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Helmut Pfleger vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Manila (1974), Manila PHI, rd 14, Oct-??
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Yugoslav Variation Rare Lines (E64)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-05-07  patzerboy: The threat is 24...h6 and wins.

Just kidding.

Lost on time? Died?

Nov-05-09  Raskolnikov: 17. g4 wins a knight, right? :))
Why Pfleger didnīt play it? Possible answer later...
Nov-05-09  sneaky pete: The obvious answer is that this is a last round game and Pfleger needed a draw to clinch a GM result (his final score 7,5 out of 15 games was a GM result). The draw was agreed beforehand and when Petrosian was a bit careless Pfleger kept his part of the agreement by ignoring the opportunity.

However, in Schach-Echo Pfleger writes: "When in an equal position I initially declined his draw offer, he was slightly annoyed."

Truth or fiction? If my first paragraph supposition is correct, one can imagine Petrosian being annoyed.

Jan-13-10  stanleys: <sneaky pete> IM Yanvarev disagrees with your version.He thinks that the gamescore is totally wrong. Here is his suggestion:

12...Ng4 13.exd6 exd6 14.Bg5 f6 15.Bd2 a5 16.h3 Nh6 17.Ne4 Nf7 18.Bc3 f5 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Nc3 Qf6 21.Qd2 Bd7 22.Re2 Rbe8 23.Rae1 Rxe2 24.Rxe2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sachistu: Am curious <sneaky pete> where you found the information about the draw being prearranged?

Actually, this was not the last round game. It was from round 14. There were 15 rounds (with one bye). Going into round 14, Pfleger had only 6.5 points (by my count), so he would have had to at least drawn with both Petrosian and Ljubojevic (his 15th round opponent). Since he had already lost 3 games, that seems hardly guaranteed.

It's unfortunate Pfleger was not more detailed about the situation (Schach Echo November 1974 cover page) wherein he offered the draw. Given his score at the time, it would be surprising he would refrain from playing 17.g4!

Interestingly, both Chess Player 7 (p.240) and Shekhtman's book (Vol 2) on Petrosian give the 12...Nh5 version and without comments. However, it's hard to believe Petrosian would have ignored the danger to his Knight (prearranged draw or not).

Frankly, the score as given (e.g. 12...Nh5) looks suspect. Why would Petrosian give up on his ...b5 break, and even if so, why play the QN to a6 and then back to c7 a second time?! The maneuvre ...Nh6-f7 (rather than ...Na6/c7) seems more in keeping with Petrosian's style. Of course, Petrosian would have wanted to avoid the positionally weakening ...f5, but it would have been necessary in the version given here.

The line/version <stanleys> attributes to Yanvarev is given in the 2016 version of Chessbase. This line seems much more plausible.

The move 12...Ng4 has been played several times as well as 12...Nfe8 and even 12...Nd7. The move 12...Nh5 does not appear (other than here), and rightfully so.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sachistu: Just to clarify <sneaky pete> the 'he' in 'he offered the draw' in the 3rd paragraph of my kibitz refers to Petrosian (which you had already mentioned). Sorry for any confusion.
Sep-14-17  sneaky pete: <sachistu> There is no information. I was just guessing, based on the gamescore we have here (or had here in 2009). That alternate score with Nf6-g4-h6-f7 make a lot more sense. If it is the correct score, and it probably is, everything I wrote 8 years ago is irrelevant.

I can understand why Petrosian was annoyed when Pfleger declined his initial draw offer. Pfleger scored 6.5 points in the first 10 games, needed 1 more point from his last 4 games for his final GM result, but lost his next two games. Then a kindhearted Petrosian offers him a draw in the penultimate game ... and Pfleger declines. If he had done so against someone like Botvinnik, he would probably still be waiting for his GM title.

Sep-14-17  sneaky pete: That last part about about 6.5 from 10 and then two losses is wrong. I was fooled by the way Pfleger's games are ranked here, thinking they were all given in the order in which they were played. That is only partly the case. With 5.5 from 8 Pfleger first lost 2 games and then had 2 hard fought draws before meeting Petrosian.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sachistu: Thanks for the feedback <sneaky pete>. I just now happened upon this game when looking at Manila 1974. Even though I suspect the 12...Ng4 version is the correct one, it's hard to submit a corrections slip without documentation (esp. as at least 2 sources give the 12...Nh5 version). It might show up never know.
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