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Robert James Fischer vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
"A Team of One" (game of the day Apr-27-2010)
Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final (1971), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 1, Sep-30
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Szen Variation (B44)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: I just looked Neumann up on Chessmetrics, and Berlin 1865 isn't even listed as one of his results. In this database, there are several results listed as "Berlin 1865", but some draws (and losses!) are among them. No telling if these are games from that specific tournament, or just games he played in that city in that year. Maybe he did win more than 25 in a row, but the results are missing or incomplete. Sounds like a question for Ed Winter.
Apr-16-14  Howard: Regarding Petosianic's comment on non-included games in the database, you might want to look at the database, which is more comprehensive.

In fact.....Balashov's four forfeit losses in the 1985 Interzonal ARE included there. He lost to Timman and Tal on forfeits, plus to two other players (whose names I don't recall).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: The way you ask the question will shape the answer. In the early 70's, William Martz won over a hundred consecutive rated games, which is probably the record. Many of them were against non-Master competition, though, and in non-International tournaments.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: There is also the very unusual and contentious story of Alexander Zelner.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Of course, Alexander Zelner! It's got to be Alexander Zelner! Who else but Alexander Zelner? There's no one else it could BE but Alexander Zelner!

Er, just one question, Chief. Who is Alexander Zelner?

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: This Fischer vs. Petrosian game is one of the most impressive games in chess history of a player falling into his opponent's preparation, yet hanging in there anyway and emerging victorious. Fischer made numerous computer like moves in this game just to survive. The only other example that comes to my mind at the moment is the first game of the first Tal vs. Botvinnik match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Of course, I'm forgetting about the grand-daddy of them all, which is Capa playing right into the Marshall variation of the Ruy Lopez, against Marshall, and winning anyway.
May-14-14  SpiritedReposte: I have beat 21 1400 level players in a row only to have my legendary streak broken by a 1200 player who knew the first fifteen moves in the closed Ruy Lopez.

I'm afraid the record is mine. Bring on Magnus!

Sep-11-14  coldsweat: I guess one reason computers do better than humans is that they don't become emotional and fixated about getting even in terms of material.

It seems as though Petrosian in the middle and later parts of the game is driven by his desire to be even in terms of material, while he should have been looking for combinations to deploy in order to defeat his opponent.

The poor guy, with his 32...Rd3!, he's all jazzed ... "Yeah! not only am I no longer behind material-wise, but I've actually succeeded in pulling ahead! I'm outfoxing this $(&#!^% from the cultural wasteland!"

Eight moves later he finds himself outsmarted and outplayed by the impish wretch across the board.

Aug-28-15  Howard: A couple of earlier posts have suggested 17...e4 !

Any comments ? No, I don't have a computer yet.

Aug-28-15  Olavi: <Howard: A couple of earlier posts have suggested 17...e4! Any comments ?>

Just that is has been considered strong since 1971, with a whole legion of prominent analysts agreeing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Read a good short story in CHESS/BCM that Fischer had made a pact with the devil to win 13 games in the candidates. Fischer thought he could pick and choose which games but the devil (as he always does in these stories had tricked him ) he gave Fischer 13 games on the trot.

The above Petrosian game (No.13 in the deal) was hardest for the devil to spin around as Fischer was in real trouble. So the devil turned out the lights.

Jan-29-17  Allanur: Up untill move 20 or around Petrosian seems to have had an advantage (my guess), where did he go wrong if it was so?
Mar-04-17  The Boomerang: Great game.....Would have been more impressive defending title against Karpov than winning 20 games in a row.

Streaks are nice but they effectively yield the same result as say 4-2 in a short match.

Mar-05-17  RandomVisitor: After 16...Rxg2!

click for larger view


<-0.42/41 17.Ne4 Qb6 18.Qe3 Qxe3+ 19.fxe3 Bg4 20.Rd2 Bf3> 21.Rxg2 Bxg2 22.Rg1 Bxe4 23.dxc6 bxc6 24.Bxa6+ Kc7 25.Rf1 Bxc2 26.Rxf6 Rd1+ 27.Ke2 Rh1 28.Rf2 Bg6 29.Bd3 Ra1 30.Bc4 f5 31.Bb3 Rb1 32.Kd3 f4+ 33.Kc3 fxe3 34.Re2 Rc1+ 35.Kb2 Rh1 36.Kc3 Kb6 37.Rxe3 e4 38.Re2 Rf1 39.Kd4 Rf3 40.a4 e3 41.Bc4 Rf4+ 42.Kc3 Kc5 43.Bb3 Re4 44.Re1 h6 45.Rg1 Bf5 46.Rf1 Re5

Mar-05-17  RandomVisitor: Does 17...e4 lead anywhere? Apparently not.

