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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Anatoly Karpov
USSR Championship (1973), Moscow URS, rd 8, Oct-12
Queen's Indian Defense: Spassky System (E14)  ·  1-0


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  keypusher: <perfidious>

You're in for it now. Nothing makes ughaibu angrier than hearing something positive about Geller. Happy/Merry Christmas to both of you anyway.

Dec-25-10  ughaibu: I'll restrain my ire as a seasonal exception. Thanks Perfidious, though with a name like that, can I believe you. . . ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher> Thank you sir and the same to you!

<ughaibu> Tough call whether to believe me, especially as I used to play poker professionally, and as you well know, we're all pathological liars.

Dec-25-10  Jim Bartle: "...we're all pathological liars."

That's not true.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Jim Bartle> But it is.............. some of the time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <perfidious> But what about the 1988 USSR championship? The lineup was Kasparov, Karpov, Yusupov, Salov, Eingorn, Ivanchuk, Yudasin, Beliavsky, Ehlvest, Smyslov, Gavrikov, Sokolov, Vaganian, Khalifman, Smirin, Gurevich, Malaniuk, Kharitonov. A Category XIV tournament.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Fusilli> Here are the two lineups.

1955 event: Geller, Kotov, Smyslov, Korchnoi, Keres, Mikenas, Petrosian, Simagin, Antoshin, Averbakh, Borisenko, Furman, Ilivitsky, Lisitsin, Scherbakov, Spassky, Taimanov, Flohr, Botvinnik and Kan.

1973: Geller, Averkin, Karpov, Korchnoi, Petrosian, Polugaevsky, Smyslov, Spassky, Taimanov, Kuzmin, Tal, Savon, Sveshnikov, Beliavsky, Grigorian, Rashkovsky, Keres and Tukmakov.

The '88 lineup is nasty, but I believe I'd go with the '55 vintage.

Dec-26-10  Everett: <Fusilli> <perfidious> Well, those aren't bad "top 3"

Any idea what would be the equivalent US championships?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Everett> Hmmm... not sure. Since Fischer was so much above everyone else, I would guess one of the round-robins from recent years. All the former-USSR expatriates have dramatically raised the level of US chess competition, in my opinion.

About past decades, the 1963 championship (Fischer +11 -0 =0) must be up there, with Fischer, Reshevsky, Evans, Benko, R Byrne, D Byrne, Saidy, Weinstein, Bisguier, Addison, Mednis, and Steinmeyer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <perfidious> Point taken. 1955 was brutal too. On the other hand, which one was most exciting? The 1973 tournament had many draws and few upsets. I am going over games from it, btw. I am using User: suenteus po 147's game collection on it. <suenteus> has wonderful game collections, including (I think) all the USSR championships.

I haven't taken a close look at the 1955 and 1988 crosstables. Were there too many draws, or few upsets? The 1973 many draws (in my opinion) and few upsets do not reflect the kind of fierce competition that took place. Players were even "encouraged" by the Soviet leadership to avoid draws under 30 moves.

Dec-26-10  outsider: I would go for 1940:
Keres, Petrov, Botvinnik, Lilienthal, Boleslavsky and many other great names
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <<suenteus> has wonderful game collections, including (I think) all the USSR championships.>

<suenteus> and <phony benoni> have together done a brilliant job on the USSR Chs. See

Game Collection: USSR Championship Tournament Index

The 1988 lineup was Kasparov, Karpov, Yusupov, Salov, Eingorn, Ivanchuk, Yudasin, Beliavsky, Ehlvest, Smyslov, Gavrikov, Sokolov, Vaganian, Khalifman, Smirin, Gurevich, Malaniuk and Kharitonov which was quite a formidable group.

The 12th 1940 Ch lead to the 1941 Absolute Ch which was also pretty strong.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <benzol> You are right! Apologies for the omission of PB's own collections!
Dec-26-10  AVRO38: <The '88 lineup is nasty, but I believe I'd go with the '55 vintage.>

I believe the 1973 Championship was the strongest ever. 5 World Champions and 12 USSR Champions competing. Spassky's victory was one of his greatest triumphs.

Dec-26-10  AnalyzeThis: Petrosian gives a lesson in this game on patience.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Benzol> Indeed, the authorities couldn't have Botvinnik fail-with his 'only' sharing fifth in 1940-so it was time to arrange for still greater success.
Dec-27-10  checkmateyourmove: the battering ram of the e pawn is classic. exposing the king but using it for an offensive sequence is very impressive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Fusilli: ....All the former-USSR expatriates have dramatically raised the level of US chess competition, in my opinion.>

Agreed, though I can name two native-born American GMs who resented all that talent coming over. It was hard enough to take home the bacon for even the GMs when I played against the two of them in the 1980s and 1990s, and all the emigres from Over There made it a lot tougher.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <perfidious: ... Agreed, though I can name two native-born American GMs who resented all that talent coming over.>

Pretty sure one is Joel Benjamin. He says something about this in his book "American Grandmaster". Is the other one John Fedorowicz?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Fusilli> Patrick Wolff was the other.

Don't recall the Fed saying much about anything pertaining to chess, really.

May-26-17  Saniyat24: one can know a lot of other things from this wonderful's like watching a Grand Slam Tennis final live, with celebrities also watching beside you, and sharing their stories...!
May-26-17  Saniyat24: Capablanca, Petrosian and Karpov are the greatest grinders of the game...!
Apr-22-18  Ulhumbrus: <mynameisrandy: <This must be the game that upon resigning, Karpov looked at Petrosian and said: "Please, can you tell me where I went wrong?">

Did this really happen? That's maybe the greatest compliment I can imagine being paid to a player.> In reply Petrosian smiled and said that it was not easy to say where Black went wrong. It may be that this story appears in a book of Karpov's games.

In a later game instead of 9...dxc4 Black played 9...bxc5 in the game Korchnoi vs Mecking, 1974 and this suggests that 9...dxc4?! is the questionable move.

Perhaps with his bishop on e7 instead of his queen and without the opening advantages of the first move Black can afford to make the concession of playing such a move less easily than White can afford to make the concession of playing such a move.

Feb-02-19  woldsmandriffield: Karpov to Petrosian: "What was my mistake?"

Petrosian to Karpov (anticipating McEnroe): "You cannot be serious!"

Giving up the QID Bishop proved disastrous (12..Bxf3? rather than 12..Nd5, reflecting Karpov's adversion for IQPs?). Just look at the board after move 14: "a night on the rim is dim". Once Petrosian gets in 16 f5 Black's position is a total wreck.

Feb-02-19  Retireborn: <woldsman> Indeed, I recall Peter Markland in his book pointing out that Karpov greatly preferred to play against IQPs. Of course in his later years (post 70s) he would be quite frequently seen playing with one.
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