89 C92 C91
 French Defense (39) 
    C11 C15 C19 C16 C18
 Nimzo Indian (31) 
    E59 E54 E53 E46 E39
 Caro-Kann (28) 
    B10 B11 B17 B18 B15
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (108) 
    B65 B63 B59 B58 B88
 King's Indian (93) 
    E67 E64 E87 E81 E86
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (36) 
    B65 B63 B62 B60 B67
 Grunfeld (34) 
    D85 D94 D97 D81 D75
 French Defense (27) 
    C07 C11 C19 C15 C09
 English (21) 
    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 Lilienthal, 1941 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Fine, 1945 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Gurgenidze, 1960 1-0
   Kan vs Boleslavsky, 1952 0-1
   Euwe vs Boleslavsky, 1953 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1947)
   USSR Championship (1945)
   Budapest Candidates (1950)
   Saltsjobaden Interzonal (1948)
   USSR Championship (1944)
   Moscow (1947)
   USSR Absolute Championship (1941)
   USSR Championship (1952)
   6th Soviet Team Cup (1968)
   USSR Championship (1940)
   Groningen (1946)
   USSR Championship (1949)
   USSR Championship (1950)
   USSR Championship (1956)
   USSR Championship (1957)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Isaac Boleslavsky - Selected Games by mneuwirth
   Isaac Boleslavsky - Selected Games by Benzol
   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
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(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 33; games 1-25 of 824  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Boleslavsky vs E Korchmar 1-0401938UKR-chC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
2. Belakovsky vs Boleslavsky 0-1311938UKR-chA84 Dutch
3. V Sozin vs Boleslavsky  0-1471938Ch Trade Unions (team sf)A04 Reti Opening
4. Polyak vs Boleslavsky 0-1231938UKR-chC07 French, Tarrasch
5. Boleslavsky vs A Budo  1-0291939Tournament of candidates and mastersE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
6. Boleslavsky vs Batyev 1-0511939Tournament of candidates and mastersB10 Caro-Kann
7. Chetalbash vs Boleslavsky  0-1551939UKR-chA84 Dutch
8. Boleslavsky vs A Khavin 1-0271940Ukraine ChB10 Caro-Kann
9. I Rudakovsky vs Boleslavsky  0-1521940Ukraine ChC09 French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line
10. Boleslavsky vs Polyak 1-0341940Exhibition TournamentB10 Caro-Kann
11. Boleslavsky vs Lilienthal  ½-½421940USSR ChampionshipC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
12. Botvinnik vs Boleslavsky 1-0491940USSR ChampionshipE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
13. Boleslavsky vs I Rudakovsky  ½-½441940USSR ChampionshipB83 Sicilian
14. Bondarevsky vs Boleslavsky  ½-½341940USSR ChampionshipC09 French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line
15. Boleslavsky vs Lisitsin ½-½281940USSR ChampionshipC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
16. Boleslavsky vs Smyslov ½-½551940USSR ChampionshipB10 Caro-Kann
17. Levenfish vs Boleslavsky 0-1771940USSR ChampionshipE64 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav System
18. Boleslavsky vs P Dubinin 0-1441940USSR ChampionshipB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
19. Petrov vs Boleslavsky  0-1521940USSR ChampionshipA45 Queen's Pawn Game
20. Boleslavsky vs M Stolberg 1-0321940USSR ChampionshipC11 French
21. Ragozin vs Boleslavsky  0-1531940USSR ChampionshipA02 Bird's Opening
22. Boleslavsky vs Panov  1-0541940USSR ChampionshipC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
23. Veresov vs Boleslavsky ½-½411940USSR ChampionshipE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
24. Boleslavsky vs V Makogonov 1-0361940USSR ChampionshipB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
25. Keres vs Boleslavsky  ½-½411940USSR ChampionshipC15 French, Winawer
 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 824  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  knightour: Do not buy the book titled "Isaac Boleslavsky" by Jesse Russel and Ronald Cohn. It doesn't have any chess games of the grandmaster or anyone else for that matter. The worst chess book I ever bought.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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 $2.95 shipping.Perhaps someone can give a review of the book and point out the positive values. I bought the book to get some sort of collection of Boleslavsky's games.I no longer have the book.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I've bought it! I hope it's good!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It has just arrived! What a piece of @#$%! 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?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I'm in Peking.
May-01-15  john barleycorn: good for Peking
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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)

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

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