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Tigran V Petrosian vs Gyula Sax
"Take It Or Leave It" (game of the day May-11-2019)
Keres Memorial (1979), Tallinn URS, rd 17, Mar-16
Pirc Defense: Classical Variation. Quiet System Parma Defense (B08)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-12-10  Ulhumbrus: The move 14...Bxf3 concedes the bishop pair to White, following the recapture 15 Bxf3.

This suggests the question: What is White going to do with this bishop pair?

The queation will begin to be answered twelve moves later at move 27, but first the move 16 Nb1 frees the c pawn for the move 18 c3, and 19 Nb1-d2 redevelops the N to d2. Then White's Queen takes six moves to make her way to d3 via b1, c2, b3, c4 and e2.

Following the move 26 a3, the move 27 b4 begins to provide an answer to the question: the player who has the bishop pair is at greater liberty to advance his pawns. The pawns become a weapon instead of a target.

The advance gains White greater space on the Queen side and then the manoeuvre Nd2-c4-a5 begins a Queen side attack. White's Queen side attack ends up winning a pawn on the Queen side by means of the capture 34 Qxb5.

In return Black wins a pawn on the King side, but as before, Black's pawns are less free to advance than White's.

Petrosian relinquishes his bishop pair by 37 Bxe6 in return for crippling Black's King side pawns after the recapture 37...fxe6 when Black has doubled isolated pawns on e6 and e5.

After a few further moves Sax resigns, perhaps seeing no satisfactoru answer to the advance of White's Queen side a pawn.

We can now, at the rish of repetition, answer the question of what White gains from the bishop pair. The first thing which White gains consists of increased liberty to move for his Queen side pawns. The advance of White's Queen side pawns leads to a Queen side attack which wins a pawn on the Queen side. Black is able to win in return for a pawn on the King side.

Then however White is able to use one of a second power of the bishop pair to cripple Black's King side pawn majority, by relinquishing a bishop for Black's N. Either Bishop is able to attack Black's Knight from a distance, and White attacks Black's Knight with his King's Bishop and exchanges it for the Knight. After that Black has no compensation for White's Queen side passed pawn and no satisfactory answer to the threat of the advance of White's passed a pawn towards coronation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In this line, I prefer 15....h6, as played in Cramling-Yrjola, to aim for the exchange of dark-squared bishops, leaving White the bad light-squared bishop, a common motif in this line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Typo; 15....h5, with the plan of ....Kh7 and ....Bh6, was my intended post.
May-21-14  Howard: 16.Nb1 was not only a novelty, but it was also given an exclam in the Informant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  naresb: From 20. Qb1 to 24. Qe2 White was offering Black for queen exchange to which Black denied. Tigran avoided formation of doubled pawns and offered Black at 37. BxNe6. With almost equal pieces on board White Tigran appeared relaxed for a Positional Win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Still have not managed to locate the full continuation of P Cramling vs J Yrjola, 1984 anywhere, which features 15....h5.
May-21-14  RookFile: Such quiet but deadly play from Petrosian. At first you wonder why in the world he would even head for this line of play. All of a sudden you're asking how it is that black is going to stop the a pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: It makes sense that Black would shun the Queen Exchange--who wants to defend a slightly inferior endgame v. Petrosian?--but letting the White Queen settle on d3 looks even worse. Perhaps Sax should have played 20...Qxb1+ after all.

Also, couldn't help but notice that by the end, White had achieved a position with two pawn islands against three. He loved such pawn structures and it shows in this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: black has no chance of stopping the passed pawn?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <HeMateMe: black has no chance of stopping the passed pawn?> Maybe immediately yes, but structurally it looks impossible with both white minor pieces supporting it, and both black pieces far away. If black buries his queen on a8 to stop the pawn, that would be a very sad place for his queen and the white queen would wreck havoc everywhere else on the board. Also, remember it was 1979. The game may have been adjourned and Sax confirmed it was futile to defend.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Plaskett: Deeply impressive.
BUT, if you want to see black put white under extreme pressure in the same ending, then check out Webb Vs Matulovic, Birmingham 1975.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Playing through the game, my thought was - this is SO TYPICALLY Petrosian! Even later in life he still has that amazing mastery!
May-11-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 22 dpa done

1. = (0.12): 26...Qa2 27.Qb1 Qxb1+ 28.Nxb1 Nd7 29.b4 Nb6 30.Be2 Nd8 31.Kh2 Kg7 32.Kg3 Ne6 33.Kf3 Kf6 34.h4 h5 35.g3 c5 36.Bd3 Na4 37.Bc2 b5 38.Bb3 Be7 39.Ke2 Bf8 40.Bxa4 bxa4

2. + / = (0.39): 26...Kg7 27.Bd1 Qa2 28.Qc2 b5 29.Kh2 Na5 30.b4 Qxc2 31.Bxc2 Nb7 32.g4 Nd6 33.Kg3 Nd7 34.Bb3 Be7 35.g5 f5 36.gxf6+ Bxf6 37.a4 Nb6 38.axb5 axb5 39.Kf3 Ndc4 40.Nxc4 Nxc4 41.Bxc4 bxc4

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