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Tigran V Petrosian vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik - Petrosian World Championship Match (1963), Moscow URS, rd 15, Apr-29
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Accelerated Variation (D81)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-29-11  play2win: This is a great game.
Nov-29-11  Everett: <: Zugzwangovich Ironically, Botvinnik resigned when Petrosian played 58. f6, when he could well have thrown in the towel had Tigran the Tiger played the same f6 on move 27.>

Quite ironic, in that Petrosian cannot play f6 on move 27. Perhaps you meant f5?

Dec-02-11  Zugzwangovich: <Everett> Yes, you're right. Guess I'm getting worser at numbers and grammar in my old age.
Premium Chessgames Member
  yiotta: This is an example of how the B is sometimes better than the N.
Dec-27-13  Petrosianic: One example among thousands?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This was such a hard match. Petrosian only lost twice, including game one. His wins were hard-fought as Botvinnik was not the kind of opponent to be knocked over in 25 moves. Both players must have been exhausted by the end.
Mar-11-14  zydeco: One of Petrosian's strategies in this match was to play Botvinnik's opening innovations against him. (4.Qb3 was first played by Botvinnik against Levenfish in 1933 -- according to Kasparov.)

The pawn structure in this game is very similar to Game 5 (split black pawns on e6 and g6) although this time Petrosian has a bishop v. a knight, instead of the other way around, and Petrosian's own pawn structure isn't so good, so he gets the win by maneuvering energetically with pieces.

According to Kasparov in OMGP, Botvinnik missed chances for counterplay with 16....Qc8, 18.....c6, and either 23.....Nc4 or 23.....Bxd4 24.Rxd4 Raf8.

It's impressive how Petrosian's rook outmaneuvers Botvinnik's rook from move 39 to move 46.

Feb-24-16  Ulhumbrus: The move 47...Nf8 suggests that Black would like to play 48...Ne6. If so, White does not wait for this but plays 49 Rf6+ first. The black King is then overworked. If he has to defend the g6 pawn by going to g7, he cannot then defend the square e6 so as to support the move ...Ne6
Feb-25-18  tgyuid: i'm not all that sure about 1.d4; okay in this game black fails to take advantage;; i accept that;; still....
Feb-25-18  tgyuid: instinctively i want to just e5 that; d'you know what i mean....
Feb-25-18  tgyuid: the utterly psychotic gambit, we could call it that; i just know its playable somehow....
Feb-25-18  tgyuid: see, the thing is bov; you're now playing his style of game;
Feb-26-18  tgyuid: 14.0-0-0; funny
Feb-26-18  tgyuid: 39.a5; lethal
Feb-28-18  thegoodanarchist: This game is the turning point of the match, which was even after 14 games. But here TVP scores the first of 3 wins that MB would not be able to answer.

This is an historic game, to say the least.

Feb-28-18  RookFile: No question, a beautiful game.
Feb-28-18  SpiritedReposte: Such delicate middlegame play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <SpiritedReposte: Such delicate middlegame play.>

Delicate LOL!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: A very instructive game from a pawn break perspective! - including the missed pawn break opportunity f5 at Move 27. Nb6-c4 had a "weakness of the last move" - d7 square which in effect "virtually pinned" the f7 rook to the d7 square which in turn meant actually f5 is amazingly effective. But later the a5 pawn break is instructive, and the f5 pawn break much later convinced Botvinnik to resign.
Jul-09-22  Whitehat1963: Half the time I cannot for the life of me figure out what Petrosian is trying to do in this game.
Aug-08-22  unspiek: There was the Gruenfeld, doing its evil work yet again. After game 5, one wonders why MB didn't switch to a reserve defense, like maybe the Semi-Slav.

Botvinnik's history with the Gruenfeld in WC matches doesn't make it look attractive. Even Kasparov couldn't make it work at that level -- it mighty near gave the championship back to Karpov.

The Gruenfeld works fine against people who aren't super-GMs at the peak of form, but maybe that determines its limit.

Aug-08-22  Olavi: <unspiek: There was the Gruenfeld, doing its evil work yet again. After game 5, one wonders why MB didn't switch to a reserve defense, like maybe the Semi-Slav. Botvinnik's history with the Gruenfeld in WC matches doesn't make it look attractive. Even Kasparov couldn't make it work at that level -- it mighty near gave the championship back to Karpov.>

Stubbornness is one hallmark of a great player; they need to believe their judgement. There are other examples when that has backfired in matches. Karpov lost crucial very sharp Zaitsev Ruy Lopezes in the 1986 and 1990 matches, yet he continued playing it against Kasparov and had the last laugh in Amsterdam 1991 - even if that ended in a draw. And Kasparov banging his head against the Berlin in 2000 is a case in point, "wasting" your Whites comes down to the same thing.

An example of flexibility, now fairly forgotten because of the seeming one-sidedness of the match, is Alekhine abandoning the Slav in 1937. That was a wise decision.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 18...e6 was not a good idea. 18...c6 gives black solid game.
Aug-08-22  SChesshevsky: <...Botvinnik's history with the Gruenfeld in WC matches doesn't make it look attractive...>

Think it's not a good match for Botvinnik. Nor for Kasparov. And I don't think it was an accident Fischer didn't play it in 72 against Spassky or even in 92.

Seems generally whites better coming out of the opening. Especially in the big center variations. Black has dynamic counter play but often the major goal is to equalize by blockading the center, then using the dynamics to exchange off, looking even for opposite color B's.

Not usually in Botvinnik, Kasparov, or Fischer's nature to accept being worse out of the opening and then use activity just to equalize. Plus you have opponents like Smyslov, Petrosian, Karpov, Spassky, who are capable and willing to hold onto that opening advantage and make you prove you can Gruenfeld equalize. And benefit if Black goes too far.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As I posted long ago, come to the 1972 match:

<....(In 1972), Fischer was struggling with the prospect of meeting Spassky; how would he have met Spassky's Saemisch vs his beloved KID, which was nothing but trouble for so many, or his handling of the main line Exchange vs the Gruenfeld, in which he'd already lost twice before Reykjavik? As it was, in the early stages of the match, Fischer turned to the Nimzo and Modern Benoni, two favourites from the mid sixties on.>

There followed further opening switches, one of which became necessary after Spassky's rough treatment of 6.Bc4 vs his Sicilian, though Fischer grovelled a draw in that fourth game, with another the notorious defeat inflicted on the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn in game 11.

It should be mentioned, as I have elsewhere, that despite Fischer's public anti-Soviet pronouncements, he had considerable respect for their analytical might.

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