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1966 World Chess Championship
Compiled by Penguincw
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★★★ INTRO ★★★

The 1966 World Chess Championship was between 36 year old defending champion Tigran V Petrosian of the Soviet Union and 28 year old challenger Boris V Spassky also of the Soviet Union.

★★★ BACKGROUND ★★★

After Petrosian defeated Botvinnik 12 1/2-9 1/2 (see Game Collection: 1963 World Chess Championship for games and more information), Botvinnik wanted a re-match. However, FIDE denied it and this made Botvinnik retire from world championship matches. So, to determine a challenger for Petrosian, there was first an interzonal tournament (see Amsterdam Interzonal (1964) for games and more info) featuring 24 players. Initially, only 5 players were to advanced, but in the end, six made it through (due to Botvinnik not wanting to play). Bent Larsen, Vasily Smyslov, Boris V Spassky and Mikhail Tal made it through, each scoring 17/23. Borislav Ivkov made it through with 15/23. Lajos Portisch took the last place with 14.5/23, winning a 3 game playoff from Samuel Reshevsky 2 1/2-1/2 (see Amsterdam Interzonal Playoff (1964) for games and more info). Note: Stein (16.5/23) and Bronstein (16/23) placed 5th-6th, respectively, but due to the rules of maximum three per country, they were ineligible (Smyslov, Spassky and Tal took the three spots for the Soviet Union).

The candidates tournament was a knockout format. Paul Keres and Efim Geller were runner-ups from last candidates, so they get seeded right in it. In the quarter-finals, it was a best of 10 (first to 5 1/2 wins, tiebreaks there if needed). Spassky beat Keres 6-4 (see Spassky - Keres Candidates Quarterfinal (1965) for games and more info), Geller beat Smyslov 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Geller - Smyslov Candidates Quarterfinal (1965) for games and more info), Larsen beat Ivkov 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Larsen - Ivkov Candidates Quarterfinal (1965) for games and more info) and Tal beat Portisch 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Tal - Portisch Candidates Quarterfinal (1965) for games and more info). In the semi-finals, it was the same format. Spassky easily defeated Geller 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Spassky - Geller Candidates Semifinal (1965) for games and more info), while Tal won the last game to narrowly defeated Larsen 5 1/2-4 1/2 (see Tal - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1965) for games and more info). In the finals, Spassky won the best of 12 match, 7-4 (see Spassky - Tal Candidates Final (1965) for games and more info). This earned him the right to challenge Petrosian for the title.

★★★ CONDITIONS ★★★

The match took place in Moscow. It was a best of 24, meaning that the first to 12 1/2 points would be champion. If it ended in a 12-12 tie, Petrosian (the title holder) would retain his title (by default). The first game was played on April 9th, 1966.

★★★ FINAL ★★★

The last game was played on June 9th, 1966. It was a tough match, and for the first time since 1954 (see Game Collection: 1954 World Chess Championship for games and more information), a Game 24 was needed. In that game, Petrosian with the white pieces needed just 1/2 point to win. On June 9th, 1966, he got his wish and won the title by earning the 12 1/2 points he needed.

★★★ MINI TABLE ★★★

Petrosian 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 0 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 1 1/2 1 0 1/2 (4 wins, 17 draws, 3 losses) <52.1% score>

Spassky 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 1/2 1/2 0 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 0 1/2 0 1 1/2 (3 wins, 17 draws, 4 losses) <47.9% score>

★★★ OTHER LINKS ★★★

See also: Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1966)

Head to Head Record Prior to 1966: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... (1 win, 9 draws and 0 losses in favour of Petrosian)

Previous World Championship: Game Collection: 1963 World Chess Championship

Next World Championship: Game Collection: 1969 World Chess Championship

Game 1, Match tied 1/2-1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 2, Match tied 1-1
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(D59) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower, 50 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 3, Match tied 1 1/2-1 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 4, Match tied 2-2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A14) English, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 5, Match tied 2 1/2-2 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 79 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 6, Match tied 3-3
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(D40) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 7, Petrosian leads 4-3
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 0-1

Game 8, Petrosian leads 4 1/2-3 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A33) English, Symmetrical, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 9, Petrosian leads 5-4
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 10, Petrosian leads 6-4
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E63) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation, 30 moves, 1-0

Game 11, Petrosian leads 6 1/2-4 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(C10) French, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 12, Petrosian leads 7-5
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 13, Petrosian leads 7-6
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 91 moves, 1-0

Game 14, Petrosian leads 7 1/2-6 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A05) Reti Opening, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 15, Petrosian leads 8-7
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 55 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 16, Petrosian leads 8 1/2-7 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 17, Petrosian leads 9-8
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 18, Petrosian leads 9 1/2-8 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E17) Queen's Indian, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 19, Match tied 9 1/2-9 1/2
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(C11) French, 68 moves, 1-0

Game 20, Petrosian leads 10 1/2-9 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E59) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line, 41 moves, 1-0

Game 21, Petrosian leads 11-10
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(C11) French, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 22, Petrosian leads 12-10
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 35 moves, 1-0

Game 23, Petrosian leads 12-11
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(C11) French, 31 moves, 1-0

Game 24, Petrosian wins 12 1/2-11 1/2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 77 moves, 1/2-1/2

24 games

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