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Boris Spassky vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
"We Are the Champions" (game of the day May-03-07)
Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1966)  ·  Torre Attack: Classical Defense (A46)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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Given 43 times; par: 73 [what's this?]

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sac: 24...Nxe5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-29-11  YetAnotherAmateur: <el nanes> For my money, I just love the queenside pawn structure after 22. ... b5. I distinctly remember something like it described as "an ideally strong pawn structure" in one of my early chess books.

And Tigran in some ways set up his advantage with 8. ... Nxe5 - that e5 pawn prevents white's DSB from taking advantage of the holes in the beautiful diagonal structure.

Sep-18-11  kia0708: INCREDIBLE defense
Sep-18-11  karnak64: Set aside the exchange sacrifice -- there is something joyous about this game, something that says pre-computer.

As Keats wrote, a thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Sep-20-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Petrosian, stereotyped as positional player extraordinaire, comes up with some brilliant tactics, interwoven on this canvas of what was one of his finest games.

The finish presents an amazing tableau: three passed pawns, bearing down on the helpless enemy, all made possible by the shocking move 30....f5.

Sep-20-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: A gorgeous game.
Sep-27-11  sicilianhugefun: Strategic geniuses such as Petrosian, Karpov, Capablanca, Kramnik are cold-blooded killers in the board. They are trying to avoid risky play most of the time because they have a case in point.. and that is ACCURACY all throughout.. which is why they are astoundingly excellent masters of the endgame since they have the ability capitalize on tiny advantages and then grid their opponents down to the endings. People who say that they are "boring" players has a very shallow understanding in the game of Chess. These former world champs that I mentioned above has undeniably contributed some of the most fascinating tactical combinations that is now among the jewels of chess literature mostly during their early years as we all know and its just an indication of maturity that is why they yielded towards positional play. But if given the chance to attack, then these guys always has the uncanny ability to move in for the kill relentlessly.
Oct-01-11  laskerian: <sicilianhugefun> Very good observation of what positional chess is all about.
Nov-29-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Classic Petrosian; a beautiful game.

-Garech

May-09-12  sorokahdeen: I was a great fan of Petrosian, not only because he was a great player but because I was a poor tactician, someone who was always weak at raw calculation, and tried to make up for it with strategic understanding. It was this that made me love Petrosian: his way of playing gave me hope for myself.

I've been over this game *many* times, and now, having come back to it, after many years, I think I like it even more because to see it again is to see again what a collaborative work of art it is on so many levels and on the part of both players.

To understand the game, you have to understand that Spassky has to be given enormous credit for it for having the temerity to play this line of the Torre Attack against Petrosian.

Petrosian was famous for games with this line where his understanding and use of Nimzowitsch's principles gave him a number of decisive victories with the white pieces. Spassky's playing it against him was a challenge and a gamble in which he can be said to be risking a game in a world-championship match on the basis of his combining the ideas of making Petrosian face something he had used to destroy opponents with throwing down the gauntlet and saying, "Let's see what you've got… let's see how all those players you crushed with this opening should have played."

In the end, it turned out to be an epic mistake for him, but without his having the courage to make it, the world would have been deprived of the equivalent of a great painting or a great symphony.

Petrosian's handling of the game was brilliant in a way that makes the word "exemplary" seem like an understatement. His adoption of the Torre attack was an infusion of strategic principles into an opening that was famous for brute-force simplicity embodied in the attacking themes provided by transferring a pawn to e5 to drive away the king's defenders and then using the extra space near the king for direct, combinative attacking play while black's pieces, especially the queen's bishop remained cramped and without scope for black to try and take over the initiative except after many, many moves.

In Petrosian's hands, the Torre attack became a platform for demonstrating the strengths of Nizowitzchean principles including overprotection of the advanced pawn on e5 and the use of knight outposts usually after creating a "hole" on d4. Petrosian's play against it here involved his first negating the positional advantages of the formation as an attacking platform by driving back white's dark-squared bishop; forcing open the g-file by threatening to trap it; castling long to rob white of any chance for the Torre attack's well-known attacking themes, and then using prophylaxis against Spassky's opening lines against his king by playing his pawns to b6 and a6.

All of these things are straightforward applications of things that can be seen in Nimzowitsch's theories and once the preventive measures are in place and black has no cause to fear for his king, black goes over to the attack in a way that Nimzowitch would have understood perfectly; sacrificing the exchange to create a pawn-roller which, supported by black's queen, centralized knight, and the latent threats generated by his light-squared bishop, became a juggarnaut that smashed Spassky's king position with the calm inevitability of a steam-roller in a way that is reminiscent of Petrosian's game against Glirorich where he won with the black pieces in a Maroczy bind sicillian.

It was played when I was seven years old, and it was beautiful when I first saw it at the age of seventeen, and it is just as beautiful today.

May-09-12  yiotta: When he wasn't being lazy, Petrosian was one of the greatest masters! I find myself smiling during his games more than even at Tal or Fischer. Who else returns pieces to their original squares so often? Not since Nimzovitch has anyone played such profound and original strategic ideas. And exchange sacs? GM Petrosian was enormously entertaining.
Jul-18-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966.
YOU ARE PLAYING THE ROLE OF PETROSIAN.
Your score: 82 (par = 72)

LTJ

Nov-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Cemoblanca: The winner of this game: The white-squared bishop (34...Bc8!)

The loser of this game: The white-squared pawn..ähh..bishop! ;)

Nov-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Cemoblanca: @sorokahdeen: Nice article! :)
Nov-14-12  EdZelli: What a game ! An artistic expression.
Dec-12-12  Llawdogg: Wow! A very interesting, baffling, and ultimately instructive game.
Mar-28-13  PurdyGUDsoFAR: Superb
Apr-09-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Somebody should have shown Spassky this game.

Janowski vs Leonhardt, 1907

Aug-13-13  jerseybob: What Spassky hoped to accomplish with 9.Ne5!? God knows. Just another example of how off his game he was in this match. Petrosian's reaction is perfect. Better was 9.Qc2 as Spassky played against Reshevsky in a similar position at Amsterdam '64.
Nov-07-13  Ulhumbrus: 17...c4 closes the queen side to White while White's king side remains open to Black. This suggests that if White is going to have to open the king side by 15 h4 he needs to open the queen side as well.
Nov-20-13  jerseybob: Ulhumbrus: The only point at which white could have opened the queenside is on move 17, so I take it you're suggesting 17.bc5. After 17..Nc5, which seems most natural, 18.Be2,Kb8 19.Nd4,a6!? and it's a game. I still think black has the edge, provided he doesn't take the weak c-pawn prematurely.
Jun-14-14  andrewjsacks: This game is a too-little-known masterpiece.
Jun-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Boris and Vartasha. Terrific struggle.
Jun-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <andrewjsacks: This game is a too-little-known masterpiece.>

It does have six pages of densely-packed, single-spaced kibitzing.

Jun-15-14  ughaibu: It also won an Informator best game prize.
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