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Alexander Kotov vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
"Kotov Guard" (game of the day Nov-18-2012)
Gagra (1952)
Indian Game: London System (A48)  ·  0-1


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Given 45 times; par: 53 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-18-05  mormonchess: And some people think that Petrosian wasn't an exciting, attacking player?....
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: This was in his younger days, before he developed his defensive style.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I think he always had a defensive style (although Kasparov says otherwise in OMGP III). Check out this remarkable game, in which he retreats his knights and bishops and then traps an overaggressive Paul Keres.

Petrosian vs Keres, 1952

Nov-19-05  mormonchess: I think it's accurate to say that Petrosian was a chess "left-hander". I read Kasparov using this description in his OMGP series. It may have been volume III.

But at any rate, chess left handers have unusual styles, oftentimes defying the "rules" and using pieces and pawns in unusual ways. Kasparov used this when describing Petrosian and Larsen, for example.

In the positional exchange sacrifice, Petrosian was unequalled. For example, in the game that you linked above, he sacrifices a knight in order to obtain a long term advantage. Pure Petrosian.

Nov-19-05  Larsker: <chess "left-hander"> Interesting. (I'm a left-hander myself.) Do you know of any other famous chess left-handers?
Nov-20-05  mormonchess: I'm left handed as well, in chess style and in the use of a hand.

As for other famous chess left-handers, I think you would have to mention Nimzowitsch, Petrosian, Larsen, and perhaps Morozevich? But Moro is more of a sacrificing type...good question.

Jun-13-07  e4Newman: I was following along in "Petrosian vs the Elite". 9...b5 is so simple and obvious that one must agree with Mr Keene's hypothesis that Kotov was too focused on central play and slow on development (or else just plain blundered).

Although there are many different possible strategies between move 8 and 18...Qa4, I'm still amazed at how close the finish actually is (Kotov is only a move or so away from mating Petrosian). I get the impression that Petrosian has a significant advantage, but trades it off for the initiative and a tactical finish, threatening mate and the promotion of the b-pawn.

Beautiful ending in that the finish could be any good chess player, irregardless of style. I doubt that Kasparov, Anand or Fischer would have done anything different.

Less critical is the fact that 7.exd4 seems a little backwards to me. I'd play cxd4.

Feb-16-10  Sem: Perhaps Duncan Suttles is a left-hander, and I am sure that Steinitz was.
Nov-18-12  SimonWebbsTiger: what was it with Kotov? He ran into a piece sac for a strongly advanced passed pawn in this famous game Kotov vs Geller, 1949
Nov-18-12  RookFile: Spassky said that the first thing to understand about Petrosian was that he was a stupendous tactician, extremely strong.
Nov-18-12  kasputine: It's actually impossible to become an excellent positional player without being able to spot the hidden tactical motives in a position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Another left-hander here, though not in style, which was chiefly dull.

The statement by <kasputine> is correct, and attempts to stereotype this or that strong player are thus doomed to failure.

Nov-18-12  Tigranny: Is the pun supposed to say the phrase, "Caught Off Guard", just by the pronunciation of Kotov?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Other languages get anglo pronounciations, for the sake of making puns work.
Nov-18-12  Amarande: Fighting to the win with a pistol at one's head!

30 Kh4! b1=Q 31 Ng5! (31 Bf8 would be much inferior, Qb2 and Black is safe)

Now Black cannot stop the mate at h7. He can only win before White does and must now give check every turn. And you'd think White might fairly easily manage at least one move's respite for his King on h4, right? And then White would even win, right? (Possibly not, since Kotov resigned before this, and as skilled an attacking player as he must have seen that Black's win is pretty easy. There may even be a faster way than this one, although the Rook sacrifice is clearly key.)

31 ... Rxg4+! 32 Kxg4 Qbd1+ 33 f3 Qa4+ 34 f4 Qg2+ 35 Kh4 Qf2+ 36 Kg4 Qd1+ 37 Nf3 Qdxf3+ 38 Kg5 Q2g3#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <Tigranny> Yeah, Kotov sounds like "Caught Off". It is "Kotov" Guard meaning "Caught Off Guard".

<Tigranny> Excellent puns!!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Very glad to see my pun get used! Hope everyone enjoyed the game - I found it doing research on ways to play against the London System. Petrosian rocks!



Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Amarande> Against 30.Kh4 Qxf3 seems simpler (it threatens Qxf2+ followed by check on the c1-h6 diagonal).

BTW, a cute idea for white, if he had time for it, would be to play Bh8, not Bf8. Black cannot take the bishop because of Qf8#, and there is no Qb2 or similar defense for Black.

But as said, there is no time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Operator,I've been Kotov!

Reminds me of the USGA's phone service-worst in the world...because they have to drop a call twice before they can place it.

Nov-21-12  Tigranny: <SuperPatzer77>. Thanks!
Oct-19-17  Saniyat24: Instead of 19.Bd3 Kotov couldn't Kotov have played 19.Bb3?
Oct-20-17  Granny O Doul: 19. Bb3 Qa6+ is immediate disaster for White.
Oct-21-17  Saniyat24: if only 11.cb3 instead of 11.d5...!!
Oct-21-17  Saniyat24: great pun <Garech>
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