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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kotov’s Best Game

One of my all time favorite books is Bronstein's Zurich 1953. It has all the amazing games played by the world’s best players of the day who were fighting for a chance to play a match for the World Championship and Bronstein, also a participant, offers brilliant annotations and insights. What more could you ask for? One of his observations: "Exclamation marks are deserved not only for beautiful sacrifices but also by the crucial links in a consistent strategical plan."


Averbakh at Saltsjobaden 1952

Playing through some games from this book I came across (again) what was probably Alexander Kotov’s best known game. The middlegame maneuvering is pretty murky and analyst disagree with the engines as to how much of an advantage White actually has in the position up to about move 20. If you have not seen this game before, here it is for your enjoyment. If you have seen it, enjoy it again.


  1. I recently bought Miguel Najdorf's book of the 1953 Zurich tournament, which is available in English for the first time. Given that Bronstein's book is rightly considered a classic, you might wonder why the world need another book of the same tournament, but Najdorf's book is really good! He has a very engaging, conversational style, and he really makes the games come alive. He doesn't always agree with Bronstein's analysis, so there's a lot of food for thought. A really fine book.

  2. Thanks for the heads up! It looks to have been translated from Spanish only last year. On your advice I downloaded it this morning to my Nook for $16. After a quick glance through it it does not appear I will be disappointed.