Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

There is a clue unsolved right now on the Holiday Contest Clues Page!   [Official Contest Rules]
Please see this announcement for some updates.
(If you register a free account you won't see all these ads!)
Mikhail Botvinnik vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Botvinnik - Petrosian World Championship Match (1963), Moscow URS, rd 12, Apr-20
Queen's Gambit Declined: Charousek (Petrosian) Variation (D31)  ·  1/2-1/2


explore this opening
find similar games 30 more Botvinnik/Petrosian games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: If you find a mistake in the database, use the correction form. There is a link at the bottom that reads "Spot an error? Please suggest your correction..." Avoid posting corrections in the kibitzing area.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: nice exciting game in the quiet, old queen's gambit declined between botwinnik and petrosian ;)
Apr-04-08  Knight13: <refutor> You just had to say that in 2003, did you? And I agree! At least this game is not as boring as the other draws in the match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: On another day and against a different opponent in a less important event, Petrosian might have played the characteristic exchange sacrifice 36...Re7:Ne5 and then knocked white's king about like superball down the escalators at Angel Tube station with a cricket bat in the library.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This was an extremely tense game. Game 12 of the best of 24 game match; played on 20th & 21st April 1963. Petrosian was leading the match at the time 6-5.

In many of his previous white games Botvinnik had been offering a Queen's Gambit. Petrosian had been accepting that gambit and Botvinnik had really been getting nowhere.

In this game, however, Petrosian plays one of his favourite moves in the QGD: 3...Bf8-e7. This gives Botvinnik the chance to unveil some powerful home preparation.

Botvinnik plays 7.g2-g4!

click for larger view

This is not a novelty; it had been played in Botvinnik vs Bronstein, 1952.

Petrosian's defends in an analogous way to variations he knew from the Caro-Kann. After 12...Nf6-h5 we reach this position:

click for larger view

This may seem like a far-out, non-standard position. In fact Botvinnik must have been totally incredulous: he had had a very similar position <30 years earlier> in Botvinnik vs Alatortsev, 1934. Here is the position after 17...Be6 in that game:

click for larger view

But - amazingly - Petrosian plays the position far better than his experienced opponent. Salo Flohr criticizes 15.Bg6+ and 18.Nh4. Flohr also says that 21.Qg4+ is useless and that white should have castled.

When black's knights return from their rims the visual difference in coordination between the two sides is noticeable. After 28...Nf6:

click for larger view

After white played 36.♖f8-f1,

click for larger view

Salo Flohr says, <"...Many people did not believe it - 'someone is having us on!' But no, it was not a joke. In the hall, there were 1,500 witnesses - yes, this is what Botvinnik had played. Now of course, Petrosian will sacrifice the exchange on e5. Tal would do so like a shot, especially if in serious time trouble. But 'that is not how they play'!">

Flohr means 36...♖4xe5! 37.dxe5 and now I think 37...Ne4

click for larger view

Black has a huge amount of play for the exchange (and a pawn). That ♘e4 is worth any rook. Petrosian, rightly or wrongly, or obliviously, played 36...Nc4 instead and the game soon petered out to a draw.

NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
58b_middlegames w/o BB (Bishop-less)
by whiteshark
World Championship Game #12
from Road to the Championship - Tigran Petrosian by suenteus po 147
Match Petrosian!
by amadeus
World Championship Game #12
from WCC Index [Botvinnik-Petrosian 1963] by Suenteus Po
Game 12, Petrosian leads 6 1/2-5 1/2
from 1963 World Chess Championship by Penguincw
--> RR --> R2:1||
from zz03_Heavy pieces in action: pure QRR middlegame by whiteshark
The QGD/Slav/Semi-Slav
by Zhbugnoimt
Match Botvinnik!
by chessgain
Match Botvinnik!
by amadeus

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC