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Vasily Smyslov vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
"Perpetual Motion" (game of the day Nov-11-2018)
USSR Championship (1960), Leningrad URS, rd 7, Feb-04
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Opocensky Variation Traditional Line (B92)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-30-09  MethodMan: consider my mind blown
Jun-29-13  Everett: No one created as many fortress-type middlegames than Petrosian.
Sep-01-13  ughaibu: Why not 76.Be5?
Sep-01-13  Nerwal: <Why not 76.Be5?>

I guess Petrosian's idea with 75... ♕a7 was 76. ♗xe5 ♖c5 77. ♕xd6 ♖xe5 78. ♗d5 b5+ and the weakness of his king makes life difficult for white, although it's not clear black can hold against best play.

Sep-02-13  ughaibu: I wonder why Smyslov preferred the game continuation. . . ?
Sep-03-13  Nerwal: He wanted to win the game positionnally without calculating big tactical lines obviously. White's position looked too good to take risks in some concrete line thought out by the opponent beforehand.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Very interesting. My first thought was that there was an error in the game score. But I had Shredder look at it. For whatever it is worth, the engine gives White less of an advantage after 76.Bxe5 Rc5 77.Qxd6 Rxe5 78.Bd5 R5e7 than in the game continuation.

After the pawn sacrifice, the engine suggests continuing with ...Qc7 and trading queens. It's not easy to figure out a way to make progress for White.

Sep-03-13  Everett: Here is a little fortress-gem for comparison. Larsen vs Ulf Andersson, 1974
Sep-03-13  ughaibu: But Keypusher, white had already spent fifty moves without figuring out how to make progress, and in the game continuation spent another thirty almost equally futilely.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ughaibu: But Keypusher, white had already spent fifty moves without figuring out how to make progress, and in the game continuation spent another thirty almost equally futilely.>

Oh, if I had been playing White and been awake I would have assumed that my opponent had blundered. I would have played 76.Bxe5 (assuming I saw it) in a heartbeat. I'm just arguing that it is possible that both Petrosian and Smyslov saw 76.Bxe5 and decided it wasn't the best move.

Anyone ever seen this game annotated?

Sep-04-13  ughaibu: Players names followed by number of draws in this tournament and average number of moves in those draws:

Korchnoi: 4-28
Geller: 7-39
Petrosian: 7-33
Bagirov: 10-31
Polugaevsky: 9-40
Averbakh: 14-48
Smyslov: 15-48
Taimanov: 9-41
Spassky: 10-46
Krogius: 10-39
Simagin: 7-35
Lutikov: 8-31
Bronstein: 8-40
Gufeld: 5-30
Nei: 9-36
Shamkovich: 5-46
Liberzon: 7-41
Gurgenidze: 4-36
Suetin: 8-37
Sakharov: 2-53

Total number of draws: 69, overall mean length: 44, of which there is only one example: Taimanov vs Bronstein, 1960 Two games were drawn within a move of the mean: L Shamkovich vs Averbakh, 1960 and I Nei vs Taimanov, 1960

Sep-04-13  Everett: <ughaibu> interesting. Any conclusions on your end?
Sep-09-13  ughaibu: Everett: I'm still cogitating.
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Remarkable!
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: In this game there were no captures from move 24 to move 98.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: After 105 moves, still a middle game. That does seem rather amazing.
Nov-11-18  Ilkka Salonen: Kind of gives same impression as some TCEC games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It was the knight on e5 that was the major force in this game. Smyslov finally got rid of it but it was replaced by a bishop, which was just as good.

click for larger view

Smyslov plays
46. Bg4.
Smyslov doesn't care about the doubled pawns after <46...Nxg4 47.hxg4>. The knight would be gone, and White would play a permutation of Qh4, g5, Kh2, Rh1 etc.
Petrosian does not normally move pawns in front of his castled position if he can avoid it, but he decides to play
He gets White to move his bishop and helps prevent ♙g4.

Nov-29-18  RookFile: Yeah, that knight just sat there on e5 and was boss. It's unclear to me why black even moved it. However, life is too short to spend time figuring that out. What a complex game.
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