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Tigran V Petrosian vs Anatoly Karpov
USSR Championship (1976), Moscow URS, rd 5, Dec-02
Queen's Indian Defense: Classical. Traditional Variation Main Line (E19)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-19-06  positionalgenius: Wow.What a save from a lost position.Look at this drawing technique by Karpov...
Sep-19-06  euripides: Very interesting ending. Around move 46, White might prefer not to have the h pawn, because he could then aim to play something like Rc4-h4+ (to be followed by Rh2 or rg3+ or Kg8 according to circumstances). With the h pawn this manoeuvre is not available.

Black sacrifices his last pawn only when White has played f7, beause after e.g. 55.Ke6 Ra6+ 56.Kd7 Ra7+ 57.Rc7 Rxc7+ 58.Kxc7 Kg7 Black holds; this idea would not work with the pawn on f6.

Sep-19-06  positionalgenius: <euripides>Thanks for analysis.I went over this game as part of my <karpov at the 1976 soviet championship>collection,which is under construction.
Jan-27-07  positionalgenius: This is a very instructive ending for all to see.
Sep-09-08  ToTheDeath: Fantastic defensive effort. Lesser men would have caved under the pressure. The game is nearly diamond cutting diamond.
Sep-09-08  CapablancaFan: <ToTheDeath> Karpov actually gets lucky and escapes (barely) with a draw. Credit to him for hanging in there though.
Sep-09-08  ToTheDeath: Lucky my foot. Everything after 12...Nf6?! (12...Bf6 is more solid) is just stellar defense from Karpov in a really bad spot. If there was a win somewhere for White it is not easy to see.

When people claimed Capablanca had a lot of luck he replied that the good player is always lucky.

Jun-21-11  joelsontang: Did Petrosian miss a win?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The line 9....c5 was soon supplanted by 9....f5, most notably by Korchnoi, as Black encountered difficulties, exemplified by the game herein.
Sep-27-13  Howard: The book Anatoly Karpov--Endgame Virtuoso (sp?) analyzes this fascinating endgame pretty well. Interestingly enough, the book states that after the game, Karpov was asked to reveal the adjournment analysis that he and his second (don't recall his name) had undertaken when the game was adjourned, but.....Karpov declined to do so.
Oct-04-16  RookFile: That's fine. Depending upon who the audience was, Karpov may have valued his time and felt that he was under no obligation to provide free chess lessons.
May-12-18  Albion 1959: This was a save by Karpov. He was two pawns down after 53 moves and looking down the barrel of gun, staring at a possible defeat. And yet analysis seems to show that Petrosian never actually missed a win. A superb rear guard action by Karpov, who must have known that with the f and h pawns, Petrosian was never going actually going to win this ending. When seen in context, this was played in round 5, Karpov on 2/4 and had lost to Geller in round 3. another loss here would have surely put Karpov out of contention? A fascinating tussle between the World champion and the former World champion. However, games like this rarely took place between the top Soviet players, usually saving their energy for other opponents. But when they do go all out for a win, we see games like this! In his seven games with the white pieces against Karpov, he only twice went beyond 40 moves. If only they would have pushed themselves a bit more often, who knows what sort of games they would have produced:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Albion 1959> Very true.

As for <A superb rear guard action by Karpov, who must have known that with the f and h pawns, Petrosian was never going actually going to win this ending.>

It is a famously hard endgame to win. Well-played defense tends to save it, but it is no automatic draw. The defense side needs to be precise. It is pretty amazing to see cool-headed Karpov play the waiting moves Rc1-Rc2-Rc1-etc while Petrosian pushes his pawns up the board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Smyslov saved a game like this. A series of Rook moves, just shuffling, much like this game. I need to search it out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Found it.

Gligoric vs Smyslov, 1947

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <OCF> Nice.
May-23-20  andrewjsacks: Interesting little-known game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Petrosian must have won games like this before, with the well researched series of exchanges ending up with a pretty equal endgame after move 20. He went into this line against Karpov, apparently hoping for a mistake.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: A meeting of minds here surely lol

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