Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

register now - it's free!
Robert James Fischer vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
"Third Time's a Charm" (game of the day Apr-25-13)
Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final (1971)  ·  French Defense: Classical. Burn Variation Morozevich Line (C11)  ·  1/2-1/2
To move:
Last move:

explore this opening
find similar games 28 more Fischer/Petrosian games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: Some people don't like to know the result of the game in advance. This can be done by registering a free account then visiting your preferences page, then checking "Don't show game results".

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with the default chess viewer, please see the Pgn4web Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-05-15  Howard: Tell ya what, AylerKupp.....I'll go home later today to look it up. Still have those, treasured, mid-1970's issues.

In fact, the game was analyzed at the end of the first, of two articles on the Biel interzonal. Benko wrote them.

And, yes, Petrosian should have won this game---no question about it. But then he damn well should have lost to Huebner in the penultimate round, but he WON. Just goes to show how good luck and bad luck have a way of cancelling each other out in the long run.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <Petrosian's apparent lack of familiarity with the three-fold rule, also cost him in his only loss in the Biel interzonal, against Castro. Chess Life & Review briefly described the details, but I don't recall them.>

The position could have occurred 3 times, but with Castro to move he varied instead.

Mar-05-15  Petrosianic: And of course he should also have drawn that game he lost to Huebner in the Olympiad (his only Olympiad loss ever, a time forfeit with a possibly defective clock, but definitely in a dead drawn position.)

The write-up on the Huebner-Petrosian Biel game was pretty funny too. It was something like "Cynics often say that Petrosian would rather guard against a mate in 5 than execute a mate in 4 of his own, but that's exactly what Huebner does here."

Of course, in time scrambles, odd things DO happen, so I try to avoid the game of woulda-coulda-shoulda. Petrosian SHOULD have beaten Bronstein in that Queen hang game, but the fact is he didn't. I've seen too many people who play this game, and cherry pick their facts. If you count the games your favorite player shouldn't have lost as draws or wins, but don't take away the game he shouldn't have won, then you get an inaccurate picture. The actual results are what matters.

Mar-05-15  Petrosianic: <The position could have occurred 3 times, but with Castro to move he varied instead.>

I think that may hsve been it. Castro had the option to claim the draw but didn't.

People do sometimes get confused about the 3-time rule. I once saved a game I should have lost against a higher rated player on a 3-time repetition that he didn't see. The reason he didn't see it is because the first time the position had occurred, it came about as a result of a pawn move. The 2nd and 3rd times it came about as a result of moving pieces back and forth. He tried something that didn't work, then was going to try something else, thinking we'd only done the position twice, when in fact it was 3. He was pretty burned up about it too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Howard> Here is a line from Boomie on page 1.

<Boomie: Here's one possible line to victory for black.

30. ♕e2 b5 31. ♕e8 ♖e5 32. ♕d7 a5 33. a3 ♖d5 34. ♕e8 ♖d8 35. ♕e3 ♖g8 36. ♔h2 ♕g5 37. ♕g3 ♕xg3+ 38. fxg3 ♖e8 >

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Ayler Kupp>

O Castro vs Petrosian, 1976

Huebner vs Petrosian, 1976

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: I recall Huebner forfeiting a match to Petrosian when he was down a game, saying noise in the hall was too loud for him to concentrate (Petrosian had the "advantage" of being almost deaf).

There was not much sympathy for Huebner as could have objected to conditions before the match started, or before losing a game, but didn't.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Marmot PFL: ... as could have objected to conditions before the match started, or before losing a game, but didn't.> Actually Huebner had complained about the noise level all the time during the match, but the organisers didn't do anything about it.

Just imagine Fischer wouldn't have played game 3 in the 1972 match for the same reason...

Mar-05-15  Petrosianic: Huebner took that Game 7 defeat pretty badly, made a scene, tore up (or refused to sign, I forget which) the score sheet, and left in a huff. I think he had gone into the match with no thought of victory, but as the draws began to pile up, he had started to entertain the idea of maybe actually winning the thing. Then the hammer fell, and it was probably crushing.

