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1966 World Chess Championship
Compiled by Penguincw
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★★★ INTRO ★★★

The 1966 World Chess Championship was between 36 year old defending champion Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian of the Soviet Union and 28 year old challenger Boris Spassky also of the Soviet Union.

★★★ BACKGROUND ★★★

After Petrosian defeated Botvinnik 12 1/2-9 1/2 (see Game Collection: 1963 World Chess Championship for games and more information), Botvinnik wanted a re-match. However, FIDE denied it and this made Botvinnik retire from world championship matches. So, to determine a challenger for Petrosian, there was first an interzonal tournament (see Amsterdam Interzonal (1964) for games and more info) featuring 24 players. Initially, only 5 players were to advanced, but in the end, six made it through (due to Botvinnik not wanting to play). Bent Larsen, Vasily Smyslov, Boris Spassky and Mikhail Tal made it through, each scoring 17/23. Borislav Ivkov made it through with 15/23. Lajos Portisch took the last place with 14.5/23, winning a 3 game playoff from Samuel Reshevsky 2 1/2-1/2 (see Amsterdam Interzonal Playoff (1964) for games and more info). Note: Stein (16.5/23) and Bronstein (16/23) placed 5th-6th, respectively, but due to the rules of maximum three per country, they were ineligible (Smyslov, Spassky and Tal took the three spots for the Soviet Union).

The candidates tournament was a knockout format. Paul Keres and Efim Geller were runner-ups from last candidates, so they get seeded right in it. In the quarter-finals, it was a best of 10 (first to 5 1/2 wins, tiebreaks there if needed). Spassky beat Keres 6-4 (see Spassky - Keres Candidates Quarterfinal (1965) for games and more info), Geller beat Smyslov 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Geller - Smyslov Candidates Quarterfinal (1965) for games and more info), Larsen beat Ivkov 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Larsen - Ivkov Candidates Quarterfinal (1965) for games and more info) and Tal beat Portisch 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Tal - Portisch Candidates Quarterfinal (1965) for games and more info). In the semi-finals, it was the same format. Spassky easily defeated Geller 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Spassky - Geller Candidates Semifinal (1965) for games and more info), while Tal won the last game to narrowly defeated Larsen 5 1/2-4 1/2 (see Tal - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1965) for games and more info). In the finals, Spassky won the best of 12 match, 7-4 (see Spassky - Tal Candidates Final (1965) for games and more info). This earned him the right to challenge Petrosian for the title.

★★★ CONDITIONS ★★★

The match took place in Moscow. It was a best of 24, meaning that the first to 12 1/2 points would be champion. If it ended in a 12-12 tie, Petrosian (the title holder) would retain his title (by default). The first game was played on April 9th, 1966.

★★★ FINAL ★★★

The last game was played on June 9th, 1966. It was a tough match, and for the first time since 1954 (see Game Collection: 1954 World Chess Championship for games and more information), a Game 24 was needed. In that game, Petrosian with the white pieces needed just 1/2 point to win. On June 9th, 1966, he got his wish and won the title by earning the 12 1/2 points he needed.

★★★ MINI TABLE ★★★

Petrosian 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 0 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 1 1/2 1 0 1/2 (4 wins, 17 draws, 3 losses) <52.1% score>

Spassky 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 1/2 1/2 0 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 0 1/2 0 1 1/2 (3 wins, 17 draws, 4 losses) <47.9% score>

★★★ OTHER LINKS ★★★

See also: Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1966)

Head to Head Record Prior to 1966: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... (1 win, 9 draws and 0 losses in favour of Petrosian)

Previous World Championship: Game Collection: 1963 World Chess Championship

Next World Championship: Game Collection: 1969 World Chess Championship

Game 1, Match tied 1/2-1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 2, Match tied 1-1
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(D59) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower, 50 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 3, Match tied 1 1/2-1 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 4, Match tied 2-2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A14) English, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 5, Match tied 2 1/2-2 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 79 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 6, Match tied 3-3
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(D40) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 7, Petrosian leads 4-3
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 0-1

Game 8, Petrosian leads 4 1/2-3 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A33) English, Symmetrical, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 9, Petrosian leads 5-4
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 10, Petrosian leads 6-4
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E63) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation, 30 moves, 1-0

Game 11, Petrosian leads 6 1/2-4 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(C10) French, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 12, Petrosian leads 7-5
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 13, Petrosian leads 7-6
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 91 moves, 1-0

Game 14, Petrosian leads 7 1/2-6 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A05) Reti Opening, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 15, Petrosian leads 8-7
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 55 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 16, Petrosian leads 8 1/2-7 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 17, Petrosian leads 9-8
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 18, Petrosian leads 9 1/2-8 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E17) Queen's Indian, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 19, Match tied 9 1/2-9 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(C11) French, 68 moves, 1-0

Game 20, Petrosian leads 10 1/2-9 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E59) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line, 41 moves, 1-0

Game 21, Petrosian leads 11-10
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(C11) French, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 22, Petrosian leads 12-10
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 35 moves, 1-0

Game 23, Petrosian leads 12-11
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(C11) French, 31 moves, 1-0

Game 24, Petrosian wins 12 1/2-11 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 77 moves, 1/2-1/2

24 games

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