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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Vasily Smyslov
USSR Championship 1961a (1961), Moscow URS, rd 7, Jan-21
Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov-Petrosian Variation. Petrosian Attack (E12)  ·  1-0



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Given 70 times; par: 33 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-21-05  aw1988: This is a wonderful game. Check out Petrosian's queen making weaknesses in black's camp.
Jan-04-06  KingG: Yes, very impressive use of the Queen.
Mar-20-06  CapablancaFan: "The case of the runaway pawn." Petrosian makes some strong power moves with his queen in this game to induce weaknesses in black's camp. First his queen hits the queenside, the middle of the board, then the kingside! Smyslov weakens his kingside just enough, and a lone pawn strikes out for the promise land. The final position says it all, with a pawn on the seventh rank, Smyslov realizes it just dosen't matter that he has the bishop pair and resigns.
Mar-21-06  goldenbear: Wow. What a genius! Seems to me (although I dont have a program) that 11.Bxc5 is correct. If 12.Bb5+, then Ke7! and I prefer Black.
Mar-21-06  CapablancaFan: Notice the non-chalant bishop sacrafice after 26.exf5. All that mattered to Petrosian was pushing his pawn.
Aug-18-06  rjsolcruz: i don't have the chernev book and i wish that somebody would post the original annotaions of chernev on this and the other games.
Aug-27-06  acirce: Petrosian indeed makes it look very easy to punish Black's extravagant queen adventures.

18.Qa4 he calls <A simple move, but one of murderous strength>.

Aug-27-06  euripides: <Black's extravagant queen adventures.> I think they all stem from one dodgy move: 10...Qxd5, though perhaps Black could have tried 11...bxc5. White's play from moves 11-17 is the finest case of exploiting a small advantage in development that I know; by move 17, White has no piece beyond the third rank, and Black is doomed.
Aug-27-06  acirce: Yeah, I was thinking about labelling 10..Qxd5 dubious, but I think it's playable - it was played later by Karpov as well as Andersson. It's in combination with 11..Qxc5 it really looks suspect. I agree - very fine play here, aesthetically pleasing and instructive too.
Nov-14-07  arsen387: yeah Petrosian is a genius!! Fantastic demolition of the next world champion by Iron Tigran. Rarely u could see such attacks by Petrosian but when he calculated an attack nobody can stop it.
Nov-15-07  arsen387: <Fantastic demolition of the <next> world champion by Iron Tigran> I meant previous world champion
Oct-27-08  wweiss: If 27...Kxg6 then 28. Rxe6+Kf7 29. Qf5+ Ke8 30. Qg6+ Kd7 31. Rxc6 Bxc6 32. Ne5+ with a fork on the king and queen.
Nov-28-08  Everett: Here is Smyslov paying him back.
Smyslov vs Petrosian, 1967
Mar-29-10  Nezhmetdinov: My old book of Petrosian's games, By Alberic O'Kelly de Galway has notably eccentric titles for the games with odd little essays (you know the sort, David Bronstein wrote the best ones) as introductions to each one. He this one is: "The Field-Marshall's baton", which is what he imagines the pawn receiving on its accession to Queen-hood. It is embarrassing but endearing.
I love Petrosian.
Mar-29-10  Boomie: 27...Kxg6 28. Rxe6+ Kf7 29. Rxc6 and black can't avoid the loss of material because of the knight fork on e5. This nice resource is the point of 27. fxg6+.
Feb-13-12  LoveThatJoker: <Boomie> Good observation!


Jan-15-16  Howard: All right, fellow fans, let me ask this question.

Just where did Smyslov go wrong in this game? As entertaining a writer as Chernev was, he had a knack for failing to point out where the loser made his mistakes. His book TMIGOCEP was no exception.

So, where could Smyslov have improved >

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It may well be that Chernev was not strong enough to intelligently annotate top players' games, so settled for generalities.

TMIGOCEP looks like a Russian title from here, lol.

Jan-15-16  Howard: In that case, Chernev should have consulted an engine in order to....

...oops ! They didn't have those things back then.

At any rate, he was definitely of master strength, plus he was only writing for readers who were patzers, such as myself. Is there any reason he couldn't have shuffled the pieces around the board and drawn his own conclusions as to the games?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: The game has been well chosen by Chernev who gives the reader enough wonderful variations in his notes for the reader to mull over for days.


click for larger view

Here he thinks Smyslov may have been heading for this position intending to play the move 15...Ne5. Chernev gives 3 lines starting with 16.Bb5+ and White giving up his Queen with Qxc8+ or allowing Rxc2 all winning for White.

Chernev then reminds of us of Capablanca quote more or less saying: "If 15...Ne5 was really a good move do you think I would have allowed it."

Smyslov rejected 15...Ne5 and flicked out 15...h6 instead.

I Wonder if this was The Kotov Syndrome where you spend ages looking at a move (15...Ne5), reject it, panic at the waste of time and give 15...h6 10 seconds thought.


click for larger view

A couple of more instructive variations to show what happens should Black try 20...Kh2. They kick off with 21.Bxg6+ and 22.Qxe6.


click for larger view

Smyslov played 21...f5 sparking up the e6 and g6 pawns as targets.

A defensive move that would have had Steinitz howling at the moon. ('Avoid, if you can, at all costs moving pawns where you are the weakest.'). Petrosian latched onto this right away with 22.Bc4 hitting e6 after that everything looks bad.

Chernev suggests 21..Rd6 22.g4 giving a variation where Black doubles Rooks on the d-file and White crashes through by given up the d3 Bishop and continuing with gxh5.

If the game can be put back in the pot then poke about in the above position.

If anyone but Smyslov had played 21...f5 then the gang here would have had his head on silver platter at the start of the thread.

Black may have to follow the 'at all costs' advice and sac the exchange on d3. There again all that may do is possibly find a different way to lose.

If it prompted such a player as Smyslov to play f5 then Black's game must be bad.

(Get the Chernev book - AND READ IT. Unfortunately it's not enough to own these books, you have to read and study them...that one won't do any harm at all. Chernev writes like your favourite uncle.)

Jan-16-16  Howard: I went through that book very thoroughly back in May, 1978---remember it very well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: I would say that 15...h6 is where Smyslov starts going wrong; he is in just too much of a hurry to castle, but ends up having to play ...h5 and ...f5, which is disastrous, as Geoff points out.

He should have played 15...Bf6 and met 16.Rfd1 with 16...Qb8. His king is safe enough in the centre for the moment and he should be able to castle a little later without weakening his K-side.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Trying to find the Chernev notes, I found a German site and used Google Translator

"There is nothing prosaic in the way Petrosian has a king attack Treated. Even in well-known positions, he can discover clever ideas. In this part he finds original methods to move on to the opposing terrain . He begins by putting three aggressive dam trains in succession power. These three features uprooted the three peasants, the Rochades position The king. But a strong defender of the king must still Be made harmless - the opposing lady! Petrosian lures the lady By sacrificing his runner, and then he storms the position. "

Smyslov got run over by 3 dam trains.

Dec-02-18  WDenayer: 26.exf5!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Smyslov played 21...f5 apparently with intention to avoid 22.g4, which could have followed after 21...Rd6 as Chernev suggested. But 21...e5 could have been lesser evil, though then 22.g4 hxg4 23.Qxg4 Qd6!? 24.Be4 Qxd1+ 25.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 26.Kg2 Rd6 27.h4 Kf8 28.Qg3 leaves white with some advantage too due to initiative and better coordination of pieces.
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