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Mikhail Tal vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959), Bled, Zagreb & Belgrade YUG, rd 26, Oct-25
Sicilian Defense: Modern Variations (B56)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-06-04  suenteus po 147: <acirce> You're right. I didn't see it until I started writing down the notation to ask about a line: 26. Kxd2 Qd4+ 27. Ke1 Qe3+ 28. Kf1 Qc1+ 29. Kf2 Qd2+ etc.
Feb-16-06  Hesam7: 17. Qc7 looks like a winning move. Here is a sample line:

17. Qc7! Qxc7 [forced] 18. Nxc7+ Kf7 19. Nxa8 Rc6 20. Rf1+ Kg7 21. Rf2 Be6 22. Nd5 Rc4 23. Nac7 Bd7 24. Kf1 Rxe4?! 25. Re2 Rxe2 [forced] 26. Kxe2

click for larger view

I do not see Petrosian surviving this.

Feb-17-06  Resignation Trap: In "The Games of Tigran Petrosian", the notes to this game (by Gligoric) were taken from the tournament book. 17. Qc7! isn't even mentioned by Gliga.

It seems to me that 17...b6 is playable, but then 18.Ng7+ Kf8 19.Nh5 lands Black in deep trouble, but he could try 19...Nf3+! (to close the f-file) 20.gxf3 Rg6, when White has three pawns for the exchange.

Feb-17-06  Hesam7: <Resignation Trap> It is very interesting that Gligoric does not even mention this move.

After 17. Qc7 b6? Fruit finds the killer: 18. b4! Qxb4 19. Nd5

Feb-17-06  Resignation Trap: <Hesam7> Fruit's line looks convincing.
Feb-17-06  Hesam7: Black is also lost after:

17. Qc7 b6? 18. b4! Qa3 19. Ng7 Kf8 20. Nh5

Feb-17-06  RookFile: Well, just looking at the long line you give, Hesam7, that leads to a a two pawn advantage for white in
the endgame (really 1 and a half pawns
due to the doubled king side pawns) -
I'm not sure black is lost. I guess
the reason for this feeling is: if black can trade off most of the pawns, maybe he can sacrifice his knight AND bishop, if needed, for any remaining pawns. Then the two knights cannot checkmate. On the other hand, this is a can't lose endgame for white, so if this is best play, white should have definitely gone for it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: What if 17. Dc7, Nc6 ? It could follow 18 Ng7+, Kf8, where both Q and N are "en prise".

Sure I am missing something big...

Feb-19-06  Hesam7: <penarol> After: 17. Qc7! Nc6 18. Qxa5 Nxa5 19. Nxc7+ Kf8 19. Nxa8 Rc6 20. Rf1+ Kg7, We are pretty much in the same endgame.

<RookFile> I have serious doubts that Black can survive that ending. White's king can just walk into Black's Q-side. Beside all this the move 24. Kf1 is not forced, white can play 24. Re2 which looks better.

Oct-15-07  arsen387: Nobody is capable to defend like it did Tigran Petrosian, one of the greatest champions in history.
Jan-17-09  LIFE Master AJ: <Hesam7> I believe you are correct, I think Petrosian should have probably lost this game.
Jan-17-09  LIFE Master AJ: I was studying "Killer Chess Tactics" today with one of my students, John Laning. (The authors of this book are Keene, Schiller, and Shamkovich.)

I have nothing but respect for Keene and Shamkovich, however, I have found that ALL of Schiller's books are rife with errors(!!!) ... some of these should have never found their way into print.

For example, on page # 23 of that book, this game is examined. The following is the ACTUAL diagram, as it was rendered in the book.

click for larger view

(No, I did not make any mistakes. Thats a WHITE ROOK on a8 and a BLACK ROOK on a1, this is exactly the way that the diagram was given in the book.)

The title of the diagram reads as follows: "TAL vs PETROSIAN, Candidates Tournament, Yugoslavia, 1959." (The preceding title, given in quotation marks, is in bold print, and centered over the diagram.)

The authors go on to say: "White has all sorts of available tactics here. Tal found the cleanest kill, attacking the enemy queen, and forcing an exchange that led to a classic king and rook fork."

The line given, (with the moves in bold print); are: 17.Qc7 Qxc7; 18Nxc7+ Kd8; 19.Nxa8, and White won." (ha!!!) The final comment is: "When a queen and king are both involved, then we have an example of a royal fork."

This led me to do about an hour of going through hundreds of chess books. As best as I can tell, (from a reprint of the tournament book); Tal only DREW this game! This is confirmed by the CB database, and the score of the game given here.

Can anyone explain to me how such a horrendous error got into print?

Jan-17-09  LIFE Master AJ: A member of our chess club, Stephen Davis and I, worked our way through Schiller's book on both Fischer and Kasparov. I found so many errors, that I could not even count them all.

Has anyone else out there had a similar experience with Schiller's books?

Jan-17-09  LIFE Master AJ: If you need to see a list of this guy's books:
Feb-24-09  arsen387: 19...Nc4! is a great defence.

<17. Qc7 looks like a winning move. Here is a sample line: 17. Qc7! Qxc7 [forced] 18. Nxc7+ Kf7 19. Nxa8 Rc6 20. Rf1+ Kg7 21. Rf2 Be6 22. Nd5 Rc4 23. Nac7 Bd7 24. Kf1 Rxe4?! 25. Re2 Rxe2 [forced] 26. Kxe2 I do not see Petrosian surviving this. >Of course Tal missed 17.Qc7!, but I agree with <RookFile> that in the resulting endgame white's win is doubtful, I think Petrosian could hold that. Another line with 17.Qc7 could be 17...b6? 18.Ng7+ Kf8 19.Nh5! regaining material, but this time with a winning advantage

Feb-24-09  ewan14: This was not one of the pre - arranged draws between PETROSIAN & Tal in this Candidates tournament
Feb-24-09  ughaibu: Resignation Trap: There's a book!!? Tell me more.
Feb-24-09  nescio: <ughaibu: There's a book!!?>

I'm not aware of an English translation.

Feb-24-09  ughaibu: Amazing! Thanks.
Apr-03-13  Zugzwangovich: According to Soltis in the April 2013 issue of Chess Life, Tal says in his memoirs that this was a composed game the players completed in five minutes to show the world what a really phony draw was, after they had been criticized for making friendly grandmaster draws in their first three encounters in this tournament.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Hmmm. Never heard anything like that before. Either Soltis has found some fascinating new source, or it's an April Fool's joke.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Phony Benoni>

Soltis is not quite wrong here. In <My Life and Games> (page 121 of the 1997 Cadogan print) Tal wrote that <in the third and fourth cycles Petrosian and I did not really play>. This game is from the fourth cycle. The game they spent five minutes on, though, is from the third cycle according to Tal.

Petrosian vs Tal, 1959

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <keypusher> Ah! Thanks. I glanced through the book, but was only reading the section on the final cycle.

But I have been fooled enough times in April to be a bit skeptical.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Great game - 17 Qc7! was played in a 1986 correspondence game and White won after 17..b6 18 18 Ng7+..Kf8 19 Nh5.
Dec-13-17  Howard: The book Tal--Magic of Youth (Part 1 of a trilogy) mentions briefly the strong possibility that the four draws between Tal and Petrosian were, in fact, prearranged.
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