chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing


register now - it's free!
Samuel Reshevsky vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Zurich Candidates (1953)  ·  Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Bernstein Defense (E58)  ·  1/2-1/2
To move:
Last move:

explore this opening
find similar games 9 more Reshevsky/Petrosian games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: If you find a mistake in the database, use the correction form. There is a link at the bottom that reads "Spot an error? Please suggest your correction..." Avoid posting corrections in the kibitzing area.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with the default chess viewer, please see the Pgn4web Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-12-04  Phoenix: I didn't keep up with any of them (too lazy) and stuff like "attacking classics," well, there are just too many of them!!
Apr-12-04  Benjamin Lau: Lol, well, I thought they were interesting even if you didn't keep up with them. Rookpawn didn't really keep up with his collection "World's 100 Greatest Chess Games" either; it is missing 5 games or something. I think most of those 5 are in the db now but rookpawn hasn't bothered to put them in, he probably forgot since he rarely shows up anymore. You're right about the "Attacking Classics" though. There are quite a few. I like your strategic patterns idea. You can have a lot of interesting themes covered like the king exodus, the exchange sack, blockades, etc. ;)
Dec-04-04  Backward Development: of interest:
on this particular variation starting on black's ninth move and practical considerations of the opening: "The text is thought to give Black a cramped game, but if a player likes precisely that sort of 'cramped game', then he will get better results with it than with a 'freer' game. Generally speaking, such evaluations, even though they may sway the opinions of the theoreticians, have far less of an influence on practical tournament games than is commonly supposed." after white's 11th move:
"Trying to improve one's position, and finding the correct idea to accomplish that end, is one of the bases of chess strategy in every phase of the game. The proper move order also plays an important part, but this falls under the heading of tactical implementation, which of course is a major determinant of the eventual success of the strategic plan. Here, white's basic idea is obvious: he needs a good development for both his bishops. He can accomplish this in two ways:either by playing a4 followed by Ba3, or by taking dc bc, and then playing c4. Apparently against all logic however, White places his bishop on a diagonal which is occupied by pawns, seeming inviting black to play c4 himself, and shut the bishop in for good. Why? as it turns out, 11.a4 would have been met by 11...cd 12.cd Bg4, or 12.edd Ne4, attacking the c-pawn; and 11 dc bc 12.c4 would allow the reply 12...Rb8, preventing 13.Bb2. Having played 11.Bb2, however, white can go ahead with his c4 either at once or after the preliminary 12.dc bc; so black's reply is not merely useful, but almost obligatory. The next phase of the struggle is defined by the new pawn structure: already it has much less to do with the tastes and preferences of the two players than it has to do with their choice of opening. White will set his f and e-pawns in mostion, creating a passed d-pawn and combing the advance of these central pawns with an attack on the f-file. Black, with three pawns to two on his right, cannot do too much with them for the moment, since he must first battle the bishop pair and central preponderance." after black's 25th move
"Reshevsky's clever play bined with Petrosian's iron logic make this game one of the tournament's jewels. Black must stop White's pawns, so Petrosian gives up the exchange at a spot of his own choosing, freeing e7 for the transfer of his knight to d5. Of course, black gets good compensation for the exchange: his knight is much stronger on d5, as is his bishop, which no longer has an opponent. Note that here, or even on the previous move, White might have launched a direct attack with h4 followed by h5 and Rg3, with good winning chances; but he expects to win a different way." and after black's 31st move
"Black, naturally, had no choice, since taking the a-pawn would have been senseless. But now it is white must solve a difficult psychological problem: should he exchange on b4, which pratically guarantees the draw, or advance the pawn, driving out the knight and obtaining winning chances, as well as losing ones? with no time left in which to calculate variations, it is understandable that Reshevsky chose the simpler continuation. after 32 c4 Nb6
33 Rc1 Nxa4
34 Ba1 Qc6
or 33 d5 ed
34 c5 nxa4
35 Bd4 Rc8
36 Qf3 Qe6, White's pawns would have been blackaded, and black's would have become extremely dangerous."
Sep-10-05  ARTIN: how does fritz evaluate Re6?
Sep-10-05  RookFile: Re6 doesn't rank as any one of the
computer's top 6 choices. But, it does do something interesting.

.... Ra7 followed by ... Ne7
and .... Nd5

Dec-09-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Kasparov writes quite a bit about 25..Re6. He says that Petrosian introduced the exchange sacrifice for the sake of quality of position. Is this true? This is quite a claim. I can't think of earlier examples offhand.

Petrosian played this variation (9..b6) a few times during this tournament. It is not played much anymore. This game took place in the second round. In the 15th round he played 18..f5 against Smyslov and just barely drew. In the 20th round Taimanov played 11 Ne5 and beat Petrosian convincingly. This seems like an improvement as 11 Bb2 is a peculiar looking move. Crouch quotes Estrin as recommending 14..Bf5 as an improvement. 14..Nd2 seems to accelerate whites initiative. Kasparov thinks that the immediate 26 Be6 followed by 27 Rg3 would have given Reshevsky a better chance at maintaining his advantage. Bronstein and Crouch both felt that 32 c4 would have been very risky increasing chances of both winning and losing.

