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Tigran Petrosian's Best Games
Compiled by KingG

The best games of Petrosian's career.

Chess is a game by its form, an art by its content and a science by the difficulty of gaining mastery in it. Chess can convey as much happiness as a good book or work of music can. However, it is necessary to learn to play well and only afterwards will one experience real delight. - Tigran Petrosian

One must beware of unnecessary excitement. - Tigran Petrosian

Some consider that when I play I am excessively cautious, but it seems to me that the question may be a different one. I try to avoid chance. Those who rely on chance should play cards or roulette. Chess is something quite different. - Tigran Petrosian

They say my chess games should be more interesting. I could be more interesting - and also lose. - Tigran Petrosian

It does not really matter, as long as it is an extra one. - Tigran Petrosian (on which was his favorite chess piece)

I know I am not on form when the best move is not the one that first comes to my mind. - Tigran Petrosian

In those years, it was easier to win the Soviet Championship than a game against "Iron Tigran". — Lev Polugaevsky

It is to Petrosian's advantage that his opponents never know when he is suddenly going to play like Mikhail Tal. - Boris Spassky

Petrosian was a player who spent more time considering his opponent’s possibilities than his own. – Paul Keres

The depth of Tigran’s approach to chess is the direct consequence of his clear mind and his rare insight into general aspects of chess, into subtleties of chess tactics and strategy. Petrosian performed a special kind of art in creating harmonious positions that were full of life, where apparent absence of superficial dynamism was compensated by enormous inner energy. Every subtle change in the position was always taken into consideration in the context of a complex strategy that was not obvious to his opponents. – Garry Kasparov

Careful study of Petrosian's games is required to form a clear impression of him. He was, so to speak, a very "secretive" player. We can call Petrosian the first defender with a capital D. He was the first person to demonstrate that it is possible to defend virtually every position. Petrosian contributed a defensive element to chess - an element that is being developed more and more today. He showed that chess contains an enormous number of resources, including defensive ones. - Vladimir Kramnik

Petrosian was a very intensive chess player who was hard to understand. I don't think he has been presented to the public in the correct way. He is one of the few chess players of whom I have failed to form a clear opinion after going through his games collection. There is something mysterious about Petrosian. He was a brilliant tactician and an excellent strategic player, although his positional understanding was not as good as Smyslov's. However, many people consider him to have been a master of positional play. He was definitely a player who could cope with every kind of situation, but I don't think that positional play was his cup of tea. Defence and a magnificent tactical vision were his strongest points - that's why he was so good at defence. Only a brilliant tactician can succeed in defence, and he had perfect sight of all the tactical opportunities and nuances for his opponent. I would even say that attack, rather than defence, is a positional skill. You can attack mostly on the basis of general ideas, whereas in defence you have to be specific. Calculations of lines and verification of specific positional features are more important for defence than for attack. - Vladimir Kramnik

If we look in chess history for a "double" of Petrosian, we arrive at Capablanca. Petrosian is not a tiger hat pounces on its prey, but rather a python, that smothers its victim, or a crocodile, waiting for hours for a convenient moment to land a decisive blow. Petrosian is an outstanding strategist. If he should begin to combine a little, he will be impossible to play against. - Max Euwe

Among all our grandmasters Petrosian possesses the most distinctive and original talent: he places his pieces so astutely, that all attacks on them prove very difficult. This is a subtle and rare style, to which it is hard to adapt. - Mikhail Botvinnik

Petrosian masterfully created positions that demanded of his opponents and ability to solve independent problems at the board. His opening preperation combined a knowledge of theory and a knowledge of human psychology. Players who cannot take a single step without Chess Informator were ironically called by him "children of Informator". - Vasily Smyslov

Petrosian, of course, was a phenomenonal chess talent; he played so deeply and interestingly, that he sometimes found ideas for his opponents that never even entered their heads. Petrosian had Capablanca's technique and Schlechter's sense of danger. - Mikhail Tal

A strong player knows all the rules and laws of the game. A telented player knows everything that a strong player knows, but he also sees exceptions to the rules. But major chess talents(we call them geniuses) gradulally transform these exceptions into new rules. And so on ad infinitum, since chess is inexhaustible. - Tigran Petrosian

Petrosian was able to make combinations no worse than Tal, but he restrained his talent and played purely positionally. - Anatoly Karpov

Aganalian vs Petrosian, 1945 
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 34 moves, 0-1

Snilga vs Petrosian, 1946 
(B13) Caro-Kann, Exchange, 46 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Korchnoi, 1946 
(A90) Dutch, 23 moves, 1-0

Dunaev vs Petrosian, 1946 
(B84) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 32 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Lilienthal, 1949  
(C49) Four Knights, 44 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs V Liublinsky, 1949 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 26 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Bondarevsky, 1950  
(A04) Reti Opening, 41 moves, 1-0

P Dubinin vs Petrosian, 1950 
(C18) French, Winawer, 46 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Tolush, 1950 
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 19 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Kotov, 1951 
(E68) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4, 52 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Smyslov, 1951 
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 51 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Chukaev, 1951 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 28 moves, 1-0

Szabo vs Petrosian, 1952 
(B93) Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4, 47 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Pachman, 1952 
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 36 moves, 1-0

