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Tigran V Petrosian vs David Bronstein
Amsterdam Candidates (1956), Amsterdam NED, rd 2, Mar-28
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Yugoslav Variation Exchange Line (E66)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-03-12  Everett: <ewan> my guess is the 24..Rxf2 25.Nxe4 simply gives white a tempo and opens the f-file, which may become more useful for White than black in the long run.

And black cannot take over the f-file because he is only playing with three pieces vs six. It is actually quite surprising he lasted long enough for Petro to blunder.

Mar-03-12  King Death: < Everett: <ewan> my guess is the 24..Rxf2 25.Nxe4 simply gives white a tempo and opens the f-file, which may become more useful for White than black in the long run. And black cannot take over the f-file because he is only playing with three pieces vs six. It is actually quite surprising he lasted long enough for Petro to blunder.>

Sir, if you can reason things out this far what you wrote above isn't a guess it shows good understanding.

What you say is right in my opinion. Without the pieces buried on the queenside even owning d4 (which usually gives Black at least an equal position in the KID) doesn't amount to anything because White's pieces are much more active.

Jun-23-13  zydeco: It seems like black had to try ....b6 and ....Bb7 at some point. Maybe on move 24.
Jun-23-13  RookFile: He's in trouble then too because he's getting murdered on the dark squares. It's a strange game because 10. Qc1 telegraphs a obvious attempt to play Bh6 and get rid of the fianchettoed bishop. How about something normal like 10....Re8 to preserve the defender of the dark squares?
Jan-13-15  Abdel Irada: Poor Petrosian.

After Black's seven consecutive moves of the same knight, he must have been so frustrated that he never considered that its eighth move would harvest his queen.

Jan-13-15  Petrosianic: Well, the story, if you don't know, is one of pure carelessness. He'd walked away from the board, came back to make a move, and just assumed what Black's move had been without looking. And he compounded the error by resigning about 2 seconds before Bronstein's flag fell. Black would never have made the time control even with the gift Queen. White had plenty of time. Pity, as the game before that had been a great positional squeeze that would have made it into every Best Game Collection.
Jan-13-15  Abdel Irada: Agreed. The mere fact that Bronstein had been reduced to shuffling his knight around for seven consecutive moves tells us how little he felt he had to hope for in this game.

Jan-14-15  Petrosianic: The position just before the blunder is amazing, though. Black has got almost his full army on the board, but he's almost completely paralyzed. Shuffling the Knight back and forth is just about all he can do. It reminds me a lot of this game:

Petrosian vs Taimanov, 1955

Jan-14-15  Howard: Chess Life and Review (as it was called back then) made the comment back in 1978, that when Petrosian got back to the board....he didn't even bother to sit down. He just simply reached over, played 36.Ng5 ???....and...well, we know the rest.
Jan-14-15  Petrosianic: That's the same way <Tigran Petrosian: His Life and Games> (which was in the USCF catalog at the time) describes it.

But it's a famous enough blunder that other blunders want to be like it! In Ray Keene's Korchnoi-Spassky coverage, he tries to compare Korchnoi's blunder in this game to it, even though there's no real similarity except for the fact that both are Queen hangs.

Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1977

What happened in this game is that Korchnoi was so distracted by all the arguments over the Box Controversy, that he simply hallucinated, and assumed Spassky's Bishop on h7 was a pawn. It's not that he wasn't watching the board.

Jan-14-15  Howard: As I recall, the most common explanation for this inexplicable blunder was that Korchnoi had assumed after "sacrificing" his queen, that he could then deliver mate by moving his rook to h8....problem was that f7 was now available as an escape square for Spassky's king, now that the rook on f7 was no longer there.

If the rook WAS still there, it would have been mate, then.

By the way, it might not be fair to blame the "box controversy" for this blunder. Keene and Stean's coverage of the 1977 Korchnoi-Spassky match was very biased, as I recall---and their coverage of Karpov-Korchnoi the following year, was also slanted in favor of Korchnoi.

