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WCC: Petrosian-Spassky 1966
Compiled by WCC Editing Project
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Original: Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1966)

DRAFT EDIT <JFQ>

Boris Spassky

Leonard Barden, "Portrait of a World Champion" "Chess Life and Review" Vol. 29, No.1 Jan 1970, pp.9-13

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Spassky in the Candidates Cycle

"The year 1965 brought the end of FIDE's Candidates Tournaments and a switch to a series of knockout matches."

-Andrew Soltis, "Soviet Chess 1917-1991" (McFarland 1997), p.268 (Needs primary source corroboration)

-<Change to a Candidates Match format>

Averbakh:

<"At the 1962 Congress at Varna, the Candidates' tournament format was <<<changed>>> to matches...">

--Yuri Averbakh
"Centre-Stage and Behind the Scenes- the Personal Memoir of a Soviet Chess Legend."

Steve Giddins, tranls.
(New in Chess 2011), p.114

===

-<USSR Championship Semifinal 1963> in Kharkov. 2d to Viacheslav Osnos [rusbase-1]

-<USSR Championship 1963> in Leningrad \(Russian Zonal qualifier- top six plus Korchnoi would play in a Russian zonal) Shared 2d with Leonid Stein, lost after playoff. USSR Championship (1963)

-<Russian Zonal 1964> (Top three would go to the Amsterdam 1964 Interzonal). 1st, over Stein, Bronstein, Kholmov, Suetin, Korchnoi and Geller. USSR Zonal (1964)

-<Amsterdam Interzonal 1964> Shared 1st with Smyslov, Larsen and Tal. Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)

-<Candidates Matches>-

Geller - Smyslov Candidates Quarterfinal (1965)

Spassky - Keres Candidates Quarterfinal (1965)

Spassky - Geller Candidates Semifinal (1965)

Tal - Portisch Candidates Quarterfinal (1965)

Larsen - Ivkov Candidates Quarterfinal (1965)

Tal - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1965)

Spassky - Tal Candidates Final (1965)

===

Petrosian's events before the match:

###################################################

Preparation

Petrosian-

<"Before the match, <<<Petrosian studied>>> more than five hundred of Spassky's games...">

-Vik L. Vasiliev, "Tigran Petrosian- His Life and Games" Michael Basman, transl. (Batsford 1974), p.159

==============

Averbakh interview after the 22d game of the match-

Petrosian:

<I began training long before the match was supposed to start. Spassky had not yet sat down to play with Tal in the last elimination match when Boleslavsky and I drew up a detailed plan of preparations. The first stage was devoted to a study of of my games from all angles. <<<I made a special trip to Tbilisi to watch my rivals, Spassky and Tal... When it grew clear that Spassky would win I returned to Moscow and began analyzing his games.>>> This took up a considerable amount of time. Only after that did I begin training for the approaching... marathon match... Boleslavsky and I elaborated the opening systems and also the tactics I would employ. I quit all chess training about a month before the world series to give myself a rest.">

<"I realized that I could well find myself in worse playing form than Spassky, and, therefore, competed in the Erevan International Tournament, the Moscow-Leningrad Match, Moscow Team Championships, and a specially organized Grandmasters' tourney. In all these events I pursued the requisite training purposes and tried to find out my weak spots.

<<<The two games with Viktor Korchnoi in the Moscow-Leningrad match rendered me a great service in this respect.>>> They forced me to give serious attention to my training, to pull myself together for the coming title clash.">

-Harry Golombek and Peter Clark, "Petrosian vs. Spassky- The World Chess Championships Moscow 1966 and 1969" (Hardinge Simpole 2004), p.41

===

Barden:

<"When I interviewed him at Hastings 1966-67, he told me it was difficult to organise his time to prepare properly for the Petrosian match. <<<'When I live alone a lot of time is spent on everyday practical problems. I have to wash my shirts and look after myself...

I don't like this kind of life when it is so disorganised. A bachelor's life is very bad. But now that I am so involved with the world championship I don't like to spend a lot of time with girls- just enough to say how-do-you-do and goodbye.'">>>>

-Leonard Barden, "Forward" in Bernard Cafferty, "Spassky's 100 Best Games- The Rise of Boris Spassky 1949-1971" (Hardinge Simpole 2002) (originally Batsford 1972), pp. 26-27

<"Spassky's preparation for the 1969 match... were more thorough than in 1966, <<<when he was tired>>> by the long series of elimination contests.>

-Leonard Barden, "Forward" in Bernard Cafferty, "Spassky's 100 Best Games- The Rise of Boris Spassky 1949-1971" (Hardinge Simpole 2002) (originally Batsford 1972), p.28

===============

David Levy interview-

"David Levy asked Boris in 1970... what he thought about the method of qualifying for the world championship..."

