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David Bronstein Dies at 82 Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
December 7, 2006
The cover of David Bronstein's instructional, personal book, (co-written with Tom Furtsenberg) invites readers to become Bronstein's apprentice.

David Bronstein (1924-2006) was a World Championship contender and an acclaimed chess artist. He was born on Feb.19,1924 in Bila Tserkva(outside Kiev and died Tuesday, December 5th in Minsk, Belarus of unknown causes. Bronstein was known as much for his books such as, Zurich International Chess Tournament 1953 (Dover) and The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Everyman Books) as for his near World Championship victory against Botvinnik in 1951.

He explained the ideas behind chess moves in fluid prose rather than litanies of variations. A typical example is in Zurich International Chess Tournament 1953, in which he wrote about a game between Keres and Petrosian: "An interesting psychological motif is becoming apparent here. By making only 'natural' and 'necessary' moves, Keres is trying to deceive his opponent into thinking that he plans nothing more than the steady improvement of his position. In fact, he has something completely different in mind (it's hard to believe this)-- to whip up an attack on the h-file!" About his beloved King's Indian, Bronstein wrote: "The secret of the King's Indian hardihood is that, while conceding space, Black builds a few small but weighty details into his configuration."

The following famous Bronstein King's Indian victory reveals his thrilling style:


In the 1950 Candidates tournament, Bronstein won the right to play Botvinnik by defeating Boleslavsky. The 1951 match, held in Moscow, could not have been closer. Bronstein won the 22nd game:


Bronstein was now leading the 24 game match 11.5-10.5, but he needed a full point (either two draws or a win) as the match ruled a victory for the defending champion on a level score. Unfortunately he lost game 23, and was unable to win the 24th game with White, along with the World Championship title.


Bronstein often suffered from time pressure, and it is not surprising that along with Fischer, he was a pioneer of the delay clock. In a delay time control, a certain number of seconds are added for each move, but they do not accumulate as in an increment time control, like the official FIDE time control, which includes a 30 second increment per move.

Bronstein won many tournaments and awards such as sharing first in two USSR Championships (1948 and 1948), earning four Olympic gold medals, six Moscow Championship titles and a clear win in the 1955 Gotteborg Interzonal.

David Bronstein was a pioneer in attack, writing and time control. He will be sorely missed.