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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Boris Spassky
Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1969), Moscow URS, rd 16, May-23
Tarrasch Defense: Classical. Endgame Variation (D34)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-21-07  Dr. Siggy: Although 9...Be6 is today completely out of fashion, I'm still inclined to believe it's quite a playable move. Of course, the ending for Black, after 15.Raxc1, is not for everyone's taste, but Spassky's inspired 15...b6(!) seems to me to be the right move to make it level.

Allow me to show you the results of a very lengthy analysis I've recently made with the help of "Fritz 5.32": 15...b6(!) 16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. e3 h6 18. Rc4 Rf6 19. h4 a5 20. a4 Rd6 21. Rfc1 Nb4 22. Kf1 Rf8 23. h5 Rfd8 24. Bh3 Kf7 25. Re4 Nd5 26. Ne5+ Ke7 27. Ng6+ Kf7. As far as I'm concerned, the position thus reached is roughly equal.

"Fritz 5.32" kept on going with 28. Nf4(!?) Nxf4 29. exf4 Rd1+ 30. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 31. Ke2 Rd6 32. Bg2 Rd5 33. Bf3 Bd4 34. Bg4 Rd6 35. Ke1 Bc5 36. Kf1 Kf6 37. Kg2; but, after 37...Rd4 38. Rxd4 Bxd4, the ending is a classical opposite coloured bishops dead draw.

The main problem with 9...Be6 is that it doesn't seem to offer Black much more than this: just a draw. I've been trying to improve in several ways the line I've given above, but without much success.

There is a plan for Black which may deserve to be worked out: to attack White's a-pawn with the idea of obtaining a passed pawn on the Queen side. My question is: can Black do it? And in time? For the moment, my answer is: I don't know...

Jul-16-07  Paul123: I play the Tarrasch..How's that analysis comming?
Jul-18-07  Dr. Siggy: For the time being, I'm concentrated on the v. Hennig-Schara Gambit: I suspect it's better than we think...
Apr-07-08  Knight13: Not many people that play the Tarrasch give up their d5 pawn up so early.

<Although 9...Be6 is today completely out of fashion, I'm still inclined to believe it's quite a playable move.> Many moves are "playable," but playable doesn't mean it's good enough that you should keep playing it in every game. There are better.

Jun-04-08  Dr. Siggy: <Knight13>: <There are better> [moves than 9...Be6]. Show me and I will play them. Thank you.
Jun-07-08  Dr. Siggy: <Pauk133>: Against 9...Be6, White has a strong alternative to 10. dxc5 in the older 10. Rc1. However, Black seems to achieve equality after 10...cxd4(!) 11. Nxd4 Nxd4 12. Qxd4 Qa5! 13. b4! Qa3! 14. Qd3 Qxb4 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Bxd5 Rad8.
Jul-08-10  Dr. Siggy: <Paul133>: Back to 10. dxc5 and Spassky's 15...b6(!), a game Knaak vs Espig, GDR ch 1980, missing in this database but worthy of close study, went on 16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. e3 h6 18. Rc4 Rf6 19. Re4 a5 20. h4 Rd6 21. a4 Rd3 22. h5 Rd6 23. Nh2 Rf5 24. g4 Rf8 25. f4 Nb4 26. g5 Nc2 27. Ng4 hxg5 28. fxg5 Rf5 29. g6 Rxh5 30. Rc1 Nb4 31. Ne5 Rxe5 32. Rxe5 Nd3 33. Rexc5 Nxc5 34. Rc4 e5 35. Rg4 Kf8 36. Bf1 Ke7 37. Bb5 Kf6 38. Rg3 Ne4 39. Rg2 Rd1+ and White resigned.
Jan-16-11  candide1500: <Dr.Siggy> <Knight13> With regard to Blacks choices on move 9:

"Black can respond with one of three strategies: a central exchange, advance of the c-pawn or passive defense with …Be6. All three are playable and when you have played the Tarrasch for over a decade, as I have, you may wish to explore all three. Defending the …Be6 lines requires a lot of endgame skill, so it is not for amateurs." (FM Schiller)

I think that pretty much sums up the theory on 9...Be6. Playable, but white can place black under difficulties.

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