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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Lajos Portisch
Petrosian - Portisch Candidates Quarterfinal (1974), Palma ESP, rd 9, Feb-05
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. King's Indian Formation (A15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-22-06  Resignation Trap: This game is the same as Petrosian vs Portisch, 1974 . However, there a different move order is given from moves 1-9 and the ECO is given as "A04"!

In <<Candidates' Matches 1974>> by Botvinnik, Matanovic, Kazic and Yudovich, the move order of the present game is given. This is also the case in <<The Games of Tigran Petrosian>> by Shekhtman.

The one thing wrong with this game is the date. It was played either in late January or early February of 1974.

May-21-07  Helios727: My book by Robert Byrne for the 1974 candidates matches records the moves of this game just as given on here.
Jul-15-07  engmaster: 12) b4, white has a future outpost at D5. White attacks on the wing after the centre is secure. Black attack will be focused on the kingside.

12) ..., Nd4 black creates some dangerous attacks on the kingside. Note the white e2 pawn is pinned.

14) e3 a good illustration of why Kt-D4 was an illusionary threat. D4 was not a permanent outpost. Now the black Kt is pushed back.

14)..., Cxb4 is forced otherwise black loses a pawn.

20) Qf3, the exchange favors white. As black has no reply to g4 followed by g5 forking the Kt and Bishop. White has an advanced pawn on b5 very useful in any protracted endgame.

22) Qf6! The double threat of Qxe7 and Qh4 is decisive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Something I never would have suspected -- going into this match, Petrosian had zero wins and four losses against Portisch.
Jun-15-12  RookFile: Didn't know that either. Petrosian squeaked out a match win, +3, -2, =8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Portisch had a real chance to win this match, but Petrosian had the better back-up and seeming match stamina. Petrosian never looked to be in good physical shape, but looks can be deceiving when there is a strong will to win and understanding that outlasting an opponent (especially in a match) can be just as important as outplaying him.

What is so strange about this match of 13 games is that only one game is more than 40 moves long, so maybe match stamina had less to do with it, than preparation and good moves during the game.

This particular game seems over on move 22 with black choosing to go down a knight for a pawn instead of being positionally busted, and soon to be hammered down on the K-side. It was always hard to out-fianchetto Petrosian!

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: White plays 9.d3

click for larger view

And now the usually Mt Rushmore-like Portisch starts playing flamboyantly.

A few moves later Petrosian plays 12.b3-b4. He has hardly left his own manor; only one of his pieces has advanced beyond the second rank.

click for larger view

But this position is already difficult for black.

Then white plays a few pawn moves, pushing back the black pieces. After 16...Ne7 white's pieces are in the same place they were at move 12...

click for larger view

...But now white has a totally won position! Amazing!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 12...cxb4 13.axb4 Nxb4 14.Nde4! (14.Bxb7?! only helps black to consolidate his position) leaves black in quite precarious situation despite of extra Pawn but after 14...a5 it could have been lesser evil for black than the continuation in the game.
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