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Boris Spassky vs Tigran V Petrosian
"Boris the Spider" (game of the day Jun-06-2021)
Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1966), Moscow URS, rd 13, May-11
Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation. Main lines (B18)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-19-09  nescio: <sillybilly47: Spassky had to feel great after this one.> Only for a while. After this game and espcially after the next Spasski realized the better how extremely hard it was to win against Petrosian. <Who were Spassky's seconds in this match?> As far as I remember both players were assisted by their trainers, Spasski by Bondarevsky, Petrosian by Boleslavsky.
Apr-14-09  kevin86: Spassky's first WC win in game thirteen-strange how six years later,he loses a marathon to Bobby Fischer in the 13th game as well. That game was the death knell for him as he drew seven straight and resigned by phone in game 21 to end his brief title run.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: 91 moves! Spassky gives the boa a little squeeze of his own...
Sep-25-10  Whitehat1963: Wow! What a long, complicated fight. Bravo!
Feb-11-12  rannewman: can anyone explain the win after 59...BXc5? The best I can think of is 60.Bxc5 followd by Ra8..but I realy doubt it's going to be enough to win, with only 1 white pawn left and very active black pieces..
Feb-12-12  bronkenstein: <rannewman>, on <59...Bxc5> , <60.Rf3+> followed by <Rc4> does the job.
Oct-25-13  Russo: It's nice to see two great players battle it out in an end game, instead of a draw.
Oct-25-13  SoUnwiseTheKnight B4: Black was fighting for the draw in this endgame. Had white offered one it would have been accepted real quick.
Nov-28-15  Ulhumbrus: <Maynard5: ... after move 23, the threat of Nc5 almost forces Black to try the exchange sacrifice...> This suggests that the move 18...f6 is a major concession, isolating and weakening Black's e pawn, a weakness which leads to the exchange sacrifice.

Instead of this 18...Rd7 prepares to double rooks on the d file

Sep-30-18  Albion 1959: Spassky's first win against Petrosian in his 23rd attempt! And it took 91 moves played over two sessions to do it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: The decision to play 89 Rxc6 is interesting. 89 Bxe5 Nxe5+ 90 Kg2 is also winning but tougher. However, 89 Rxc6 Bxb2 is only won with White having the move and would be drawn with the Black-squared Bishop on a3, d4, g5, e7, d2, or e1. Furthermore, after the exchange of pieces, Spassky's only winning move is the one played: 90 Rc5+
Aug-27-20  faulty: albion> over THREE sessions, most probably. adjournments would be somewhere after moves 40 and 72
Aug-27-20  Granny O Doul: Actually in those days the second session could be as long as 6 hours. The second adjournment would come after the fourth time control at move 88 was reached. Sometimes two games would be resumed in one session, for instance in 1978 when Karpov finished off games 13 and 14 back-to-back. It was a pretty good day for him.
Aug-28-20  Dionysius1: <HeMateMe: 91 moves! Spassky gives the boa a little squeeze of his own...> Gruesome thought, that. Was he doing a striptease or something milder?
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: With the benefit of hindsight, we now know that the King side pawn structure after 15...Nd7 usually favors White, hence 14...Nxe5 is not best. 14...Nb6 has become most popular but even here Black has a tenuous path to equality. Played 14...Nb6 a few times in my career; usually won, but even the victories did not feel that pleasant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I too don't understand why black failed to play 59...Bxc5. Nor do I understand why he gave up the ♖ for ♗+♙ on move 25. I think it would have made more sense to put the ♖ behind the isolated e-♙.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <al wazir>
25...Rd8 <26. Nc5> threatens to trap black's queen with 27. a4 Qb6 28. a5 Qb5 29. c4, so Black will at least lose the e-pawn.

59...Bxc5 would allow White to pin the bishop and win another exchange, for example 59...Bxc5 60. Rf3+ Ke6 61. Rc4 Kd5 62. Rfc3, etc.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <al wazir> After replying, I noticed that <Maynard5> already explained the Nc5 queen trap threat around move 25 and <bronkenstein> already explained the pin after 59...Bxc5 above.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Terrible!
Jun-06-21  Ironmanth: Great game! A savage fight for squares. Thanks, chessgames. Y'all have a wonderful week: stay safe, be hopeful, and play lots of mean chess.
Jun-06-21  goodevans: Some of us are old enough to remember <Boris the Spider> by The Who, but what's it got to do with this game?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <goodevans: Some of us are old enough to remember <Boris the Spider> by The Who, but what's it got to do with this game?>

They usually choose the lowest quality puns here, instead of my really good ones, for example, <Queen. B3. Hot.> in M Apicella vs R Picard, 2013, or <Svidler, Svidler On the Wall, Who's The Passer After All?> in Svidler vs Anand, 1999.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: 24..Qb5 just looks weak. I'm not sure if he was eyeing the h-pawn, but he really needed to decide which side of the board he wanted to play.

I didn't like the plan of bringing the rook to d4 either. It's just too unstable of a square for the rook in the middle game.

Black needed to be focusing on improving the position of his pieces. He needed to keep the dark-square bishop - b4 gave up a lot of control of the dark squares around white's king. This weakness in white's position should have been the basis of his strategy (IMO).

Even earlier 18..f6 destroys blacks pawn structure. The computer likes it. I guess I'm not a computer.

Petrosian played a terrible opening. Just look at the board after move 16. White has so much space. I don't see any real potential in black's position. He doesn't have any good squares for his pieces and he's cramped.

Not a good game by Petrosian.

Jun-06-21  SChesshevsky: <Not a good game by Petrosian.> True. Think problems started with Spassky tricking a DSB weakness. Believe, in general, that B best on ...Bd6 vs. ...Be7 in this Caro line.

Could be as early as that Petrosian knows he's worse and comes up with passed pawn counter play plan. With 24...Qb5 and exchange sac looks like his main goal is try for passed h-pawn compensation. With secondary plan passed e-pawn provoking at least some concessions from white.

A passed h-pawn may have been adequate but the easily blocked e-pawn apparently came up just shy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Boris weaving an intricate web that finally defeats Petrosian in a world championship match. Boris the Spider.

Petrosian was master of the exchange sac. There are many games where he swapped Rook for minor piece, for positional considerations.

I think Petrosian erred here in exchanging Queens. Whites Rooks were tied up on bad squares, somewhat ineffectual. After the swap of Queens white is able to straighten out his pieces and hammer the board into a win, after 90+ moves.

the Who play <Boris the Spider>


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