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


register now - it's free!
Robert Huebner vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Biel Interzonal (1976)  ·  Zukertort Opening: Kingside Fianchetto (B06)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

explore this opening
find similar games 13 more Huebner/Petrosian games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: If you register a free account you will be able to create game collections and add games and notes to them. For more information on game collections, see our Help Page.

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

Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-13-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: To quote Karpov's account of the 1977 Bad Lauterberg tournament: "In one interview, Huebner even declared that he would like to be in the situation as before when he actually enjoyed playing chess. But he only has to recall his tragic game against Petrosian in the Interzonal, where he missed a forced mate, for him literally to lose heart."

This is the tragic game referred to, from the second last round of the 1976 Biel interzonal. Huebner by winning this game would have qualified for the candidates. He could have achieved his aim with the simple 37.Qe8+ Kg7 38.Re7+ Kh6 39.Qf8+ Bg7 (39...Kh5 40.Rxh7#) 40.Qxg7+ Kh5 41.Qxh7#! Instead he played 37.g3?? and soon lost.

A draw as Black in the next round (final round) with Larsen eliminated Huebner, while Petrosian's victory here and a subsequent victory with White over tail-ender Diaz allowed him to qualify in Huebner's place.

Sep-13-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: <Eggman> To me, what makes this whole game even more tragic is, after the blunder 37.g3??, 37...Nxf4 ruins any chance of Huebner retrieving the lost win. As if to punctuate this tragic loss, Huebner plays the winning move, 38.Qe8+, one move too late. Petrosian was a very cool customer to just wait and see what happened. 37...Nxf4 indicates he saw the win, but kept playing in the hopes that the very outcome that did occur would happen. That took real nerve. Petrosian reminds me a lot of Capablanca in that instance.
Sep-14-04  azi: There is a quality of inevitability from the first move of this game. Petrosian's opening choce is that of a tiger. Despite Petrosian's enormous playing strength, Huebner is up to the task through out the game. That he lost with 2+ connected passed pawn advantage is not only tragic but magical (black). It is if a vail fell over the board and Petrosian pulled the rabbit out of the hat! I wonder if there was any 'man against the machine' psychological warfare on the Russian front. I think TP was among the greatest players ever but Hubner deserved to win this game.
Jan-09-08  Petrosianic: <I think TP was among the greatest players ever but Hubner deserved to win this game.>

True. He did.

On the other hand, he <didn't> deserve to win the only game he ever won against Petrosian

Huebner vs Petrosian, 1972

in which Black simply overstepped in a completely drawn position. This was also painful, as it was Petrosian's only loss <ever> in Olympiad play.

I guess irony can be pretty ironic. On the other hand, both games were decided by time pressure, where anything can happen. And often does.

Aug-15-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <36...Qd6> was a last shoddy trick, that worked.
Mar-31-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: short of time --- reason of Huebner for missing the mate in four. Sad fate.
Mar-31-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <suenteus po 147><To me, what makes this whole game even more tragic is, after the blunder 37.g3??, 37...Nxf4 ruins any chance of Huebner retrieving the lost win.> Well, in fact 37...Nxf4 gave white a chance to play for win after 38.gxf4 Qxf4+ 39.Ng3 Kg7 (probably the only move) 40.Qd3 where white has an extra piece, although the compromised position of his King gives black good counter-chances here. 37...Kg7! was definitely more secure and precise defense with Nxf4 motif still in the air.
Apr-01-12  EdZelli: Huebner was the the 1st GM I ever met. He was introduced to us (shortly before this tournament) as a university teacher. An expert in ancient languages. He was sporting a beard then. He was friendly, cool, calm and composed. A very nice guy.
Sep-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < Eggman: ....Huebner by winning this game would have qualified for the candidates....>

While that was at least highly probable, there would have been no guarantee of this: the standings entering the final round would have thereby been Larsen and Huebner in joint first with 12, followed by Tal on 11.5, after which were Byrne and Smyslov with 11. With Larsen and Huebner facing each other, a draw would then have qualified both.

<....A draw as Black in the next round (final round) with Larsen eliminated Huebner, while Petrosian's victory here and a subsequent victory with White over tail-ender Diaz allowed him to qualify in Huebner's place.>

This statement is inaccurate: Petrosian thereby qualified, along with Tal (quick draw with Liberzon) and Portisch (winner against Castro), for a three-way playoff for two slots in the candidates matches, with Tal being eliminated.

