the sorcerer's apprentice (gnv64)

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  • T H E

    S O R C E R E R ' S A P P R E N T I C E

    D A V I D B R O N S T E I N a n d

    T O M F U R S T E N B E R G

    C A D O G A N chess




    Created by David Bronstein Compiled by Tom FUrstenberg

    C A D O G A N chess


  • Copyright 1995 David Bronstein and Tom Furstenberg

    First published 1995 by Cadogan Books pIc, 27-29 Berwick St, London WIV 3RF. Reprinted 1998 (with corrections).

    Distributed in North America by The Globe Pequot Press, 6 Business Park Rd, P.O. Box 833, Old Saybrook, Connecticut 06475-0833, USA

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission in writing from the publishers.

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

    A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

    ISBN 1 85744 151 6

    Typeset by ChessSetter

    Cover illustration by Sammy Rubinstein, son of Eugenie Lew and Akiba Rubinstein, another grandmaster to share David's fate as one of the strongest players never to become World Champion

    Cover design by Brian Robins

    Printed in Great Britain by Redwood Books, Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

  • Contents

    The Sorcerer's Apprentice 9

    A Word to the Reader 15

    Devik 19

    40 25

    40 Combinations 29

    50 69

    50 Games with Comments 71

    60 201

    60 Games with Diagrams 205

    70 263

    70 Picturesque Games 273

    One Horse is faster than another 287

    Index of Opponents 295

    Index of Openings 297

    List of Results 299

  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice

    When 1 was about 6 or 7 years old 1 often went for long walks by myself through the for-est, and when 1 grew tired 1 would lie on my back watching the trees and listening to the wind. It was then that 1 wondered if the wind was caused by the swaying tree tops or if the wind made the tree tops sway.

    This thought came back to me when 1 read somewhere of what Petrosian had said about David: 'The younger generation of players think that modern chess began with such things as the Informator but players of my generation know that it started with Bronstein!'

    It was an extremely difficult task trying to make a selection for this book as there are literally hundreds and hundreds of David Bronstein's games in my home. Quite a few of them have never been published before. 1 guess they await other books, yet to be writ-ten.

    David and 1 have worked many hours together. This was an extremely tiring but, in the end, a very rewarding experience for both of us. Many, many times 1 had to rewrite his comments as he was not satisfied. Games were replaced with others ... and replaced again. Comments were changed and ... changed again. Our grandmaster wanted to make games and comments easy to understand and to explain in simple terms the beauty of a real fight on the chessboard, the elements of strategy and the finesses of combinations. Have we succeeded? You, the reader, will be the judge of that.

    Many times 1 have benefited from David's fantastic memory He recalled dates, places, games, events and incidents as if they occurred yesterday. For instance, when he looked at his game with Donner (page 277), played more than 30 years ago, he immediately saw there was something wrong but could not pinpoint what it was. 1 checked and indeed there were two moves missing!

    When we selected photographs for this book and looked at the one from the Candi-dates Tournament in Amsterdam 1956, where David was shown seated behind the board without his opponent, 1 asked him whom he was playing. He looked a couple of seconds at the position on the board and recognised his game with Herman Pilnik!

    Often, when we looked at a game, instead of making the annotations he started remi-niscing. 1 heard many fascinating stories which, 1 imagine, should all be part of David's autobiography. He has been working on it now for several years but, besides a basic out-line and a couple of chapters, nothing has come of it. Because of his very complicated life, our chess hero just doesn't have the time! This is a pity because he has so many in-credible stories to tell and he is the only person who can do it. He allowed me to use some of them in this book but don't worry, there are more than enough left for his autobiogra-phy.

    Whilst touring through Switzerland in 1965 giving simultaneous exhibitions, Paul Keres, who always memorised all travel time-tables and knew precisely all the compli-cated rules of travel, decided to send luggage back home separately by boat quite cheaply instead of having to carry it himself. However, if it were at least 100 kgs, the cost per kilo would be greatly reduced. As it was not possible to take home any prize-money in hard currency it was usually converted into goods beforehand. Keres had already done some shopping but did not yet have enough to make up 100 kgs. So, on a free day Paul Keres knocked on David's door. 'I know that you have not yet done any shopping for yourself. Would you like to come along now and buy something heavy for yourself?'

