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Tigran V Petrosian vs Robert James Fischer
"Gruen Pains" (game of the day Oct-15-2010)
Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final (1971), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 2, Oct-05
Gruenfeld Defense: Brinckmann Attack (D82)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-02-18  Petrosianic: No healthy chess player ever lost a game. For those who've never heard it, the Russian's excuse for Petrosian's defeats was that the weather turned really hot and humid.
Aug-02-18  Petrosianic: The Russian excuse for the collapse was that Petrosian never wanted to play in Argentina precisely because of the weather (that part is true, at least), and that when the thermometer and barometer went up, Petrosian's play went down.

But, come to think of it, although these excuses negate the outcomes of Games 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9, there's not really an official excuse for Game 1 that I know of. The lights went out a couple of times in Game 1, but that would have affected both players equally, you'd think. Petrosian said he didn't know why he didn't play the moves he'd prepared in advance, but that's not really an excuse, as such. Perhaps the correct score of this match is +1-0=3 to Fischer.

Aug-02-18  Howard: Ed Edmondson also stated that Fischer had a bad cold during the match.
Aug-02-18  Petrosianic: I'm not denying either the existence or the validity of chess excuses. Just pointing out that they might wipe out results that you did want as well as ones you didn't. People always forget that the other guys have excuses too.
Aug-02-18  Petrosianic: I remember once after a Team Event that we didn't win. Two of the guys on our team were churning out excuses left and right. I pulled the other guy who WASN'T making excuses aside, and suggested that we could all ride back home chanting "We shoulda won! We shoulda won!" He thought it was hilarious but the other two wouldn't have.
Aug-03-18  ZonszeinP: And this game is a masterpiece!!
Feb-17-19  clement41: Superb game, making Fischer look like a novice. Evidently not 22...e2 23 Rd2 Bh2 24 Kh2 ef=N+? because 25 Kg1 Nd2 26 Qd4 fork +-
May-01-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: The fact that no fewer than 10 of Fischer's 31 moves were made with his queen tells you that something was wrong.

He had to play 17 ... O-O

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bobby was bogged down with Flu at the beginning of this match.
Jul-28-20  C. Auguste Dupin: Throughout the Fischer onslaught, the Soviets seemed confused in their assessment of Fischer despite his clear cut style. Of all the Soviets only Petrosian came close to understanding and assessing Fischer correctly. He realized that despite his aggressive style, Fischer's greatest strength was his technical skill and positional understanding where he hardly had any match in the world. His slight weakness was in double edged tactical positions whereas Petrosian was a brilliant tactician. So it was in open, tactical positions rather than closed, logical positions that he could hope to outplay Fischer. Based on this Petrosian made a strategy to go for sharp tactical positions and attack Fischer contrary to his usual defensive style. This strategy served him extremely well in the first part of the match. In the second half of the match, perhaps due to exhaustion from playing contrary to his usual style or due to some underestimation of Fischer, he returned to his original style going for passive, closed and rational positions which was actually going into Fischer's hands and challenging him where he is strongest. The result of this, of course, we all know.
Jul-28-20  Mountain1: < harrylime: Bobby was bogged down with Flu at the beginning of this match.> Covid 71?
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: In the early games, Petrosian had the edge because of the opening analysis advantage as provided by his team. Once Fischer weathered the storm, it was all over.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<Mountain1: < harrylime: Bobby was bogged down with Flu at the beginning of this match.> Covid 71?>>

Commieitis lol

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<NM JRousselle: In the early games, Petrosian had the edge because of the opening analysis advantage as provided by his team. Once Fischer weathered the storm, it was all over.>>

Bang on the money.

Fischer weathered the entire Soviet Union storm too.

Itz so easy to forget what he was up against back then.

Aug-12-20  Justin796: It is possible to have a cold and have it affect your play. I would have been the world champion instead of Magnus if I felt up to par.
Sep-07-20  Everett: < pr-02-17 morfishine: By the time of the Spassky match, Fischer had eschewed both KID & Gruenfeld in response to <1.d4> preferring either <1...d5> or Benoni-type structures to complicate *****

Apr-02-17 zanzibar: <morfishine> RE: Fischer's play against 1.d4 Where did you get the opinion that Fischer was utilizing 1...d5 against 1.d4 ... or just Benonis?>

Zanzibar, I think you missed <by the time of the Spassky match>

Sep-07-20  Everett: < pr-03-17 RookFile: The first game of the match was actually excellent opening play by Fischer, totally neutralizing one of Spassky's lines against the Nimzo. Of course, all any talks about in that game was Fischer capturing the rook pawn with his bishop.>

Spassky’s favorite line against the Nimzo was the Leningrad, which he avoided playing against Fischer, as far as I have seen.

Sep-07-20  Petrosianic: In older books, the Leningrad Variation is actually called the Spassky Variation. Not sure why they changed it.

But by 1972, I don't think it was Spassky's top choice any more, just because improvements had been found for Black.

Sep-07-20  ewan14: Geller , and Korchnoi , knew how to play the gamesman
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Jerry's video link still works:
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: A game link from

The New York Times article from October 6, 1971:

Agadmator's view:

Douglas Griffin / June 10, 2019
A blog post devoted to the 1971 Candidates’ final match between Bobby Fischer and Tigran Petrosian, featuring downloadable translations of leading Soviet grandmasters’ annotations to the games of the match.

Memories of Fischer vs Petrosian 1971

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Great game by Petrosian putting an end to Fischer's 20 game win streak
Oct-16-21  Atking: <kingscrusher>: To think about Fischer's 20 games win streak. At top level, without one draw, that's simply incredible more than this game which is a good one but should come at one moment.
Oct-16-21  RookFile: <Everett: Spassky's favorite line against the Nimzo was the Leningrad, which he avoided playing against Fischer, as far as I have seen. >

Yes. I think it shows some subtlety in Fischer's move order. In that famous poisoned pawn (h2) Nimzo (Spassky vs. Fischer 1972), Fischer waited until Spassky played Nf3 in the opening before playing ....Bb4. When Spassky played the Leningrad Nimzo, he preferred to put that knight on e2. His most famous Leningrad was of course this one:

Spassky vs Smyslov, 1953

I think that since he didn't have the Ne2 option, he played the more conventional line instead.

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