Game Collection: Interzonals 1976: Biel

Apr-26-15  Howard: Benko said in Chess Life & Review that on the 38th move, Huebner should have either taken the Knight or forced off the queens.
Apr-27-15  Howard: Regarding perfidious's comment, you can look at this way: if Petrosian had lost to Huebner, than he would have been completely out of the Candidates--no ands, buts, or ifs.

They say that good luck and bad luck have a way of cancelling each other out in the long run. In Petrosian's case, he may have been damn lucky in this game...but then when he was playing Castro earlier in the event, he lost a won game. So things "evened out" for him here.

Apr-27-15  Petrosianic: <Howard: Regarding perfidious's comment, you can look at this way: if Petrosian had lost to Huebner, than he would have been completely out of the Candidates--no ands, buts, or ifs.>

No, not necessarily. Here's a "but" you may have forgotten.

Spassky failed to qualify from the 1976 Interzonal. He got into the 1977 Candidates because Fischer withdrew and Spassky was next in line.

If Petrosian had also failed to qualify, then he and Spassky would both have been next in line (since they were both semi-final losers in 1974). One of them would have gotten that spot. Possibly Petrosian.

Apr-27-15  Petrosianic: Let's look that possibility, and I'm going to make some possibly unwarranted assumptions here.

Let's say that that happened, there was a playoff between Petrosian and Spassky, and Petrosian won. That would mean that Petrosian got the spot that Spassky got in real life. Who would have gotten the spot that Petrosian got in real life? Well, assuming that everything else happened the same way, including the drawing of lots (an unwarranted assumption, but let's pretend anyway).

In that case, Petrosian with Spassky's spot would have played Hort in the Quarterfinals.

Huebner would have finished in 2nd place, and got Petrosian's spot, so it would be Korchnoi-Huebner in the Quarterfinals, 3 years before their Candidates Final.

Portisch and Tal would have tied for the 3rd spot. If everythingn else stayed the same, Portisch would have won, and the Portisch-Larsen and Polugaevsky-Mecking matches would still have happened.

The irony is that Perosian might well have advanced further by not qualifying than he did by qualifying. And we might even have had a third Petrosian-Spassky match into the bargain.

Apr-27-15  Howard: All right, you got me there ! I'd forgotten about the "Fischer factor" in the 1977 Candidates.

As for the "assumptions" that you explained, I'll look at that later. Don't have time to ponder what you've written/assumed.

But, to repeat, you're correct about the fact that since Fischer didn't want his Candidates spot, a Petrosian-Spassky playoff would have taken place.

By the way, if Spassky and Petrosian DID qualify from their respective interzonals, then Byrne would have been next in line for Fischer's spot---correct ?

Apr-27-15  Howard: By the way, you seem to be as interested and knowledgable about the 1976 Biel interzonal as I am.
Apr-27-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  DrGridlock: Playing 37 g3 instead of 37 Qe8 was a bad miss for black.

However:
37 Qe8 is not a forced mate (black loses his queen with Qxe7 to avoid being mated).

White still has a likely win in the game continuation with 39 gxf4 (1.06 game eval with Komodo). 39 Re7 which is a killer move in the 37 Qe8 line is a losing move in the 37 g3 line.

Note to self: "better late than never" is rarely a maxim that works in chess.

Apr-27-15  Petrosianic: <By the way, if Spassky and Petrosian DID qualify from their respective interzonals, then Byrne would have been next in line for Fischer's spot---correct ?>

Maybe. Yeah, Byrne is the only other player from 1974 who wasn't in the 1977 Candidates.

But if Spassky had qualified from Manila, that would mean that either Mecking, Hort or Polugaevsky would not have qualified. If Spassky qualified instead of Hort, then Byrne would have gotten Fischer's spot.

But if it had been either Mecking or Polugaevsky that Spassky displaced, then that person and Byrne would probably have had to play for Fischer's spot.

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 Chessgames.com, 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?]
Interzonals 1976: Biel
by capybara
Now for something completely different
by Timothy Glenn Forney
Biel Interzonal 1976
by Tabanus
Game 148
from Guess-the-Move Chess: 1960-1979 (Part 2) by Anatoly21
Missed mate in four.
from Missed chances by Honza Cervenka
zumakal blunders archivadas1
by zumakal
Masters blunder too!
by parmetd
hot rats
by IMlday
Seeing a loss is not the same as losing; Or, the Tiger's Nerve
from Never Resign! by suenteus po 147


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