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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Boris Spassky
Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1969), Moscow URS, rd 4, Apr-21
Tarrasch Defense: Classical. Carlsbad Variation (D34)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-03-11  morfishine: Black would dearly love to play <Qxd4+> but white Queen stands guard over <d4>, so lets cut communication with <38...Bd3> The black bishop is immune due to 39.Bxd3 Qxd4+ 40.Kf1 Nxd3 41.Rc1 (or 41.Rc3)...Re3 with the brutal threat <42...Rf3+> [ie: 42.Kg2? Nf4+ winning white's queen]:

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I went astray on the game continuation thinking <39.Qc3> was the only move for white after black's <38...Bd3>.

However, the attacking theme is much the same after <39...Qh4> 40.Kg1 Bxf1 and here if 41.Nxf1 Ne2+ forks the Queen and if <41.Kxf1> Qh3+ mates:

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I get the feeling white is lost no matter what after <38...Bd3>

The old phrase "Plays like a Russian" comes to mind. This game had "Russian" written all over it.

Sep-03-11  morfishine: <sevenseaman> Good going today! But you can't skip the Sunday POTD: Thats the big Kahuna, the big show, the grand finale, or whatever you want to call it. I hope you were kidding. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Thanks <> for choosing my POTD suggestion. I think this is still a tough nut to crack. And you barely find Petrosian in such a mess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  NARC: I was content after seeing 38. ... Nd3+
since I thought it's Saturday puzzle and won pawn + centralized pieces are good enough for me against Petrosian of 1969.
Sep-03-11  newton296: no question white's d4 pawn is the weak spot, but I couldn't see how to go after it and get a win. Bd3 blocks the Q defense at d4 allowing Qxd4+ and grabbing the rook next move but white is still fighting. I decided I must be missing something deeper.

looked at the game with houdini and now realize I missed the more powerful follow up Nxe3 taking the Bishop instead of the rook and making the now unprotected rook at c5 move and using that tempo to drop in Re3 threatning Rxf3! kinda tricky to see.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White didn't seem to have any weaknesses. Black found one and exploited it in the most coy way...he blocks the queens defense of the weak d4 in a kamikazi way...
Sep-03-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is even, but black has much more activity in the enemy king's territory (controlling all empty neighboring squares), spearheaded by the knight occupying the weak square f4. The vulnerability of d4 suggests an interference at d3. When I first saw the position, my first instinct was 38... Bd3, but I soon noticed that white has the perfect counter with 39.Nf5! (39.Bxd3? Qxd4+ wins immediately) defending d4 and attacking f4, seizing the advantage. Therefore, my attention shifted to the forcing line:

38... Nd3+! 39.Bxd3 Qxd4+ 40.Kg2 Bxd3! wins pawn+B for N and continues a strong attack, holding off attempts to complicate:

A) 41.Rc3 Re3! (not Bf1+? 42.Nxf1 Qxd2 43.Nxd2 Re2+ 44.Kg3 Rxd2 45.Rc7 with a drawn endgame) 42.Rc8+ Kh7 43.Rc7 Qf4 44.Rxb7 Qxf3+ 45.Kg1 (Kh3 Re2! wins Q or forces mate) Be4!(threatening Re1+) 46.Nxe4 Qxe4 47.Kf2 (otherwise 47... Re2 or Qxg4+) Qf4+ 48.Kg1/g2 Rg3+ wins the Q.

A.1) 42.Kh3? Rxf3 and the threat of 43... Bf1+ is winning.

A.2) 42.Kh1? Rxf3 and the double threat of Rf1+ and Rxg3 followed by Be4+ is winning.

A.3) 42.Kf2/g1? (or Ne2?) R(x)e2+ smash.

A.4) 42.(other) Bf1+ 43.Nxf1 Qxd2+ 44.Nxd2 Rxc3 wins.

A.5) 43.Rc1 Qf4 44.Qd1 Be2! (recurrence of the interference theme) 45.Qc2+ g6 46.Nxe2 Qxf3+ 47.Kg1 Rxe2 wins.

B) 41.b4 Re3! (the key continuation in all lines) 42.Qe1 Qf4 and white has no good defense against 43... Be2

B.1) 42.Nh5? (to prevent Qf4) Bf1+ wins

C) 41.Rc2 Re3 42.Qd1 (Nh5 Re2+) Qf4 43.Rf2 looks tough to break down, but black's passed d-pawn looks like the winning trump with white's pieces so passive.

In short, the if the weak f3 is taken by force white loses quickly; otherwise, white must play passively and the passed black d-pawn should win for black. Time for review...

