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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Wolfgang Unzicker
FRG-URS (1960), Hamburg FRG, rd 7, Aug-04
Queen's Gambit Declined: Traditional Variation (D30)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 17 times; par: 98 [what's this?]

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Feb-14-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: "My web page pretty much speaks for itself."

I guess that's clear and correct, but it sure sounds strange.

Feb-14-06  euripides: You could certainly apply game theory to things like tournament strategy e.g. what effect a change in tournament structure might have on players' willingness to take risks. Under some circumstances you might get multiple equilibria that could be quite interesting e.g. if all the good players play conservatively, none of them has an incentive to play very riskily; but if one of them plays riskily, there is an incentive for others to follow suit (Topalov and Anand at Wijk an Zee might be an example).
Feb-14-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Kotov in "Think" had a section on "To Analyze or Not to Analyze," advice on whether to accept or sacrifice, enter into complications or (metaphor alert!) sail toward calm waters, etc. depending on your tournament position.

He used as an example a game where Smyslov was black against Keres at Zurich 1953. :White offered a rook on the h-file, and Smyslov, leading the tourney by a point or two (after 23 rounds!), had to decide whether to take it and go for a win, or refuse it.

So Smyslov declined the whole rook, and ended up winning as Keres pressed for a needed win.

Feb-22-06  ARTIN: Fan of Leko,

it is not so obvious. In fact, if you remove the condition that if for 50 moves no pawns are moved or exchanges are made the game is a draw, the theorem ceases to be true.

Feb-22-06  Boomie: Every time I play over this game and watch that majestic march of the white king, I cannot help but laugh.

<LMAJ's> analysis of this game at http://www.lifemasteraj.com/great_c... is a fine piece of work which I recommend to everyone.

Concerning the discussion of black's alternatives after 9. cxd5, my first glance preference was for 9...Nxd5. If white takes the knight, black takes with the e-pawn and has solved most of his developmental problems. However white will not be so accomodating.

9...Nxd5 10. Bg3 Qa5

(10...Nb4 11. Qd2 h5 12. h4 Nf6 0.35/13)

11. Rc1 0.27/14

So the immediate exd5 does make sense. However white need not allow the piece trade after Nh5. After the simple 10. h3, black's best idea seems to be neutralising the potent bishop on f4. A big plus to exd5 is black's woeful q-bishop is unleashed.

9...exd5 10. h3 Ne8 11. Bd3 Bd6 12. Bxd6 Nxd6 0.30/13

Naturally the computer evaluations are in no way definitive and I include them only because they are available as raw data.

Oct-02-06  amuralid: <LMAJ> Nice work on the website.
Apr-07-07  Ulhumbrus: Max Euwe annotates this game in the book "The best in chess" one of whose authors is I A Horowitz. Euwe says something like "One of the best games was that won by Petrosian against Unzicker. In a style reminiscent of Capablanca, Petrosian acquires a small advantage and nurses it to victory. It looks very simple, but it is given only to a very few to perform so overwhelmingly in a contest with a first class master.

Perhaps I can shed a little more light on this. After 12…b4 in reply to 11 a4 played in reply to 11…b5, Petrosian acquires not just one asset on the Queen side, but a number of them, which is to say that Unzicker contracts not just one weakness on the Queen side but a number of them. One consequence of this is that Petrosian acquires an additional asset on the Queen side, control of the c file, which is to say that Unzicker contracts an additional liability on the Queen side. All these make up collectively not a small advantage but a large advantage. In fact we can say that for the remainder of the game, Black's entire Queen side is crying in wounded agony, impairing completely Black's ability to contest the duel. Is it then any wonder then, that Petrosian should perform overwhelmingly, as Euwe says? So the explanation is that Petrosian acquires not a small advantage but in fact a large advantage.

Apr-07-07  Ulhumbrus: Max Euwe annotates this game in the book "The best in chess" one of whose authors is I A Horowitz. Euwe says something like "One of the best games was that won by Petrosian against Unzicker. In a style reminiscent of Capablanca, Petrosian acquires a small advantage and nurses it to victory. It looks very simple, but it is given only to a very few to perform so overwhelmingly in a contest with a first class master."

Perhaps I can shed a little more light on this. After 12…b4 in reply to 11 a4 played in reply to 11…b5, Petrosian acquires not just one asset on the Queen side, but a number of them, which is to say that Unzicker contracts not just one weakness on the Queen side but a number of them. One consequence of this is that Petrosian acquires an additional asset on the Queen side, control of the c file, which is to say that Unzicker contracts an additional liability on the Queen side. All these make up collectively not a small advantage but a great advantage. In fact we can say that for the remainder of the game, Black's entire Queen side is crying in wounded agony, impairing thoroughly Black's ability to contest the duel. Is it then any wonder then, that Petrosian should perform overwhelmingly, as Euwe says? So the explanation is that Petrosian acquires not a small advantage but a great advantage, a great advantage which Petrosian is able to make count, so as to perform overwhelmingly.

