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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Boris Spassky
"Boris Bad and Off" (game of the day Oct-28-2008)
Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1966), Moscow-Wch, rd 10, May-02
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Panno Variation Blockade Line (E63)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Petrosian's defensive style was a personal conscious decision. He once said that after a game he had lost an Armenian came up to him and said, "Who gave you the right to lose?" He said that after that he tried never to lose.
Apr-22-14  Howard: Petrosian had at least one truly remarkable record of consistency, which seems to have been overlooked over the years, and it had to do with the Candidates cycles.

More specifically, he made the three-year Candidates tournament four times in succession from 1952-62. On his fourth attempt, he won the tournament (Curacao, 1962) and then went on to win the world championship from Botvinnik. He then held the title for the next two three-year cycles, defending it against Spassky in 1966.

But he then made the Candidates matches (by then, the Candidates consisted of matches, not tournaments) for the next four straight cycles, from 1971-80. His streak, unfortunately, ended in 1982 when he played in the Las Palmas interzonal and failed to make the Candidates.

The bottom line was that Tigran Petrosian was in the world championship cycle either as a Candidate or the W.C. himself for....TEN cycles in a row over a thirty-year period ! That record has never been equaled--period.

Petrosian, incidentally, left us two years after the Las Palmas interzonal, dying of cancer in 1984. And he was only 55.

Apr-23-14  EdZelli: The more appropriate pun here is 'Brain Spasm by Spassky'. Boris was one tough customer in the 60's perhaps number one or two in the world. He crushed Tal, Keres and Geller to get to the 1966 WC.

Boris had nothing but admiration for Tigran after the match. For more of Tigran's domination check out game 7 of this series. My all time favorite.

By the way Tigran did not lose a single game on the way to 1963 WC with Botvinnik. If that's a sign of a weak champion then you don't know chess.

Apr-23-14  ewan14: Boris did not crush Keres in their match

It went to the final game !

Mar-18-15  Poisonpawns: A similar motif from: White to move Sveshnikov-Dreev 1993

click for larger view

Mar-18-15  WDenayer: Petrosian was one of the strongest chess players of the 20th Century. Fine had to be nuts or frustrated to say such a thing, but, hey, this is chess, people say anything. I didn't look up any statistics, nothing can be proven either way, it's just opinion: in my opinion Spassky was the weakest WC. We can all talk a lot about the WC match of the Century, but Spassky played some seriously poor games in 1972 and later, against Karpov, the difference showed. I do not believe that Euwe was a weak WC: he beat Alekhine and all the talk about alcohol is nonsense that never seems to die (by all means read Meunighof's biography - Alekhine was not drinking during the WC match). In 1937 Alekhine was better prepared and more motivated, while Euwe was working on other things, such as keeping his family alive in a depression, working as a teacher during the day and working on this research in the evenings. And yes, he was also world champion - he basically had 3 jobs, Spassky had 1. When he went to Iceland he was in great shape: he had played a lot of tennis as well as a lot of poker and read a lot of novels (this very bitter comment is Geller's, but I don't doubt it's true, even Karpov himself said so (see chessbase interview a couple of weeks ago)).
Oct-10-15  The Kings Domain: I like how the game comes to life after a staid opening. It seems all the cliches regarding Petrosian are all too revealed here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <leka: Tigran Petrosian played 68 games without a loss.Also T.Petrosian in the chess olympiads 78 wins 50 draws <<<only one loss to Huebner in 1972.>>> He was a worty world champion>

That sole loss(!) was on time due to a faulty clock. Petrosian smashed it with his hands after he lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <notyetagm:...
That sole loss(!) was on time due to a faulty clock. Petrosian smashed it with his hands after he lost.>

I heard it was with his teeth.

Mar-29-16  Granny O Doul: Have we ever seen a photograph of that clock? Pre-smash?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Granny O Doul: Have we ever seen a photograph of that clock? Pre-smash?>

Only post-smash, unfortunately.

Nov-02-16  PaulMeysman: Petrosian was according Fischer one of the best players ever. Here in this kibitz I see some Americans saying the opposite. Why doesn t one see that if one becomes world champion that one deserves it to be, to have been and once been always will be (have been). If one wins against Kasparov while one's sun is setting... But if you do not see the marvelous play of a tiger, are you then a real chess player, amateur or rather a posh wannabe amateur?
Nov-02-16  PaulMeysman: Amateur is meant as someone who loves the game of Latin amare.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TerryMills: A beautiful game. Often I have played through a game of Petrosian and said to myself "I could have done that"; he makes it look so easy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <PaulMeysman: Amateur is meant as someone who loves the game of Latin amare>

How do you play the game of Latin Amare?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <maxi>: <I don't understand why would Fine say something so stupid.>

Fine was intensely jealous of all the world champions, including Fischer, whom he also supported. Fine left chess because he couldn't make a good living at it (which was smart of him), but he always regretted it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <maxi: "Petrosian is probably the weakest player who has ever held the world's championship and successfully defend his title."> I thought I was familiar with Fine's quote, but I never saw the qualifier at the end before.

Sorry to be indelicate, but:

Botvinnik (does he even belong?)

Who on that list is weaker?

Jun-08-17  Howard: Botvinnik, granted, never "defended" his title successfully---the only two WC matches he won were ones in which he was the challenger.

Petrosian, in my view, was certainly a better player than Euwe--no ands, buts, or ifs.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <offramp> Actually Petrosian smashed the faulty clock with his tail.
Jul-14-17  Howard: This game, if I remember correctly, made Soltis' book of the 100 best games of the 20th century.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Fine's quote is from his (poorly analyzed) book on the Fischer-Petrosian match. It contains NO qualifier about "successfully defended his title".
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Now you have put me in a quandary, Petrosianic. I seem to recall I used a cut-and-paste for the quote, but this was more than three years ago and I am not sure of that or where I got it from. I don't have the book. Do you have access to it yourself? I am going to keep looking anyway. Perhaps what I copied was the quote with some editing done to it. Oops.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: I think Petrosian did this not once, but twice to Spassky


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <morf>, perhaps you are thinking of the finish of Petrosian vs Simagin, 1956.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Thanks <perfidious> you are correct, I much appreciate the correction, I knew Petrosian pulled this type of combo off more than once


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