Whenever any grandmaster of chess is asked the question “Which chess book helped you the most” or “To what book do you most attribute your success”, the answer is almost always the same. All or almost all grandmasters say there is one book that stands above all others in leading to success over the board. The name of that book is: International Grandmasters Chess Tournament Zurich 1953 by David Bronstein, which is reprinted here under the more commonly used title of World Chess Championship Candidates Tournament Zurich 1953.
What is it that makes this book so much better than the others? Is it the deep analysis, the explanation of the ideas or is it the personality of the author himself in his exuberant explanations of how the struggle creates art.
Of the 15 grandmasters competing in Zurich 1953, nine were from the Soviet Union. The only truly Western players were one from Sweden and one from the Netherlands. The player from Argentina and the player from the USA were both born in Poland, plus there was one player from Yugoslavia and one from Hungary. With Fine again declining his invitation, this left a tournament with two from the 1948 tournament, Reshevsky and Keres, five from the 1950 Candidates, Bronstein, Boleslavsky, Smyslov, Keres and Najdorf, and eight from the 1951 Interzonal, Kotov, Taimanov, Petrosian, Geller, Averbakh, Stahlberg, Szabo, and Gligoric.
These 15 players were absolutely the strongest players in the world with the exception of the world champion Botvinnik. As it was a double round robin, every player played 28 games for a total of 210 games in all.