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

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 (120) 
    E92 E81 E80 E91 E60
 English (95) 
    A15 A13 A16 A14 A10
 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 (1959)
   USSR Championship 1961a (1961)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   USSR Championship (1969)
   Palma de Mallorca (1969)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1952)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)
   USSR Championship (1960)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   Biel Interzonal (1976)
   Zurich Candidates (1953)
   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
Search Google for Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian

(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 Kelendzheridze 1-019 1945 Training TournamentC17 French, Winawer, Advance
9. Petrosian vs Zeinalli 1-020 1945 Leningrad (Russia)A33 English, Symmetrical
10. Petrosian vs Mirtsaev 1-041 1945 Final I Category TournamentE00 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Petrosian vs N Sorokin 1-039 1945 TbilisiD14 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
12. Petrosian vs Y Rudakov 1-032 1945 Leningrad (Russia)D10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. A Blagidze vs Petrosian ½-½40 1945 Final I Category TournamentE40 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
14. Petrosian vs Dzaparidze 1-014 1945 TbilisiC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
15. Petrosian vs M Shishov ½-½51 1945 Tbilisi-chE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
16. Petrosian vs N Grigoriev 1-013 1945 TbilisiB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
17. Petrosian vs A Reshko 1-039 1945 Leningrad (Russia)C07 French, Tarrasch
18. Petrosian vs Chachua 1-036 1945 Training TournamentD05 Queen's Pawn Game
19. Lolua vs Petrosian ½-½36 1945 TbilisiC34 King's Gambit Accepted
20. Petrosian vs V Korolkov 1-018 1945 LeningradE10 Queen's Pawn Game
21. Grigoriev vs Petrosian 0-126 1945 TbilisiB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
22. Seceda vs Petrosian 0-157 1945 Tbilisi (Georgia)A49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
23. Aganalian vs Petrosian 0-134 1945 TbilisiA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
24. K Kalantar vs Petrosian 0-127 1946 ErevanA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
25. Kasparian vs Petrosian  ½-½47 1946 ARM-ch mA02 Bird's Opening
 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 84 OF 84 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Tigran Petrosian played 61 games in 1962,, all against strong opponents, at the interzonal in Stockholm and at the Candidates' in Curaçao. He also played at the Olympiad. But despite the strong opposition he didn't lose any games in the whole year.
May-04-15  Howard: Yes, I've read that before about Petrosian's results in 1962. The book Kings of Chess mentions that I think.

It has also been said that Petrosian went through 3-4 Soviet championships without losing a single game in any of them. Not bad....considering that many of the Soviet Union's leading players couldn't even manage that feat ONCE.

May-04-15  Petrosianic: Petrosian went undefeated in six Soviet Championships.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Travis Bickle: Fischer really cleaned that Bozo's clock in 71! ; P
Premium Chessgames Member
  Travis Bickle:
May-04-15  Chessdreamer: Petrosian's games from USSR v. Netherlands match, July 1962 are missing from the database.

[Event "NED-USSR m"]
[Site "The Hague"]
[Date "1962.??.??"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Petrosian, Tigran V"]
[Black "Donner, Jan Hein"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B92"]
[PlyCount "61"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Qc7 8.a4 b6 9.O-O Bb7 10.f3 Be7 11.Be3 O-O 12.Qd2 Nc6 13.Rfc1 Nb4 14.a5 bxa5 15.Na4 Nc6 16.Nb6 Rab8 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.exd5 Nd4 19.Nxd4 exd4 20.Bxd4 Bxd5 21.Qxa5 Qxa5 22.Rxa5 Bb7 23.Bd3 Bd8 24.Ra3 Bg5 25.Rca1 Bf6 26.Bxf6 gxf6 27.Kf2 Rbc8 28.Rb3 Rc7 29.Rb6 Rd8 30.Ra4 h6 31.Rd4 1-0

[Event "NED-USSR m"]
[Site "The Hague"]
[Date "1962.??.??"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Donner, Jan Hein"]
[Black "Petrosian, Tigran V"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D31"]
[PlyCount "36"]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 c6 6.Qc2 g6 7.Bf4 Bf5 8.Qc1 Nf6 9.e3 Nbd7 10.Be2 O-O 11.Ne5 Nxe5 12.Bxe5 Nd7 13.Bg3 Nb6 14.O-O h5 15.h3 Bd6 16.Bxd6 Qxd6 17.Qd2 Rfe8 18.Rfe1 Qe7 1/2-1/2

May-04-15  EdZelli: Fischer was a wanted fugitive from justice, racist and a nutcase who got spanked hard in Curaco By Tigran and others. And still cried foul.

