Round 1: Stalin struck two blows at Lenin's funeral. 1. he tricked Trotsky into not turning up for the funeral - damaged his reputation 2. he made most of funeral, setting himself up as Lenin's succeeder
Round 2:Stalin dodges a knock-out Krupskaya gave Lenin's testament to Central committee in may 1924 before 13 congress party. Zinoviev + Kamenev urged it should not become general info about Lenin's dismissal of Stalin. They thought that Stalin presented no threat to them or the party, they wanted Stalin's help in defeating Trotsky. They thought the testament might help Trotsky. Trotsky remained silent, unwilling to become involved. This was a major mistake on his part.
Round 3 - Trotsky about to be bowled up. Zinoviev, Kamenev & Stalin, now effectively a trio leading the party, presented a party policy at congress. Trotsky criticised party for becoming bureaucratic & less democratic, Trotsky was easily defeated in votes because congress was paced with 'well instructed Stalinist delegates'. Trotsky could have appealed to supporters inside & out of party but had approved the 'ban of factions' 1921, and unwilling to cause splits in party
Round 4 - The left tires out. 1924 - Zinoviev + Kamenev mounted a vicious campaign against Trotsky. questioning his loyalty and raising his opposition to Lenin before 1917. Trotsky retaliated by attacking them in 'lessons of October', in which he criticised their unwillingness to back Lenin. Stalin stayed in background, happy to see left wing side tear itself apart. Zinoviev + Kamenev , still frightened of Trotsky allowed Stalin to bring more of his supporters into key positions in the party organisation, forming majorities on committees and at conferences
Round 5 - Knockout blow for the left 1925 - Stalin's 'Socialism in One Country' proved very popular with party members, attracted right wing of party because it seemed to fit with NEP. New alliance emerged between Stalin in centre of the party & Bukharin, supporting NEP and cooperation with peasants. 14th party congress 1925, Zinoviev & Kamenev attacked Stalin, calling for vote of no confidence in him, the ending of the NEP & tough line against the peasants. Stalin's control of party machines was so complete they gave him little trouble. they lost every vote, Stalin had control of delegates. 1926, they joined Trotsky to form a 'united Opposition' & made appeal to party masses and the workers. this = mistake as could now be accused of 'factionalism', as a result they lost all 3 lost positions of power, in 1927 were expelled from the party
Round 6 - The Goal to win! 1928 - Stalin turned against NEP & attacked R.wing of party advocated rapid-industrialisation & use of force to make peasants cooperate, the very policies of the left that he had just smashed! Bukharin took strong defence of NEP but at congress of 1929 found himself outvoted by Stalin's supporters, who were joined by those on left who supported anit-NEP. Bukharin + right wing leaders, Rykov and Tomsky, were removed from politburo and other party bodies.
The winner- Dec. 1929, Stalin 50th birthday. He was now undisputed leader of the USSR