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Milko Bobotsov vs Tigran V Petrosian
"Queenmate" (game of the day Sep-22-2004)
Lugano Olympiad Final-A (1968), Lugano SUI, rd 2, Oct-26
Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange Variation (D35)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-22-04  ragnar0C: how does the game end...cant queen run away???
Sep-22-04  patzer2: With 37...gxf3! Petrosian has a winning combination to exploit his clearly superior position. If 38. Qxf3, then 38...Re8! 39. Qe2 Rf2 wins. And of course after 38. Nxf3, Black loses as in the game to Petrosian's subtle Queen trap (perhaps 39...Qc8! surprised Bobotsov).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Honza> You're right. I just looked it up in Volume 2 of " The Games of Tigran Petrosian " . I presume you've notified the administrators via the "Spot an error" utility.
Sep-22-04  Shadout Mapes: <how does the game end...cant queen run away???>


Sep-22-04  ajile: Pathetic play by white. White should play to advance the qside pawns to break it open on that side so his rooks can invade via the c file. Instead he plays waiting moves and allows black to get a kside attack. Plus he takes the h pawn which gives black another avenue of attack on white's king. Pitiful.
Sep-22-04  Can: Petrosian is a great tactical player even if many people consider his games to be boring or lacking excitment
Sep-23-04  ajile: Petrosian was Black here. His style was to slowly crush his opponents positionally like in this game. White was punished appropriately for his passive play.
Sep-23-04  Resignation Trap: A neat finish, but those who are familiar with Petrosian's games also know that this is not the only game where he "mated" his opponent's Queen.

Try this: Averbakh vs Petrosian, 1959

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Here's another one
Filip vs Petrosian, 1956
Oct-26-05  Kriegspiel: Actually, I think that if White had played 18.Nxe4 dxe4 19.Qb3 he would have been OK. Now there would be no Black outpost on c4, the Black knight is kept out of a4 and c4, and White controls an open diagonal leading to Black's king, blocked only by a pawn at f7, a square also attacked by White's knight -- so no ...f6 for the moment. But White should use the threats on White's king to cover a queenside attack since that is where White has a positional advantages in space, force, and a half-open c-file for his rooks.

The center is locked up (the pawn on e4 has nowhere to go), but if Black tries ...c5 to crack it open, White can play Nf3; recapturing after cxd4 gives White a fine knight outpost on d4 from which to assist in the queenside assault.


Nov-24-05  acirce: Selected comments from Kasparov's OMGP III:

<I have included in this book the following instructive game from Petrosian's period as champion, for the reason that it is the direct forerunner of my game with Portisch, played 21 years later in a stage of the World Cup in SkellefteƄ. Portisch vs Kasparov, 1989 It is a rare instance of the complete matching of the pawn structure, with identical material and... result! But the main point of this example is to show how chess ideas are passed on from one generation to another.

In both cases there was the seemingly thoroughly studied 'Carlsbad' structure, and both times the player with Black surprised their peacefully-inclined opponent with effectively one and the same plan.>

<An original and very deep positional idea. Black avoids the exchange of the 'good' knight at e5, and moves his knight to the 'bad' square b6. But in fact, the knight is predatorily eyeing the c4-square, in anticipation of the standard minority pawn attack b2-b4-b5. And in general, after the exchange of the light-squared bishops, Black has play aimed at exploiting the weak light squares in the opponent's position. As for the e5-knight, let it stand there for the moment...>

<Now the structure in question has arisen.

Surprisingly, Black already has some positional advantage: White's usual play on the queenside - the minority pawn attack - has come to a standstill (he cannot play b2-b4-b5, since Black always has ..a7-a6), whereas some rather unpleasant tests await him on the kingside. There is also a long-term factor: Black, paradoxical though it may seem, has the better pawn structure. But why?! - both sides' pawns appear to be good. For the reason that it is much easier for him to build up an attack against the opponent's pawn base! Whereas usually in the 'Carlsbad' formation it is just the opposite, and it is White who succeeds in generating an attack, which is why it is generally considered that the pawn structure is better for him.

