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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Number of games in database: 1,933
Years covered: 1942 to 1983
Highest rating achieved in database: 2645
Overall record: +697 -159 =1064 (64.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      13 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (121) 
    E92 E81 E80 E91 E60
 English (94) 
    A15 A13 A16 A10 A14
 Queen's Indian (78) 
    E12 E14 E19 E17 E15
 Nimzo Indian (77) 
    E41 E40 E46 E55 E53
 Queen's Pawn Game (54) 
    A46 A40 E10 D05 D02
 Queen's Gambit Declined (54) 
    D37 D30 D35 D38 D31
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (140) 
    C07 C16 C11 C18 C15
 Sicilian (138) 
    B40 B52 B81 B92 B94
 Caro-Kann (84) 
    B17 B11 B14 B18 B10
 King's Indian (72) 
    E94 E67 E81 E63 E62
 French Tarrasch (53) 
    C07 C05 C09 C03
 Nimzo Indian (52) 
    E54 E32 E46 E56 E58
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 1-0
   Petrosian vs Pachman, 1961 1-0
   Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 0-1
   Kasparov vs Petrosian, 1981 0-1
   Petrosian vs Botvinnik, 1963 1-0
   Keres vs Petrosian, 1959 0-1
   Fischer vs Petrosian, 1959 1/2-1/2
   Petrosian vs Fischer, 1971 1-0
   E Terpugov vs Petrosian, 1957 0-1
   Fischer vs Petrosian, 1959 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Petrosian - Botvinnik World Championship Match (1963)
   Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1966)
   Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Rematch (1969)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship 1961a (1961)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   USSR Championship (1959)
   USSR Championship (1969)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1952)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)
   USSR Championship (1960)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   Rio de Janeiro Interzonal (1979)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   Biel Interzonal (1976)
   USSR Championship (1976)
   Bled (1961)
   USSR Championship (1957)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Petrosian! by amadeus
   Tigran, Tigran, burning bright by sleepyirv
   Tigran Petrosian's Best Games by KingG
   Road to the Championship - Tigran Petrosian by suenteus po 147
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1960-1979 (Part 3) by Anatoly21
   Exchange sacs - 1 by obrit
   Petrosian v. the Elite by refutor
   P.H.Clarke: Petrosian's Best games by setuhanu01
   Crouching Tigran by Gregor Samsa Mendel
   samsloan's favorite games of Petrosian by samsloan
   Petrosian wins miniatures by ughaibu
   fav Smyslov & Petrosian games by guoduke
   Endgames World champions - part three by Alenrama

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
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(born Jun-17-1929, died Aug-13-1984, 55 years old) Georgia (citizen of Armenia)
[what is this?]
Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian was the World Champion from 1963 until 1969. He was born in Tiflis (modern day Tbilisi) in Georgia to Armenian parents, but eventually relocated to Armenia in 1946 before moving to Moscow in 1949.

Petrosian was an avid student of Aron Nimzowitsch 's theories. His play was renowned for its virtually impenetrable defence and patient manoeuvring, a technique that earned him the nickname “Iron Tigran”. Despite this, his capacity for dealing with tactical complications when the need arose prompted Boris Spassky to comment that: ”It is to Petrosian's advantage that his opponents never know when he is suddenly going to play like Mikhail Tal, and Robert James Fischer to observe that "He has an incredible tactical view, and a wonderful sense of the danger... No matter how much you think deep... He will 'smell' any kind of danger 20 moves before!" Petrosian’s pioneering use of the positional exchange sacrifice underscored both his positional and tactical grasp of the game. Moreover, he has two major opening systems named after him: the Petrosian Variation of the King's Indian Defence (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.d5) and the Petrosian System in the Queen's Indian Defence (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3). He also advanced to the Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Match (1971) semifinals, but lost, thereby losing the opportunity to qualify to the 1972 championship.

National Championships: Petrosian's first major win was the championship of Georgia in 1945 when he was 16. He won the 5th USSR Junior Championship in 1946 with a score of 14/15, won or came equal first in the championships of Armenia held in 1946, 1948, 1974, 1976 and 1980, won the Moscow championship in 1951; and shared first place with Vladimir Simagin and David Bronstein in the 1956 and 1968 Moscow Championships respectively. He gained his International Master title in the 1951 Soviet Championships, and went on to win the Soviet championship outright three times in 1959, 1961, and 1975, sharing the title with Lev Polugaevsky in 1969.

