David Ionovich Bronstein (born February 19, 1924) is renowned as a leading chess grandmaster and writer. He was born in Belaya Tserkov near Kiev, Ukraine.
Described as a creative genius and master of tactics by pundits and plaudits the world over, David Bronstein provides ample evidence that chess should be regarded as part science, part art.
His first international tournament success occurred at the Saltsjobaden Interzonal of 1948, in which he qualified for the Candidates Tournament of 1950 in Budapest, running out the eventual winner over Isaac Boleslavsky in a (Moscow) play-off. This period saw a meteoric rise in Bronstein's development as he prepared for the first official world title challenge match, in 1951.
Widely considered to be one of the greatest players not to have won the world championship (an accolade he shares with the likes of Paul Keres, Victor Korchnoi and Bent Larsen) he went agonisingly close to his goal when he drew the challenge match for the title of world champion by a score of 12-12 with Mikhail Botvinnik, the reigning champion. Under FIDE rules, the title remained with the holder and Bronstein was never to come so close again.
He has taken many first prizes in tournaments, among the most notable being the USSR Championships of 1948 (jointly with Alexander Kotov) and 1949 (jointly with Vasily Smyslov). He is also a six times winner of the Moscow Championships and represented Russia at the Olympiads of 1952, 1954, 1956 and 1958, winning board prizes at each of them.
David Bronstein has also written a number of chess books and articles. He is perhaps most highly regarded for his authorship of Zurich International Chess Tournament 1953 (English translation 1979) and co-authorship of The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1995), both of which have become landmarks in chess publishing history and in which Bronstein seeks to amplify the ideas behind the players' moves, rather than burdening the reader with pages of analysis of moves that never made it onto the scoresheet. His theoretical work in transforming the King's Indian from a dubious (pre-World War II) to reliable (post-World War II) defence should not go unnoticed and is evidenced in his contribution to the 1999 book, Bronstein on the King's Indian.
In latter years, Bronstein has continued to play chess at a good level and has inspired young and old alike with endless simultaneous displays, a warm, gracious attitude and glorious tales of his own, rich chess heritage.
The Oxford Companion to Chess (Hooper and Whyld) - 1984
(Guinness) Chess; The Records (Whyld) - 1986
International Championship Chess (Kazic) - 1974
The Encyclopaedia of Chess (Sunnucks) - 1970