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Tigran V Petrosian vs Iosif Pogrebissky
URS-ch sf (1949), Tbilisi, rd 7, May-??
Neo-Grünfeld Defense: Delayed Exchange Variation (D74)  ·  1-0



Annotations by Peter Hugh Clarke.      [6 more games annotated by P H Clarke]

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Feb-10-06  blingice: Good catch, <jackmandoo>. We must inform other non-knowers.
Feb-10-06  lopium: Is it the Alekhine defense or defence?? Sorry for that, but this is wrote on the 2 ways on
Feb-10-06  Richerby: <lopium>, both spellings are acceptable. As I recall, the `s' is preferred in American English and the `c' in British English.
Feb-10-06  iamverywellatchess: The games on this web-page list the players that play them and the moves that the players play in alfabetical order! This is a nice feacher for a web-page!

Chessgames dot com how did you afford all of these games! You must be very wealthy indeed. For example Ivanchunk has one-thousand six hundred and more games on the web-page! Each costs ten dollars, that is almost five-hundred million dollars just for this one player!

I will sell any of my games for only nine dollars per game! This will save the web-page many moneys!

Feb-10-06  Karpova: <As I recall, the `s' is preferred in American English and the `c' in British English.>

i think it was the other way round.

<iamverywellatchess> what a bounteous person you are

Feb-10-06  iamverywellatchess: Thank you Kar-pova! I am very well, and you?
Feb-10-06  ganstaman: Ok, sometimes you are funny, <iamverywellatchess>, but you really are getting to be very annoying. You're commenting to yourself on many games and saying the stupidest of things that 1) Makes look bad, and 2) may confuse a poor chess player trying to learn. Please stop.
Feb-10-06  hintza: <<As I recall, the `s' is preferred in American English and the `c' in British English.> i think it was the other way round.>


Defence = English
Defense = American English


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: "Defence" looks so wrong to me that I used to believe it was a misspelling. It must be British.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Do Americans have picket fences or picket fenses?


Feb-11-06  Karpova: <hintza>
yes, you are right. i remember the expression "defense attorney".

anyway, "defense" looks so wrong to me that it must be American

Feb-11-06  hintza: <anyway, "defense" looks so wrong to me that it must be American>

Yes, exactly ;)

Feb-11-06  notsodeepthought: American English, British English... it's all good, so long as they all <practice> what they preach. Oh, I mean, so long as they all <practise> what they preach. Well, there goes my attempt to mediate...
Feb-13-06  dakgootje: I think both defense and defence are wrong...just like all the other english words...except of course BEER!
Mar-28-06  iamverywellatchess: Beer is very well where I come from! We like this very much!

However, the correct spelling is bere! Not beer! Beers are large animals that will kill you if you speak to them!

Oct-11-07  Erdkunde: Don't mock <iamverywellatchess>'s intelligence! I think you would actually have to be a very skilled and purposeful linguist to be able to type <more> errors than correctly spelled words in every sentence.
Oct-11-07  whiteshark: <Geography> Knut, thee littel Iceberry iz a rael cuttie. (thee läft 1)
Oct-27-08  Bobwhoosta: British English, or real English, neither is really the question here. The real question is why Sports Fans Hold up a Letter 'D' followed by a picture of a fence. Don't they know they're at least missing an 'e' in there somewhere???? (And in America, they're being British, which is just as bad.)


Apr-12-09  blacksburg: <An echo of a previous idea; if 25...Bxd1, then Rh4+ Kg5 27.Bc1#>.

seriously, how the heck am i supposed to see Bc1#???? the freakin bishop isn't anywhere close to the freakin king, and it mates by retreating?!?!?? who the heck sees this stuff?!?!?? omg i hate chess so much...just kidding i love chess!!!

also chess books...i think i'm gonna have to buy Clarke's book.

Oct-20-09  birthtimes: Here's a fairly recent game with the more common 9...Nd5 10. dxc5 line. Petrosian probably would have played similarly to White's play in this game...

Mamedyarov vs Nakamura, 2005

Aug-02-11  libertyjack: Is 10... h6 very wrong?
Mar-03-12  Rick360: I agree with OhioChessFan, Petrosian's imaginative, combinative play was remeniscent of the great Alekhine. Spassky once remarked taht Iron Tigran was a "stupendous tactician".
Aug-09-12  backrank: This is one of the games which, some years ago, convinced me that Petrosian had not only been a 'boring positional player' (as many folks label him).

In fact, his tactical abilities were better than those of many 'tactical' players, but the difference is that he made use of them only when he was 100 per cent sure that his calculations were correct.

Position after Black's 21th move:

click for larger view

I'm sure that from here on (probably even from 19 h4) Petrosian had worked it all out to the end.

22 f5+!

If now 22 ... Kh5, then 23 Qxg4+!! Kxg4 24 Rf4+ Kh5 25 Rh4# (a pure mate)

click for larger view

If 22 ... Qxf5 (to answer Rxf5 by Bxd1), then 23 Qb1 (not Qc2 d3!) and the black queen must move, so that White will have a discovered check next move.

After the game continuation 22 ... Bxf5 23 Nd6! (a quiet move cutting off the flight square f7 and attacking the Bf5) Bg4 (he returns) 24 Be4+ (the white pieces work together very harmoniously) Kh5 (f5 is punished immediately by Qxg4+, exploiting the pin), and now?

click for larger view

Qd2-h2-h4# looks like a nice idea, but it doesn't work yet because of the Bg4 interposing on h3. Hence

25 Rf4!!

If now Bxd1, then 26 Rh4 Kg5 27 Bc1# (the mate from the dark)

click for larger view

(Unfortunately, it's not quite a pure mate, the squares h6 and f5 covered twice; I find it aesthetic nonetheless).

The game went 25 ... f5 (forced since Bxd1 doesn't work; Rxg4 Qxg4 Bf3 had been threatened) 26 Rxg4 (now the idea described above is carried out) fxg4 27 Qd2 (threatening Qh2 - h4#) Rh8 (forced) 28 Kg2!

click for larger view

A quiet move concluding the attack always leaves a very pleasing effect. Now the entangling of the black king on the h-file is complete. The white Be4 and Qd2 as well as his own faithful soldier on g4 deprive him of any flight squares, and nothing can be done about the white rook entering the h-file, mating.

Aug-09-12  backrank: BTW, Tigrans opponent was not quite the fish he appears in the game above. I had never heard of Pogrebissky before, but he has beaten Kotov, Romanovsky, Levenfish, Yudovich (Sr.) and Nezhmedtinov!
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 9..Nd5 had been standard prior to this game; 9..Nfd7 was new (Clarke criticizes it but it has been played several times since). 12..f6? fatally weakened Black's kingside; as Clarke (and Petrosian) pointed out 12..Ne6 13 Nxe6..Bxe6! sacrificing the exchange would have been promising for Black. White's concluding attack is quite pretty.
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