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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Fridrik Olafsson
Stockholm Interzonal (1962), Stockholm SWE, rd 1, Jan-27
Torre Attack: Classical Defense (A46)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-01-05  LIFE Master AJ: What an incredible game!!!

In today's diluted world, with a World Championship every year, people don't understand how much pressure and tension goes with a contest like this.

To get here, you had to qualify. This meant win (or place highly) in a Zonal contest. (Many tournaments - like the U.S. Championship every two or three years - also served as a zonal competition.)

After reaching the Interzonal, well here is where the tension really mounts. Basically, you blow this, and you don't get another whack at it for a very long time ... at least three years, if at all. (Many players made it to the Interzonal stage only once in their life.)

Now to the game ... where did Petrosian go wrong? For a long time it looks like Black is better ... or maybe even winning. Definitely Black's 33rd move (...Qd8) is a blunder. (33...Qe7; looks OK - I checked it on Fritz 8.0. After ten minutes, it gives a slight edge to Black! This might be a bit over-optimistic ... I would say that the position is unclear - possibly even completely balanced.)

This game might have seriously affected the careers of both player. In the tournament, after this game, Olafsson basically collapsed. Petrosian, however, seemed to get better in very game. (Less than two years later, Tigran Petrosian became the World Champion.)


Aug-25-06  notyetagm: What a disaster for Olafsson, 33 ... ♕d8??. He is mated after the bone-crunching <DIAGONAL CHECK> 34 ♕f7+ ♔h8 35 ♕f8+ ♕xf8 36 ♖xf8#.
Jun-26-09  ewan14: Would the exchange sacrifice have been sound ?
Dec-15-15  jerseybob: <LIFE Master AJ: ... where did Petrosian go wrong?> I'm gonna say it was with 5.Qc1; even though it's by far the most popular move on 365Chess, it has a slightly losing record. To me the move looks wimpy. Why not sac the pawn and dare black to take it? (Petrosian often shied away from the tactical aspect of his games though,odd for someone so great at blitz). <33...Qe7; looks gives a slight edge to Black!> Agreed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: White had utterly lost game here. After 28...Ne5 he could just resign. 29...Ne3+ dropped all black's advantage and 33...Qd8?? lost game instantly. Quite sad story for Fridrik.
Jan-08-19  Granny O Doul: 28...Ne5 does look pretty good with ...Nxf3+ to answer 29. Nd4, and ...Nd3 in response to 29. Rf1. Or if 29. Rd1 then ...Nxf3+ 30. Kf1 Nh2+.
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