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Tigran V Petrosian vs Henrique Mecking
Palma de Mallorca (1969), Palma ESP, rd 5, Nov-27
Modern Defense: Geller's System (B06)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-01-05  fgh: What a great game by Petrosian!
Aug-10-05  BishopofBlunder: Only Petrosian could use a Queen as a pawn blockade and still come out on top!
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Why did white draw back the bishop on move 13. when it will be used for exchange of the knight? Couldn't Tigran developed another piece?
Aug-11-05  Troewa: <Wannabe> The white e-pawn is under attack after Black's 12th move. White needs to either defend the pawn or push it. The most logical way to defend it is by clearing the bishop out of the rook's way, which is what Petrosian does. A simple pawn push from e4 to e5 seems playable too though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: Mecking "punished" Petrosian's 13th by exchanging knights, forcing the bishop to move again--onto a better square. Petrosian liked to mess around with the minds of his opponents in this fashion.
Aug-11-05  paul dorion: A good game! Poor Mecking tried to do something active and see all it's efforts returned against him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Troewa> Um, ah, oh.. I see, I see. Thanks for pointing that out. Missed that e-pawn completely.
Dec-16-06  Kingdom NL: Petrosian played brilliant here. A move like 19. Bf4 ; with the only reason to "seduce" black to play 19...e5 wouldn't consider many players.

Another great move is the exchanging the rooks. 31. Rxa8 Rxa8 and the black rook is standing there useless allthough he controls the a-line.

Dec-16-06  notyetagm: This game is heavily annotated in Michael Stean's "Simple Chess".

Petrosian noted that Mecking did not understand the concept of weak squares. In this game, for example, Mecking gives Petrosian the light squares. In another game between these two, Mecking gave Petrosian the dark squares. Needless to say, Petrosian won both of these games.

Dec-16-06  Maroczy: Can you realy reach 2500/2600 FIDE without understanding weak squares? Seems like a contradiction.
Premium Chessgames Member
  JointheArmy: Computers could in the 90's.
Dec-17-06  notyetagm: <Maroczy: Can you realy reach 2500/2600 FIDE without understanding weak squares? Seems like a contradiction.>

I was just giving Petrosian's quote and opinion, not mine.

I think what Petrosian meant was that the weakening of a color complex is -very- serious. In this game, for example, Mecking takes on horrible light-squared weakness just to threaten a kingside pawn storm. When Petrosian easily rebuffs this kingside action, Mecking has nothing in exchange for his weak light squares. That is, when his "attack" is over, Mecking has no compensation whatsoever for his terrible weakness on the light squares.

I think this is what Petrosian meant, not that Mecking did not -understand- weak squares but that he did not fully -appreciate- them. Here Mecking accepts a positionally lost game in exchange for the faint glimmer of a kingside attack. That is -not- enough compensation for all of those weak light squares according to Petrosian and what Mecking apparently did not understand.

Dec-17-06  HOTDOG: 18...Bg7 and 19...e5 were the decisive mistakes
Dec-17-06  euripides: Macking hadn't played in very many top-flight events before 1969 - the main ones beinv the 1967 Sousse interzonal and the 1968 Olympiad. He may have played hardly anyone who could make as much of this kind of weakness as Petrosian. Both Kasparov and Fischer found their early encounters with Petrosian educational.

24...f4 looks suspect; I guess if Black avoids it White could eventually play f4 himself and try to close the king's side and play on the queen's side, but it might be a better chance.

Dec-17-06  notyetagm: <euripides: Macking hadn't played in very many top-flight events before 1969 - ... He may have played hardly anyone who could make as much of this kind of weakness as Petrosian.>

Yes, Mecking may very well have thought that his weak light squares did not matter because his kingside pawn storm was going to win the game in the near future.

Like you said, weak opposition may just have folded up in the face of that pawn storm, but not Petrosian. After Petrosian beat back the assault, Mecking had a position he may never experienced before: a positionally lost game as the result of making positional concessions for an attack that failed.

Jul-31-07  sanyas: 33.h4 would I think have won even more quickly.
Jan-08-12  jackpawn: Every player should play over this game a half dozen times! I love Petrosian's deep insight.
Jan-09-12  SChesshevsky: <<jackpawn: Every player should play over this game a half dozen times! I love Petrosian's deep insight.>>

I agree. I think it shows Petrosian in good form. Gaining the tempo with 19. Bf4 then taking advantage of the I thought weak 19..e5 to get the protected passed d pawn pretty much gave him a strategically won game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Great game example in Stean's "Simple chess" - need advantage for an attack to be successful

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