After 17...e4 18.Nxe4

click for larger view


<-0.13/43 18...Qxd5 19.f3 Bxe4 20.fxe4 Qxa2 21.0-0 Qxa3 22.Rxf6> Ne5 23.Rf5 Qb2 24.Qf2 Kb8 25.Qf4 Rde8 26.Kh1 Ka8 27.Rg1 Re6 28.Rh5 Rc8 29.Rd1 h6 30.h3 Rh8 31.Rf5 Qc3 32.Qf1 Rc8 33.Qf2 Qc7 34.Rf1 Qc5 35.Qf4 Qc3 36.Rd1 Rd8 37.Qf1 Qc5 38.Qf4 Rde8 39.Qf1 Rc8 40.Be2 Qc6

0.00/43 18...Bxe4 19.dxc6 Qe5 20.Qe3 Bxc6 21.Qxe5 fxe5 22.Rg1 Kc7 23.Bc4 Rxd1+ 24.Kxd1 Rg4 25.Bxf7 Bxg2 26.Kd2 Rd4+ 27.Ke3 Re4+ 28.Kd3 Rd4+ 29.Kc3 Bc6 30.Rg7 Kd6 31.Bg8 Rf4 32.Rf7 Rg4 33.Bxh7 Rh4 34.Bd3 Rxh2 35.Rf6+ Ke7 36.Rf5 Kd6 37.f4 e4 38.Bc4 b5 39.Bb3 a5 40.Kd4 a4 41.Rf6+ Kc7 42.Bf7 Rd2+ 43.Kc3 Rf2 44.Kd4 Rxc2 45.Re6 Rxa2 46.Re7+ Kd6

Mar-06-17  RandomVisitor: After 16...Rxg2 17.Ne4 Qb6 18.Qe3 Qxe3+ 19.fxe3 Bg4 20.Rd2 Bf3 21.Rxg2 Bxg2 22.Rg1 Bxe4 23.dxc6 does black have a win? Perhaps instead a tough endgame:

click for larger view


<-0.52/47 23...bxc6 24.Bxa6+ Kd7> 25.Kd2 Ke6+ 26.Kc3 Bd5 27.Rb1 Ra8 28.Rb6 f5 29.a4 Kd6 30.a5 Kc5 31.a3 h6 32.Kd2 Bf3 33.h4 Be4 34.Kc3 Ra7 35.Kb3 Bf3 36.Kc3 Bd5 37.Kd2 f6 38.Kc3 Be4 39.Kd2 Ra8 40.Kc3 Bg2 41.Kd2 Bf3 42.Kc3 Ra7 43.Kd3 Bg2 44.Kd2 Be4 45.Kc3 f4 46.exf4 exf4 47.Kd2 Kd4 48.c3+ Ke5 49.Ke2

Mar-07-17  alphamaster: An ingenious innovation but Fischer found all the correct moves on the board and finally won because simply was the best player
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: By that logic, he wasn't the best player the next day. You're confusing separate facts with cause and effect.

Actually, he won because of a time pressure blunder in a drawn position just near the end.

Mar-07-17  ZonszeinP: Hello,
Is this the game in which Mr Fischer kept thinking in spite of the clocks being stopped and the light on the hall out?
Jul-11-17  Coutinho: Is that necessary to play 6 Bf4 7 Be3 8 Bg5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: It's the "main" variation after 6. Bf4 FYI
Jul-26-17  karik: I would have played 19.-Qxc3
Jul-26-17  Howard: Huh? Please clarify the last comment.
Premium Chessgames Member
  4tmac: 19...Kb8 (threatens 20...QxN) & 20. Kh1 meets that threat
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