Jun-20-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  arsen387: WOW, what a use of the open file. Really a Capablanca style win as Euwe said. Starting from move 29 Petrosian carries out a great plan - brings his K to b1 where it is safe and starts to push pawns on the Kside to open lines around black K, while black hasn't that luxury and is doomed to unuseful moves. Notice that if 52..Ra7 to avoid material loss then 53.f5 Qxf5 54.Rxd8 Bxd8 55.Qb7! wins a piece. A true masterpiece by Petrosian, one of his best games I think.
Jul-29-08  norcist: 11...Nh5!?; 12.Be5! f6!? 13.Bc7!! Qxc7 14.Nxd5! Qxc2 15.Nxe7+ Kf7; 16.Bxc2 Kxe7; 17.Bg6 b6; 18.Bxh5 Bb7; 19.Nd2, '±' All thanks to <LMAJ> for this line
Jan-16-09  WhiteRook48: Petrosian was really a master...
Oct-18-10  timothee3331: <ARTIN> "Many chessplayers know the multiplication table of chess and even its logarithm table. That's why we should endeavour to prove that sometimes 2+2 = 5 " Mikhail Tal

My opinion is that you're correct, they are three tpes of moves, but chess discoveries are made very often and i believe we don't fully understand the game. That's why i think this kind of approach is unuseful

Feb-06-11  GilesFarnaby: Regarding black´s 9th move I plugged it and found out that Houdini had only scope for ...Nxd5


click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 1.5a w32:

9...Nxd5 10.Bg3 c5 11.Be2 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Nxc3 13.bxc3 e5 14.Nf5 Bf6 15.Rd1 Qc7 16.Nd6 Nc5 17.Nxc8 Raxc8 18.0-0 Rfd8 19.Bf3 Ne6 20.Bd5 Qxc3 21.Qxc3 Rxc3 22.Bxb7 Rc2 23.Rxd8+ Nxd8 24.Bd5 = (0.17) Depth: 23/52 00:04:48 389mN

Other than that I couldn´t find a single game in my database (with over 4 million games) where a GM played that position with black, so I don´t think that helps too much.

In any case most people will agree, I guess, that the 9th move by Unzicker was not the losing one, but rather the Q-side over expansion sequence.

Feb-07-11  masterzelman: Beautful to see how one advantage- the c-file- enables the creation of another- the attack on the king side once the king has wandered to the queen side.
Nov-12-11  Ulhumbrus: After 11... b5 Black's QB is bad, but after Black plays 12...b4 in order to exchange the bad QB, Black's KB becomes bad.
Aug-19-13  ForeverYoung: 11 ... b5 drew the censure by Clarke for weakening c6 and allowing white great positional play, but 9 ... cxd5 deserves to be knocked, playing into a symetrical position where white has all the chances. If black feared the minority attack he should not have played the black side of the queen's gambit declined.
Mar-02-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <AJ> It appears that you have left posts on this game page.
Mar-02-14  john barleycorn: < Benzol: <AJ> It appears that you have left posts on this game page.>

Strange, isn't it.

Mar-03-14  LIFE Master AJ: <Benzol> Yes indeedy.

Apparently, I made a mistake ... using the drop-down menu. (I may have clicked on the wrong Petrosian, I had no idea that BOTH were <now> on the drop-down list.)

Mar-03-14  LIFE Master AJ: http://www.lifemasteraj.com/great_c...

I knew I (also) had a web page on this game, as well.

Mar-03-14  LIFE Master AJ: 40...Kg7! appears to be a big improvement over the game ... White only has a tiny edge. (Fritz 13, Deep Shredder and Houdini.)
Oct-25-14  say it with a smile: And yet another "King Walk" by Petrosian.

Unzicker sings to the tune of Dionne Warwick's "Walk On By" ... as Tigran's king takes a long walk.

Feb-14-15  xombie: This actually reminds me strongly of analogous positions in the French - with, of course, the relative bad bishop taken into account, which is immaterial here.

Oftentimes, one tries to lodge the N on one's QB5 square (here, it is c5, for black, it will be c4). However, that becomes difficult when the other side plays his pawn to one's QN4 (b4 here). The main point here appears to be that white has not played a3+b4 when it Nc5 would become all but impossible.

c5 control for the knight comes from an alternative route. 12. a4! induces the pawn to advance and the knight gains tempo to park on b3 via a2 and c1. Notice also that since many of black's pawns are now fixed on the dark squares, this spot on b3 becomes even more significant since the knight attains monstrous qualities controlling the static and weak pawn on a5, aside from the more obvious c5 point and the blockaded b4 pawn.

Feb-14-15  xombie: Black's paralysis in this game must have at least a little to do with the Nb3, since the a5 pawn (and the edifice) needs attention all the time. This is, of course, in addition to the c file which white owns.
Nov-16-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  fiercebadger: white gains early control of
the c6 square , he then opens a 2nd front but secures his king first.
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