The blunder was 90% Korchnoi's fault, in my view. Granted, this loss was the third one out of four straight losses that he suffered, but the ultimate blame should have been on him---not Spassky.

Jan-14-15  Petrosianic: <As I recall, the most common explanation for this inexplicable blunder was that Korchnoi had assumed after "sacrificing" his queen, that he could then deliver mate>

Could be. I don't think Korchnoi has ever publicly said.

<Keene and Stean's coverage of the 1977 Korchnoi-Spassky match was very biased, as I recall>

Yeah, you're remembering right. Keene blamed the blunder completely on the distraction caused by the Box Controversy... which Korchnoi had created. Or, that is to say Spassky started playing from his box, and Korchnoi went to pieces over it. Keene admitted himself that a player like Larsen would have just shrugged his shoulders, thought his opponent was a lunatic, and kept playing.

But to be fair, Keene and Stean were Korchnoi's seconds, which everyone was aware of. There was no attempt to portray them as disinterested.

Jan-15-15  Abdel Irada: <Petrosianic: The position just before the blunder is amazing, though. Black has got almost his full army on the board, but he's almost completely paralyzed. Shuffling the Knight back and forth is just about all he can do. It reminds me a lot of this game:

Petrosian vs Taimanov, 1955>

Fully agreed.

But for the blunder, we might class this game with Saemisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1923, the "Immortal Zugzwang Game."

May-06-16  Tigercock: Petrosian mortal game
Aug-30-16  RookFile: With white, I would have followed up the queen blunder with 37. Nf7+. This unsound move gives check thereby limiting blacks options. Also, black would have to capture and then hit the clock with the same hand. Probably, Bronstein's flag would have fallen.
Sep-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  watwinc: Botvinnik reportedly remarked that this game killed both players - Bronstein was getting totally slaughtered, Petrosian never really recovered from the blunder.
Feb-19-19  RookFile: I guess Petrosian recovered enough to become world champion later.
Dec-09-19  cunctatorg: With respect to this opening theory, this game shouldn't be listed as a remarkable game; it's just an impressive, unlucky moment of Tigran Petrosian's great and legendary chess career, nothing to cheer about or something... It should be listed of course in a list of games titled: "No human geniuses without weaknesses..."
Dec-09-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < cunctatorg: With respect to this opening theory, this game shouldn't be listed as a remarkable game; >

You can scroll down the page or click on the link to see why it's listed.

Petrosian vs Bronstein, 1956

Anyway, it <is> a remarkable game, by any standard, a terrific example of the opening (from White's perspective) and very well played by Petrosian, up until his last move.

Dec-18-20  Justin796: I found it humorous. Seven consecutive "Night Moves" lol [Ben Finegold anyone?] and the toughest grinding world champion hangs his queen lol.
Mar-23-21  tympsa: I find Petrosjan behavior gentleman -like and he did right thing : resigning. Even if Bronstein had only 2-3 seconds on the clock for 4 moves, ( I assume time control was after 40th move back then ) after queen blunder, position was totally lost. And trying to flag your opponent after you just made the worst blunder of your life, sounds pretty pathetic . What if Bronstein would still manage to make those moves ? Iron Tigran would have been be the laughing stock of the whole world and that was fame he certainly did not want. As now famous character from movie Mr. Shaibel put it : If you lose your queen like that, you resign . You resign !
May-28-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <watwinc: Botvinnik reportedly remarked that this game killed both players - Bronstein was getting totally slaughtered, Petrosian never really recovered from the blunder.>

Petrosian had three wins and no defeats during the rest of the tournament.

May-28-21  Granny O Doul: I hadn't realized (or had forgot) that this game was played in the Candidates. Makes Petrosian the Fred Merkle of chess (of course, Chigorin is the Fred Snodgrass).
May-29-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: <G.O.D.> I resemble that remark.
Jun-02-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Granny O Doul: I hadn't realized (or had forgot) that this game was played in the Candidates. Makes Petrosian the Fred Merkle of chess (of course, Chigorin is the Fred Snodgrass).>

Is it the other way around? Merkle was 1908, Snodgrass was 1924, if memory serves.

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