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Correction: Make that <38...Nd3+ 39. Bxd3 Qxd4+ 40. Kg2 Bxd3 41. Rc3 Re3 42. Nf5> Qxc3! 43. Qxe3 (43. Qxc3 Bf1+ 43. Kxf1 Rxc3) Qc2+ 44. Kg3 Bxf5 45. gxf5 Qxf5 46. Qxa7 Qc7.
Sep-03-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: Spassky found the follow-up move (39... Qg5!) that I missed in the line I rejected, while Crafty found the hole in my analysis 44.Rxf7! (i.e. the equivalent in colors-reversed position) instead of my 44.Rxb7? in line A. At least I correctly identified the first two moves of the best defense.

Sad, but very educational. Two lessons from great opponents!

Sep-03-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: <David2009> <We have guests so I have just time to note that 38...Nd3+?? (normal colours) is a near-losing blunder - try the variations out against Crafty. >

Agreed, but I managed to hold a draw against Crafty in the R&P ending that ensues after my parenthesized line in line A after 38... Nd3+(??) 39.Bxd3 Qxd4+ 40.Kg2 Bxd3 41.Rc3 Bf1+(!) 42.Nxf1 Qxd2+ 43.Nxd2 Re2+ 44.Kg3 Rxd2 45.Rc7. I don't think that Crafty played the strongest line though. By my own criterion 38... Nd3+ still deserves two question marks because the win is there for black with Spassky's line.

Sep-03-11  DrMAL: Interesting "puzzle" (great, complicated game) I did not see all of it, there were too many replies to 38...Bd3! and the (best) one played was very subtle in how 39...Qg5! wins. It is always entertaining to see how others on here tried, cheers.
Sep-03-11  abuzic: <38...Nxd3+> leads black to no great outcome: 38...Nd3+ 39.Bxd3 Qxd4+ 40.Kg2 Bxd3 41.Rc3 Re3 42.Rc8+ (not <42.Nf5?> and the white Q is lost after 42...Bf1+! with mating threats. 42...Qxc3 is another option here but 42...Bf1+ is more powerful) Kh7 43.Rc7 and white stands well
Sep-03-11  Marmot PFL: I remember seeing this game, and it got me interested in playing the Tarrasch, but I still missed this combination. maybe that's why I didn't do so well with the Tarrasch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I wanted Be4 at first sight by cycle <nd3+ Kg2 Nxc5 dxc5 dxe4> but scan the horizon it ride an white indupitably escapes in eg 42qe3 Spassky grateful pump d3 and circumnavigate a5 in waiting bd3 aided design it mail c5s huff loot am picture top out the doubled rook e8 c5 sure bet we.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Apple of my eye bd3 the knight watchman feint over protection d4 isolani ceeding g5 thats about as far as I got Boris the clinician overall yes nets the point up and down ring qh4 don cha know in kg1 ive league won Spassky concrete demo and re as fault a5 st d3 ar good it is kindred bad deploy it!
Sep-03-11  DrMAL: <Marmot PFL> No worries only Tarrasch was good with Tarrasch...or was it Rubinstein? Rubinstein vs Tarrasch, 1922
Sep-03-11  Vladimir Zukhar: maybe better?! 40. R-c2?!

40. Rc2 Bxc2
41 Qxc2 g6
42 Bb5 Rd8
43 Ng3 a6
44 Bf1 Re8
45 Qc7 Ne6
46 Qc2 Qe7
47 f4 Qb4

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Stunningly beautiful finish. I knew roughly how this went, but it's a pleasure to see it again - you don't break Iron Tigran with some cheap tactic.

Obvious enough to begin with ...Bd3 and the threat to d4 and the Rc5 ... but the way Spassky's Queen slowly nudges its way in for the kill is exquisite.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <DrMAL> - < only Tarrasch was good with Tarrasch>

Kasparov didn't do so badly with it in his first challengers cycle, 1983-84. Then he ran into Karpov, and neither Garry nor the Tarrasch knew what hit them.

Sep-03-11  DrMAL: <Domdaniel: Then he ran into Karpov, and neither Garry nor the Tarrasch knew what hit them> What games were those? He did play and lose two of them but the losses came from blunders later on, this one being the earlier of the two Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984. Still, I guess you are right, he stopped playing Tarrasch as black then and there! Someone should have told him only Tarrasch was good with Tarrasch LOL cheers.
Sep-03-11  tonsillolith: Very nifty maneuvering around the h7 and g6 squares by Black.
Sep-03-11  DrMAL: <BOSTER: What is wrong if instead 37.Kf2 Rxe5?> One problem I see is that there is nothing on e5 to take. I guess another would be that after 37...Re5? 38.dxe5 looks pretty tasty. I agree with your punctuation though LOL, cheers.
Dec-22-11  talisman: "If it hadn't been for the Tarrasch" ...Boris.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: This Boris would not have lost to that Karpov 74' 75' ...
Jan-06-13  RookFile: A great game by two great players.
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