Bobby was also a cheat who never qualified for the 1970 interzonal. Only a scam perpetrated by USCF and FIDE got him thru.

Sadly, Bobby still attracts his like- minded people.

May-04-15  Petrosianic: He was not a fugitive, racist or nutcase at Curacao. All that stuff happened years later.

<Bobby was also a cheat who never qualified for the 1970 interzonal. Only a scam perpetrated by USCF and FIDE got him thru.>

It was perfectly legal, legitimate, and hardly the first time that a substitution had been in the qualifier list. (Funny though, the whole idea that FIDE scammed itself. I doubt that was meant as a joke, which makes it funnier).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: Fischer was also guilty of being a shade or two too white.

May-04-15  fgh: <Absentee: Fischer was also guilty of being a shade or two too white.>

What are you trying to say?

May-14-15  TheFocus: <Occasionally an opening is used against an opponent who is known to favour it himself. The idea is to force him to fight against his own weapons, when he will have to face not only real dangers but very often imaginary ones as well> - Tigran Petrosian.
May-14-15  TheFocus: <I repeat, that the first and main difficulty in making a positional exchange sacrifice is a psychological caution: after all, you have to give up a rook for a minor piece. The second difficulty is that the exchange is given up when this is not forced by circumstances. Therefore you must anticipate beforehand, in good time, how events will develop and take the necessary measures> - Tigran Petrosian.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <In general I consider that in chess everything rests on tactics. If one thinks of strategy as a block of marble, then tactics are the chisel with which a master operates, in creating works of chess art> - Tigran Petrosian.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <Yes, perhaps I like defending more than attacking, but who has demonstrated that defence is a less risky and dangerous occupation than attack? And are there so few games that have found their way into the treasury of chess thanks to a virtuoso defence?> - Tigran Petrosian.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <Turning chess into poker and hoping for a "bluff" is not one of my convictions> - Tigran Petrosian.
May-16-15  TheFocus: <The criterion of real strength is a deep penetration into the secrets of a position> - Tigran Petrosianic.
May-17-15  TheFocus: <It is asserted that my favorite player is Capablanca. They have even pinned a label on me: "follower of the Capablanca style". In fact, for me there cannot exist any one idol in principle. Thus if I were to name a few names, I would give Nimzowitsch, Capablanca and Rubinstein> - Tigran Petrosian.
May-17-15  TheFocus: <If it is true that a player's style is his person, then everyone plays as he is intended to by nature. I am naturally cautious, and I altogether dislike situations which involve risk> - Tigran Petrosian.
May-17-15  TheFocus: <It is easy to play against the young players, for me they are like an open book> - Tigran Petrosian.
May-17-15  TheFocus: <Today many players, especially young ones, think that the older openings are so thoroughly analyzed that nothing more can be tried. This is a serious mistake. The methods of positional play become deeper and finer each year. Being well acquainted with them it is possible even in openings which seem to be fully explored to find ways to create a real fight> - Tigran Petrosian.
May-17-15  TheFocus: <In general I consider that in chess everything rests on tactics. If one thinks of strategy as a block of marble, then tactics are the chisel with which a master operates, in creating works of chess art> - Tigran Petrosian.
May-18-15  TheFocus: <Now how the hell can I be Petrosian's second if it makes me sick to watch how he plays? > - Viktor Korchnoi.
May-18-15  TheFocus: <One cannot help but admire the devilish determination and ingenuity of this man> - Viktor Korchnoi. - (on Petrosian)
May-23-15  TheFocus: <I don’t think it’s fair to approach it like that and try to come up with some sort of top ten. Each age is governed by its own laws. Players today know a few times more than Alekhine and Capablanca did in their day. While trying to compare great players by talent is also extremely subjective.

How could you measure the talent, for example, of the 9th World Champion, Tigran Petrosian? He understood chess so deeply, and saw so much, that it led to him becoming very cautious. He had some sort of special telescope in his head that allowed him to see the first inkling of a threat from his opponent and, can you imagine it, Tigran snuffed out the danger a move before it had even arisen.

After he won the title, Petrosian played on the first board at three Olympiads and posted a colossal result: he played 38 games, won 25 of them, drew 13 and didn’t lose a single one!> - Svetozar Gligoric.

Jump to page #   (enter # from 1 to 84)
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 84 OF 84 ·  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. 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 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 | 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