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1969 World Chess Championship
Compiled by Penguincw
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★★★ INTRO ★★★

The 1969 World Chess Championship was between 39 year old defending champion Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian of the Soviet Union and 31 year old challenger Boris Spassky, also of the Soviet Union.

★★★ BACKGROUND ★★★

After defending his title from Spassky in 1966 with a score of 12 1/2-11 1/2 (see Game Collection: 1966 World Chess Championship for games and more information), it was time for a new challenger. Using the cycle that has been used since the 1950's, first, an interzonal tournament was held (see Sousse Interzonal (1967) for games and more info). Even though Robert James Fischer lead 8.5/10 after 10 rounds, he forfeited, and the results played against him didn't count. Bent Larsen of Denmark won the event, with 15 1/2, one and a half ahead of Viktor Korchnoi (Soviet Union), Efim Geller (Soviet Union), and Svetozar Gligoric (Yugoslavia), each scoring 14 points. Lajos Portisch (Hungary) had 13 1/2, and three players tied for 13 (Samuel Reshevsky (USA), Vlastimil Hort (Czechoslovakia) and Leonid Stein (USSR)). They played a three player playoff, with Reshevsky having home field advantage (it was in Los Angeles). They played a quadruple round-robin (see Los Angeles Interzonal Playoff (1968) for games and more info). Although every single player scored 4/8 (including Reshevsky who drew all of his games), Reshevsky advanced due to better tie breaks in the interzonal tournament.

The Candidates tournament was similar to last year (knockout format, quarter-finals and semi-finals best of 10, finals best of 12, two losing semi-finalists battle for 3rd). Here, Spassky and Mikhail Tal (of the Soviet Union) were seeded directly into the tournament, due to top finishes in the previous Candidates tournament. In the first round, Spassky beat Geller 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Spassky - Geller Candidates Quarterfinal (1968) for games and more info), Larsen beat Portisch 5 1/2-4 1/2 (see Larsen - Portisch Candidates Quarterfinal (1968) for games and more info), Tal beat Gligorić 5 1/2-3 1/2 (see Tal - Gligoric Candidates Quarterfinal (1968) for games and more info) and Korchnoi beat Reshevsky 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Korchnoi - Reshevsky Candidates Quarterfinal (1968) for games and more info). Once again, Larsen was the only non-Soviet remaining (Denmark). Here, Spassky defeated Larsen by the score of 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Spassky - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1968) for games and more info), and Korchnoi surprised Tal by beating him 5 1/2-4 1/2. In the finals, it was a best of 12, where Spassky dominated Korchnoi 6 1/2-3 1/2 (see Spassky - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1968) for games and more info). Meanwhile, the two losers in the semi-finals (Larsen and Tal) battled it out for 3rd. The winner would receive direct seeding into the next Candidates tournament. It was also a best of 10. Once again, Tal didn't play his best and lost 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Larsen - Tal 3rd place Candidates Playoff (1969) for games and more info).

★★★ CONDITIONS ★★★

The match took place in Moscow. It was a best of 24, meaning that the first to 12 1/2 points would be declared the winner. If the match ended in a 12-12 tie, then the title holder (Petrosian) would retain the title (by default). The first round was played on April 14th, 1969.

★★★ FINAL ★★★

The last round was played on June 17th, 1969. Spassky had twelve points entering the round and needed just a draw with the white pieces to win the title off Petrosian. He did so successfully, and was crowned the 10th world chess championship.

★★★ MINI TABLE ★★★

Spassky 0 1/2 1/2 1 1 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 0 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 1 0 1 1/2 1/2 (6 wins, 13 draws, 4 losses) <54.3 score>

Petrosian 1 1/2 1/2 0 0 1/2 1/2 0 1/2 1 0 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 1/2 0 1 0 1/2 1/2 (4 wins, 13 draws, 6 losses) <45.7% score>

★★★ OTHER LINKS ★★★

See also: Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1969)

Head to Head Match up Prior to 1969: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... (5 wins, 31 draws and 4 losses in favour of Petrosian)

Previous World Championship: Game Collection: 1966 World Chess Championship

Next World Chess Championship: Game Collection: 1972 World Chess Championship

Game 1, Petrosian leads 1-0
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 56 moves, 0-1

Game 2, Petrosian leads 1 1/2-1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 61 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 3, Petrosian leads 2-1
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(B36) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 4, Match tied 2-2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 41 moves, 0-1

Game 5, Spassky leads 3-2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 30 moves, 1-0

Game 6, Spassky leads 3 1/2-2 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 7,Spassky leads 4-3
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(D18) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 8, Spassky leads 5-3
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 44 moves, 0-1

Game 9, Spassky leads 5 1/2-3 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(A56) Benoni Defense, 65 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 10, Spassky leads 5 1/2-4 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(E47) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3, 38 moves, 1-0

Game 11, Match tied 5 1/2-5 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 56 moves, 0-1

Game 12, Match tied 6-6
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 13, Match tied 6 1/2-6 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 14, Match tied 7-7
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 56 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 15, Match tied 7 1/2-7 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 19 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 16, Match tied 8-8
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 17, Spassky leads 9-8
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 58 moves, 1-0

Game 18, Spassky leads 9 1/2-8 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 59 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 19, Spassky leads10 1/2-8 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(B94) Sicilian, Najdorf, 24 moves, 1-0

Game 20, Spassky leads 10 1/2-9 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 50 moves, 1-0

Game 21, Spassky leads 11 1/2- 9 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 53 moves, 1-0

Game 22, Spassky leads 12-10
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 23, Spassky wins 12 1/2-10 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(B48) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

23 games

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