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Tigran V Petrosian vs Bent Larsen
Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966), Santa Monica, CA USA, rd 16, Aug-11
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen's Knight Variation (A16)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-25-07  notyetagm: A simply -stupendous- King's Indian game by Larsen.
Dec-25-07  notyetagm: Petrosian vs Larsen, 1966

Black to play: 64 ... ?


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This position is from a variation given by GM John Nunn, explaining why Petrosian resigned after move 61.

Here Black has the tremedous tactical blow 64 ... ♕g3xe3+!!,


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<REMOVING THE GUARD> of the d4-royal forking square by taking the White e3-pawn chain base defender.

After 65 ♘d1x♕e3 <illusory protection> ♘f5xd4+ <royal fork>


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66 ♔e2-d2 ♘d4x♕c6, White would be three(!) pawns down in a hopeless endgame, shown below:


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So the stunning tactical blow 64 ... ♕g3xe3+!! not only forces the queens off the board, ending White's hope of a miracle perpetual, it also wins two additional pawns for Black, making White's cause completely hopeless.

Dec-25-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: One of the drawbacks of the fianchetto system for White vs the KID is the weakness of c4 and Black's attempts to exploit it.

While Petrosian doubtless realised that playing 16.cxb5 was a major concession, the positions which would arise after ....b4, axb4 Nxb4 offered no prospects other than a grim defence of the weakness at b3.

Once Black plays ....e4 followed by ....d5, the central pawn formation is a French defence with reversed colours where, in effect, White has played cxd5 cxd5, totally freeing Black's hands. No annotations a weak player such as myself might offer could better illustrate the fate that comes to White in the aftermath of this.

It's ironic how the first move of the culminating combination is to eliminate the bad bishop which has been a millstone about White's neck during the entire game, a phenomenon I first saw mentioned in Nunn's Secrets of Grandmaster Play.

Dec-25-07  notyetagm: <perfidious: One of the drawbacks of the fianchetto system for White vs the KID is the weakness of c4 and Black's attempts to exploit it.>

Good point. I experience this exact problem every time I play the English with 1 c2-c4 and 2 g2-g3 and face a KID setup.

Dec-26-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Petrosian had to be at least a little bit flattered--Larsen's play is quite a fine example of his own style!
Dec-26-07  notyetagm: <An Englishman: Good Evening: Petrosian had to be at least a little bit flattered--Larsen's play is quite a fine example of his own style!>

Yes, in this game it is Petrosian(!) who gets squeeezed by a python. :-)

Dec-09-09  Dravus: Larsen's pawn-wrenches tighten and bend Petrosian in this constrictor. At Black's moves 36 & 41, Larsen illustrates what truly opposing knights are, maintaining that advantage.
Feb-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Position after 26...b4:


click for larger view

"I considered this a winning position - and told Donner that if I did not win it, I would really go and see a doctor"

Larsen in "Larsen's selected games of chess, 1948-69"

Feb-20-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: EXCHANGE ON THE LOOSE SQUARE: THEN NA++,ND--

Petrosian vs Larsen, 1966 60 ... Bd6xg3! works as 62 ... Qh8-h3+ fork regains the piece

Feb-20-11  notyetagm: P-W-N-E-D
Jan-31-12  Whitehat1963: One of you premium members needs to post this game to the Guess-the-Move database.
Oct-25-13  parisattack: Classic Larsen. Petrosian plays passively as white hoping black will over-reach - but instead gets squashed.
Oct-26-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: And six years later, I finally invent a suitable verb for the game--Petrosian got "Petrosianned."
Mar-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: HA!!!! Good one. It does indeed look like Larsen became Petrosian to play this game.

Is there some hidden pun that I missed?

Jan-10-15  zydeco: Petrosian's gormless opening style usually led to a flexible position with no weaknesses, while inducing an opponent to overextend himself. Every so often, though, his opponent gets an overwhelming, permanent space advantage.

At move 19, Petrosian comments: "Black managed to achieve both of the above-mentioned strategic plans [....b5 and .....e4]. His position is already so bad that not only during the game but even now I find it difficult to give any sort of advice." Translation: Petrosian felt he played fairly logically, and in keeping with his style, but was thoroughly outplayed by Larsen.

Larsen thought 6.e3 was a little unthreatening; and 17.Qd1 was very passive. (Better 17.Ne4.)

Larsen says that he spent all night analyzing the adjourned position (after 41....Nf5). He found that after 42.Bd2 he could put white in virtual zugzwang with 42....Nh5 43.Nh1 Bb8. After 42.Qd2 Larsen looked first at a pawn sacrifice with ....f5 and rejected it in favor of pushing the g-pawn to g4. Larsen says that he saw the winning combination at move 51 but was very sleepy (from having analyzed all night!) and decided to waste time until the next time control before putting the combination into effect.

Mar-29-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  fiercebadger: That g3 pawn was in the cross hairs
Sep-18-19  Ulhumbrus: < zydeco: ...

At move 19, Petrosian comments: "Black managed to achieve both of the above-mentioned strategic plans [....b5 and .....e4]. White's position is already so bad that not only during the game but even now I find it difficult to give any sort of advice.... > This suggests that the advance 19...e4 counts as a threat and that White cannot afford to wait for it and that 19 e4 or 19 dxe5 is necessary.

Oct-12-19  siggemannen: Wasn't something like 29.Qb5 better?
Oct-12-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <siggemannen: Wasn't something like 29.Qb5 better?>

Surprisingly, no, because if 29.Qb5 g5! 30.Ne2 Nb8!! (threatening ...Ba6) 31.Qxa5 Ba6 32.Nc1 Nh5 and g3 caves in (SF10).

Larsen's comment after 26....b4: <"I considered this a winning position - and told Donner that if I did not win it, I would really go and see a doctor"> is justified per SF, which has a -1.72 evaluation at 38 ply at that point.

Mar-29-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Can't stop revisiting this game, perhaps because Petrosian's play so closely resembled so many of my own losses. Playing "solid" moves, playing "safe" moves, playing without a plan--yes, Petrosian decided to play like me. Which was never a good idea, even when I played like me.
May-12-22  hafnia: I have programmed this epic game into a 3D animation with sound and analysis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aad...
May-12-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Or, click on the forward arrow above.
May-17-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Very nice - I like the 3D effect. Shame we can't reverse the board though. Always nice to be sitting behind the winning pieces!
May-17-22  Petrosianic: Who says you can't reverse the board? Just click the "Settings" link, then "Invert Board".
May-18-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: :-) True, but it was the 3D effect of <hafnia>'s YouTube video I was admiring. I can't invert the board there.
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