Saturday, 13 September 2008


Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian (June 17, 1929 – August 13, 1984) born to Armenian parents in Tbilisi Georgia.He was nicknamed "Tigran" or "Iron Tigran" due to his playing style because of his almost impenetrable defence, which emphasised safety above all else.
So much was safety his first thought that in the 1955 U.S.S.R Championship he won 4 games lost none but drew 15 games.In his defence this championship was also a world championship zonal, the most important thing was to qualify to the interzonal rather than win the tournament.
He won the U.S.S.R championship 4 times.He played in 8 world champion candidate tournaments/matches 1953,1956,1959,1962,1971,1974,1977 and 1980.
He was world champion 1963-1969,beating Botvinnk in 1963, defending the title against Spassky in 1966 but losing to Spassky in 1969.For 27 years he was either a candidate or champion,a feat that may not be beaten in mordern times.
He was placed high in many tournament tables rather than winning many tournaments.He was very hard to beat and often went a year or so without losing a game.
In team events he was fantastic his Olympiad results are just great.
Munich 1958, 2nd reserve, 10.5/13 (+8 =5 −0), board and team gold medals;
Leipzig 1960, 2nd reserve, 12/13 (+11 =2 −0), board and team gold medals;
Varna 1962, board 2, 10/12 (+8 =4 −0), board and team gold medals;
Tel Aviv 1964, board 1, 9.5/13 (+6 =7 −0), team gold medal;
Havana 1966, board 1, 11.5/13 (+10 =3 −0), board and team gold medals;
Lugano 1968, board 1, 10.5/12 (+9 =3 −0), board and team gold medals;
Siegen 1970, board 2, 10/14 (+6 =8 −0), team gold medal;
Skopje 1972, board 1, 10.5/16 (+6 =9 −1), team gold medal;
Nice 1974, board 4, 12.5/14 (+11 =3 −0), board and team gold medals;
Buenos Aires 1978, board 2, 6/9 (+3 =6 −0), team silver medal.
His overall performance in Olympiad play is impressive: +78 =50 −1 (only one game lost out of 139 played), for 79.8 per cent
His play was considered dull by many but if he played 5 minute chess the tactian in him came out and he played open attacking chess,very unlike his normal play.
I give the 10th game from the 1966 world championship match with Spassky.
Petrosia's last move is a killer.

Petrosian has two major opening systems named after him: the Petrosian variation of the King's Indian Defence (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. d5) and the Petrosian system in the Queen's Indian Defense (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3). A variation of the Caro-Kann defense also bears his name, along with former world champion Vassily Smyslov; the Petrosian–Smyslov variation (1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7).


Rolling Pawns said...

Thanks for the interesting post.
Great game and nice sacrifice - 21. Ne3, looks like one of his famous positional ones, then everything gets forced. Final move is simply educational.
His Olympiad record is unbelievable.

P.S. I added your blog to my links.

CHESSX said...

Thanks, i use the final position from this game in my Primary School chess club and Qh8 always gets a wow.

Caeruleum Canis said...

Tigran is so underrated as a tactician. He had great tactical vision, and was an excellent blitz player. I've never found his games boring (their reputation), they just need to be well annotated so that you can see the positional and tactical threats he was reacting to. When you can frustrate and stifle even the other top GMs on a regular basis, you're pretty badass.

CHESSX said...

Well put caeruleum canis badass is a good way to describe his chess.
Plus he is very underated as a player in general.