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

Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Number of games in database: 1,921
Years covered: 1942 to 1983
Highest rating achieved in database: 2660

Overall record: +691 -156 =1057 (64.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 17 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (117) 
    E92 E80 E81 E91 E60
 English (96) 
    A15 A13 A10 A16 A14
 Queen's Indian (78) 
    E12 E14 E19 E17 E15
 Nimzo Indian (77) 
    E41 E40 E46 E55 E53
 Queen's Gambit Declined (66) 
    D37 D30 D35 D38 D31
 Queen's Pawn Game (57) 
    A46 A40 D02 E10 D05
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (139) 
    C07 C16 C11 C18 C15
 Sicilian (128) 
    B52 B40 B81 B92 B94
 Caro-Kann (77) 
    B18 B17 B11 B14 B12
 King's Indian (73) 
    E67 E81 E95 E63 E60
 Nimzo Indian (57) 
    E54 E32 E58 E56 E46
 French Tarrasch (53) 
    C07 C05 C03 C09
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
   Petrosian vs Botvinnik, 1963 1-0
   Kasparov vs Petrosian, 1981 0-1
   Petrosian vs Fischer, 1971 1-0
   E Terpugov vs Petrosian, 1957 0-1
   Fischer vs Petrosian, 1959 1/2-1/2
   Keres vs Petrosian, 1959 0-1
   Petrosian vs Smyslov, 1961 1-0

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 (1959)
   USSR Championship 1961a (1961)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   USSR Championship (1969)
   Palma de Mallorca (1969)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1952)
   Portoroz Interzonal (1958)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   USSR Championship (1960)
   Bled (1961)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   Zurich Candidates (1953)
   USSR Championship (1957)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Petrosian! by amadeus
   Petrosian Games Only by fredthebear
   Python Strategy (Petrosian) by Qindarka
   Biggest Heritor of Nimzo by Gottschalk
   Tigran Petrosian's Best Games by ADopeAlias
   Tigran Petrosian's Best Games by KingG
   Veliki majstori saha 27 PETROSJAN (Marovic) by Chessdreamer
   Tigran, Tigran, burning bright by sleepyirv
   Power Chess - Petrosian by Anatoly21
   Road to the Championship - Tigran Petrosian by suenteus po 147
   Exchange sacs - 1 by obrit
   Petrosian v. the Elite by refutor
   P.H.Clarke: Petrosian's Best games by setuhanu01

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Search Google for Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian

(born Jun-17-1929, died Aug-13-1984, 55 years old) Georgia (federation/nationality 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).

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). He also advanced to the Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final (1971) semifinals, but lost, thereby losing the opportunity to qualify to the 1972 championship.

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 77; games 1-25 of 1,921  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Petrosian vs Flohr 1-0451942TbilisiA52 Budapest Gambit
2. Petrosian vs Kopelevic 1-0241942TbilisiC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
3. Bakhtadze vs Petrosian 0-1271944Tbilisi (Georgia)A28 English
4. Petrosian vs V Mikenas 0-1411944TbilisiB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
5. Petrosian vs N Sorokin 1-0231944TbilisiD33 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
6. Petrosian vs A A Smorodsky ½-½401944GEO-chA28 English
7. Petrosian vs Nersesov 1-0161944Tbilisi (Georgia)C42 Petrov Defense
8. Petrosian vs Y Rudakov 1-0321945Leningrad (Russia)D10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
9. A Blagidze vs Petrosian ½-½401945Final I Category TournamentE40 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
10. Petrosian vs A Reshko 1-0391945Leningrad (Russia)C07 French, Tarrasch
11. Petrosian vs N Grigoriev 1-0131945TbilisiB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
12. Petrosian vs Chachua 1-0361945Training TournamentD05 Queen's Pawn Game
13. Petrosian vs V Korolkov 1-0181945LeningradE10 Queen's Pawn Game
14. Grigoriev vs Petrosian 0-1261945TbilisiB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
15. Petrosian vs M V Shishov ½-½511945Tbilisi-chE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
16. Aganalian vs Petrosian 0-1341945TbilisiA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
17. Seceda vs Petrosian 0-1571945Tbilisi (Georgia)A49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
18. Petrosian vs Kelendzheridze 1-0191945Training TournamentC17 French, Winawer, Advance
19. Petrosian vs Dzaparidze 1-0141945TbilisiC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
20. Petrosian vs N Sorokin 1-0391945TbilisiD14 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
21. Petrosian vs Zeinalli 1-0201945Leningrad (Russia)A33 English, Symmetrical
22. Lolua vs Petrosian ½-½361945TbilisiC34 King's Gambit Accepted
23. Petrosian vs Mirtsaev 1-0411945Final I Category TournamentE00 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Kasparian vs Petrosian ½-½471946ARM-ch mA02 Bird's Opening
25. Petrosian vs Kasparian 1-0421946ErevanA53 Old Indian
 page 1 of 77; games 1-25 of 1,921  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 85 OF 87 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Smyslov57: I think Petrosian is the most underrated and misunderstood of all the chess greats. His games are wonderful for learning chess and improving.>

I agree. In MGP, Kasparov shows tremendous admiration for Akiba Rubinstein, and recently no less than Boris Gelfand has done the same. Is it possible that a new generation will proclaim their debt to the great Tigran? His influence is enormous.

