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Tigran V Petrosian vs Bent Larsen
San Antonio (1972), San Antonio, TX USA, rd 13, Dec-05
Horwitz Defense: General (A40)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-06-07  HOTDOG: according to Suetin,28.Bg6! Qe7 29.Qc2! is much stronger;46.g5? is bad and White wins with 46.Kg3;52...Ng5? is the decisive mistake,instead 52...Ne5! draws,for example 53.Ke3 Nxg6 54.Bxg6 Kxg6 55.Ke4 Kg5 56.Ke5 Kg6 57.Kd5 Kf5 58.Kxc5 Kf4 59.b4 Kg3 60.b5 Kh3 61.b6 Kg2 62.b7 h3 63.b8=Q h2 with a theoretical draw
Nov-06-07  Riverbeast: <A tremendously exciting slugfest between two great human players making astonishing moves>

I agree, this is a fascinating game...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <HOTDOG: according to Suetin... 52...Ng5? is the decisive mistake,instead 52...Ne5! draws>

True, but Larsen was probably exhausted by then after a tenacious defense. Painful game to play with the black pieces. Though up a pawn, black had to hold and hold and hold. A merciless grinding machine, that's what Petrosian was.

Feb-19-09  arsen387: What a Q sac by Petrosian!!
Feb-19-09  swarmoflocusts: Larsen should have resigned after 56.Ke4. If 56...Kf6 (or e7 or d7), Petrosian gets his queen long before Larsen gets his. If 56...Kd6 Petrosian simply queens his pawn. The black king must guard white's g-pawn, but in doing so must allow white to achieve an unstoppable b-pawn. Surely Larsen figured this out.
Feb-19-09  chessman95: I don't like the way that black opens this game. He wastes four of his first five moves with pawns and then develops his queen much too early and allows white to chase it around the board the whole game.
Feb-19-09  blacksburg: omg <Fusilli>! i found another muppet!
Feb-20-09  swarmoflocusts: <He wastes four of his first five moves with pawns>

You know, there's a school of thought that it is desirable to develop one's pawns before one's pieces, and it isn't wise to simply dismiss it.

Feb-20-09  chessman95: <swarmoflocusts> I'm not saying that it is bad to play pawn moves in the opening, but in this game he doesn't really play for control of the center, and by move five black isn't controling any of the black squares in the center with pawns. On move five white's knight already gets a strong center post at e5, which should not happen.
Feb-21-09  swarmoflocusts: <chessman95>

Much of what you say is true. However, just because black's pawns do not control dark central squares does not mean he has weaknesses on those squares. His dark bishop will have incredible opportunity to activate and the absence of black pawns on dark squares allows his queen to activate early (although this is condemned by chess dogma), winning a pawn.

White's knight, by the way, is not on a very strong post. Black can, at will, kick it or trade it off, and indeed white is forced to retreat it once black's queen activates, demonstrating that the outpost is not secured by white's pawns. Furthermore, the knight doesn't actually cause black that much discomfort - a well posted knight should tie your opponent in knots.

Nov-14-10  Tigranny: So brilliant to sacrifice Tigran's queen earlier in the game in order to win!
Mar-11-12  Everett: Leave it to Larsen to play some crazy !#%*+?!
Sep-11-14  Howard: The late Larry Evans briefly showed the opening of this game--up until about the 12th move I think--in his book The Chess Opening for You.

He pointed out that Petrosian was normally not an attacking player, but in this game he "attacked magnificently".

Sep-11-14  RookFile: Nice game, Larsen put together in interesting effort in defeat.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <HOTDOG>
<52...Ne5! draws,for example 53.Ke3 Nxg6 54.Bxg6 Kxg6 55.Ke4>

I'm not finding the draw after 52...Ne5 53. Ke3 Nxg6 54. Bxg6 Kxg6 <55. Kf4> soon winning the h-pawn, with an extra outside passed pawn. What am I missing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Following up my previous comment, it's still a draw after 52...Ne5 53. Ke3 Nxg6 54. Bxg6 Kxg6 55. Kf4 Kf6 56. Kg4 Ke5, and both sides capture a pawn and get new queens.

If so, it seems drawn since 46. g5. Was that a mistake?

Sep-12-14  Bobby Spassky: Perhaps

52 ..... Nd8!
53. Ke3 Ne6
54. Kg4 Nd4

Black can trade the knight for the b pawn and the g pawn, which results in a draw.

Sep-22-14  Bobby Spassky: Bobby Spassky: Perhaps
52 ..... Nd8!
53. Ke3 Ne6
54. Kf4 Nd4

Make that 54. Kf4

Black can trade the knight for the b pawn and the g pawn, which results in a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: Interesting complications! Larsen in a romantic style complicates early on but misses some good opportunities as does Petrosian. Takes guts to be pawn-grabbing against Petrosian! Difficult game to play over the Board!

White 39.h3?? is a big mistake.

Instead 39.Bf3! will cover the D1-square

Larsen can draw by 39.-Q-D2 and all white has is a perpetual check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: The reason for h3 was time-trouble.
Petrosian reckoned it would win anyway and under-estimated blacks chances.

Gligoric was passing by the table when Larsen played b5!? and almost bursted up laughing (Petrosians notes)

Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: To quote Lyndon B. Johnson, "I feel like a hitchhiker on a Texas highway in the middle of a hailstorm; I can't run, I can't hide, and I can't make it go away.”

I bet Larsen felt the same way.

Apr-22-18  Ulhumbrus: 29...c5 exposes Black's game to attack, in this case the d5 pawn. Perhaps Larsen is worried about the move Rb4 and thinks that he can no longer cover everything and is trying to escape by returning the material.
Jan-07-19  Albion 1959: Two of Fischer's "Bunnies" slugging it out. Fischer was World Champion at the time!
Apr-29-22  Petrosianic: <Two of Fischer's "Bunnies" slugging it out. Fischer was World Champion at the time!>

Unfortunately, the truth is that Fischer was retired at the time.

Apr-29-22  Petrosianic: Petrosianic: <Yes, but is this so unexpected from Larsen? Compare it with this game: Larsen vs Spassky, 1964 .>

Totally expected. If you read Petrosian's notes for the game, he explains how he played 1. d4 instead of 1. c4 because after c4, the opening can remain unclear for a long time. Then on move 2 he was thinking that if White plays 2. c4, it will probably be a QGD, but if 2. Nf3, Larsen will surely play the Dutch.

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