Botvinnik vs Petrosian, 1952 
(B21) Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4, 46 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs Petrosian, 1952 
(A48) King's Indian, 29 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Keres, 1952 
(E53) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, 36 moves, 1-0

Reshevsky vs Petrosian, 1953 
(E58) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 8...Bxc3, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Petrosian vs M Yudovich Sr., 1953 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 38 moves, 1-0

Taimanov vs Petrosian, 1953 
(A70) Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3, 38 moves, 0-1

O Troianescu vs Petrosian, 1953 
(A04) Reti Opening, 57 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Kozali, 1954 
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 29 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Taimanov, 1955 
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 24 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Benko, 1955 
(E26) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 27 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs G Barcza, 1955 
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 60 moves, 1-0

Polugaevsky vs Petrosian, 1956 
(E63) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation, 35 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Geller, 1956 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 73 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Pilnik, 1956 
(A56) Benoni Defense, 50 moves, 1-0

Bronstein vs Petrosian, 1956 
(E95) King's Indian, Orthodox, 7...Nbd7, 8.Re1, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Petrosian vs Simagin, 1956 
(A53) Old Indian, 48 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Simagin, 1956 
(A10) English, 44 moves, 1-0

E Terpugov vs Petrosian, 1957 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 27 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs A Matanovic, 1958 
(D38) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation, 23 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Suetin, 1958 
(E93) King's Indian, Petrosian System, 61 moves, 1-0

Tal vs Petrosian, 1958 
(C97) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 73 moves, 1/2-1/2

Petrosian vs J Kozma, 1958 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 41 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs A Bannik, 1958 
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 61 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Gipslis, 1958 
(A15) English, 40 moves, 1-0

P Clarke vs Petrosian, 1958 
(C02) French, Advance, 41 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs J Yuchtman, 1959 
(E92) King's Indian, 31 moves, 1-0

Keres vs Petrosian, 1959 
(B39) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation, 51 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Lutikov, 1959 
(E92) King's Indian, 42 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Fischer, 1959 
(E40) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, 31 moves, 1-0

Averbakh vs Petrosian, 1959 
(B92) Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation, 40 moves, 0-1

Bronstein vs Petrosian, 1960 
(B10) Caro-Kann, 23 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Unzicker, 1960 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 55 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Larsen, 1960 
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 34 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Gufeld, 1960 
(E92) King's Indian, 41 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Smyslov, 1961 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 32 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Stein, 1961  
(E93) King's Indian, Petrosian System, 39 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Pachman, 1961  
(A04) Reti Opening, 21 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Najdorf, 1961 
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 40 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Aronin, 1961  
(A04) Reti Opening, 40 moves, 1-0

F Olafsson vs Petrosian, 1961 
(C16) French, Winawer, 32 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Gligoric, 1962 
(E94) King's Indian, Orthodox, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Petrosian vs Tal, 1962 
(A12) English with b3, 64 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs S Schweber, 1962 
(E73) King's Indian, 43 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Filip, 1962 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 28 moves, 1-0

Benko vs Petrosian, 1962 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 43 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Botvinnik, 1963 
(D94) Grunfeld, 48 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Botvinnik, 1963 
(D81) Grunfeld, Russian Variation, 58 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Botvinnik, 1963 
(A10) English, 52 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Botvinnik, 1963 
(E19) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3, 66 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Tal, 1963 
(A15) English, 50 moves, 1-0

Botvinnik vs Petrosian, 1963 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 61 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Ivkov, 1965 
(D25) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 37 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Larsen, 1965 
(A11) English, Caro-Kann Defensive System, 40 moves, 1-0

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E63) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation, 30 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Gheorghiu, 1967 
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 41 moves, 1-0

M Bobotsov vs Petrosian, 1968 
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 41 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs A Bykhovsky, 1968 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 29 moves, 1-0

Szabo vs Petrosian, 1968 
(E56) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 7...Nc6, 36 moves, 0-1

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 56 moves, 0-1

Polugaevsky vs Petrosian, 1970 
(A14) English, 36 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Fischer, 1971 
(D82) Grunfeld, 4.Bf4, 32 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1971 
(D27) Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical, 39 moves, 1-0

Parma vs Petrosian, 1971 
(B48) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 37 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Korchnoi, 1971 
(A20) English, 41 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Mecking, 1971 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 57 moves, 1-0

Huebner vs Petrosian, 1971 
(B82) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 40 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Larsen, 1972 
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 61 moves, 1-0

Portisch vs Petrosian, 1972 
(A35) English, Symmetrical, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

Petrosian vs W Schmidt, 1972 
(A16) English, 38 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Karpov, 1973 
(E14) Queen's Indian, 65 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Portisch, 1974 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 40 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Robert E Byrne, 1975 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 41 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs J Peters, 1976 
(A34) English, Symmetrical, 50 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs N Rashkovsky, 1976 
(A77) Benoni, Classical, 9...Re8, 10.Nd2, 31 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Nunn, 1978 
(A61) Benoni, 35 moves, 1-0

Petrosian vs Korchnoi, 1977 
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 37 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Petrosian, 1981 
(D25) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 42 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Sosonko, 1981 
(A20) English, 45 moves, 1-0

Portisch vs Petrosian, 1982 
(A25) English, 55 moves, 0-1

Polugaevsky vs Petrosian, 1983 
(A04) Reti Opening, 24 moves, 0-1

95 games

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