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Leonid Stein vs Tigran V Petrosian
USSR Championship 1961a (1961), Moscow URS, rd 6, Jan-19
French Defense: Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation General (C18)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-14-03  drukenknight: Winawer special. Petrosian as black wimps out. He's up 7 pawns to 4 in the middle of the game why is he afraid to sack the N? Its the only way to attack the K.

15...h4 might be sounder.

Feb-18-03  gkilaza: What about 15...h4 16 N*f5 e*f5 17 Bf3 Be6 18 a4 0-0 19 Ba3 Re8 20 Bd6 Rc8 21 R*b7!
Feb-20-03  drunknight II: Back to the winawer: does anyone know why this game is lost? if black goes 26..Nxe5 27 dxe5 Qb6 pins the R. I was thinking black was going to sack the N a lot earlier. He was ahead in material 6 connected pawns to 3, being ahead he should look to exchange down and selling off the N for pawns, opens up whites k..

have not had time to play gk's line, but looks interesting.

Jun-27-03  SEVEN: Hey, drunknight II Is there anything good for black after 26... Nxe5 27. dxe5 Qb6 28. Bxd5 treatening the rook and Qf3?
Aug-08-05  PinkPanther: This game is just horrible by black. He played the whole game with (what seems to me) no plan at all.
Aug-08-05  themindset: 26...Nxe5 27.dxe5 Qb6 28.Qxd5!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: This is the only game that Petrosian lost out of the 68 game World Championship cycle that determined him as Botvinnik's challenger. It's almost unbelieveable that a player could play sixty-eight games against the world's best in world class tournaments and only lose one game. That also means he went undefeated against the likes of Tal, Fischer, and Geller, who all certainly wanted their own chance against Botvinnik. The only player I can think of who has shown that kind of ability recently is Leko.
Nov-02-06  notyetagm: <suenteus po 147: This is the only game that Petrosian lost out of the 68 game World Championship cycle that determined him as Botvinnik's challenger.>

That is amazing! Damn Petrosian was good.

Premium Chessgames Member
  hesyrett: 19 a4! is the star move by Stein. It's hard to see the compensation for this pawn sac until several moves later; Black's QB is completely offside after 20 ... b5, so White is attacking with an extra piece on the K-side.
Apr-27-08  TheDude: 26.Bxe6! fxe6 27.Qg4!

The Knight cannot move: 27...Ne7 28.Rf8+ and 27...Rh8 loses to 28.Qxg6 Kd7 29.Rf7+ Kc8 30.Qxe6 Kb8 31.Rxb7 Kxb7 32.Rf7+ and the deadly Rook is again on the 7th rank. Deep Great Game by Stein. Deep "Stein". ;-)

Apr-27-08  euripides: Games Like L Stein vs Petrosian, 1961

Pelletier has played this 7...Nf5 line a few times with some success, and Petrosian drew with it against Tal twenty-two years later. It seems that Black should be willing to pull the f5 knight back to e7 in many lines. In this game the opening of the f file after Nxg3 proves too dangerous against Stein's precise attack.

Jun-03-09  ewan14: The only game that Petrosian lost out of the 60 game World Championship cycle

If Geller really wanted to play Botvinnik he could have tried harder against Petrosian

Petrosian's performance in the Soviet championship was brilliant beating Korchnoi , Smyslov et al

In the interzonal he defended well against Korchnoi , Fischer

Nov-12-10  matherd1: Beginner's question: After 26.Bxe6 fxe6 27. Qg4 Ne7 28.Rf8+ why is it won exactly?
Nov-12-10  howlwolf: matherd: seems to me after 28 . . .Kd7 29 Rxd8+ Kxd8 30 Qxe6 black is toast. White is threatening mate in two with Rf8+ followed by Qd6 mate. only reasonable defense is Rh8 and then Bg5 just ties him up completely and he will lose at least the d pawn as well and the queen and two passed pawns vs. rook and bishop is no contest.
Jan-01-13  leka: Petrosian played 68th games with out a loss.Also Petrosian played in the chess olympiads 129 games 78 wins 50 draws one loss.The only loss was against Huebner in 1972.Petrosian was the toughest to beat.The people do think his as the worthty world champion because lot a draws he played.Petrosian was the famous exchange sacrifices.Petrosian sacrifeced his rook many times for a knight or a bishop
Jun-23-13  talisman: 119. a4...!?
Apr-06-15  A.T PhoneHome: Not that it necessarily matters, but this was only the second game between Stein and Petrosian; their first game being Petrosian win as White. Perhaps Iron Tigran thought he could prolong the game and relied too much on his patience because this was Mr. Stein's debut USSR Championship, thinking that at some point Stein might overreach or something + he wanted to see which tools Stein would employ as White.

Just speculating but knowing Petrosian's playing style and philosophy... Considerable, isn't it?

As for this pretty game by Stein, <19.a4> was a brilliant way of mobilizing that Queen's Bishop! <20.Ra1> and <21.Ba3> force Black Queen off that e7 square and now White is dominating on dark squares. Following this, Stein carries out a precise, strong attack.

I know Petrosian made a living defending passive positions but look at his pieces... Their mobility is so limited. However, I don't rate this Stein win lower just because Petrosian lost a cramped game; Stein did what he came for and this was the ONLY loss of Petrosian's in this USSR Championship.

Leonid Stein made sure that he would be remembered after this game and especially after this Championship! He played with remarkable courage and I think you agree with me.

Feb-27-16  Smyslov57: What a game.
I am currently spending vonsidrtBle time studying Petrosian's games. In my view, the most underrated of the great champions. Before playing over this game, I had already determined on my next player to study: Leonid Stein. This game confirms my choice. I have all three books on the great man that are available in English.
Jul-25-16  andrea volponi: 24...b4!=
Sep-02-16  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Sorry,Suenteus, but the fact Petrosian went undefeated against Geller is not so remarkable.

Petrosian, Geller and Keres had an arrangement that the games among them at the 1962 Candidates' Tournament would all be agreed drawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Instead of 18...Qe7 black could have played 18...Ba4 preventing thus 19.a4 with next Ra1 and Ba3. 24...Rh6 was a blunder but black position was already quite precarious.
Aug-22-21  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Couldn't black have tried

26 ... Nh8 ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Maybe the Caro-Kann would have been a better choice - slightly more solid perhaps. This winawer has a bad reputation in modern engine chess - White generally wins the White side.

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