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Boris Spassky vs Tigran V Petrosian
Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1966), Moscow URS, rd 3, Apr-15
Caro-Kann Defense: Panov Attack (B14)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <8...Nf6>

Interesting-- <Petrosian> elects to retreat his Knight--

If he takes <8...Nxc3>, then <Spassky's> center pawn structure is repaired...

If he allows <Spassky> to take <9.Nxd5>, then <Petrosian> ALSO must accept an isolani--

Rock solid, the <Petrosian> style, it seems-- classical ideas on positional play--


Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <11...Na5> and there are NO OTHER games in the database with this variation....

NOT a "trendy" variation, it seems...

I like White's position here however, with <11...Na5> about to be played...

Lots of open play and opportunities for tactical slug-fest, at least if I were playing...

Maybe this line is THEORETICALLY PROVEN DRAWN by GMs and computers or something...

Hard to believe if it is..

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <14.Rad1>

classic play with an isolani-- Protect that little GEM...

This move indirectly defends the isolani in case of <14...Bxf3>,

then simply <15.Qxf3> and of course now if <15...Qxd4??> then <16.Bxh7+> wins the Queen...

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <16.Bc1>

Interesting... My natural reaction to my DSB getting kicked in these situations is the stereotypical <Bh4>... with the idea that the DSB will later go to <g3>...

But in THIS position, there aren't any targets for the DSB on the <b2-h7> diagonal---


The DSB goes right back to its starting square, but it's not a bad move- far from it...

It does not block either the d or e- files, and it remains pointed at a potentially VERY LIVE target in MANY, MANY variations--- the Black <h6> pawn--

Kicking a piece like this almost always "weakens" the kingside pawn structure---

Classical chess principles a la <Bruce Pandolfini> tutorials...

Feb-26-08  Red October: this position can also arise from the QGA, one point of discussion could be 14.Rfd1, which rook is always a subject of discussion,in many of Spassky's games he often plays both rooks onto the central files hence 14.Rad1 to play Rfe1 later but another plan was 14.Rfd1 to play Rac1 later

Premium Chessgames Member

After <17.Bd2>....

OK, so now it looks like Black can win the isolani with <17...Bxf3>.

And he can!!

But this pawn is surely poison if taken.


18.Qxf3 Qxd4?

<Black has to move his rook now, probably to d8?>


and the Black Queen has no GOOD SQUARE to retreat to...

No matter where she goes, the threat is <21.Bxf6>, shattering Black's Kingside...

IE does Black really want to play from this position??

click for larger view

Fantastically, if Black indeed chose this route, <20...hxg5> saccing the Queen might be OK but I would still prefer the white pieces after this.

21.Rxd4 Rxd4

Does black have sufficient compensation for the Queen?

Maybe-- but I'd still avoid ALL of this mess If I were playing Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <Deffi> food for thought on the intricacies of the Rook placements...


Good grief it's been two hours now on this game for me and I'm only up to move 17....

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: Moves <17-19>

OK- <Petrosian> elects to exchange off his bishop for the knight--

<Spassky> therefore "repairs" his isolani, plus gets the <bishop pair>...

Then <Petrosian> makes an aggressive Queen <centralizing> move--


So WHAT IS THE REASONING BEHIND <Spassky> playing <19.Qf1> and giving up his <a-pawn>???

I'm knocking my brains out trying to figure out the logic of this move---

Can't <Spassky> just move his DSB and defend his <a-pawn> with his Queen?

He needn't play the <passive> Ra1 to defend...

What is his compensation for giving up the <a-pawn>?

Was there a greater danger somewhere?

I can't see it...

OK look harder that's all..


