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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Training Match Tournament (1952), Gagra
Sicilian Defense: McDonnell Attack (B21)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  luzhin: 31...a5!! is a fantastic counter-punch by Petrosian against the world champion.
May-24-07  refutor: a modern day "secret" tournament like this would be well-worth it for a modern olympiad team
Apr-01-09  drukenknight: Botvinnik seems to be trouble before move 31. ..22 c4 sends this game into fascinating variations...

25 Rxc4 maybe also a better attempt.

Apr-02-09  arsen387: Botvinnik got provoked by imperturbable Petrosian and that was exactly what Iron Tiger wanted. Look at those pawn moves, great game!
Apr-02-09  drukenknight: yes in some of the endgames I looked at following those alternatives, the pawn on h4 helps to keep the game balanced even down a pawn. Very interesting you wonder how much homework you have to do to figure that out..
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Was this one of Botvinnik's secret training games? I didn't think Petrosian had beaten Botvinnik in an official game until their World Title match in 1963.
Mar-31-10  Petrosianic: Secret Training Tournament, including most of the top Soviet players. But that raises the side question of how many championship matches have been contested between players who had never met over the board before the match? The only ones that come to mind are Tal-Botvinnik and Lasker-Steinitz. (Any others?)
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Petrosianic> I don't think so, unless you want to count Fischer-Karpov. :) I wouldn't presume to opine re some of the FIDE champions though.

Incidentally, for anyone who doesn't know about it, Timman did an e-book of Botvinnik's secret matches.

Mar-31-10  Petrosianic: I would count that match if it had been played.

But one I forgot. I don't think Steinitz and Gunsberg had ever played before their match.

Mar-31-10  Spell Binder: <Was this one of Botvinnik's secret training games? I didn't think Petrosian had beaten Botvinnik in an official game until their World Title match in 1963.>

Botvinnik didn't win against Petrosian before the match either. They have played (minus the training games) 3 games before 1963 which ended in draws.

Jul-23-11  koleos: 31.)... a5!! i have never seen such an ingenious move !
Aug-17-15  Eusebius: These two rooks in the center after 27...Rg5, on black squares, make Black's game so powerful. Presumably White is lost already...
Oct-17-19  YoungEd: Somebody please help this weak player out...why can't White just take the a5 pawn on move 32? Thanks--
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <YoungEd> ...Bc5 will happen in that case. That's why he played Kh1.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <YoungEd> 32.Rxa5 Rxa5 33.bxa5 Bc5 wins the queen.
Oct-24-19  YoungEd: Thanks, <retireborn> and <keypusher>. Very pretty!
Oct-25-19  ewan14: I do not think there was a decisive result between the two in an '' official '' game until the world championship match

There was an official game in the early 50's where Petrosian defended brilliantly against Botvinnik to earn a draw

On the other hand in two ( of the ) games post 1963 Botvinnik won one and lost a very good position in the other

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Botvinnik and Petrosian met thrice in official games before 1963, all ending in draws.
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