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Boris Spassky vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1969), Moscow URS, rd 23, Jun-16
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B48)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-26-07  Bob726: This gave clinched the championship for Spassky. Why not kiblitzing?
May-01-07  inthestepsofTal: Think Spassky is winning in the final position? Had it been Fischer, he had smashed Petrosian only for the sake of rubbing the victory in the opponents face!
May-06-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <inthestepsofTal: Think Spassky is winning in the final position?>

Good question! It's a tricky position to analyze.

The main line seems to be 41...Ra8 42. Ne5 a4 43. Rd7+ Kf6 44. c7 Rc8 45. Nc6 a3 46. Nb4.


click for larger view

I'm not sure what's the best defense after that. Black aims to trade the a-pawn for the c-pawn with a drawish result. Maybe 46...Na4 is the next move, but this is already a long and inconclusive line.

At least I don't think it's an easy win for White.

May-06-07  euripides: BLack might also consider 41...Kf7, when 42.Rd7+ leads nowhere, but 42.Rh6 Ra8 is interesting. It doesn't seem so easy for White to force the rook to c8 in this line.
May-06-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <euripides>
I'd be interested in seeing your line after 41...Kf7 42. Rh6 Ra8 43. c7. How does Black avoid moving his rook to c8?

May-06-07  euripides: <beat> on reflection I don't think he can - I had in mind something like 43...Ke7 but I guess White has 44.Ne5 to be followed by Rc6. However, White may then have to divert a piece to stop the a pawn and Black might be able to pick up the c pawn - not sure whether this is better or worse than your line.

In your diagram 46...Na4 gives some wild lines but I think White may win e.g. 47.Rd8 Rxc7 48.Nd5+ Ke5 49.Nxc7 a2 (Nc3 50.Ra8) 50. Rd1 Nc3 51.Ra1 (just in time) Kd4 52.Nb5+. But could Black simply play 46...Ke6 ? Then 47.Rh7 Kd6 48.Rxh5 Rxc7 looks drawish to me.

May-06-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <euripides>
<In your diagram 46...Na4 gives some wild lines but I think White may win e.g. 47.Rd8> Then my thought was 47...a2 48. Nxa2 Rxc7. The other line you gave where Black trades the h-pawn for the c-pawn looks more dangerous but might also be drawable.
May-06-07  euripides: <beat 47...a2 48. Nxa2 Rxc7> true.
May-06-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <euripides>
For the same reason as above, I didn't spend much time looking at 41...Kf7 42. Rh6. I viewed Black's goal as <trade the a-pawn for the c-pawn>, not <trade the h-pawn for the c-pawn>. But again, it may also be drawable that way, and I'd be interested to see your lines.
Apr-07-08  Knight13: <Think Spassky is winning in the final position?> Based on Beatgiant's analysis I would conclude it's a draw.

Even in the last game Spassky still on the offensive!!

Apr-16-16  Tom Barrister: Some background on this game: it was adjourned after 40 moves, with Spassky sealing 41 c6 and both sides concluding that Spassky probably had a win. Only needing half a point to end the match, Spassky offered Petrosian a draw as a present for the latter's 40th birthday.
Apr-16-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Tom Barrister>
Do you have any lines suggesting why they thought it was a win? I took another look at the position, and still any win is well hidden from me. It's hard to avoid trading the c-pawn for the a-pawn.
Apr-17-16  DWINS: I looked at the final position with the help of Stockfish 7 and it looks like a win for Spassky.

Stockfish gives 41.c6 Kf7 42.Rh6 Kg7 43.Rxh5 Nc4 44.Nd4 Kg6 45.Rc5 Nb6 46.c7 Nc8 47.Nc6 Ra6 48.Nxa5 (6.52)

<Beatgiant's> suggestion 41...Ra8 also loses: 42.c7! Rc8 43.Nd4 (7.70)

Apr-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <DWINS>
Thanks, that does dispose of my line. There's still the line by <euripides> with 41...Kf7 42. Rh6 <Ra8> when we assumed 43. c7 Ke7 but then probably <44. Rb6> picking up the stray knight on b2 is good enough.
Apr-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Or finally, 41...Kf7 42. Rh6 Ra8 43. c7 <Rc8> was also suggested above, but again 44. Nd4 appears to win.
Jul-15-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Spassky told the arbiter O'Kelly he had sealed 41.c6 and asked him to offer Petrosian a draw.

Petrosian agreed adding he was going to resign without resuming the game.

Soltis, page 290 'Soviet Chess 1917-1991.'

Sep-04-17  RookFile: Spassky did the right thing. He doesn't know what Petrosian is going to do. So, you ensure you're champ first and ask questions later.
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