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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 25 times; par: 68 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-03-03  Petrosianic: An interesting psychological battle. Leading by a point, Petrosian needs only 1 out of the next 3 to retain the title. The position actually repeats 3 times. White could have claimed a draw on his 25th move, but gutsily declined to do so on the grounds that if Spassky avoided the repetition, he'd stand clearly worse. Spassky in turn could have claimed a draw on HIS 25th move, but if he had, he'd have had to win the next 2 straight. So he gutsily accepted the challenge, broke the repetition pattern with 25. Q-B1, fought the uphill battle, and went on to lose, effectively ending the match.
Apr-17-04  Vischer: Does this 1.d4 b5 have a name? I know that 1.e4 g5 is the borg.
Apr-18-04  Cornwallis: <Does this 1.d4 b5 have a name? I know that 1.e4 g5 is the borg.>

Yes it does Vischer. It's called the Polish Defence.

Apr-18-04  Vischer: thanks
Aug-20-04  morphynoman2: (36. c6!; 36. Bf7 Kf7 37. Rd7 Bd7 38. Ne5 Kg8 39. Qf7 Tal)
Aug-20-04  morphynoman2: Excuse me. I think black played 35... Qb8, before resign.
Jan-09-06  Gowe: Never listened.
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.
Mar-23-12  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....
Mar-23-12  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

Mar-24-12  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
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