AN OLD RUSSIAN PROVERB SAYS that the thirst for power is the hardest to quench. Ivan Shishman, Ivan Alexander’s frstborn son from his second marriage, craved power. But his proved to be a short brush with power. He succeeded his father to the throne in Turnovo, but the state had become a shadow of one-time great Bulgaria. Almost all ties with the other two Bulgarian states, Ivan Sratsimir’s Vidin principality and the Dobroudja principality of Despot Dobrotitsa, had been severed. Ivan Shishman’s struggle to survive under the pressure of the Ottoman offensive soon turned into a desperate and valiant, though hopeless fight.