Spassky:

<"I think it is necessary to change it because the challenger has to spend a lot of nervous energy and this is very hard. I know this because I was qualifying for six years and it is awful. <<<The challenger comes to the match for the title completely ruined>>> because he has spent his ideas and he is completely spent inside.">

-Leonard Barden, "Forward" in Bernard Cafferty, "Spassky's 100 Best Games- The Rise of Boris Spassky 1949-1971" (Hardinge Simpole 2002) (originally Batsford 1972), p.23

===

Averbakh Interview
Petrosian:

<"I agree with Botvinnik that Spassky's journey to the Hastings Christmas Congress wasn't the best way to prepare for the world title match. <<<I also believe that the results of the Challengers' Rounds were to blame for Boris' under-estimation of the games with me.>>> He believed in his lucky star after his brilliant victories over Keres, Geller, and Tal, and thought that things would continue to move on by inertia, so to speak.">

-Harry Golombek and Peter Clark, "Petrosian vs. Spassky- The World Chess Championships Moscow 1966 and 1969" (Hardinge Simpole 2004), p.43

#############################

Predictions

<"At the end of 1965, in the newspaper 'Trud,' an interview with various Soviet and non-Soviet chess players was published. In it appeared a question on the chances of Petrosian and Spassky in a match... Keres, Larsen, Gligoric, Reshevsky, Najdorf all spoke in favour of Spassky. Later on, two ex-champions, Tal and Smyslov, joined them. Botvinnik, Euwe and Fischer withheld their judgment. <<<Only Stahlberg expressed his belief in Petrosian's victory...>>>

Tal put the situation very accurately: 'Petrosian has two problems to resolve; one of them, formal- to hold his champion's crown; the other, moral: to unsettle the general conviction that Spassky must win.'">

-Vik L. Vasiliev, "Tigran Petrosian- His Life and Games" Michael Basman, transl. (Batsford 1974), pp.159-160

############################

Conditions

Golombek:
"Conditions of play were exactly the same as those of preceding World Championship matches."

A maximum of 24 games were due to be played, but should one player gain 12 1/2 points then the match is over... (draw odds for Petrosian) ...40 moves in 2 1/2 hours, 16 moves per hour after, 5 hour sessions of play from 4:30pm, three games a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, adjourned games played the next day in the Central Chess Club.

-<Venue> Estrada Theatre

-<Seconds> Boleslavsky (Petrosian) and Bondarevsky (Spassky)

--<Chief Referee> O'Kelly, assistant ref. Filip.

-Harry Golombek and Peter Clark, "Petrosian vs. Spassky- The World Chess Championships Moscow 1966 and 1969" (Hardinge Simpole 2004), p.15

Course of the Match

################################

1st game

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 <1/2>

################################

2d game

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 <1/2>

#################################

3d game

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 <1/2>

#################################

4th game

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 <1/2>

##################################

5th game

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 <1/2>

"Turning Point"?

Leonard Barden-

Spassky:

<"When I failed to win the 'won' fifth game, to a certain degree <<<I lost confidence in myself,>>> and my opponent was right there to pick up his confidence. It was by no means coincidental that after the twelfth game he was leading the match with a two-point margin.">

-Leonard Barden, "Forward" in Bernard Cafferty, "Spassky's 100 Best Games- The Rise of Boris Spassky 1949-1971" (Hardinge Simpole 2002) (originally Batsford 1972), p.26

###############################

6th game

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 <1/2>

###############################

7th game

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 <0-1>

Petrosian:

<"I regard the seventh game as <<<my best achievement in this match.>>> It demonstrates my objectives: limitation of the adversary's possibilities, strategy of play all over the board, and the encircling and gradual tightening of the ring of encirclement around the rival king">

-Harry Golombek and Peter Clark, "Petrosian vs. Spassky- The World Chess Championships Moscow 1966 and 1969" (Hardinge Simpole 2004), p.41

===

Spassky:

<"During the 1966 match, <<<I was convinced that even if I could only win one game as Black, I would win the marathon struggle.>>> But alas! My dream was not realized. More than that, it was not I, but my formidable opponent who had succeeded in defeating me in one of the games in the last match with Black. I remember well how this victory brought Petrosian joy and confidence in the match's satisfactory outcome.">

Boris Spassky (Hanon W. Russell tranls.), "Chess Life and Review" No. 11 Nov 1969, pp.446-47

From "The Fifth Game"- an analysis of his victory in game 5 of the 1969 match.