Petrosian had played the whole match just keeping him at arm's length and waiting for him to self-destruct, which is what happened in the end.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Guess there wasn't much they could do, besides moving the location, and Petrosian refused to do that.

Spassky agreed to relocate (just for one game I think, they later moved back) but he lost that game and said he must have been nuts to agree to Fischer's demand.

Mar-05-15  Petrosianic: They never asked him to move the location. Both players had checked it out before the match and thought it was fine. I wasn't there, but I suspect it was just an excuse, of which chessplayers are famous for.

In hindsight, Huebner did the same thing again later, in his Candidates Final with Korchnoi. He had enough of the match and wanted out.

Mar-05-15  Petrosianic: Huebner never asked to move the location, he simply walked out. Both players had checked it out before the match and thought it was fine. I wasn't there, but I suspect it was just an excuse, of which chessplayers are famous for.

In hindsight, Huebner did the same thing again later, in his Candidates Final with Korchnoi. He had enough of the match and wanted out.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "However, things did not go so well in his duel against former world champion Petrosian (1971 in Seville): after the first six games had been drawn, Hübner lost the seventh as the result of a blunder. Whereas the playing conditions did not appear to disturb the Petrosian who was hard of hearing, <Hübner asked the organisers to provide a quieter playing room. But because they did not meet his wishes,> Hübner resigned the match, a decision which gave rise to much discussion in the public arena and amongst his grandmaster colleagues."

Mar-05-15  Petrosianic: Oh, okay. I hadn't heard that before, but I'll re-check the Chess Life & Review articles and such. Maybe it happened and I forgot it. I don't remember it being mentioned at the time.

Unfortunately, there's no good book on the 1971 Candidates. There's one for 1974, and the CL&R coverage was excellent for 1977. But 1971 stuff is spread all over.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "None of these matches had results remotely comparable to the Taimanov-Fischer struggle. In Seville, for example, Petrosian and Hubner drew their first six games. A frail, 22-year-old college student, Hubner said before the match, "My chances are absolutely nil." They were not. <The games were played in a ground-level, windowless room; the crowds were large, the air conditioning failed and Hubner was bothered by street noises> that failed to disturb Petrosian, who is nearly deaf. Nevertheless Hubner held the former champion, a masterly defensive player, to six draws in succession. In the seventh game Hubner overlooked a winning move, became demoralized after he saw his mistake, lost, burst into tears, withdrew from the match and flew home to Germany."

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Ok, if necessary, let's continue here: Petrosian - Hübner Candidates Quarterfinal (1971)
Mar-05-15  Petrosianic: is a private site. I'd trust Chessbase more, but I still think that contemporary accounts would be most likely to have the correct account.

I don't remember CL&R pointing out a single winning move for White in Game 7, although White did have the edge early in the game. I wonder if they're confusing it with Spassky-Hort?

Mar-05-15  TheFocus: <Petrosianic> <Unfortunately, there's no good book on the 1971 Candidates.>

I disagree. There are two excellent books on the 1971 Matches.

<Fischer – Spassky & Fischer’s 1971 Candidates’ Matches, From the Soviet Point of View>, (originally in Latvian magazine Sahs, translated by A. Karklins).

Another one is from Russian sources as translated by Cafferty in <Candidates Matches 1971>.

Great books. And the list of annotators in each is outstanding.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Howard> (part 1 of 2)

I thought I would try two positions, one after 12.Bg2 when Petrosian had a chance to take the Ra1 but refrained from doing so and one after the smoke had cleared after 28.gxf5.

