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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Bent Larsen
Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966), Santa Monica, CA USA, rd 16, Aug-11
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen's Knight Variation (A16)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-21-04  Everett: Oh my. Petrosian dark squared bishop might as well not be on the board for half the game
Premium Chessgames Member
  iron maiden: A great example of taking advantage of the opponent's "bad" bishop. 62. Nxg3 Qh3+ wins back the piece, with more to follow.
Aug-29-04  ruylopez900: In the tournament book, Petrosian is talking about White's troubles and problems by move 13! I find 17.Qd1 as well as White's general set-up just a little too passive. You'd have never guessed that Larsen had played a KID - like formation.
Nov-13-04  kostich in time: Larsen was prouder of this game than he was of his first win against Tigran at santa Monica..the famous queen sacrifice game. It could be said that Larsen was an interesting blend of styles, half "romantic' half hypermodern. In this game, he wins in Nimzos style, in the first game, he won like a romantic
Mar-12-05  notyetagm: Tremendous play by Larsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Petrosian often did great things with bad bishops...but not this time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Great Larsen game, with the characteristic rook pawn advances and a long manuvering buildup to the sac on g3.
Oct-05-07  Maynard5: This game features superb positional play by Larsen. By move 26, Black has accumulated a series of small advantages. Black's solid pawn chain, on e4 and d5, drives a wedge into White's position. White's pawns are isolated, in three separate "islands". White's dark-bound bishop is completely paralyzed. White light-square bishop is not much better off, and in fact within a few moves, White decides to exchange it for Black's more active bishop. The win takes some time, but Larsen patiently weakens White's king position, isolating the pawn on g3, and preparing for the incursion of the queen on the h-file. There is very little that Petrosian can do to stop the inevitable breakthrough.
Dec-25-07  notyetagm: A simply -stupendous- King's Indian game by Larsen.
Dec-25-07  notyetagm: Petrosian vs Larsen, 1966

Black to play: 64 ... ?

click for larger view

This position is from a variation given by GM John Nunn, explaining why Petrosian resigned after move 61.

Here Black has the tremedous tactical blow 64 ... ♕g3xe3+!!,

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<REMOVING THE GUARD> of the d4-royal forking square by taking the White e3-pawn chain base defender.

After 65 ♘d1x♕e3 <illusory protection> ♘f5xd4+ <royal fork>

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66 ♔e2-d2 ♘d4x♕c6, White would be three(!) pawns down in a hopeless endgame, shown below:

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So the stunning tactical blow 64 ... ♕g3xe3+!! not only forces the queens off the board, ending White's hope of a miracle perpetual, it also wins two additional pawns for Black, making White's cause completely hopeless.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: One of the drawbacks of the fianchetto system for White vs the KID is the weakness of c4 and Black's attempts to exploit it.

While Petrosian doubtless realised that playing 16.cxb5 was a major concession, the positions which would arise after ....b4, axb4 Nxb4 offered no prospects other than a grim defence of the weakness at b3.

Once Black plays ....e4 followed by ....d5, the central pawn formation is a French defence with reversed colours where, in effect, White has played cxd5 cxd5, totally freeing Black's hands. No annotations a weak player such as myself might offer could better illustrate the fate that comes to White in the aftermath of this.

It's ironic how the first move of the culminating combination is to eliminate the bad bishop which has been a millstone about White's neck during the entire game, a phenomenon I first saw mentioned in Nunn's Secrets of Grandmaster Play.

Dec-25-07  notyetagm: <perfidious: One of the drawbacks of the fianchetto system for White vs the KID is the weakness of c4 and Black's attempts to exploit it.>

Good point. I experience this exact problem every time I play the English with 1 c2-c4 and 2 g2-g3 and face a KID setup.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Petrosian had to be at least a little bit flattered--Larsen's play is quite a fine example of his own style!
Dec-26-07  notyetagm: <An Englishman: Good Evening: Petrosian had to be at least a little bit flattered--Larsen's play is quite a fine example of his own style!>

Yes, in this game it is Petrosian(!) who gets squeeezed by a python. :-)

Dec-09-09  Dravus: Larsen's pawn-wrenches tighten and bend Petrosian in this constrictor. At Black's moves 36 & 41, Larsen illustrates what truly opposing knights are, maintaining that advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Position after 26...b4:

click for larger view

"I considered this a winning position - and told Donner that if I did not win it, I would really go and see a doctor"

Larsen in "Larsen's selected games of chess, 1948-69"

Feb-20-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: EXCHANGE ON THE LOOSE SQUARE: THEN NA++,ND--

Petrosian vs Larsen, 1966 60 ... Bd6xg3! works as 62 ... Qh8-h3+ fork regains the piece

Feb-20-11  notyetagm: P-W-N-E-D
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: One of you premium members needs to post this game to the Guess-the-Move database.
Oct-25-13  parisattack: Classic Larsen. Petrosian plays passively as white hoping black will over-reach - but instead gets squashed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: And six years later, I finally invent a suitable verb for the game--Petrosian got "Petrosianned."
Mar-01-14  LIFE Master AJ: HA!!!! Good one. It does indeed look like Larsen became Petrosian to play this game.

Is there some hidden pun that I missed?

Jan-10-15  zydeco: Petrosian's gormless opening style usually led to a flexible position with no weaknesses, while inducing an opponent to overextend himself. Every so often, though, his opponent gets an overwhelming, permanent space advantage.

At move 19, Petrosian comments: "Black managed to achieve both of the above-mentioned strategic plans [....b5 and .....e4]. His position is already so bad that not only during the game but even now I find it difficult to give any sort of advice." Translation: Petrosian felt he played fairly logically, and in keeping with his style, but was thoroughly outplayed by Larsen.

Larsen thought 6.e3 was a little unthreatening; and 17.Qd1 was very passive. (Better 17.Ne4.)

Larsen says that he spent all night analyzing the adjourned position (after 41....Nf5). He found that after 42.Bd2 he could put white in virtual zugzwang with 42....Nh5 43.Nh1 Bb8. After 42.Qd2 Larsen looked first at a pawn sacrifice with ....f5 and rejected it in favor of pushing the g-pawn to g4. Larsen says that he saw the winning combination at move 51 but was very sleepy (from having analyzed all night!) and decided to waste time until the next time control before putting the combination into effect.

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