As a celebration of David Bronstein’s 90th birthday (*February 19th 1924 †December 5th 2006), his home of choice, the city of Minsk, hosted a tournament in memory of the chess revolutionist and world championship challenger of 1951.
The tournament was, due to the high amount of prize money of 10,000 USD, strongly cast. In the end, Baadur Jovoba prevailed over Sergey Fedorchuk and Mikhailo Oleksienko with a better secondary evaluation.
David Bornstein was born son of a Jewish couple in Bilka Zerkwa (Ukraine), and had the strongest stage of his career in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Definite highlight was the world championship duel against Mikhail Botvonnik in 1951, at which Bronstein under mysterious circumstances lost the 23rd and penultimate duel, although he had been in lead. Botvonnik secured the title after all, at an equality in score. Despite the fact that Bronstein continued to be one of the best chess players in the USSR, he never again played a world championship duel.
After his talent had been recognized, the Russian chess official and NKWD-officer Boris Weinstein mentored and trained Bronstein. Weinstein kept his enemy Mikhail Botvonnik under close watch and would have been very pleased to dethrone the world champion. Botvonnik, on the other hand, had access to foreign minister Molotov, so that the 1951 world championship duel was also a battle of two different forces within the Soviet Union. In 1976 Bronstein refused to sign a resolution against the USSR refugee Kortschnoj for which he was punished with a prohibition on leaving the Soviet territory for 14 years.
The picture shows David Bronstein in 1968 (by Eric Koch / ANeFo)
translated by Birthe