CHESS

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The Independent Culture
In the modern era, there have been only two players of whom it might fairly be said that they deserved to win the world championship yet never succeeded in doing so. Those players were David Bronstein and Paul Keres and this year is the fiftieth anniversary of their first meeting. Here's how the true giants did battle:

White: Paul Keres

Black: David Bronstein

Moscow 1946

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Qe2

This was a relatively new move at the time and seemed to catch Bronstein on the hop.

9 ... Be7 10.c4! bxc4 11.Ba4 Bd7 12.e6 fxe6 13.Bxc6 Bxc6 14.Ne5

White's double threat of Nxc6 and Qh5+ appears to have Black on the ropes, but the ingenious Bronstein finds a way to fight back.

14 ... Bb7! 15.Qh5+ g6 16.Nxg6 Nf6 17.Qh3 Rg8 18.Ne5 d4

This is the idea behind 14...Bb7! Black's king may be awkwardly stuck in the centre, but he has counterplay against g2.

19.f3 Qd5 20.Bf4 Nd7! (see diagram)

Sublimely courageous. A lesser man would have castled, giving White time to develop his own attack on the Q-side.

21.Qh5+ Rg6 22.Qxh7 Nxe5! 23.Bxe5 Rxg2+! 24.Kxg2 Qxe5

As the dust of battle settles, Black has two good bishops and a fine passed d-pawn - more than enough for his small investment of material.

25.Qg6+ Kd7 26.Nd2 Qh8 27.Kh1 Rg8 28.Qc2 Qh3 29.Rf2 Bd5 30.Ne4

White hopes this piece will put an end to Black's ambitions on the long white diagonal.

30...Bh4 31.Rff1 d3 32.Qd2 Rg4!

White has struggled to hold his game together, but this is the final splendid straw: 33.fxg4 Bxe4+ 34.Kg1 Qxg4+ is fatal to White. Meanwhile, White has no answer to the threat of Rxe4.

33.Rf2 Bxf2 34.Qxf2 Qxf3+!

Bravo! That's the way to unclutter a diagonal.

35.Qxf3 Bxe4 36.Qxe4 Rxe4 37.Rd1 Re2

Now 38.b3 d2 wins at once for Black, while 38.Kg1 Rxb2 is too miserable even to contemplate.

White resigned.

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