  • 10 The Sorcerer's Apprentice

    he said. David was of course bewildered by this question until Keres explained his rea-sons. They went to a shop and David looked for many things he could use but Paul shook his head: 'Not heavy enough.' Finally David found a stereo amplifier, a heavy one! That was what Keres was looking for and together with his own purchases they reached 100 kgs and he was very happy. David baptised this amplifier 'Keres' and has kept it in his apartment in Moscow all these years. It is still working fine!

    Before the last round of the Staunton tournament in Groningen 1946 Najdorf was taking bets for 500 guilders that he would beat Botvinnik in their game the next day. Not only would he win but he would 'pluck him like a chicken', and this was exactly what happened, just as Najdorf had predicted! Botvinnik never forgave Najdorf for this and when Reuben Fine pulled out of The Hague/Moscow tournament in 1948 for the va-cant World Championship throne it would have been natural to have given this place to Najdorf. However, Botvinnik strongly opposed this suggestion and nothing came of it.

    The evening before David had to play Najdorf in the Interzonal Tournament 1948 in Saltsjobaden they played a series of five-minute games and David came out on top. He then exploited his victory to intimidate Najdorf the next day. After playing the Dutch Defence David's position was not as good as he had hoped. When both players were in time-trouble David suddenly proposed a draw, which came as a surprise to Najdorf. He refused with wild gestures... Then, although he had only a couple of minutes left for fif-teen moves, David got up and started looking at some of the other games, while watch-ing Najdorf out of the corner of his eye. Najdorf stopped looking at the position and stared at David in amazement; he was shocked! After a minute he beckoned David back to the table with both hands and agreed to accept the draw in a better position! David was a young player then. Later in life he never played such tricks on his opponents again.

    The two adversaries in this story met again at the Argentina vs. USSR match playing first board for their countries between 16 and 25 March 1954. The match was staged in the Cervantes theatre and all seats were taken by an enthusiastic audience. It was a very great cultural event. At the opening ceremony President Juan Peron made the first move for Najdorf but as soon as Peron had left the stage Najdorf changed his move from 1 e4 to 1 d4. He shook his head: 'No, no, he made a mistake, that is not my move.'

    Najdorf and David played their four games on the same chessboard that was used by Capablanca and Alekhine in their match for the World Championship in 1927. David won the first two games then lost a game. Then, although a pawn up, Najdorf proposed a draw in their last encounter. David declined because he felt that Najdorf should play on for a win. Then something very strange happened. Najdorf left the table and went to find the captain of the Soviet team, grandmaster Viacheslav Ragozin, complaining that David had refused his offer of a draw! Ragozin called David to him and said in angry voice: 'You should accept immediately! You are winning this mini-match with Najdorf. What more do you want?' They shook hands and signed the peace on the spot!

    Once, when David was playing a game with Smyslov for the 1944 Soviet Champion-ship, he kept looking at his watch and finally decided to offer a draw. They exchanged a few words, Smyslov accepted the draw and both started to leave the playing hall. The ar-biter however stopped them and said in a very surprised voice: 'Why a draw? There is no valid reason to decide the game as a draw; there still is a lot of play!' 'Yes but we are hun-gry and in five minutes the cafeteria closes and we will no longer be able to have a meal,' replied David. 'That is a perfectly valid reason,' the arbiter agreed! You can find this game on page 273.

    Another tournament; again David was playing Smyslov and this time they agreed to a draw in 12 moves. A high chess official furiously told them that they should have contin-ued to play. After all, the SovietChess Federation was paying them! David's answer became

  • 11 The Sorcerer's Apprentice

    a classic in Soviet chess circles: 'Do you really believe that I