The passing of David Bronstein

12/11/2006 – He was one of the greatest players of the middle third of the 20th century, who consistently produced beautiful games for many decades, contributed mightily to the theory of ancient, classical and trendy new openings alike. This week and the next our Playchess lecturer Dennis Monokroussos commemorates the life and works of David Bronstein.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

The passing of David Bronstein last week was the passing of a legend. Bronstein was one of the greatest players of the middle third of the 20th century, just barely missing out on the world championship in 1951 and a perennial contender for another decade and a half. But that only scratches the surface: he consistently produced beautiful games for many more decades, contributed mightily to the theory of ancient, classical and trendy new openings alike, wrote some of the game’s finest books and was an innovator as well, proposing (slightly different versions of ) shuffle chess and increment time controls years before Fischer did.

We’ll commemorate his life in this week’s show and next, focusing this week on some of his contributions to the King’s Indian Defense. It is in part because of Bronstein’s efforts that this opening, a favorite of players like Fischer and Kasparov, moved from the ranks of “irregular” to the mainstream. Bronstein, along with Boleslavsky, Geller and others demonstrated that opening’s dynamic potential and the need for White to worry about tactics all over the board, all at once.

Details Monday night at 9 pm – hope to see you then!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Mondays at 9 p.m. EDT, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Tuesday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).


Dennis Monokroussos is 40, lives in South Bend, IN, and is an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

He is fairly inactive as a player right now, spending most of his non-philosophy time being a husband and teaching chess. At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S., but quit for about eight years starting in his early 20s. His highest rating was 2434 USCF, but he has now fallen to the low-mid 2300s – "too much blitz, too little tournament chess", he says.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for seven years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.



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