Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Isaac Boleslavsky

Number of games in database: 859
Years covered: 1938 to 1971
Overall record: +336 -94 =428 (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 (150) 
    C97 C99 C89 C83 C77
 Sicilian (93) 
    B32 B58 B85 B41 B45
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (71) 
    C97 C99 C89 C92 C98
 French Defense (40) 
    C11 C15 C16 C19 C07
 Nimzo Indian (31) 
    E53 E59 E54 E46 E39
 Caro-Kann (30) 
    B10 B11 B17 B18 B15
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (115) 
    B65 B63 B58 B59 B88
 King's Indian (95) 
    E67 E64 E87 E81 E86
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (39) 
    B65 B63 B62 B60 B67
 Grunfeld (35) 
    D85 D94 D93 D81 D97
 French Defense (28) 
    C07 C11 C19 C09 C02
 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 Kotov, 1953 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Dzindzichashvili, 1967 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Smyslov, 1950 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Fine, 1945 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Lilienthal, 1941 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs B Gurgenidze, 1960 1-0
   Boleslavsky vs Bronstein, 1950 1-0
   Euwe vs Boleslavsky, 1953 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Belarusian Championship (1955)
   USSR Championship (1945)
   USSR Championship (1947)
   Moscow Championship (1942)
   Budapest Candidates (1950)
   Asztalos Memorial (1961)
   USSR Championship (1944)
   Moscow (1947)
   Saltsjobaden Interzonal (1948)
   USSR Championship (1952)
   USSR Championship (1940)
   Bucharest (1953)
   USSR Championship (1949)
   Groningen (1946)
   6th Soviet Team Cup (1968)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Isaac Boleslavsky - Selected Games by igiene
   Isaac Boleslavsky - Selected Games by Benzol
   Isaac Boleslavsky - Selected Games by mneuwirth
   0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 81 by 0ZeR0
   Secret Hero Boleslavsky by Gottschalk
   Secret Hero Boleslavsky by ScribeTide99
   Beasts Best Left Alone Says FTB RobEv 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 II that he first made a name for himself, with second place in consecutive Soviet championships. Boleslavsky continued his rise to the top in 1950, when he became the first player 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, then devoted his chess ability more toward coaching and serving as a "second" to his fellow Soviet players, while competing in Soviet championships as late as 1961. He left behind several notable contributions to theory in the King's Indian and Sicilian Defenses.

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

Wikipedia article: Isaac Boleslavsky

Last updated: 2023-08-09 13:47:39

 page 1 of 35; games 1-25 of 859  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A 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 Ratner vs Boleslavsky 0-11031939Ukrainian ChampionshipA48 King's Indian
16. Boleslavsky vs A Khavin  1-0271940Ukrainian ChampionshipB10 Caro-Kann
17. Boleslavsky vs S Zhukhovitsky  1-0361940Ukrainian ChampionshipC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
18. A Konstantinopolsky vs Boleslavsky  ½-½221940Ukrainian ChampionshipB40 Sicilian
19. Boleslavsky vs Polyak 1-0341940Exhibition TournamentB10 Caro-Kann
20. I Rudakovsky vs Boleslavsky  0-1521940Ukrainian ChampionshipC09 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 35; games 1-25 of 859  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 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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.

May-02-15  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.

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.
Dec-07-22  pazzed paun: On his visit to the Moscow chess club r.j Fischer praised a game collection off Boleslavsky games.if you take a discerning look ,you will see that rj Fishers repertoire is a carbon copy of Boleslavsky
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Never heard that before.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: A brilliant dynamic player and major Kings Indian defence exponent - for good reason he was one of the early nominated Grandmasters by FIDE.

His games are filled often with dynamic positional sacrifices - the first one I really liked was against Lisitsin ( Boleslavsky vs Lisitsin, 1956 ) but there are so many others as well.

He really seems to have very strong dynamic evaluation of positions.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: ...and on this sites list of players Boleslavsky is still not listed.

The biggest omission in my opinion.

Particularly considering how close he came to qualifying for a championship match in 1950.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <plang> If you mean the main search form of the site, I noticed if you do the tick box "Longer list", he comes up along with Bondarevsky, Kotov who were mentioned at Wiki:

"The top players of the day: world champion Mikhail Botvinnik, and those who had qualified for (or been seeded into) the inaugural Candidates Tournament in 1950: Isaac Boleslavsky, Igor Bondarevsky, David Bronstein, Max Euwe, Reuben Fine, Salo Flohr, Paul Keres, Alexander Kotov, Andor Lilienthal, Miguel Najdorf, Samuel Reshevsky, Vasily Smyslov, Gideon Ståhlberg, and László Szabó."

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Thanks, I had never noticed that option - is that new?

Being on that list is better than nothing but I still think he rates ahead of many on the main list (Kotov too).

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 7)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific player only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!
Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC