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Robert James Fischer vs Tigran V Petrosian
Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final (1971), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 5, Oct-14
Russian Game: Classical Attack. Closed Variation (C42)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-24-03  henrilin: A marvelous defensive job by Petro! Watch the comments by Colin Crouch "How to defend in chess" if you wish to understand the essence of this position. He even considers 26...Ne4! to be a winning attempt for Petro. Bh6 is very annoying in some variations.
Jul-28-05  ARTIN: 26... Ne4 is a mistake. instead Bh6 keeps the positional advantage
Aug-28-06  Brown: <ARTIN: 26... Ne4 is a mistake. instead Bh6 keeps the positional advantage>

How so?

May-12-07  Hesam7: The idea is to prevent the dark squared bishop in h2 from reentering the game. But I think that Black's advantage is not that great for example after 27. ... Bh6 28.Qf1 White seems to hold.
Jun-15-07  DWINS: Regarding move 26, Robert Byrne says, "Najdorf criticized this move, claiming Petrosian's only chance to win lay in 26...Bh6, cutting off the White QB from reentering the game and threatening R-c8-c1+. Still, I don't find the situation at all clear after 27.Qb4! Ne4 28.Bb1 when White threatens to consolidate by Bd3 and Rc2".
Aug-04-08  Ulhumbrus: Petrosian finds a way to develop his QB after 9..Nbd7: he develops it on b7, after ...b5.
Jun-07-11  joelsontang: I think white should play 13.a4 preventing the b5 break by Petrosian. There was still a chance 15.a4 instead of 15.Re2. after 15...b5, it seems like white has to go onto the defensive instead. I think white should play 17.a4 (now a change of plan to exploit Petrosian's b5 pawn instead so that the white Q on b3 would not look misplaced).

Agree with me???

Aug-01-12  HOTDOG: Botvinnik commented this game and we have:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5
in tournaments Black has more troubles against 3.d4

3...d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 Nf6
better than 5...d5, now this is an Alekhine defense with the Knight in f6 and not in b6, and this difference favours Black

6. Bd3 Be7 7. h3
White wants to play c4 and this move prevents Bg4 and frees the h2 square for the Bc1 after Bf4

7...O-O 8. O-O c6
an useful move, but it could be postponed

9. Re1 Nbd7 10. Bf4
Fischer, like Smyslov, always put his pieces in good and solid squares

10...Re8 11. c4 Nf8 12. Nc3 a6 13. Qb3
a superficial move, better was 13.a4, because it's difficult for Black to put a Knight in b4

13...Ne6 14. Bh2
14.Be3 was safer

Black had to play 14...b5, but Fischer pretended to have the edge and so he didn't reply with 15.a4

15. Re2 b5 16. Rae1
with the idea d4-d5, immediately prevented by Black


17. Qc2
17.d5 cxd5 18.cxb5 d4 19.Ne4 (19.bxa6 Bxf3) Nxe4 20.Bxe4 Bxe4 21.Rxe4 axb5; and if 17.a4 Korchnoi suggests 17...Rb8

White has mobilized all his pieces, but Black's position is invulnerable as the one of a curly. During the years 1930-40 it was Flohr who created similar positions

18. b4 bxc4 19. Bxc4 Nc7!
not 19...d5 20.Bd3 Bxb4 21.Rb1 and White is better

20. Bb3
Korchnoi suggested 20.Rxe8 and now one of the Black knights leave the control of d5

20...Rxe2 21. Rxe2 Ncd5!
an artistic move. Now the d6 and d5 pawns control all the central squares limiting White's pieces and White's a and b pawns are weak. Only now Fischer realized that he previously had to push is pawn in a4

22. a3 a5 23. Nxd5
23.Bxd5 is not better

23...cxd5 24. b5
24.bxa5 bxa5 25.a4 gives White more drawing chances

24...a4 25. Ba2
A dangerous move. Better is 25.Bxa4 (25...Qa5 Bb3) still with drawing chances

25...Qa5 26.Qb2 Rc8 27.Bf4 Qc3 was possible, but Petrosian's move is more accurate

26. Qb1 Ra5 27. Rb2 Ne4
after this move White can equalize with some tactical means, and the Bh2 enters into the game. Instead after 27...Bh6! (not 27...Bc8 28.Bf4 Bf5 29.Qf1 Bd7 30.Bg5 Rxb5 31.Rxb5 Bxb5 32.Qb1) 28.Qe1 Ne4 29.Qb4 Qc7 30.Rb1 Ra8 Black's pieces are all very active and White is hopeless

28. Bf4 Nc3 29. Qc2 Rxb5
29...Nxa2 30.Rxa2 Qxb5 (30...Rxb5 31.Qxa4) 31.Qc7 is dangerous for Black

30. Rxb5 Nxb5 31. Qxa4 Qa6
Black manages to change the passed pawn in a3, but not more

32. Qxa6 Bxa6 33. Be3
preventing Nb5-c3-e2+

33...Nxa3 34. Bxd5 Bc4 35. Bc6 Nc2 36. Bd2 Be2 37. Be4 Bxf3 38. Bxc2 Bd5 draw the best game of the match

Oct-16-16  GeneM: From ChessBase, the Mega Database 2008 disagrees with the moves shown here on; but both Colin Crouch and are in agreement.

So, Mega is probably wrong in claiming the move order of:

16. Qc2<b3 Bb7<c8 17. Re1<a
(Actual is probably 16. Re1<a)

Crouch says in this game: "... Petrosian concentrated on piece flexibility rather than over-rapid (and ineffective) development.".

Crouch calls Petrosian's a-wing pawn structure after 12...a76, of a6-p b7-p c6-p d6-p, the "porcupine" (not quite the "hedgehog" of a6 b6 d6 e6).

Oct-16-16  RookFile: Really an excellent game by Petrosian. Fischer did well to get a draw out of this.
Jun-29-18  Everett: Quick stockfish analysis offers three superior moves to 13.Qb3 AND 13.a4, 13.b4 being one of them. Scores it around .8 for White's position.

Nonetheless, this particular game shows Petrosian at his best as Black. I remember only a bit of the Crouch analysis of this particular game. It's a fun one to go over.

Jun-29-18  Howard: The late Colin Crouch stated in his book that Petrosian definitely missed some stronger moves.

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