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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Petrosian - Botvinnik World Championship Match (1963), rd 18, May-08
Queen's Gambit Declined: Charousek (Petrosian) Variation (D31)  ·  0-1

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-18-06  whatthefat: <RookFile: As explained before: any fair system takes into account the magnitude of the games, and weights games in world championship play more heavily than tournament games.>

It was never "explained", you just stated it arbitrarily. That's your opinion. I don't agree with it, as I've told you before. I don't see why beating, say Kasparov at Linares is any less of a feat than beating him in a match. It's still Kasparov. Your objective is transparent: Fischer and Petrosian were far stronger match players than tournament players, so let's boost their ratings accordingly! The fact that world championship matches involve very strong players already introduces a weighting effect.

<Almost interesting.> This is a case in point. Why bother bringing facts to you? You'll just see what you want to see.

<When I was looking at the 1968 games, to find the game against Portisch cited above...>

Yep fine, and this correlates with the chessmetrics ratings: you'll see that Botvinnik's rating fell behind Petrosian's for good in November of 1968.

Returning to the <relevant point> (so pay attention), I'll show you why Botvinnik's rating overtook Petrosian's (briefly & barely) in early 1968. Consider their performances in 1967, and the first few months of 1968:

- Disappointing showing at Venice, being beaten by a clear point for 1st by Donner (ranked 47 in the world)

- Scores a highly disappointing 8.5/17 at Moscow, 1967.

- Performed at about par in his other 31 games.

- Finished equal 2nd by half a point to Larsen at the reasonably strong Palma tournament, doing much better than predicted by rating.

- Finished second by half a point to Larsen again in the strong Monte Carlo tournament, again doing better than predicted by rating.

- Was about on par in his other 14 games.

I'm not saying who was better overall - just set your obvious biases aside, and focus on this year! The fact is, Petrosian had a wretched 1967 - this you can't deny. It didn't take a volume-worth of brilliant games from Botvinnik to overtake his rating; Petrosian even fell as low as #10 in the world for a month in 1968. Botvinnik was over the hill, but Petrosian was (for a year) out of form. What's the problem with that? Why do you refuse to see it?

[As a sidepoint, I find it interesting that good friends Tal and Petrosian performed both performed so badly in 1967.]

Feb-08-07  Brown: Petrosian himself states from 58-63 he was playing his best chess, and not immodestly (and probably not inaccurately) the best player in the world for that time. Tal for a 14 month stretch could be the only one to claim otherwise...
Feb-08-07  Brown: Regarding inactivity- benefits of, etc. we could look at Emerson's and Thoreau's retreats as "breaks" from real life that seemed to be helpful.

Spassky seemed to use his energy up too quickly for the long haul of matches. Tournaments were his, and Larsen's, bag.

Oct-21-07  M.D. Wilson: This game is a strategic masterpiece.
Oct-21-07  talisman: 30 moves and 1 capture(PxP).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: White's center and queen side got cracked. The e4-pawn became too weak, so Botvinnik had to play exf5. The rest is Petrosian's routine.
Oct-18-08  CapablancaFan: Petrosian unleashing some pretty deft knight maneuvers here.
Oct-23-08  arsen387: This game can be included in all chess books in chapter "How to move Knights in closed positions". Petrosian is the King of Strategy
Jun-10-09  Professeur Y: Very instructive stuff; how to slowly improve your position. Beautiful. There is a nice four part video analysis of this game posted on ChessCafe (from a site called (you have to scroll down the list of previously posted videos)
Oct-29-09  arsen387: I guess it's the same 4 part video that I was just watching on youtube, starting with (the 1st part). A great video indeed
Nov-20-10  Everett: Question is: 24..g5 <according to Crouch> is actually a blunder that could have cost Petrosian the game after 25.Nh5, letting the knight infiltrate the holes in black's k-side. The possible exchange sac 25..Rxh5 does not help black. What then is black's best approach on move 24?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: 24... f5, perhaps?

Where is the black King going? Would ... 0-0-0 suffice at some point? Castling Kingside for black seems weak.

This a hugely tough position to evaluate, especially for us amateurs.

Everett brings up valid questions, when answered with analysis, could bring us some new insight into the minds of a couple of great Chess players.

May-31-11  Ulhumbrus: <Everett: Question is: 24..g5 <according to Crouch> is actually a blunder that could have cost Petrosian the game after 25.Nh5, letting the knight infiltrate the holes in black's k-side. The possible exchange sac 25..Rxh5 does not help black. What then is black's best approach on move 24?> Perhaps a move which prepares the advance ...g5 by avoiding the fork Nf6+ following Nh5 eg 24..Qc7 or 24...Rh6
May-31-11  Ulhumbrus: How does Petrosian make use of his Knights which are placed so attractively on d6 and e5, in the position after 49 exf5? The answer is that he blows the game open by advancing his c5 and b6 pawns to c4 and b5 in the face of White's b3 and a4 pawns, respectively.
Mar-03-12  lopezexchange: Why not 16.e4! this seems to be giving black some major headaches with the king left in the center.
Nov-28-12  tjipa: What a weird discussion! I just happened to read what was going on right here in 2006-07. I came to look at the game, while reading Kasparov's book on his Karpov matches, vol. 1, where he remembers, with respect, the moment of Petrosian's passing. To look at a Petrosian's win against Botvinnik in 1963. A great win it is, isn't it? And 2 great players in action - and all this bickering as a contrast... sorry...
Nov-28-12  SChesshevsky: Some very nice play by Petrosian.

What I thought was a great advantage was his play to exchange the dark squared B's.

I'm not sure when he came upon the plan but after 25...Qc7 it looks like he positioned for White to have plenty of pawns on the White squares then with 29...b6 30...f6 and 31...Bxh2 and 32. Qxh2 seemed to create a big advantage on the dark squares with White needing to defend his White squared pawns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < keypusher: Black has a monster pair of knights in this game. Has it been annotated anywhere? >

Yes, in Vasiliev's work on Petrosian from the mid 1970s.

Sep-09-14  42eyes: After reading about Botvinnik's & Petrosian's playing styles this is exactly what I expected. Many pieces on the board, endless positioning, some moves unfathomable (at least for me), then an sudden avalanche to a decisive end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <Yes, in Vasiliev's work on Petrosian from the mid 1970s.>

Easily the best book on Petrosian out there, but hard to find now. I've got an e-copy of it, though, as well as an original.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: This game is also annotated in Peter Clarke's book on Petrosian IIRC.
Sep-10-14  Everett: Also in Crouch's "How to Defend in Cbess."
Or something like that.
Oct-17-14  mrandersson: How many knight moves does tigan make here i mean talk about a dancing knight. Its such a wait and see type game and looking over it it does have a "my system" feel over it the like 47 Nd6 blockade theme. Over all a really nice game and white had none if any counter play at all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Even back in the 1960s the chess greats were playing important games without castling.

Why did all my childhood chess books tell me how important it was to castle?

Maybe that is the reason I never became world champion...

Feb-17-16  The17thPawn: Like watching a Cobra transfix it's prey was this delicate dance by Petrosian. I will probably never fully appreciate the depth of his play even though it contained the occasional error.
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