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Pal Benko vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
First Piatigorsky Cup (1963), Los Angeles, CA USA, rd 10, Jul-18
Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern Variation. Normal Line (D55)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-07-07  Maynard5: A nice example of Petrosian's slow positional style. Benko's 9. Bxf6 is clearly a mistake, given the role later played by Black's dark-bound bishop. While White is able to carry out a thematic advance to blockade Black's backward pawn on c6, in the end it is Black who obtains the stronger position on the queenside. White's pawn on b4 becomes vulnerable, while Black is able to seize the critical square c4. Once the b-pawn falls, the win is a question of technique, but Petrosian's technique here is enjoyable to watch.
Sep-07-07  drukenknight: 33 Nc5 seems one place to start to look for improvements, got to be better than what was played. Strong game.
Nov-29-07  xombie: Yes. I love the way the Queen dances up and down the diagonals. Petrosian seems to have been a master of mysterious Queen maneouvres. But this game was very clear cut and fluid.
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Instead of 16.a3 16.b5 is recommended in Petrosian vs the Elite.
Jul-02-09  stanleys: <Maynard5:> <A nice example of Petrosian's slow positional style. Benko's 9. Bxf6 is clearly a mistake, given the role later played by Black's dark-bound bishop.>

Petrosian doesn't think so :) He used a similar approach himself in the following game: Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969

A serious mistake (as already pointed) was 16.a3.Later white also should not allow black to play ...h4 which gives good attacking chances

Jul-07-09  Ulhumbrus: If at move 16 Benko had played as Petrosian was to do against Spassky six years later, in the game Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969, he would have chosen, instead of 16 a3, 16 bxa5 Rxa5 17 a4
Aug-13-11  Ulhumbrus: According to Petrosian the move 29...Bf5 increases Black's pressure.

If the reason for this is that after 30 Bxf5 Qxf5 Black's Queen occupies the b1-h7 diagonal, this suggests refraining from making that concession by 30 Qc2.

However against the move 30 Qc2 Petrosian may have had prepared the following combination: 30 Qc2 Qxe3!! displaces the f2 pawn which defends the fork ...Nxe3 forking White's King on f1 and Queen on c2.

On 31 fxe3 Nxe3+ 32 Ke2 Nxc2 makes a X-ray capture, Black's Queen's Bishop attacking White's Queen right through White's Kiong's Bishop.

On 33 Bxc2 Bxc2 attacks the N on b3 which defends the White Rook on a1.

On 34 Nd2 the White Rook on a1 is undefended and so the White N on a2 is pinned to White's Rook on a1 and so cannot defend the b4 pawn and so allows 34...Bxb4

On 31 Bxf5 Qxb3! both draws White's Queen on to the square b3 which can be forked by a N on d2 and removes the N on b3 which covers the d2 square.

On 32 Qxb3 Nxd2+ 33 Ke1 Nxb3 displaces the White Rook from its defence of the N on a2 and on 34 Rb1 Rxa2 35 Rxb3 Black has regained the piece and with interest.

This brings to mind at least one game by Nimzowitsch where some attempt on his opponent's part to avoid an unwelcome move would fall into a combination.

Oct-31-16  cunctatorg: Just to point out that Petrosian chooses (after essentially 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bg5 0-0 6. e3 to play ... b6 without ... h6 and this at 1963...

I never saw this variation after 1978 in games between top Grandmasters, I have only seen either the famous Tartakower (Makogonov-Bondarevsky) variation since then or White's Bxf6 after Black's ... h6. Well, I had not idea that even in the sixties they used to play ... b6 without ... h6...

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