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Robert Huebner vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Chess Olympiad Final-A (1972), Skopje MKD, rd 2, Sep-28
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Modern Variation (B42)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: In 10 Olympics Tigran Petrosian scored +78 =50 -1 (79.8%).

This is the loss.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I should have said that it was on time...
Apr-08-05  aw1988: That's a crying shame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: the final position is an absolute draw after white captures on a5 black plays --rb6 and ---b3. of course black lost on time and many at skopje thought the clock was faulty-this was petrosians sole "loss" in 129 olympiad games!
Premium Chessgames Member
  meloncio: Kasparov writes in OMGP vol.III, that after the game, Petrosian was so angry that he almost throwed the clock away. Maybe it was really faulty.
Jan-09-08  Petrosianic: He claimed that "white space" still showed between the minute hand and the hour. If that's true, then his claim should have been accepted. It wasn't accepted, so take your choice. Either the clock wasn't really faulty, or the arbiter didn't have the guts to overturn the call. No way for us to know now.

The fun we miss out on these days by using digital clocks...

Feb-19-08  notyetagm: <ray keene: the final position is an absolute draw after white captures on a5 black plays --rb6 and ---b3.>

click for larger view

I see, forcing the trade of the White a-pawn for the Black b-pawn, after which the 3-2 White majority on the kingside cannot lead to a win with the Black f7-king right in the middle of the action.

Damn, terrible loss for Petrosian. Only this loss stood between Petrosian and an unbeaten Olympiad record in a 130-game(!), 10 Olympiad career.

Does anyone know of any other top player who played so many Olympiad games (100+) but had only a few losses?

Jan-31-09  Auriferous: Actually Tal and Karpov (with 2 losses both) have better score % than Petrosian. Bronstein also has one loss only but less games than Petrosian.

Jan-31-09  fich: " If I had known it, I would definitely have smashed the clock. " --- Petrosian (Upon learning that this game was featured on tv.)
Jan-06-12  Petrosianic: <Damn, terrible loss for Petrosian. Only this loss stood between Petrosian and an unbeaten Olympiad record in a 130-game(!), 10 Olympiad career.>

Yeah, it was, but he got revenge in this game:

Huebner vs Petrosian, 1976

Critics said of Petrosian that he'd rather defend against a Mate in 5 than play his own Mate in 4, but that's pretty much what Huebner does here.

White can win this game easily with 37. Qe8+ Kg7 38. Re7+ Kh6 39. Qf8+ Kh5 40. Rxh7++. The only way to prevent it is to give up Queen for Rook on Move 38.

Instead, Huebner plays 37. g3?, defending against Petrosian's threat. Petrosian plays 37... Nxf4. The next move Huebner sees what he missed before, but it's not there any more. 38. Qe8+ Kg7 39. Re7+ Kh6, and now Qf8+ doesn't work, because White no longer has an f pawn.

What time pressure gave Huebner in this game, it took away in the 1976 game. And the prize was a spot in the 1977 Candidates.

Jun-17-15  RookFile: Nothing wrong with Petrosian's play in this game, of course. A draw would have been the correct outcome.
Jan-21-16  Albion 1959: An amazing record by Petrosian, to lose one game out of 129 against other grandmasters. However, put this into a different perspective. The previous year, Fischer blew Petrosian away with four straight wins !! Which makes me wonder if Petrosian was so invincible against all these strong grandmasters, then just how good was Fischer to be able to do in four games what only one other player could manage in 129 games against Petrosian:
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