###############################

8th game

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 <1/2>

###############################

9th game

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 <1/2>

#################################

10th game

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 <1-0>

#################################

11th game

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 <1/2>

#################################

12th game

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 <1/2>

Averbakh Interview
Petrosian:

<"There were two crucial moments for me in the match. The first arose after the twelfth game where <<<I embarked on a beautiful combination but didn't carry it out to the end.>>> I wish to explain that the ending of this game proceeded during acute time-trouble, and I forgot about the possibility of repeating the same position three times. Naturally, this blunder affected me, and, probably, it was the cause of my later suffering a sore throat. I had to ask the judges for a postponement, but, evidently, whilst I was receiving treatment, Spassky was able to pull himself together after those unpleasant moments for him in the first half of the match: he came back to beat me in the thirteenth game."

-Harry Golombek and Peter Clark, "Petrosian vs. Spassky- The World Chess Championships Moscow 1966 and 1969" (Hardinge Simpole 2004), p.41

#################################

13th game

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 <1-0>

#################################

14th game

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 <1/2>

#################################

15th game

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 <1/2>

#################################

16th game

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 <1/2>

#################################

17th game

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 <1/2>

#################################

18th game

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 <1/2>

#################################

19th game

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 <1-0>

Petrosian:

<"The second crisis occurred after <<<the nineteenth game, which I lost when experiencing time trouble...>>> Although the situation grew tense in the match, this defeat affected me favorably; it compelled me to concentrate myself for the concluding decisive games.">

-Harry Golombek and Peter Clark, "Petrosian vs. Spassky- The World Chess Championships Moscow 1966 and 1969" (Hardinge Simpole 2004), p.42

Golombek:

<"After the eighteenth game the World Champion had availed himself of the polite fiction whereby a player in the match can claim a postponement of the next game on the supposed grounds of ill health. In this case, as so often before in world championship matches, <<<it was merely in order to gain an extra rest period.>>>

Petrosian had Black, and, either dissatisfied with his position out of the opening of the seventeenth game, or else for the sake of its surprise value, he abandoned the Sicilian Defence in favour of the French. Mistakenly in my opinion, since the French Defence results in positions alien to the character of Petrosian's play.">

-Harry Golombek and Peter Clark, "Petrosian vs. Spassky- The World Chess Championships Moscow 1966 and 1969" (Hardinge Simpole 2004), p.47

Golombek:

<"The nineteenth game should have been played on May 25th, but it was postponed, officially for reasons of health though <<<Mrs. Petrosian rather gave away matters>>> when she informed reporters that her husband was not ill but merely wanted a rest.">

-Harry Golombek and Peter Clark, "Petrosian vs. Spassky- The World Chess Championships Moscow 1966 and 1969" (Hardinge Simpole 2004), p.30

#################################

20th game

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 <1-0>

Golombek:

<"(The game) was adjourned in a won position for the World Champion and the public rightly gave him <<<a great ovation>>> at the end of the session's play. When Spassky saw the sealed move the next day he resigned without further play, leaving the score 10 1/2 - 9 1/2 in Petrosian's favor...">

-Harry Golombek and Peter Clark, "Petrosian vs. Spassky- The World Chess Championships Moscow 1966 and 1969" (Hardinge Simpole 2004), p.49

#################################

21st game

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 <1/2>

#################################

22d game

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 <1-0>

#################################

23d game

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 <1-0>

##########################################

24th game

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 <1/2>

#################################

Evaluations

"After the match was ended, Petrosian said: 'I consider that one of the reasons for Spassky's failure was the general belief in his victory. Quite a large part was played, perhaps, by the appearance of Bondarevsky's book (Boris Spassky Storms Olympus). The publication... might have been better left till the match was over."

-Vik L. Vasiliev, "Tigran Petrosian- His Life and Games" Michael Basman, transl. (Batsford 1974), p.160

##############################

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

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

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

3 games

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