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Raul Sanguineti vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Biel Interzonal (1976), Biel SUI, rd 1, Jul-11
Wade Defense: General (A41)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-04-17  Petrosianic: This game from the 1st Round of the Interzonal, is a textbook example of how stronger players pick up easy points from weaker ones by letting them cut their own throats.

Sanguineti obviously wants a draw. With moves like Ng5, Nxe5, and Ba3-e7, he spends tempos trying to exchange pieces. But no harm comes of this, as White can often afford such things. Then the Rooks come off on the open file he created. After 24 moves, White has given up any initiative from the first move, but the game is pretty much dead even.

But now what? White doesn't want to go over to passive defense, with a move like Qc2 or something (after which he would still be fine, by the way). Passive defense is for people who stand worse, right? And White isn't worse. So he's got to do something to look busy. But what? I know! Start a queenside pawn advance!

With Rooks on the board, this might be a decent plan, as the Rooks can cover more squares. But with Queen and Minor, all it does is give Black opportunities to invade White's rear areas. 25. c4? Nc3 (most people would probably play Nd4 here), and White already looks a bit shaky. 26. Qh5 Qd3!, and both of Black's pieces are square in the middle of White's camp.

White's not lost yet, but he's well on the way. He loses the e pawn quickly, his queenside pawns are weak, and he's already thinking about trying to force a perpetual. Petrosian actually misses a killer move near the end. 34...Ne2+!!, and what does White do? 35. Kf1 Ng3+ wins the Queen. Or 35. Kh1 Qc1+ 36. Kh2 Qg1 mate. No matter, the Queens come off, and those weak queenside pawns. are now fatal. The End.

Dec-01-17  Howard: Yes, 34...Ne2+ looks like a clincher---not that it mattered in this game.
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