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Petrosian Memorial Tournament

Borislav Ivkov5/9(+1 -0 =8)[games]
Lajos Portisch5/9(+1 -0 =8)[games]
Mark Taimanov4.5/9(+0 -0 =9)[games]
Boris Spassky4.5/9(+0 -0 =9)[games]
Vasily Smyslov4.5/9(+0 -0 =9)[games]
Vlastimil Hort4.5/9(+0 -0 =9)[games]
Yuri Balashov4.5/9(+0 -0 =9)[games]
Vitaly Tseshkovsky4.5/9(+1 -1 =7)[games]
Svetozar Gligoric4/9(+0 -1 =8)[games]
Bent Larsen4/9(+0 -1 =8)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Petrosian Memorial (1999)
So here's the idea. To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the death of former World Champion Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian and the 70th of his birth, a memorial tournament was organized in Moscow featuring ten of his contemporaries:

Yuri Balashov (50); Svetozar Gligoric (76); Vlastimil Hort (55); Borislav Ivkov (65); Bent Larsen (64); Lajos Portisch (62); Vasily Smyslov (78); Boris Spassky (62); Mark Taimanov (73); Vitaly Tseshkovsky (54).

Sounds nice, but think about it. Ten players, ranging in age from 50 to 78, playing in a <Petrosian Memorial>. So how do you best honor Tigran Petrosian?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts 01 Ivkov * 1 5.0 02 Portisch * 1 5.0 03 Taimanov * 4.5 04 Spassky * 4.5 05 Smyslov * 4.5 06 Hort * 4.5 07 Balashov * 4.5 08 Tseshkovsky 0 * 1 4.5 09 Gligoric 0 * 4.0 10 Larsen 0 * 4.0

This could be regarded as the Least Interesting Tournament in the World, with 42 draws in 45 games and five of the ten players drawing every game.

So who stepped out of line? Larsen, of course, but you have to expect that. The big offender was the youthful Tseshkovsky, with two decisive results in the first four rounds. I imagine his elders sat him down and told him to get with the program, and he took the advice: every game in the last five rounds was drawn.

But mocking and criticizing this tournament is the wrong attitude to take. Instead, it should probably be regarded more as an exhibition than a truly serious competition. Many sports will have "Old-Timers" games, where retired players will dress up in their uniforms and go through the motions. The attraction is not who wins or loses or what the final score is, but just watching the legends of long ago gathered together - here, in tribute to a fallen comrade.

Original collection: Game Collection: Petrosian Memorial 1999, by User: Phony Benoni.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Portisch vs Spassky  ½-½161999Petrosian MemorialD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
2. Hort vs Balashov  ½-½241999Petrosian MemorialD01 Richter-Veresov Attack
3. Smyslov vs Ivkov  ½-½141999Petrosian MemorialE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
4. Gligoric vs Tseshkovsky  0-1261999Petrosian MemorialB08 Pirc, Classical
5. Larsen vs Taimanov  ½-½291999Petrosian MemorialA17 English
6. Balashov vs Smyslov  ½-½101999Petrosian MemorialC42 Petrov Defense
7. Spassky vs Ivkov  ½-½171999Petrosian MemorialB30 Sicilian
8. Taimanov vs Gligoric  ½-½171999Petrosian MemorialA04 Reti Opening
9. Portisch vs Larsen 1-0261999Petrosian MemorialE14 Queen's Indian
10. Tseshkovsky vs Hort  ½-½671999Petrosian MemorialC67 Ruy Lopez
11. Smyslov vs Tseshkovsky  ½-½121999Petrosian MemorialC48 Four Knights
12. Hort vs Taimanov  ½-½191999Petrosian MemorialB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
13. Gligoric vs Portisch  ½-½301999Petrosian MemorialE52 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with ...b6
14. Larsen vs Spassky  ½-½271999Petrosian MemorialA15 English
15. Ivkov vs Balashov  ½-½171999Petrosian MemorialE19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
16. Tseshkovsky vs Ivkov  0-1631999Petrosian MemorialC91 Ruy Lopez, Closed
17. Spassky vs Balashov  ½-½191999Petrosian MemorialE46 Nimzo-Indian
18. Taimanov vs Smyslov ½-½131999Petrosian MemorialA06 Reti Opening
19. Larsen vs Gligoric  ½-½341999Petrosian MemorialC50 Giuoco Piano
20. Portisch vs Hort  ½-½491999Petrosian MemorialD92 Grunfeld, 5.Bf4
21. Gligoric vs Spassky  ½-½131999Petrosian MemorialD58 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst
22. Balashov vs Tseshkovsky  ½-½131999Petrosian MemorialC67 Ruy Lopez
23. Hort vs Larsen  ½-½121999Petrosian MemorialA35 English, Symmetrical
24. Smyslov vs Portisch ½-½161999Petrosian MemorialD41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
25. Ivkov vs Taimanov  ½-½101999Petrosian MemorialA15 English
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-01-15  landogriffin: This is brilliant.
Came here from Wiki "Chess World Records" page.
Tournament to honour "Iron Tigran" ends up with highest draw % recorded (93%, 42/45) - maybe there is a god?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I think the introduction describes the situation very well. The guys probably had a great time talking about past battles, reminiscing about Tigran... I think the Elo Category must have been quite high. These were very strong players.
Mar-25-16  RookFile: A humorous result for this tournament. Petrosian had his share of draws, but he also had a healthy winning percentage!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Smyslov certainly didn't knock himself out:

1. Smyslov vs Ivkov - 14 moves
2. Balashov vs Smyslov - 10
3. Smyslov vs Tseshkovsky - 12
4. Taimanov vs Smyslov - 13
5. Smyslov vs Portisch - 16
6. Larsen vs Smyslov - 15
7. Smyslov vs Gligoric - 13
8. Hort vs Smyslov - 11

116 moves!
9. Smyslov vs Spassky - 11

Jan-06-17  Petrosianic: Most of them showed up only for the buffet. Spassky's 21.8 moves per game average is pretty typical of his results after around 1980-ish.

Smyslov's 12 moves/game average was a matter of necessity. At his age, they could only take him out of the icebox for a half hour at a time.

Even in this tournament, Portisch beats Larsen, so at least there are some things you can count on.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: 22 draws of less than 20 moves each. Did I count correctly? If yes, that equals almost half of the games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: These grotesque quick and many draws produced one of the smallest spreads of any chess crosstable: <Only one point separated the (two) tournament winners from the (two) tailenders in a ten player field.>
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