Another player due for a renaissance in opinion is the great Max Euwe. Vastly underrated.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: The footnote in the intro is ironically amusing:

<(Petrosian often required a hearing aid during his tournaments)>

since Petrosian is famous for switching his hearing aid off at critical points in a game.

Cue up appropriate anecdote or two here...

Apr-25-16  ewan14: If someone wants some examples of Petrosian playing '' relaxed '' chess there are his losses to Geller and Korchnoi in 1961 / 62 after he had succeeded in the zonal or interzonal

Also confirms he was still friends with Korchnoi

Jun-07-16  posoo: LOOK at da cape dat DIS man wears! He must be som sort of SPACEMAN.
Jun-08-16  Lt.Surena: Tigran has no losses in 1962. Incredible!

As a matter of fact, he didn't lose a single game in the world championship series of 1963 until his 1st game again Botvinnik in 1963 World Championship match.

Jun-08-16  Petrosianic: Not quite true. He lost one game to Stein in the Zonal.
Jun-10-16  Howard: I'm afraid that the "not quite true" comment should be directed against Petrosianic, not LT.Surena. That loss to Stein was in 1961, not 1962.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RcfM: Happy Natal Day to my hero, the 9th World Champion, Tigran Petrosian!

Thank you for all the wonderful and instructive games!

Jun-17-16  waustad: I've had some fun afternoons going over Petrosian exchange sacs. Maybe it's time to do this again. He's the strongest player I've ever seen play live, albeit in a simul. I've also seen Spassky walk down the hall in a hotel, but that isn't quite the same.
Jun-17-16  say it with a smile: The players of the Golden Age of Chess ( Tigran, Tal, Bobby) didn't live long. The former two died at age 55. Bobby also didn't live past 65.

Tigran would easily get tired once he was
40 years old. Tal had his own share. And we all know about Bobby's mental illness.

Sad indeed.

These were all players with unique style of play. All of them exciting in their own way.

May all rest in peace.

Jun-17-16  Petrosianic: All players slow down somewhat after age 40. Petrosian aged better than Fischer or Spassky, but not as well as Korchnoi or Botvinnik. But he was going pretty strong into his 50's. Won an Interzonal undefeated at age 50, finished 2nd undefeated at the Tilburg all-GM tournament at 52, so Petrosian aged better than most.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: 1 of the most instructive & ingenious chess players of all time was born 87 years ago on this day...the former World Chess Champ Tigran Petrosian! I really enjoy playing over his games!
Jun-17-16  Petrosianic: <Howard: I'm afraid that the "not quite true" comment should be directed against Petrosianic, not LT.Surena. That loss to Stein was in 1961, not 1962.>

I know that. It was a correct response to the statement:

<...he didn't lose a single game in the world championship series of 1963 until his 1st game again [sic] Botvinnik>.

...Not to the statement

<Tigran has no losses in 1962.>

Jun-17-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Iron Tigran!!

I learned so much from his games.

Jun-17-16  RookFile: Petrosian aged better than Fischer, but chess had nothing to do with it. Fischer went crazy, but won everything he played after 1972 - granted that we're not talking about many games.
Jul-29-16  CountryGirl: Petrosianic, you're right, Petrosian was an extremely dangerous player in tactical situations, He usually used his tactical ability to avoid the opponent's plans, but when he unleashed it on his own account he almost always won. As with Capablanca and Karpov, he just disliked speculating.
Jul-29-16  CountryGirl: Petrosian is rightly lauded as a genius of safety, only losing 8% of his games across a very long career. The only player who lost a (fractionally) lower percentage was.....wait for it.... Kasparov. That single stat helps me believe GK was perhaps the greatest of all time.
Aug-06-16  RookFile: I'm not sure what counts and what doesn't, but a quick look at Capa gave me about 6.5 percent for him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The great man. Possibly the greatest ever chess player. The man "for whom, like Smyslov, the chess board has no secrets..." He died on this day 32 years ago! Your games live forever more.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Possibly the greatest ever chess player. >

I understand how one might say such, but I believe he'd be a tad lonely being in the Pantheon alone.

Luckily, I don't think he is.


Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: One could come up with some 40-50 names, if not more, covering last 150 years. About equally great.

not much point in splitting hairs.

Sep-23-16  RookFile: Playing over a book of his best games and learning a lot from him.
Sep-24-16  Howard: Which book ?

Incidentally, there are two volumes available (though out of print) that have ALL of his known games.

Sep-24-16  parisattack: The Shekhtman set on Petrosian has been reprinted in paperback by the reborn Ishi Press - tho I cannot vouch for quality as I have not seen them.
Sep-24-16  EdZelli: Hard cover Volume 2 of Shekhtman's book
was unavailable for years. They were selling for almost $700 a piece at Amazon. Nice to see that it is re-printed.
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 87)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 85 OF 87 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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. No posting 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 player 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, its employees, or sponsors.
<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

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 | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2018, Chessgames Services LLC