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Boris Spassky vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Rematch (1969), Moscow URS, rd 11, May-12
Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov-Petrosian Variation. Main Line (E12)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 28 times; par: 91 [what's this?]

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sac: 39...Rec8 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-11-03  ughaibu: A more typical Petrosian game. He manages to sacrifice the exchange yet again. In his two matches with Spassky I wonder just how many exchanges he sacrificed, surely he set a record for exchange sacrifices in world championship matches.
Apr-09-05  fgh: 30. ... Rc4!! is a brilliant conception. The point behind it is that after the rook on c4 is taken, the black pawns become practically unstoppable.
May-10-05  Everett: Also, look at the holes on the light squares if Spassky exchanges his bishop for Petrosian's knight. Makes a lot of sense when it's played, but most wouldn't consider it.
Jun-19-06  wharfrat: One of my favorite exchange sacrifices by their master. But I will always be amazed at how a WC could end up with a kingside pawn structure like White's after his 27th move.
Jun-19-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  CapablancaFan: 40. Nxc4? You accept the exchange sacrafice against Petrosian (The master of the exchange sacrafice) and allow him 2 passed pawns. Why did Spassky feel this was a good bargin? When Petrosian offers an exchange sac, don't take it I keep telling them at the office!
Aug-23-06  notyetagm: I have never seen the tactical theme <BLOCKADERS DO NOT DEFEND, THEY ONLY BLOCKADE> twice in one game before but here it occurs twice, 53 ... b2! and 55 ♕xg7+.

53 ... b2! exploits the fact that the White c1-queen must <BLOCKADE> the Black passed c2-pawn so it cannot also <DEFEND> the b2-square.

Likewise 55 ♕xg7+ exploits the fact that the Black f8-king must <BLOCKADE> the White passed f7-pawn so it cannot also <DEFEND> the g7-square.

<BLOCKADERS DO NOT DEFEND, THEY ONLY BLOCKADE!>

Oct-18-06  Milo: I wonder if Petrosian ever gave away the exchange just for fun. "Oh, about that exhange I 'sacrificed', well, I didn't actually get anything for it, you know. Just trying to mess with you."
Jul-31-07  sanyas: See also Saint Amant vs Staunton, 1843.
Apr-07-08  Knight13: <When Petrosian offers an exchange sac, don't take it> His exchange sacrifice wasn't always sound. Don't trust your opponent, trust yourself!

<CapablancaFan: 40. Nxc4? You accept the exchange sacrafice against Petrosian (The master of the exchange sacrafice) and allow him 2 passed pawns. Why did Spassky feel this was a good bargin?> Petrosian was gonna dominate the c-file and smash Spassky anyway. Spassky knew he was gonna go down in flames even if he doesn't take the rook, so he decided to take the rook and hope that he could hold off the passed-pawns. But in vain. Either way was death. I wouldn't put question mark on that move.

Aug-26-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  birthtimes: Spassky would have made things a lot more interesting if he played 39. Nxc4. A possible line could run 39...dxc4 40. Qc2 Rc8 41. Rab1 Bd5 42. Qc3 Qg4 43. Rb2 Qf3+ 44. Kg1 Qxg3+ 45. Rg2 Qxh4 46. Ree2 Qe7 47. Rb2 Rb8 48. Rb4 Be6 49. Rh2 and perhaps White can maintain the draw.
Sep-19-11  Meister326: The move Petrosian played with 30....Rc4 is beautiful. I could look at this for an hour and never come up with that.
Sep-19-11  ounos: Ah, such a sweet tactical trick, 12. ...Ne4
Feb-21-13  aficionadoX: I think Spassky is in really trouble from movement 32. What about: 32. Rdc1 instead of 32. Bf3?
Jun-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: In the final position black has full control of the c-file.
Jun-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: A passive exchange sacrifice by that all-time master of the genre which never fails to bring delight.
Jun-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: With 8...Bd6! Petrosian is able to place his King's bishop on d6 because having developed his king's bishop on e2 Spassky is able to attack quickly the d5 pawn only twice by Nc3 and Qb3, and the d5 pawn is covered twice by Black's QB on b7 and N on f6

With 16..Rfc8! and 17...c6!! Petrosian concedes deliberately to Spassky the fruits of a minority attack having evaluated the b5 pawn as adequately defended and so a strong weapon instead of a weak target.

Jun-28-14  Candy Man: Petrosian doesn't seem to get enough respect. I find that his games often have significant instructive value; Petrosian's "positional exchange sacrifice" being just one of them.
Jun-29-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  yiotta: Wonderful how the maestro plays the whole board, a little stress here, a little tickle there, a push here and a nudge there, and finally Spassky, possibly in time pressure and lost, overlooks that the Black King can retreat to h8.
Jun-29-14  EdZelli: I love to go over the older games from the 50's and 60's. Tigran, Boris, Tal, Bobby, .. all played very fantastic and lively games. All with their own distinctive style. Tigran's king walks and exchange sac(s). Boris' King Gambit and Queen maneuvers, Bobby's Sicilian and KID, Tal's wild sac(s), ....
Jun-29-14  Granny O Doul: I doubt very much that Spassky overlooked anything at the end, since 56...Kf8 would also leave White utterly destroyed. He was just enormously lost and chose to go out with a little joke.
Jun-29-14  ewan14: also Korchnoi
Jun-29-14  Everett: Anyone who hasn't gone through many of Petrosian's games from 1958-1963, and not just his wins of course, is really in for a treat.
Apr-16-15  RookFile: I absolutely love how Petrosian drops a rook into c4 and it just sits there for a few moves, Spassky not wanting to take it.
Jul-02-18  nummerzwei: In a recent online game, my opponent repeated Spassky's unfavourable opening setup. He only varied with 12.Bd2, by which time White is already slightly worse:


click for larger view

In response, I decided to occupy the c4-square: 12...b5 13.Rc1 (13.a4 c6 14.axb5 cxb5 is similar) ...Nb6 14.Be1 Nc4 15.Nb1 Ne4 16.Nbd2 f5


click for larger view

Thanks to White's extremely passive play, Black now has a commanding position, and indeed I went on to win easily.

After Spassky's 12.Rb1, 12...b5 would be met by 13.a4 c6 14.a5, not allowing Black to sink his knight into White's queenside.

Jul-02-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Wonderful game! With 55.Qxg7 perhaps Spassky was hoping for 55...KxQ 56.Rg5+ Kh6? 57.Rf6 mate.
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