World championships: Petrosian won his Grandmaster title when he came equal second in the 1952 Interzonal tournament in Stockholm, which also qualified him for the 1953 Candidates tournament in Zurich. An eight time Candidate for the World Championship in 1953, 1956, 1959, 1962, 1971, 1974, 1977 and 1980, he won the Curacao Candidates Tournament of 1962 without losing a single game. The following year, he won the Petrosian - Botvinnik World Championship Match (1963) to become the 9th official World Chess Champion. He retained his title by winning the Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1966), the first time since the Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Rematch (1934) that the World Champion had succeeded in winning a title match. This feat was not repeated until Anatoly Karpov ’s success at the Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1978).

Team Play: Petrosian played in ten consecutive Soviet Olympiad teams from 1958 to 1978, winning nine team gold medals, one team silver medal, and six individual gold medals. His overall performance in Olympiad play was +78 =50 −1, the only loss being to Robert Huebner. He also played for the Soviet team in every European Team Championship from 1957 to 1983, winning eight team gold medals, and four board gold medals.

Classical Tournaments: Soon after becoming champion, he shared first place with Paul Keres in the first Piatagorsky Cup in Los Angeles in 1963. He won the tournaments at Biel and Lone Pine in 1976, the Keres Memorial in 1979, and took second place in Tilburg in 1981, half a point behind the winner Alexander Beliavsky. He was ranked among the top 20 players in the world until he died in 1984.

"Chess is a game by its form, an art by its content and a science by the difficulty of gaining mastery in it. Chess can convey as much happiness as a good book or work of music can. However, it is necessary to learn to play well and only afterwards will one experience real delight." - Tigran Petrosian

References: (1) (Petrosian often required a hearing aid during his tournaments), (2) Wikipedia article: Tigran Petrosian

 page 1 of 78; games 1-25 of 1,933  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Petrosian vs Kopelevic 1-024 1942 TbilisiC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
2. Petrosian vs Flohr 1-045 1942 TbilisiA52 Budapest Gambit
3. Petrosian vs V Mikenas 0-141 1944 TbilisiB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
4. Petrosian vs Nersesov 1-016 1944 Tbilisi (Georgia)C42 Petrov Defense
5. Bakhtadze vs Petrosian 0-127 1944 Tbilisi (Georgia)A28 English
6. Petrosian vs N Sorokin 1-023 1944 TbilisiD33 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
7. Petrosian vs A A Smorodsky ½-½40 1944 GEO-chA28 English
8. Petrosian vs Zeinalli 1-020 1945 Leningrad (Russia)A33 English, Symmetrical
9. Petrosian vs N Grigoriev 1-013 1945 TbilisiB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
10. Petrosian vs Kelendzheridze 1-019 1945 Training TournamentC17 French, Winawer, Advance
11. Petrosian vs N Sorokin 1-039 1945 TbilisiD14 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
12. Petrosian vs Mirtsaev 1-041 1945 Final I Category TournamentE00 Queen's Pawn Game
13. Petrosian vs Y Rudakov 1-032 1945 Leningrad (Russia)D10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
14. Petrosian vs Dzaparidze 1-014 1945 TbilisiC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
15. A Blagidze vs Petrosian ½-½40 1945 Final I Category TournamentE40 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
16. Petrosian vs A Reshko 1-039 1945 Leningrad (Russia)C07 French, Tarrasch
17. Petrosian vs M Shishov ½-½51 1945 Tbilisi-chE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
18. Lolua vs Petrosian ½-½36 1945 TbilisiC34 King's Gambit Accepted
19. Petrosian vs Chachua 1-036 1945 Training TournamentD05 Queen's Pawn Game
20. Petrosian vs V Korolkov 1-018 1945 LeningradE10 Queen's Pawn Game
21. Seceda vs Petrosian 0-157 1945 Tbilisi (Georgia)A49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
22. Grigoriev vs Petrosian 0-126 1945 TbilisiB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
23. Aganalian vs Petrosian 0-134 1945 TbilisiA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
24. Petrosian vs Petrovsky 1-028 1946 Leningrad (Russia)E11 Bogo-Indian Defense
25. Petrosian vs Korchnoi 1-023 1946 LeningradA90 Dutch
 page 1 of 78; games 1-25 of 1,933  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Petrosian wins | Petrosian loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 83 OF 83 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-01-14  The Rocket: Yes. Why would a random spectactor, or whoever the informer might be, fabricate such a story?
Jun-01-14  RedShield: <Tigran's wife was also very abrasive>

5 o'clock shadow?