Dec-09-06  euripides: <plang> In the early years of the Soviet supremacy after the second world war, the exchange sacrifice was one of the idea associated with Soviet players - along with a generally dynamic approach, excellent opening preparation and enthusiasm for dynamic openings such as the KID and the Sicilian. Euwe, for instance, talked about the 'Russian exchange sacrifice'. Petrosian was not the first, though he may have been the greatest master of this sacrifice. For a canonical game, which I rather think made a great impression on Botvinnik:

Lilienthal vs Ragozin, 1935

Dec-09-06  RookFile: Reshevsky played with great skill in the opening. The position after 19. fxe4 is much better for him. I have to believe that at some point in the next few moves, before the exchange sac, Reshevsky must have had a way to further increase the pressure, that he missed.
Dec-10-06  Plato: I love this game. An early and beautiful example of the modern exhange sacrifice by its main pioneer, Petrosian.
Dec-10-06  who: <rookfile> like <backward development> quotes - h4 a move earlier would have given white a strong advantage.
Jan-05-09  Lt.Surena: 11.Bb2? looks weak. Instead, 11.Re1 looks better. Black notices the bad move and seals the bishop at b2 with 11.. c4.

Petrosian is smart. He doesn't take knight at f3 (ie plays 13... Ne4 instead). White's bishop gets sealed at b2. Black effectively takes over the e4 square. Great game !

Mar-17-09  WhiteRook48: 30 Rxd3... why sac the exchange?
Jun-02-09  marknierras: The 25... re6 sacrifice shows that sometimes a material loss can create a superior position... in this case 29...bd3; it looks like the sacrifice worked and white eventually realized that he had to give back the rook that he won on move 30 because of the strong black attack!
Jan-02-10  AnalyzeThis: <Plato: I love this game. An early and beautiful example of the modern exhange sacrifice by its main pioneer, Petrosian. >

The moral of the story is, when Capablanca sacrifices the exchange, it's old fashioned, but then Petrosian does it, it's modern.

Jan-17-10  BISHOP TAL: Bernstein defense cant say ive heard that before Petrosian sure plays it well rook e6 looks patzerish offhand but petrosian is anything but that,it makes the knight good.
Jan-30-10  larsenfan: I agree with many kibitzers, it is funny, to say the least, that such an amazing game has so few comments. Yes, it is a draw, but even so... By the way, I have just shown this position to Rykba and the exchange sac is its second option.

To Analyzethis: could you please provide examples of similar sacs by Capa or other calsics ? Thanks in advance.

Sep-03-10  DoubtingThomas: It's one of my favourites:

http://streathambrixtonchess.blogsp...

Nov-16-10  Knight13: 25...Re6 seems forced to me. Play it or die. I wonder if Petrosian saw this position many moves ahead and decided on ...Re6 some moves ago.
May-24-11  Llawdogg: The positional exchange sacrifice: 25 ... Re6!

Petrosian spent quite a lot of time looking for this move. When he finally found it he smiled. Reshevsky was watching him. When he saw the smile and then the move, it was like someone dumped a cold bucket of water on him. His win was gone.

Story told by Petrosian's student Melik Khachiyan.

Jun-09-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Most of the comments on this game are about how few comments there are on this game.
Jun-09-11  Petrosianic: Not just this game, it's amazing how many comments on the whole site are requests for others to make comments.

I wonder if Khachiyan's story isn't embellished slightly. Are we really to believe that Reshevsky never even remotely considered R-K3, but once he saw it, he knew in an instant that it saved the game? I doubt it all happened quite that quickly. If it were that obvious, surely he'd have considered it before, wouldn't he?

Jul-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: <Sep-10-05 ARTIN: how does fritz evaluate Re6?>

ARTIN asked how Fritz evaluated 25...Re6 back in 2005. Fritz wasn't seeing it back then. However, I just let Houdini think about this move and within ten minutes (perhaps sooner - I left my chess table for a few minutes) it gave 25...Re6 as the second best move.

First choice is 25...Ra7 with only a slight advantage to White - almost equal. 25...Re6 is given as second best but it is given a far worse evaluation.

25...Ra7 +0.35
25...Re6 +0.75

Nov-11-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Nice strategic positional sac - Nimzo would be proud.
Dec-04-11  iamdeafzed: @ Big Pawn

A .40 unit difference between an engine's first choice and second choice move isn't exactly what I'd call "a far worse evaluation". Especially considering that, as I recall, different engines can vary on their analysis of a position by as much as .50 units. Engine analysis isn't gospel truth.

In other news, I'm not surprised by Petrosian's 25th move in hindsight. He seems to have been pretty big on exchange sacrifices in general.

Apr-06-14  Howard: "One of the jewels of the tournament", as Bronstein stated in his famous book on the 1953 tournament.
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other users.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.


NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
Game 2
from Garry Kasparov: OMGP Vol.III by azaris
Book of Samurai's favorite games 4
by Book of Samurai
Sacrifice to gain stronger postition... move 25
from CHESS PRINCIPLES by marknierras
The Exchange Sacrifice
by Benzol
Emms 128
from Experimental collection by DrNyet
McDonald Giants
by Krames123
guide of Survivor
by Gottschalk
Tigran Petrosian
by blues66
Instructive exchange sac
from Brilliant games by madhatter5
The real reference - Tigran Petrosian
from Let's learn to sacrify an exchange by stanleys
Give little to gain a lot
from Hard fought defend! by tacticalmonster
MY TRIBUTE TO THE "IRON TIGER"
by Malacha
Positional Sacrifices
from Positional Chess Handbook II by monopole2313
Most of the comments on this game are about how few comments
from They were surprised by Calli
11...c4
from 59_Fixit with ..c4! - the Stockholm/Lima Syndrom by whiteshark
Sacrificing for the draw
from The Art of the Draw by suenteus po 147
The original Petrosian exchange sacrifice
from Exciting, Original, Unusual And Other Draws by TheAlchemist
Petrosian's 25.. Re6 exchange sacrifice
from Good games ought to know by EvgeniyZh
samsloan's favorite games of Petrosian
by samsloan
29...Bd3 and a nice blockade worth framing
from Picturesque Positions by Benjamin Lau
plus 21 more collections (not shown)


home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2014, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies