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Petrosian Memorial 1999
Compiled by Phony Benoni
--*--

So here's the idea. To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the death of former World Champion Tigran 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 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.

Round 1 (Friday, June 18)
Gligoric vs Tseshkovsky, 1999
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 26 moves, 0-1

Round 1 (Friday, June 18)
Hort vs Balashov, 1999
(D01) Richter-Veresov Attack, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Friday, June 18)
Larsen vs Taimanov, 1999
(A17) English, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Friday, June 18)
Portisch vs Spassky, 1999
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Friday, June 18)
Smyslov vs Ivkov, 1999
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 14 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Saturday, June 19)
Balashov vs Smyslov, 1999
(C42) Petrov Defense, 10 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Saturday, June 19)
Portisch vs Larsen, 1999 
(E14) Queen's Indian, 26 moves, 1-0

Round 2
Spassky vs Ivkov, 1999
(B30) Sicilian, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Saturday, June 19)
Taimanov vs Gligoric, 1999
(A04) Reti Opening, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Saturday, June 19)
Tseshkovsky vs Hort, 1999
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 67 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Sunday, June 20)
Gligoric vs Portisch, 1999
(E52) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with ...b6, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Sunday, June 20)
Hort vs Taimanov, 1999
(B46) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 19 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Sunday, June 20)
Ivkov vs Balashov, 1999
(E19) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Sunday, June 20)
Larsen vs Spassky, 1999
(A15) English, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Sunday, June 20)
Smyslov vs Tseshkovsky, 1999
(C48) Four Knights, 12 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Monday, June 21)
Larsen vs Gligoric, 1999
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Monday, June 21)
Portisch vs Hort, 1999
(D92) Grunfeld, 5.Bf4, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Monday, June 21)
Spassky vs Balashov, 1999
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 19 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Monday, June 21)
Taimanov vs Smyslov, 1999 
(A06) Reti Opening, 13 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Monday, June 21)
Tseshkovsky vs Ivkov, 1999
(C91) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 63 moves, 0-1

Round 5 (Tuesday, June 22)
Balashov vs Tseshkovsky, 1999
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 13 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Tuesday, June 22)
Gligoric vs Spassky, 1999
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 13 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Tuesday, June 22)
Hort vs Larsen, 1999
(A35) English, Symmetrical, 12 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Tuesday, June 22)
Ivkov vs Taimanov, 1999
(A15) English, 10 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Tuesday, June 22)
Smyslov vs Portisch, 1999 
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Wednesday, June 23)
Gligoric vs Hort, 1999
(D97) Grunfeld, Russian, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Wendesday, June 23)
Larsen vs Smyslov, 1999
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Wednesday, June 23)
Portisch vs Ivkov, 1999
(E94) King's Indian, Orthodox, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Wednesday, June 23)
Spassky vs Tseshkovsky, 1999
(B07) Pirc, 52 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Wednesday, June 23)
Taimanov vs Balashov, 1999
(A04) Reti Opening, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Thursday, June 24)
Balashov vs Portisch, 1999
(B46) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 45 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Thursday, June 24)
Hort vs Spassky, 1999
(C02) French, Advance, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Thursday, June 24)
Ivkov vs Larsen, 1999
(A04) Reti Opening, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Thursday, June 24)
Smyslov vs Gligoric, 1999
(C48) Four Knights, 13 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Thursday, June 24)
Tseshkovsky vs Taimanov, 1999 
(B46) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 62 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Friday, June 25)
Gligoric vs Ivkov, 1999 
(B07) Pirc, 10 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Friday, June 25)
Hort vs Smyslov, 1999
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 11 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Friday, June 25)
Larsen vs Balashov, 1999
(B83) Sicilian, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Friday, June 25)
Portisch vs Tseshkovsky, 1999
(A41) Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6), 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Friday, June 25)
Spassky vs Taimanov, 1999
(B46) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Saturday, June 26)
Balashov vs Gligoric, 1999
(C84) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Saturday, June 26)
Ivkov vs Hort, 1999
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 59 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Saturday, June 26)
Smyslov vs Spassky, 1999
(C07) French, Tarrasch, 11 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Saturday, June 26)
Taimanov vs Portisch, 1999
(A04) Reti Opening, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Saturday, June 26)
Tseshkovsky vs Larsen, 1999
(B30) Sicilian, 52 moves, 1/2-1/2

45 games

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