<Position 1> After 12.Bg2:

click for larger view

From Stockfish 6 at d=35:

1. [-0.42]: 12...h5 13.h4 Bg7 14.Nef4 Nd4 15.Ne3 c6 16.Kf1 Ne6 17.Nxf5 Bxa1 18.Qxa1 f6 19.Nd3 Kf7 20.Be4 Ng7 21.Nxg7 Kxg7 22.Nf4 Qe7 23.Bd3 Be6 24.Ng6 Qf7 25.Nxh8 Rxh8 26.Kg2 Bxa2 27.Re1 Bd5+ 28.Kh2 b6 29.c4 Bf3 30.Re3 Bg4 31.Kg2 Rd8 32.Qc3

click for larger view

Black delays the gain of the exchange until 17...Bxa1 and then gives it back to remain a pawn up in a simplified position. Certainly an advantage but not decisive.

2. [-0.37]: 12...Bg7 13.Nef4 Kf8 14.Rc1 Ne5 15.Ne3 Qe7 16.Kf1 Ng6 17.Nh5 Be6 18.Nxg7 Kxg7 19.Qd4+ Qf6 20.Qxf6+ Kxf6 21.f4 Rab8 22.Kf2 Rhd8 23.Rhd1 b5 24.a3 Ne7 25.Rb1 Rxd1 26.Rxd1 a5 27.Rd3 b4 28.axb4 axb4 29.Bf3 c5 30.Rd6 Kg7 31.Be2 b3 32.cxb3

click for larger view

After 32...Rxb3 Black will be a pawn up with an active rook and a passed c-pawn, but his pawn structure is awful. And with his c-pawn easily blocked his advantage is minimal.

3. [-0.34]: 12...Ne7 13.Rb1 Be5 14.f4 Bg7 15.Ne3 Qxd1+ 16.Rxd1 h5 17.Kf2 h4 18.Rhe1 c6 19.Nc4 Bf6 20.a4 Kf8 21.Rd8+ Kg7 22.Rxh8 Kxh8 23.Nd6 Be6 24.Nxb7 Rb8 25.Nc5 Rb2 26.Nxe6 fxe6 27.Rd1 Nd5 28.c4 hxg3+ 29.hxg3 Nc3 30.Re1 c5 31.Bc6 Kg7 32.Ke3 Kf7 33.Nxc3

click for larger view

After 33...Bxc3 material will be even and with BOC a draw is the likely outcome.

It's noteworthy that Stockfish evaluates the position in White's favor if Black immediately captures 12...Bxa1. Here is what Stockfish comes up with at d=32:

1. [+2.68]: 13.Qxa1 Rg8 14.Nf6+ Ke7 15.Nf4 Be6 16.Nxg8+ Qxg8 17.0-0 Qh8 18.Qb1 Nd8 19.Qb4+ Ke8 20.Re1 c6 21.Bf3 a5 22.Qc5 Qf6 23.Bh5 Kd7 24.Rd1+ Ke8 25.Qd6 Qe7 26.Qe5 Bd5 27.Qh8+ Qf8 28.Qf6 Qe7 29.Nxd5 cxd5 30.Qh8+ Qf8 31.Re1+ Ne6 32.Rxe6+ Kd7

So immediately capturing the exchange apparently leads to a losing position for Black. I wonder how much time Petrosian took before deciding against 12...Bxa1?

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Howard> (part 2 of 2)

<Position 2> After 28.gxf5:

click for larger view

From Stockfish 6 at d=39:

1. [-0.86]: 28...h6 29.Qe2 Kh7 30.c4 Re5 31.Qf3 a6 32.h4 b5 33.cxb5 axb5 34.Kg2 c5 35.a4 bxa4 36.Rg4 Rxf5 37.Qa8 Qh8 38.Qxh8+ Kxh8 39.Rxa4 Kg7 40.f3 Kg6 41.Kg3 h5 42.Ra7 Kf6 43.Kf2 Ke5 44.Ke3 Rf6 45.Ra5 Kd5 46.Ra7 Re6+ 47.Kd2 Rd6 48.Ke3 Rf6 49.f4 Re6+ 50.Kd3 c4+ 51.Kc3

click for larger view

Black clearly has a better game, being a pawn up. But Black's pawns are weak so the win is problematic.