Petrosian demonstrates an original exception to the rules. The key role here is played by the sentry knight at d6, suppressing any attempts with b4-b5. Under its watchful eye Black can calmly prepare an advance of his kingside pawns.>

<It is hard playing when you can't see a plan that is even slightly active. Bobotsov begins marking time, avoiding the 'hole-forming' 22.b4 and a2-a4. But I remember that when I was annotating the aforementioned game with Portisch, I recommended the cumbersome manoeuvre of the knight to c3, even though it involved losing a mass of tempi, in order nevertheless to be able to play b4-b5. It is only with the break-up of Black's queenside that White can obtain any real targets to attack.>

<Completing the inglorious march of this once powerful knight. In the meantime Petrosian has unhurriedly strengthened his position and his advantage is now obvious.>

<An energetic pawn sacrifice, although in the given instance it was possible to manage without it. But this is again an instructive moment: the 'cautious' Petrosian gives up a pawn! This means that the position is already so ripe for decisive action, that Black does not begrudge giving up one of his infantrymen. In contrast to modern computers, which consider such sacrifices to be blunders, even at that time a strong player realised that preparatory moves such as 33..Qf7 (followed by ..g6-g5), even though not bad, were no longer necessary.>

<A strong attack on the king now develops, with White's extra pawn not playing any role. Bobotsov loses very quickly, but it seems to me that it is already impossible to find a satisfactory defence here.>


Nov-24-05  acirce: Kasparov then gives Portisch vs Kasparov, 1989 with brief comments and concludes:

<Studying these two games, you will see how hard things were for White, who ended up in an unusual positional impasse. Bobotsov played altogether without a plan, simply not knowing what to do, but Portisch, a far stronger player, also experienced obvious discomfort. This is a striking example of Petrosian's skill in subtly noticing and effectively exploiting the long-term factors of the position.>

Nov-24-05  KingG: Thanks <acirce>. I didn't know about this setup for Black before(although i knew the plan of playing ...g6 and ...Bf5 to exchange light-squared bishops), but it reinforces my belief that the plan of playing f3 and Ne2 is a better way of treating the Carlsblad structure than the one involving Nf3.
Nov-24-05  square dance: what exactly is the carlsbad structure?
Nov-24-05  KingG: <square dance> It's the pawn structure you get after cxd5 exd5 in the Queen's Gambit Declined.
Nov-24-05  square dance: <KingG> thanks. do you know how it got that name?
Nov-24-05  KingG: No i don't actually. Maybe it became famous after a tournament in Carlsbad(i think this place exists).
Feb-04-07  PivotalAnorak: Actually the "real" Carlsbad variation arises after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 0-0 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7. Rc1 a6, and got its name after a tournament held at Carlsbad, 1923. But many call, abusively, the standard Exchange variation ( ed) "Carlsbad variation". The pawn structure is very similar, but in the "real" Carlsbad variation, the White R stands at c1, and the Black pawn at a6. (source: "Queen's Gambit" by L. Polugaevsky)
Aug-11-08  arsen387: Cool Queen trap.
Aug-12-08  arsen387: starting from 36.hxg4 I thought that Petrosian miscalculated smth about that Q trap. I think Bobosov thought the same way when he played Qxh5 as it was obvious that his Q couldn't be safe there and he will have troubles getting her out of there. But in fact Petrosian just overcalcualted his oponent.

Notice that if white tries to save his Q with 38.Qxf3 then Petrosian had another card in his sleeve - 38.Qxf3 Rf8 39.Qe2 (39.Qd1 Rxg2+ 40.Kxg2 Rf2+ 41.Kh1 Qh3 and mate after several spite checks by whites) Rf2! 40.Qxf2 (if Qd1 or Qd3 then 40..Qh3 followed with Qxg2#) Nxf2 41.Kxf2 Qe4 and whites are buried alive

Stupenduous play by Iron Tiger in his prime

Mar-19-12  LoveThatJoker: "38...? Black to play and win" would make an excellent Thursday puzzle.


Mar-19-12  andrewjsacks: Yes, LTJ, and Skim Milko would make an appropriate pun for this as GOTD.
Mar-20-12  LoveThatJoker: <andrewjsacks> That's a funny pun! :D

I thought "Queenmate" was a pretty elegant title for this masterpiece when it was GOTD on 9/22/04 though.

This being said if this game is ever repeated as GOTD, it would be cool if they used your pun. :)


Aug-27-12  khursh: <Bobotsov was in excellent form and suffered his only defeat vs World Champion Petrosian. Petrosian's mastery to put any piece at best square is close to magic.> --- From Olimpbase
Aug-15-20  FICSwoodpusher: From page 166-167. My favourite game of this volume.

I like this variation of the queens gambit declined so much that I even try to play it with the white pieces.

How I do it is by playing the exchange variation of the Caro and having the same pawn structure and pieces exchanged. It makes for very interesting middle/end games.

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