Jun-01-14  Sally Simpson: This tale has always had me worried as well.

This scenario does not fit.

"OK Bobby, just like you asked. The audience are roped off 20 metres away. The lighting has been improved and players wives are allowed to wander around the boards."

However the Korchnoi story goes the game was a postponed game and he and Petrosian were watching the game from a cafe. They saw the trap and Petrosian's wife told Kovacevic about the trap whilst he was walking about.

And that to me is the twister.

Fischer had set a trap.

Kovacevic (to move) is walking about?


A good story though and no matter how many times it get de-bunked it's in chess lore forever.

Jun-01-14  The Rocket: I think the story is true. People envision it in a dramatized way. He simply overheard the move, and possibly it's intentions.
Jun-01-14  RedShield: You think you debunked it?
Jun-01-14  ughaibu: So, Rona was "personally responsible" but Kovacevic "simply overheard the move". Nonsense, and still insulting to Kovacevic.
Jun-01-14  The Rocket: Yeah, she didn't shut up.
Jun-13-14  zanzibar: <RE: Petrosian's US simuls>

<Perfidious> recalled Petrosian visiting Boston area in the late 1970's.

Here's some low-quality pictures of him giving a Boston-area simul in spring 1982:

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> Petrosian also played in both Piatigorsky Cup tournaments (1963 and 1966), and San Antonio 1972.
Aug-25-14  Retireborn: <FSR> Petrosian also played at Lone Pine twice in the 70s. No doubt he'd have visited the States again if not for his untimely end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Retireborn> Right. <perfidious> mentioned Lone Pine 1976 and 1978.
Aug-25-14  Retireborn: <FSR> Apologies, I failed to see that post.

1978 Bent Larsen ran away with it, including a spectacular win over Ken Rogoff, despite losing to Jon Speelman in the first rond.

1976 I knew nothing about, but I now see that Petrosian actually won it. Those were the days!

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Retireborn> Yes, it was a great loss to U.S. chess when the Lone Pine tournaments ended.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR> My dear sir, those events did not quite end in 1981:

B Warnock vs C Hertan, 1988

Wonder where <bwarnock> has got to--he was always a decent fellow and strong player--couldn't beat the bugger, though!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Game Collection: Lone Pine USA (Louis D. Statham Tournament ) gives a good overview of the Lone Pine tourneys.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> "Clone Pine" (which I'd never heard of) was surely a lot less famous than the original. Sort of like the difference between the Beatles and American English.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR> 'Course, you were busy with other things in those days, such as university and law school; perfectly understandable.

Had a lot of fun at the Clone Pine events, though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Family portrait of the Petrosians by Ida Kar:

Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: The Petrosian Memorial is coming 4 Nov 2014 in Moscow. The site is in Russian and I don't speak or read the language. I've been known to sing a little, but that doesn't help much. Here is the site: Anybody who reads it better than I do would be welcome to give more information.
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: I saw him do a simul in Silver Springs, Maryland in the '70s, not long before I moved to Vienna in '77. It might have been '76, but not much earlier.
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: Play in the Petrosian Memorial begins tomorrow in Moscow.
Premium Chessgames Member
  juicysnail: Petrosian Memorial? Didn't hear about that!
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <The Rocket> I don't understand your post. I guess by "tactican" you mean tactician. But in chess what one means by a "tactician" is good calculator; it is the definition. You perhaps mean "strategist", who is the fellows good at making long-range planning.
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: it is interesting that for the quote of the day, the author is "Tigran Petrosian" but clicking on the link given gets to aa Player Unknown error message. It must be due to the potential ambiguity. They hadn't specified "Vartanovich."
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

" You know, all these lofty matters we have been studying - strategy and endless opening subtleties - are not the main thing. The match will be decided, first and foremost, by our calculation reflexes during play, or, as they say, who is better at doing 'you go there and I go here,' and no one knows how his mind will behave. "

-- Tigran Petrosian

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