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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Robert James Fischer
"Gruen Pains" (game of the day Oct-15-10)
Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final (1971)  ·  Gruenfeld Defense: Brinckmann Attack (D82)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-23-14  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Fischer v the Russians?

Apart from Spassky, almost none of their top-flight players were ethnic Russians.

Petrosian, for example, was Armenian.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jambow: Wasn't Karpov an ethnic Russian?
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Jambow:
Wasn't Karpov an ethnic Russian?>

...he was an epic Russian.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: karpov is an ethnic Russian. Great game on Petrosian's part.
Jun-17-15  Howard: Petrosian would have been 86 as of today.
Dec-28-15  Howard: One question that hasn't been answered here yet is how the game may have proceeded if Petrosian had played 23.g3, rather than 23.d6. He later recommended that move, as I recall, so as to shut down possible counterplay.

Not only that, 23.g3 was definitely a typical Petrosian move.

Anyone want to supply some analysis ? I don't have a computer (yet).

Dec-30-15  Howard: Just to reiterate the above inquiry...

Rather strange that no one has responded yet--usually, Fischer's games get high priority when it comes to reader comments.

Dec-30-15  DWINS: <Howard>, I had Komodo and Stockfish take a look at the position, and they both have 23.d6 as being significantly better than 23.g3. Here are the lines:

Komodo 9.1 64-bit 2.15 (depth 24)
23.d6 Qh5 24.fxe3 Bxh2+ 25.Kf2 Kg7 26.Rh1 Rae8 27.Rxh2 Qxh2 28.Qg4+ Kf8 29.Qg5 h6 30.dxe7+ Rxe7 31.Rd8+ Re8 32.Qf6 Rh7 33.Rxe8+ Kxe8 34.Bb1 Rg7 35.Qxg7 Qh4+ 36.Qg3 Qxg3+ 37.Kxg3 Kd7 38.Be4 Kc7 39.Bd5 a5

1.60 (depth 24)
23.g3 Rg8 24.d6 exd6 25.fxe3 Kg7 26.cxd6 Kh8 27.Kh1 Rg4 28.Qa5 Bxd6 29.Qh5 f5 30.h3 Qxa2 31.hxg4 Qc4 32.Qg5 Qe4+ 33.Kh2 Be7 34.Qxf5 Qxe3 35.Rfe1 Qh6+ 36.Qh5 Qf6 37.Rf1 Qb2+ 38.Kh3 Bf8 39.Rf7 Bg7)

Stockfish 6 64 2.20 (depth 30)
23.d6 Qh5 24.fxe3 Bxh2+ 25.Kf2 e6 26.Bxe6 Rg8 27.g4 Qe5 28.Bxf7 Kxf7 29.Ke2+ Kg7 30.Rf5 Qe6 31.Qd4+ Kg6 32.Rh5 Bg3 33.Kf3 Bxd6 34.cxd6 Qf6+ 35.Qf4 Qxf4+ 36.exf4 Rg7 37.f5+ Kf7 38.g5

1.38 (depth 30)
23.g3 Rg8 24.d6 Kg7 25.Qb3 exd6 26.cxd6 Kh8 27.d7 Rad8 28.Qxe3 Qxe3 29.fxe3 Rgf8 30.Bxf7 Kg7 31.Be8 a6 32.Rd5 Rxf1+ 33.Kxf1 Kf6 34.Kf2 Ke6 35.Ra5 h6 36.Kf3 Kd6 37.Ke4 Bg7 38.Ra2)

Dec-31-15  Howard: Thanks very, very much !

So, does that mean that 23.g3 would have wasted too much time ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: 23 g3 is slower, but if you examine Komodo's line, the final position is a much greater advantage than +1.60

Both moves look to be winning.

Petrosian's preference for 23 g3 is not surprising, as it shifts the onus to Black that he can do anything to counter White's plans.

However, Petrosian had just suffered a defeat in Game 1 Fischer vs Petrosian, 1971 where he faced a similar decision, to go for the sharpest continuation, or play a positional move. He chose the less sharp move, and Fischer survived and even won the game.

So in game 2, he might have felt that only the best move would win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Fischer tucked the Gruenfeld away after this game. Smart move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I think the Soviets had noticed that Fischer liked to play the Gruenfeld on important occasions.

It is a superb opening to play because Black starts to attack without seriously weakening his position (in general I mean, not this game).

Fischer might have preferred it to the King's Indian, but he would not have liked to give away opening novelties.

Jan-02-16  Howard: Maybe Fischer did indeed "tuck away" the Gruenfeld after this disaster, but......he only played about 28 more games in his career after that! So, this doesn't necessarily mean that he'd given up on the opening completely.

I'm not counting the 1992 games, obviously.

Jan-02-16  Howard: Kasparov states in MGP III that Petrosian apparently had a forced win after playing 23.d6, but it would have required ultra-precise play on his part to bring the point home.

So, if he'd played 23.g3 instead, wouldn't the win have probably been simplier. It's hard to believe that it would have been more difficult !

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: I think the Gruenfeld is fine. The Russians came armed against it, so after a loss, Fischer switched to something else. It was also a tactic he used against Spassky.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It was clear that when facing Spassky at Reykjavik, Fischer was highly likely to do battle with the Saemisch if he trotted out his favourite King's Indian, a line which had given him some trouble and was long a speciality of the reigning titleholder. Fischer had, of course, lost twice already in the Gruenfeld to Spassky.

Fischer's switching of openings was a necessity: after all, when one examines what became of certain of his beloved variations in 1972, small wonder that he took this course, what with the might of the Soviet theoreticians at his redoubtable opponent's beck and call.

Jan-03-16  morfishine: <CG> needs to delete this stupid pun: Fischer was at the peak of his powers and had finished "growing" years before this game was even played
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: I agree. A ridiculous pun, not worthy of CeeGee.
Jan-03-16  SugarDom: Why not just delete all the Fischer losses, so that the Fischer Fanboys would feel better?


Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Ah, but that cheats the fans of the players who beat Fischer.

Although, that should only be a handful of players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <TheFocus: Ah, but that cheats the fans of the players who beat Fischer.>

My dear sir, how dare you deprive <ughhaibu> of his raison d'etre? Tough to name a more virulent anti-Fischer type.

Jun-17-16  cunctatorg: In any case, a real masterpiece, a true gem from Petrosian's part versus RJF at his peak!!

The truth is that even Bobby Fischer at this peak wasn't a God, only the greatest chess hero and you had to play a real masterpiece in order to have any chances to win a game from Fischer!!

Lovely chess here!!

Sep-25-16  N.O.F. NAJDORF: In answer to Jambow: yes, Karpov is an ethnic Russian, but he never played Fischer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: At the time the Russians had many excellent players, but Ukranians, Baltic players, Serbs, and guys from other Slavic nations have this love for chess. (And, may I add, for poetry, math and booze.) So they always have had many top players.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: They also have large Jewish communities, and Jews have an intellectual tradition.
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