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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Boris Spassky
Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1966)  ·  Polish Defense: General (A40)  ·  1-0
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Given 26 times; par: 68 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-20-06  who: Amazing that with 1...b5 you can get a draw from Petrosian (of course you need to claim it, but still).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: My head would go crazy calculating all those pawn breaks in the center!! But then chess sense helps. :-D

30...c5?! frees his bishop and creates more complication. But Black's position is already positionally crushed by that point, so it didn't matter.

Which means Spassky's refusal to claim three-fold rep. is a blunder! But why didn't he? There's not way he could win this anyway.

Mar-08-09  sillybilly47: Spassky played very poorly in games 21-23. Frustration is my guess.
Nov-26-11  AnalyzeThis: In hindsight, taking the draw would have been better for Spassky. However, the problem then is, with two games left, Spassky has to go 2-0. Anything less and Petrosian remains champ.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Position after 10. 0-0:

click for larger view

Nobody is going to beat Petrosian when he gets a position like this with white.

Mar-23-12  beatgiant: <RookFile>
It all depends what you mean by <a position like this>, but say Petrosian vs Larsen, 1966 at move 9 bears at least some similarity....
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: In the Spassky game, Petrosian has pawns on d4 and e4, without the slightest pressure on them. I guess that's the key point.
Mar-24-12  beatgiant: <RookFile>
Agreed, it's hard to find Petrosian losses as White of that description - although Petrosian vs Kholmov, 1951 at move 13, or Petrosian vs Averbakh, 1950 at move 9, might come close.

If you accept <pawns on d5 and e4> instead, there are probably a few more losses. Petrosian didn't lose many games as White to begin with, so the whole point seems a bit moot

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: So how would you beat Petrosian as black? The answer is certainly beyond my chess understanding.
Mar-24-12  SChesshevsky: <<So how would you beat Petrosian as black?>>

Petrosian was definitely tough to beat.

I think Fischer in the 70's saw that one had a chance as Petrosian often gave up space and accepted cramped positions, even as White, looking for the opponent to over extend.

With the advantage in space there's time to set up the pieces for a Black positive opening of lines, usually on the Qside.

But to convert the advantage looks to take some time and postional accuracy and for most players it probably wasn't worth the risks.

I'm guessing Fischer took great notice of the Petrosian-Larsen 1966 game noted earlier.

Jul-18-12  Ulhumbrus: 33 Bb3!! looks like a final attack worthy of Bobby Fischer. As well as threatening to take a piece on f6 it threatens to start a winning attack on the f7 pawn and Spassky resigns in the end when he is unable to defend the threatened attack.
Jul-23-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966.
Your score: 69 (par = 68)


Oct-25-13  Everett: <Ulhumbrus: 33 Bb3!! looks like a final attack worthy of...>

Tigran Petrosian!

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: When Spassky played 1...b5 the six Poles in the audience let out a massive cheer.
Jun-02-14  TheTamale: <offramp>: I imagine so! But for Spassky's backer's, however, it was a different story.
Jan-08-15  GoldenBird: <offramp> Why six poles?
Jan-08-15  DWINS: <GoldenBird: <offramp> Why six poles?>

I believe it's a joke based on the opening played in this game.

Jan-11-15  GoldenBird: <DWINS> k
Sep-09-15  thegoodanarchist: 1...b4 smacks of desperation on the part of Spassky, which is a reasonable conclusion based on his point standing in the match at the time.
Sep-09-15  thegoodanarchist: <offramp: When Spassky played 1...b5 the six Poles in the audience let out a massive cheer.>

Professor von Nozzen did extensive research on this match for his article in the Journal of Professional Gaming, published by the Malaysian Society of Recreation.

The Polish contingent were on work-release passes, taking their weekly break from the manufacture of sardine cans for the Soviet fishing industry.

Prof. von Nozzen uncovered a little-known fact: the Polish contingent was actually comprised of 5 Poles and a Lithuanian chap who had married a Polish woman.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: In Karpov vs Miles, 1980 Miles reached this position, as black, after 3...Bb7:

click for larger view

In this game, Spassky reached a similar position, after 3...a6

click for larger view

Nov-28-15  Ulhumbrus: The move 3 f3 following the move 1...b5 suggests that White answers eccentric play on Black's part with play that is direct, solid and conservative.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: As I said before, it is weird how the great unwashed have flipped their collective lids about the opening of Karpov vs Miles, 1980 - 1.e4 a6 (8 pages of kibitzing), and kept their lids on for this game.

This was a World Championship game, after all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <offramp: As I said before, it is weird how the great unwashed have flipped their collective lids about the opening of Karpov vs Miles, 1980 - 1.e4 a6 (8 pages of kibitzing), and kept their lids on for this game. This was a World Championship game, after all.>

The great unwashed only flip for crap defenses when they work. Compare the 8 pages of kibitzes for the Skara game with the kibitzing for these games featuring equally crap defenses:

Karpov vs Miles, 1977

Karpov vs Miles, 1992

May-10-16  AlicesKnight: Perhaps a comparison with the 14th game of the 1966 match has some relevance (2. .... b5). Horowitz comments that Spassky tried unconventional approaches after his first win in game 13 as a means of trying to make progress, and would agree with <Ulhumbrus> that Petrosian's answer was to play safe and solid.
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