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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Boris Spassky
Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1969), Moscow URS, rd 14, May-19
Queen's Gambit Declined: Traditional Variation (D30)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: What kind of bad luck it is for white to wind up with THREE rook pawns? That kind of luck (and Spassky's skill) led to Boris's win in the match.
Oct-27-06  ARubinstein: <kevin86> And it can even get worse... imagine getting saddled with FIVE rook pawns:

A Blees vs I Rogers, 1991

(check out Black's position around move 40)

Apr-07-08  Knight13: 45...Rb3+!! is really nice. And I like the way Spassky put his d and c pawns to maximum use!!
Oct-09-09  WhiteRook48: 45...Rb3+ just when you thought Petrosian won
Dec-31-09  Petrosianic: I seem to remember that White blew the win with 52. Kxb3, though I don't remember the analysis now.

Of course where Spassky got in trouble in the first place was with 43... Ke4 (Kc4 and he's just fine). I remember hearing that Max Euwe was so incredulous that he had them double check to make sure that the correct move had been transmitted. After 44. f3+, Black is in a mating net that he has to give up the exchange to escape.

Aug-20-14  Howard: So was there a forced win for Petrosian ?
Aug-20-14  Petrosianic: Yes, see previous comment. According to the match book, the unnecessary capture 52. Kxb3 lets the win slip by one tempo.
Aug-20-14  Petrosianic: I'm looking at it now. I believe the winning line is 52. Ra7 f4 53. Re7+, forcing the King in front of the pawn. Kf3 and now maybe 54. Kxb3. I think White is still on top here, though it's more difficult than I remembered, and Black may still have some resources. That was the general idea, though. Forcing the Black King in front of the f pawn.
Aug-20-14  Olavi: 19...g5!?
Aug-20-14  Olavi: With a nice possibility: 20.g4 h5 21.gxf5 g4 22.Nd4 gxh3 23.Qxh5 Qg7+ 24.Kf1 Qg2+ 25.Ke2 Rxe3+ 26.Kxe3 Qe4+ 27.Kd2 Qd3#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: When black played 42...Kd5 he had used 2h27'. White replied 43.Rd1 and he had used 2h33, but 5 hours was not yet up. Spassky did not want to seal so he very quickly played 43...Ke4??

click for larger view

...But that puts his king in real trouble, and black soon has to give up the exchange.

click for larger view


click for larger view

In this position White played 47.Rd7 but Bondarevsky thought 47.f4 was best.

Black plays 51...Ke4

click for larger view

...and white took the pawn, 52.Kxb3.
Yuri M Kotkov said that that was a mistake, that 52.Ra8 would have won.

Sep-09-15  RookFile: This game certainly had the feel of 1-0 written all over it, despite Spassky's ingenious resistance. It would not at all surprise me to learn that Petrosian had a winning path.
Oct-03-15  Howard: IM Jack Peters said in Inside Chess once that Petrosian missed a win here.

Who with a computer can fill in the details ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Howard> The line Petrosianic gave was a win 52 Ra7 f4 53 Re7+ Kf3 and either 54 a4 or 54 Kxb3 give massive advantages. +5 range at 30 ply
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