Pawn and Two: The 19th Soviet Championship was an outstanding success for Petrosian. In a very strong field, he finished in a tie with Geller for 2nd/3rd, just 1/2 point behind Keres.
In his two previous championship appearances, he had finished 16th of 20, with a score of +4-8=7 in the 17th Soviet Championship, and in the 18th Soviet Championship, he scored +5-6=6, to finished in a tie for 12/13th place.
In the 19th championship, Petrosian lost his first two games, but then he set the pace for the remainder of the tournament, scoring 11 1/2 out of 15 (+8=7), for a 2nd/3rd place tie with Geller!
During the last 15 rounds, Keres scored 11 points (+8-1=6), for a total of 12 points, and a first place finish.
Geller scored 10 1/2 points (+9-3=3) in the final 15 rounds, for a total of 11 1/2 points and a tie with Petrosian for 2nd/3rd place.
Smyslov scored 9 1/2 points (+8-4=3) in the final 15 rounds, for a total of 11 points and a 4th place finish.
Botvinnik scored 8 1/2 points (+5-3=7) in the final 15 rounds, for a total of 10 points and a 5th place finish.
Players like Averbakh, Bronstein, Taimanov, Aronin, Flohr, Kopylov, Bondarevsky, Kotov, Simagin, Lipnitsky, and others trailed behind.
Bernard Cafferty and Mark Taimanov in their book, "The Soviet Championships", stated, <"The 1951 contest was probably the strongest in the whole series">.
This championship was also a Zonal and qualified five players, Averbakh, Geller, Kotov, Petrosian and Taimanov, for the Stockholm 1952 Interzonal. In this tournament, Petrosian tied for 2nd/3rd (+7=13) with Taimanov, 3 points behind the winner Kotov.
In "Soviet Chess", R.G. Wade stated, <"1951 was the year Petrosian emerged into the top chess circles being second equal with Geller in the XIX U.S.S.R Championship behind Keres.">
It could be said, that the emergence Wade speaks of began right after this game!