World Championship Match between Mikhail Botvinnik and David Bronstein and the Staunton Memorial Tournament 1951

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Author: Wood, Baruch Harold [editor]

Year: 1951

Publisher: Chess

Place: Sutton Coldfield


[138]-268 pages with diagrams, tables, photographs and illustrations. Royal octavo (9 3/4" x 7 1/2") bound in brown cloth with gilt lettering to spine and original wrappers bound in. Volume 16, numbers 187-191 of Chess magazine. First edition.

The 1951 World Chess Championship was between 39 year old defending champion Mikhail Botvinnik of the Soviet Union and 27 year old challenger David Bronstein who was also the defending champion. To determine who would challenge Botvinnik for the title, FIDE held one interzonal tournament, with the top 8 advancing. The top 8 advancing were Bronstein (13.5/19), Laszlo Szabo (12.5/19), Isaac Boleslavsky (12/19), Alexander Kotov (11.5/19), Andre Lilienthal (11/19) along with Miguel Najdorf, Gideon Stahlberg and Salomon Flohr (those 3, along with Igor Bondarevsky all finished with 10.5/19, and were going to compete for the 3 remaining spots in the next round, but Bondarevsky withdrew, automatically sending the other 3). The above 8, along with Vasily Smyslov, Paul Keres, Samuel Reshevsky and Max Euwe (who competed in the previous championship tournament) and Reuben Fine (who had to withdraw the 1948 tournament) all competed in a double round robin in Budapest. However, Reshevsky, Euwe and Fine refused to participate. Bronstein and Boleslavsky both finished with 12/18, and played a 12 game match to determine who would face Botvinnik. It was tied 6-6 after 12, so those two kept playing until a decisive game came up. Bronstein won the 2nd playoff game with the black pieces to advance. The match was a best of 24 games. The first player to reach 12 1/2 points would be the winner. If the match ended in a 12-12 tie, then the defending champion (in this case Botvinnik) would retain the title. The match took place in Moscow. The first game was played on March 14th, 1951. The match ended on May 11th, 1951. After a draw in Game 24, the match was tied 12-12. Since the match was tied, the defending champion (Botvinnik in this case) retained his title.

Staunton Memorial tournaments had previously been held in 1946 (Groningen, Mikhail Botvinnik won) and in 1951 (Cheltenham - Lemington Spa - Birmingham, Svetozar Gligorić won with Vasja Pirc, Gideon Stahlberg and Petar Trifunovic tied for second through fourth half point behind). The latter commemorated the one hundred years that had passed since the London 1851 chess tournament, a landmark event in Staunton's life.


Corners bumped. Original issues bound in a very good copy.