Kronsteen’s Chess

Posted on March 17, 2013


“I believe that the most unforgettable game was the one that I played vs Bronstein in 1960. The balance between the strategy and the tactics was excellent. The idea was so good that it was used in a James Bond’s film”. – Boris Spassky,

SPECTRE No.5, Mr Kronsteen is iconic. With sparse screen time, he is one of the great Bond villains, perfectly portrayed by Vladek Sheybal. And such great lines.Kronsteen1Kronsteen is a master of chess and when we are first introduced to him in “From Russia with Love” he is in the last stages of a chess game against MacAdams of Canada. In this “International Grandmaster Championship”, the score is tied 11 1/2 when the scene starts. Actually a scene straight out of Fleming’s novel, it was enhanced by the film makers as it incorporated a real chess duel for the match winning move.
“Queen to king four.”
“Queen… to king four.”
“My congratulations, sir. A brilliant coup.”

This match deciding move was taken from a classic game in 1960, in the USSR Championship between Boris Spassky and David Bronstein. Boris Spassky, a master in victoriously playing the move called “King’s gambit” modelled Kronsteen’s game.

Read the full story of Kronsteen’s chess here, on – a site that explains the game far better than I ever could. It even includes images and interactive boards of this game for in-depth interest.

Finally a cut out from the Boris Spassky wikipedia bio:
Boris Vasilievich Spassky (also Spasskij; Бори́с Васи́льевич Спа́сский; born January 30, 1937) is a Soviet-French chess grandmaster. He was the tenth World Chess Champion, holding the title from 1969 to 1972. He is known as one of the greatest living chess players, and is the oldest living world champion.   Spassky won the Soviet Chess Championship twice outright (1961, 1973), and twice lost in playoffs (1956, 1963), after tying for first place during the event proper. He was a World Chess Championship candidate on seven occasions (1956, 1965, 1968, 1974, 1977, 1980, and 1985).   Spassky defeated Tigran Petrosian in 1969 to become World Champion, then lost the title in the Fischer–Spassky match in 1972 – one of the most famous chess matches in history.