David Bronstein

Dawid Ionowitsch Bronstein (Russian Давид Ионович Бронштейн; scientific transliteration David Ionovič Bronshteyn born February 19, 1924 in Bila Tserkva, Ukrainian SSR, † December 5, 2006 in Minsk, Belarus ) was a Soviet chess grandmaster.

Life and tournament successes

David Bronstein was the only son of a mill manager and a doctor. His father was arrested in December 1937 during the Stalinist purges and only returned in February 1944 with a broken health from the prison camp back.

Bronstein's talent came at a very young age days. He was trained in the Soviet chess school of Alexander Konstantinopolski. In 1937 Bronstein was second in the Ukrainian championship in 1939, he won it. In 1941 he was awarded the Soviet Championship title. In the same year he had to flee from the Germans from Kiev, but was not used for service in the Red Army because of poor eyesight. In 1944 he caused a sensation by beating the eventual champion Mikhail Botvinnik. In 1945 he was third in the USSR championship. In 1948, he won the Interzonal in Saltsjöbaden and came 1948 and 1949 respectively on the shared first place in the USSR Championship.

Candidates tournament in 1950, he succeeded the last lap to overtake the erstwhile leader Grandmaster Boleslawski, which had a playoff result. After the regular twelve matches of the competition was again a draw. The regulations stipulated in this case that the next game would decide victory. After a draw in the 13th game succeeded Bronstein in the 14th game to win with the black pieces the decisive victory.

Due to this success Bronstein was the challenger to World Champion Botvinnik, which in itself had the World Cup tournament in 1948 against Vasily Smyslov, Paul Keres, Samuel Reshevsky, and Max Euwe can decide in 1951. In the world championship fight applied to 24 games Bronstein led after 22 games with 11,5:10,5. In the penultimate game, however, he was beaten and could not win the last game, so that Botvinnik had defended his title with a draw ( 12:12 ). There were always rumors that Bronstein had been set by state officials under pressure to deliberately lose the match. He himself said later in the public evasive about it.

In 1953 he became the Candidates Tournament Vasily Smyslov second behind. Bronstein's tournament book, which was published in German under the title Star hours of chess (1991, ISBN 3-328-00428-9 ) is one, because of the quality of his Annotations to the best works of chess literature. In 1955 he won in Gothenburg again an Interzonal, but could not qualify for a world championship match in the Candidates' Tournament in 1956 in Amsterdam.

Bronstein continued to participate in many major tournaments, including the Interzone tournaments in 1958, 1964 and 1973. At the Chess Olympiads of 1952, 1954, 1956 and 1958 he played for the Soviet team and scored a total of 39 points from 49 games ( 30, = 18, -1). Town Chief of Moscow he was in 1946, 1953, 1957, 1961, 1968 and 1982. His last USSR Championship, he played in 1975 in Yerevan.

In 1976 he refused to sign a resolution against the émigré Victor Korchnoi and was it occupied by the Soviet sports management with a 14 -year travel ban to the West.

In the early 1990s he played as one of the first Grand Master of numerous games against chess computers, including at the AEGON tournaments in The Hague. In the strong field tournament of Hastings 1994/95 Bronstein became the first split - fourth Price and then announced his retirement from competitive chess.

His best historical Elo rating was 2792nd This he achieved in June 1951. At the time he was also # 1 in the world rankings.

Bronstein was engaged in a very dynamic style and felt especially in complicated positions well. He played " romantic " openings like the King's Gambit, but also enriched modern systems like the King's Indian Defense with many ideas. Bronstein also wrote a total of eight studies published 1948-1997.

From 1984, Bronstein was with Tatjana Boleslawskaja ( b. 1946 ), daughter of Isaac Boleslawski married.

Game examples

In this position, the job of the whites is not easy. However, it was a " genius, really Bronsteinscher incident ". 1 g3 - g4 ! Kf5xg4 2 a5 - a6 e6 - e5? Minić fall into Bronstein case. With 2 ... Kf5 he would have been able to resist. 3 Rb7 - c7 Tc3 -b3 4 Tc7xc6 Tb3xb4 5 a6- a7 Black resigned. After 5 ... Ta4 Bronstein would have forced the diversion victims Tc4 6 conversion. The meaning of the first train was to prepare this sacrifice.

  • See also: Bronstein - Geller, Moscow, 1961


On a suggestion Bronsteins the rule goes back that one can only offer directly with moving a piece draw. He also developed relevant thoughts on the abolition of suspended one game by new concepts of reflection control, which should make chess more attractive for spectators. The so-called Bronstein mode, the player next to the main time for each train a time credit, but these can not accumulate in contrast to the fishing mode.


  • David Bronstein: Successful Learning Chess: Opening and middlegame strategy. Falken- Verlag, Niedernhausen 1989. ISBN 3-8068-0991-7
  • David Bronstein: Great moments of chess. Zurich 1953. Sporting Verlag, Berlin, 1991, ISBN 3-328-00428-9
  • David Bronstein and Tom Furstenberg: The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Edition Olms, Zurich 1997, ISBN 3-283-00326-2
  • David Bronstein and Sergey Voronkov: Secret notes. Edition Olms, Zurich 2007, ISBN 978-3-283-00464-4