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Tigran V Petrosian vs Boris Spassky
Amsterdam Candidates (1956), Amsterdam NED, rd 4, Mar-31
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. King's Indian Formation (A26)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-31-06  Resignation Trap: Petrosian missed 37. Rd1! (threatening both 38. Rxd5 and 38.e6) c6 38.Kh1! Qf7 39.Qxf7+ Rxf7 40.e6 Rf2 41.e7 Nf6 42.Bh5!, winning.
Mar-31-06  Keshishian: If 37. Rd1, then Spassky plays Nf6, not c6. Black forces an exchange and wins a pawn.
Mar-31-06  Resignation Trap: <<Keshishian>: If 37.Rd1, then Spassky plays Nf6, not c6. Black forces an exchange and wins a pawn.>

Doesn't White just play 38.exf6 in that case?

Mar-31-06  Keshishian: My apologies! I honestly didn't even see the pawn there.

Lack of sleep + chess = hanging pieces

In this case, I think your lines work.
Did you find this combination yourself or with computer analysis?

Apr-01-06  Resignation Trap: <Keshishian> Spassky's trainer, Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush , reviewed this round in the Russian language bulletins of this event, and he mentioned it in passing. It later appeared in the English language tournament book and in a collection of Petrosian's games.
May-11-08  whiteshark: " In the book of the tournament, Dr. Euwe has described this game as <one of the most valuable in the literature of chess>. From any point of view - depth of strategy, resourcefulness and determination - it is a gem and will repay frequent and close study. "

(Raymond Keene: Flank Openings)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: The game also appears in The Ultimate Chess Strategy Book: Volume 1, by Romero and Gonzalez de la Nava (2008, Gambit Publications). White's 25th move -- specifically the choice between 25.Ne5 and 25.Nd2 -- is given puzzle status, but there is plenty of supplementary analysis.

Engines will (almost) always find tactical solutions, of course -- but Petrosian presents unique difficulties. He very often won from positions which engines persist in evaluating as equal.

Here, he did certainly miss some clearer winning chances -- though Spassky played his part too, with doggedly imaginative defence. But a collection of Petrosian games -- like Keene's recent one -- shows the pattern recurring. His opponents got into trouble of a kind that computers still have difficulty seeing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: A fine strategical game by Petrosian, spoiled by him missing the tactical threat of 37. ♖d1!. After gaining space on the Queenside, Petrosian attacks the black centre with 16. f4, eventually forcing Spassky to play 24...e4. He then destroys the Black pawn chain with the thrust 27. g4!.
Mar-07-15  Howard: Petrosian truly botched some won positions in the first several games of this event. In other words, his unfathomable blunder against Bronstein, in Round 2, wasn't the only case where he blew a won position. He also did so against Smyslov in the third round, and in the fourth round against Spassky, here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It is possible, not to say likely, that Iron Tigran experienced psychological difficulties in the aftermath of his gaffe against Bronstein which thus manifested themselves. Could have happened to anyone.
Jul-11-18  Howard: True! Even someone with iron nerves like Karpov would have been rattled after what happened in the game against Bronstein.
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: Spassky shows how to deploy the 3rd rank defense in an unusual version of this ending where White has doubled centre pawns.

Of interest is his decision on move 67. Black is in check: which square to retreat to? 67..Kf8? would have lost: 68 Kf6 and the mate threat oliges 68..Ra8 69 e6 Rc8 70 e7+ Ke8 71 Rb6 Ra8 72 Rd6 Rb8 73 e5 Ra8 74 e6 Rb8 75 Rd8+

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