2. [-0.67]: 28...b5 29.Qf3 h6 30.c4 bxc4 31.Rxc4 Rxf5 32.Qxc6 Rxf2 33.Qxf6 Rxf6 34.Ra4 a6 35.Kg2 Kg7 36.Ra3 Re6 37.Kg3 Kg6 38.Kf4 Rf6+ 39.Kg4 Rb6 40.Kf4 Rc6 41.Rg3+ Kf6 42.Ra3 Rb6 43.Ra5 Kg7 44.Ra4 Re6 45.Ra3 f6 46.Kg4 Kg6 47.Kf4 Rb6 48.Ra5 Rc6 49.Ra3 Kf7 50.Ra5 Ke6 51.Kg4

click for larger view

Black is once again a pawn up but his rook is tied to the defense of the Pa6 and so it is difficult to see how Black can make progress. And if Black moves his king to the q-side to defend the Pa6 and free his rook, then his k-side pawns will be vulnerable.

3. [-0.61]: 28...Kh8 29.Qf3 h6 30.a4 a6 31.h3 b5 32.axb5 axb5 33.Qe3 Kh7 34.Qe8 h5 35.Rf3 Rd8 36.Qe4 Rd4 37.Qe3 h4 38.Rf4 Rd1+ 39.Kg2 Qg5+ 40.Rg4 Qxe3 41.fxe3 Rc1 42.Kf3 Rxc2 43.Kf4 Re2 44.Rxh4+ Kg7 45.Rg4+ Kf6 46.Rh4 Rf2+ 47.Ke4 Rc2 48.Rh6+ Kg7 49.Rd6 b4 50.h4 b3 51.Kd3 f6 52.e4

click for larger view

A complex position. Black would seem to have a substantial advantage with his far advanced passed pawn but it's hard to advance it. And White has a passed pawn of his own and after e5, ...fxe5, f6+, ...Kf7, h5 White is not without chances.

So it's not clear that Black has a win after 28.gxf5.

Does anyone see other positions that might result in a win for Black?

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <keypusher> Thanks. Petrosian sure got a thorough drubbing in the Castro game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In the position where Petrosian could have snatched the exchange at his twelfth move, it looks like a courageous but dodgy grab, mais certainement, even if it takes computer analysis to prove the idea would not have been good for Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <perfidious> Well, without computers, Petrosian didn't have any trouble figuring out that 12...Bxa1 wad not a good idea!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <AK> Experience and judgement oftimes stood the old master in good stead.
Mar-07-15  Howard: Charles Sullivan is quoted in Mueller's book on Fischer's games, that 27...Rc5!! would have given Petrosian a significant advantage
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 4)
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>

Now on DVD
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. Don't post personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
Now for something completely different
by Timothy Glenn Forney
The Artist falls afoul of his own medium; Or, Iron vs 3 folds
from The Art of the Draw by suenteus po 147
jott's favorite games
by jott
Game 99
from Garry Kasparov's On My Great Predecessors (4) by AdrianP
Candidates Final, Buenos Aires 1971
from Fischer vs The Russians by wanabe2000
from 02_QR endgames --> Heavy pieces in action by whiteshark
Game 102
from Russians versus Fischer by Anatoly21
April 25: Third Time's a Charm
from Game of the Day 2013 by Phony Benoni
Round 3
from WCC Index [Fischer-Petrosian 1971] by Hesam7
Prophylactic genius holds out against Fischer's attack.
from Bobby Fischer: Road to the Crown by nosuchdude
zumakal blunders archivadas3
by zumakal
Three fold what?
from Funny games by Benjamin Lau
Candidates finals Game #3
from Road to the Championship - Bobby Fischer by Fischer of Men
Match Fischer!
by amadeus
Match Petrosian!
by amadeus
from Toliman's favorite games by Toliman
by Malacha
L6.1 Sicilian Dragon
from How to Defend in Chess by Colin Crouch game coll by tak gambit

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2015, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies