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Tigran V Petrosian vs Paul Keres
Zuerich Candidates (1953), Zuerich SUI, rd 1, Aug-30
English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation Spielmann Defense (A32)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-04-04  Backward Development: of interest-
on the center after move 6
"in contrast to his opponent's somewhat slothful play, Keres is handling the opening energetically; taking advantage of a tactical nuance(7nf3 d6 nxe5 qa5+) he obtains a brace of powerful center pawns, just waiting for the chance to push onward." on the square d4 after black's 14th move
"The most important point in this position is unquestionably d4: it marks the intersection of the lines of force from the black bishop to the white king and from the black rook to the white queen; also, if the black knight could get to d4, it would take away four squares from the white queen and strenghen the pin on the knight at f3. White's next-and quite obvious-move will reduce the value of this communications nexus to a minimum, if not to zero. The blockaded d-pawn will frustrate both the bishop on c5 and the rook on a8 w/ its aspirations on d8. the nexus could have been cleared for the price of a pawn: 14...d3 would have given black a very promising game." this is one of my favorite petrosian games, many view it as simply another draw, but as you can see it was hardly unfought and the position he sculpts, slowly, is very aesthetically pleasing.
May-20-09  superstoned: Man i wish Keres had played 14...d3, but maybe he respected Petrosian's defensive powers slightly more than his own ability to sac a pawn for clearance and attacking prospects. Seemed like he started out willing to sacrifice development in order to quickly advance his center, then thought twice about trying to conduct an attack without his rooks. Still, 14...d3 15.Nxd3 0-0-0 or 15...Rd8
May-20-09  AnalyzeThis: Well, he did win a pawn. True, those defensive abilities of Petrosian that you're talking about did kick in, and it was a draw anyway.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <superstoned> "The older I get, the more I value pawns." -- Paul Keres. But he did beat Petrosian in a fine game in the second half of the tournament.

Keres vs Petrosian, 1953

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <Backward Development>. Nice quote; let's credit it: David Bronstein, Zurich Int'l, 1953

In my first run through of Bronstein's great book the note about 14...d3 caught my eye and my attention hasn't let up since:

14...d3 15.Nxd3 Rd8 16.Qb3 Ba7 17.Nde1 0-0 18.Rc1 Rd7 19.c5

Sep-03-12  Kinan: For some reason, Fritz thinks black is winning with -1.20
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Kinan>
<Fritz thinks black is winning> That's probably because it overestimates the extra protected passed pawn and underestimates the blockade.

Does Fritz give any convincing line for Black to make progress here? Otherwise, chalk it up to the usual computer short-sightedness in slow-moving positions.

Sep-03-12  Kinan: 42. Rxc8 Kxc8 43. Kc2 Kd7 44. b4 Kc6 45. Kd2 Bc7 46. Nc5 Kd6 47. Nb7+ Kd7 48. Nc5+ Ke7 49. Nd3 Bd6 50. Ke2 Kf6 51. Kd2 Ke7 -1.16/27
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Kinan>
Is Fritz suggesting Black should have played 41...Rc8 instead of the game's 41...Ra8?

If so, at the end of Fritz's line, I don't see Black's winning plan for breaking the blockade.

Sep-04-12  ephesians: With these computer lines, if they don't go up in evaluation at the end, it shows the computer is misjudging the position. In theory, the winning side should at some point be able to promote a pawn, making the evaluation somewhere around -9.0 at the end.
Sep-04-12  20MovesAhead: regarding move 14... d3 possibillity in this game;

compare Karpov vs Pritchett 1974. where black did play the clearance sac. on move 18 !

Nov-23-14  sotimely: <beatgiant>
I don't understand, if the computer thinks the best line leads to a promotion they why would it go up "at the end", wouldn't it, upon finding this, make the whole line +9? I think I am missing something either about how computers evaluate or what you're saying.
Dec-10-14  Gazman5: Was going through this game from David Bronstein's tournament book, and was puzzled why White opted for 28.Nd3 when 28.Bxe6+ Kxe6 29.Rxc8 would've regained the pawn, activated the Rook and still retained ideas of Nd3. I can only assume perhaps he was concerned about Black shifting his rook to b3, necessitating some preparatory king moves before the knight could reach the blockading square.
Dec-10-14  Nerwal: <I can only assume perhaps he was concerned about Black shifting his rook to b3, necessitating some preparatory king moves before the knight could reach the blockading square.>

Probably; after 29. ♖xc8 ♖b5 White has to play 30. ♖c2, so the white rook isn't active anymore. Petrosian likely judged the position to be a fortress once he gets his ♘ at d3, so getting back the extra pawn while delaying ♘d3 was not part of his drawing plan.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: An excellent example of how a knight can blockade a pawn.

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