Feb-26-08  Red October: well far from me to question Petrosyan's choice of 19..Qxa2 but maybe 19..Nc4 deserves study
Feb-26-08  zanshin: <RO> 1: Boris Spassky - Petrosian, Moscow m 1966

click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 2.3 mp 32-bit:

1. (-0.26): 19...Nc4 20.Bc1 Nd6 21.Bd2 Rfe8 22.Re5 Qc6 23.Ree1 Nfe4 24.c4 Nxd2 25.Nxd2 Qa4 26.Ra1 (20-ply)

1. = (-0.24): 19...Qxa2 20.Ra1 Qd5 21.Qe2 Rc7 22.c4 Nxc4 23.Bf4 Rcc8 24.Rxa7 b5 25.Rb1 Rfd8 26.h3 (21-ply)

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: Thanks to <Eyal> for the clue!



White's DSB cannot be moved to defend the a- pawn becasue if it moves it leaves the <c pawn> en prise.

<19.Qf1> anticipates Petrosian capturaing on a2...

It VACATES the square <e2> so the White Rook can go there and later drive off the marauding Black Queen, which is in fact what happens in the game.


Logical move, then.

BTW, there are some moves by GMs that are made almost at random under time pressure right?

Though prolly not much time pressure at move 19.

OK- ONwards now...

Apr-05-08  Knight13: 18. bxc3! A good move. Bxc3? would be bad, since the d-pawn's gonna fall after trades and White can't utilize the IQP advantage that's supposed to give to the player, since it's dead.
Jan-26-09  sillybilly47: Spassky shows some life.
Mar-15-09  sillybilly47: It is interesting to see how Spassky handles Petrosian and the Caro-Kann. Games 1 and 3,two different approaches, no solution as of yet. What was the record between Spassky- Petrosian before this match?
May-17-09  sillybilly47: 20...N-b3 is a quiet and subtle move. Petrosian defuses Spassky's offensive plans.
May-30-10  Breyannis Nektarios: Position after 20...Nb3:
"Since the two White Bishops have already taken aim on the K-side, Petrosian tries to exchange one of them. It would be worthwhile at this point to think of a Bishop sacrifice: 21.Bxh6! and in case of to reply with 22.Re3 and White's threats should not be underestimated. For instance 22...Rxc3 23.Rg3+, Kh8 24.Qe1 with further transfer of the Queen to e3. Naturally, the move 21.Bxh6 burns all bridges, and this is evidently something that the challenger does not want very much at this stage of the match."

Michail Tal, Schamatty v SSSR.

Since in the game, after Black swaps the bishop, it is obviously better for him (no attacking chances for White) this seems to be the only solution!

I warn everyone: Give your engines some time to "think"...

Premium Chessgames Member
  ToTheDeath: <Breyannis Nektarios> VERY interesting line... White's compensation is nagging and unclear but definitely real. Tal's instincts were dead on.
Nov-26-11  AnalyzeThis: If Spassky was at the very top of his game, I think he would have crashed through with an attack in this game. Of course, to do so against Petrosian in this setting would have required one of the greatest games in chess history.
Nov-26-11  AnalyzeThis: By the way, the game transposed into a queen's gambit accepted type formation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <ToTheDeath: <Breyannis Nektarios> VERY interesting line... White's compensation is nagging and unclear but definitely real. Tal's instincts were dead on.>

I second that! Would have been an epic moment... <21.Bxh6!?>

Apr-09-15  A.T PhoneHome: Thanks to <jessicafischerqueen> for going through the first half of this game between two good friends and rivals. Will be a nice read for me and hopefully for many others as well!

Petrosian comes close to inventing a perpetual motion machine as he draws here with perpetual check.

May-29-18  edubueno: La línea de Tal sigue así: 24...Rxd3! 25.Rdxd3 Bd5 26.Rh3 Ng8 27.Qd1 Qa4 28.Rxb3 Bxb3 29.Rxb3 Ne7 30.Qd3 Rc8 31.g3 Qe8 32.Qf3 Kg7 33.Qb7 Rc1+ 34.Kg2 Nd5 35.Qxa7 Rc7 36.Qa6 f6 37.Nf3 Qg6 38.Qa3 Qc2 39.Rb2 Qc1 40.Rb3 Qxa3 41.Rxa3 b5 42.Rb3 b4 con igualdad.

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