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Lajos Portisch vs Tigran V Petrosian
Petrosian - Portisch Candidates Quarterfinal (1974), Palma ESP, rd 12, Feb-15
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-23-04  checkpat: endgame commented in

Alain Villeneuve

les Finales

vol I


The story he tells is as fun as his
technical comment instructive...
(en Francais..)

Aug-12-05  Knight Pawn: It looks like Petrosian could have drawn the ending had he not played Kh6, f6, and g5 weakening the kingside, but rather, waited until the white king would try to aid his passed pawn, then enter on the kingside.

Also, instead of 59... Ke6, Kg4 looks better, capturing the h pawn, sacrificing the rook for the b pawn, and transposing to a drawn rook vs. pawn ending.

Aug-13-05  euripides: <Knight pawn> welcome ! These endings with the defender's rook behding an outside passed pawn are very hard to save in practice. Timman wrote an interesting article in New in Chess a couple of years ago about four diferent grandmaster games where the defender failed to draw, even though the books tend to suggest it's drawable. One of them was Leko vs Anand, 2003.

In this game 47...Kf6 looks more promising. If Black later decides to psuh the f pawn he should perhaps play f5 rather than f6.

After 59..Kg4 I think that 60 Ra4 wins, indirectly defending the b pawn and threatening to block the b file wth Kc5 and Rb4. (I think this position is given in Mueller and Lemprecht's big book on endings).

Aug-13-05  euripides: Mueller and Lamprecht it turns out that <knight>'s 59... Kg4 is right; after 60 Ra4 Black plays 60...Ka3! and they say Black gets a draw in the resulting queen ending.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Euripides> I do not understand you last comment as your own idea of <60.Ra4> seems a winning one to me:

<59...Kg4> 60.Ra4 Kh3 61.Kc5 f5 62.Rb4 Re2 63.b7

How do Mueller and Lamprecht analyse out to a draw?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Chessical>
Maybe 59...Kg4 60. Ra4 Kh3 61. Kc5 f5 62. Rb4 <Rxb4!> 63. Kxb4 f4 64. b7 f3 65. b8+Q f2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Beatgiant> Now you show it to me, I see it!
Aug-14-05  euripides: <best, chessical> yes, I think that is the line. Then the draw depends on the theory of Q+RP vs. Q with both kings away from the pawn.
Aug-14-05  SEMENELIN: excellent move by portisch at the end game.
Aug-15-05  Knight Pawn: <euripides> thanks. These rook endings sure are cumbersome to learn. Even the GMs aren't 100%!

I overlooked 60. Ra4, but interestingly enough, it still draws.

Anyways, how is Mueller and Lamprecht's Fundamental Chess Endings? I have Basic Chess Endings by Fine. Is it basically the same thing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Studying Rook endings is like hitting 1,000 backstrokes each day in tennis, swimming laps for hours and hours, booting corner kicks all day, or shooting 15 foot jump shots outdoors every day in January.

It's agony in practice, but it feels so good when you do better than your opponent.

Aug-15-05  Knight Pawn: <An Englishman>

Well Put!

Aug-15-05  euripides: <Knight> I don't have Fine so I'm not sure. Mueller and Lamprecht is extremely good, and uses recent computer analysis that has changed the evaluation of some endgames like Q+P vs P. From what I've read, I think it may also have more emphasis on examples from play than Fine.
Nov-07-07  whiteshark: Petrosian missed playing the strong <36...Qa4>

click for larger view

whereafter the game easily remains equal.

Anyhow a very instructive ♖♙♙♙+b♙ vs ♖♙♙♙ endgame.

Nov-07-07  HOTDOG: Portisch was a very hard opponent for Petrosian.Tigran's first win against Lajos was only in 1974
Oct-28-10  cocker: Position after 51 ♖b8 features in Nunn's book, Understanding Chess Endgames, #56d. According to Nunn, Black missed a draw with 55 ... ♔g4, or 59 ... ♔g4, or 60 ... ♔d7. In My Great Predecessors, Part III, game 38, Kasparov agrees with this. On the other hand, Nunn claims that White missed a win with 58 ♔b5 or 59 ♔c5. As usual, the main conclusion is that endgames can be very difficult - and reading Nunn's book is not going to make me an expert!
Sep-19-13  Howard: Chess Life, back in 1974, mistakenly gave 59...K-K3 (used descriptive notation back then) two question marks and stamped it as the losing move. But Kasparov's MGP said that even though Petrosian had a better move to hold the draw, the decisive error was actually one move later with 60...Rc2 +.
Nov-15-15  Howard: Some engine analysis on this endgame would be much appreciated !
Premium Chessgames Member
  g15713: Thanks to FinalGen, a chess endgame tablebase generator for Windows, one now knows this is a loss for Black after 55...Rxf2?

click for larger view

56. Ra8 Rb2 57. Kc5 Rc2+ 58. Kb5 Rb2+ 59. Ka6 Kg4 60. b7 Kxh4 61. b8Q Rxb8 62. Rxb8 is a tablebase win according to Shredder or

56. Ra8 Rb2 57. Kc5 Rc2+ 58. Kb5 Rb2+ 59. Ka6 Ra2+ 60. Kb7 Rg2 61. Ra5+ Ke4 62. Kc6 Rg8 63. b7 Rb8 64. Rxh5 f5 65. Kc7 Rxb7+ 66. Kxb7 f4 67. Rh8 f3 68. Rf8 wins or

56. Ra8 Rb2 57. Kc5 Rc2+ 58. Kb5 Rb2+ 59. Ka6 Ra2+ 60. Kb7 Rg2 61. Ra5+ Kg4 62. Kc6 Rc2+ 63. Rc5 Rb2 64. Rb5 Rc2+ 65. Kd7 Kxh4 66. b7 Rd2+ 67. Ke6 Re2+ 68. Kf7 wins

The great endgame specialist, Poghosyan, analyzed the above position years earlier and had come to the same conclusion as FinalGen that Black loses after 55...Rxf2?

<"It is fair to say that the move"> 59. Ka6 <"was first indicated by GM John Nunn in his excellent Understanding Chess Endgames, 2009, p. 131.">

See the following link as a reference:

Apr-15-18  Toribio3: Portisch is one of the greatest chess player of the world. He had beaten some of the best in the world. You can learn a lesson from his games.
Apr-15-18  Howard: Absolutely! He was ranked fourth in the world at the beginning of 1980, trailing only Korchnoi, Tal, and...well, the #1 person should be more than palpable!
Apr-15-18  SChesshevsky: In the book "Petrosian's Legacy", Petrosian comments that Portisch was an especially tough opponent for him.

"Playing against Portisch, especially with Black, I feel discomfort in the opening every time. When he sits at the chessboard his whole appearance radiates a perfect knowledge. While my decisions are born in torments, his - at least judging from his face - are all prepared "at home." I seem to have no opening loop-hole he has not duly discovered, and supplied with a padlock."

Portisch was known a very hard working chess student. I kind of remember a story of Portisch and maybe Fischer working hard all day and then taking a break for supper. After the meal Portisch said he was going back to the room for more analysis. The other player looked at him saying it was ridiculous to waste a nice evening studying some more. Portisch answered, "What are you talking about, you're always into some position or another and study even more than I do." Whereupon the other player, maybe Fischer, responded, "Yeah, but everybody knows I'm crazy."

Premium Chessgames Member
  yiotta: <" decisions are born in torments..."-Tigran Petrosian> Tell me about it! Well, I suppose it's nice to share SOMETHING with a world champion. Perhaps torment avoidance is the reason some players bang out twenty moves in five or ten minutes and only start to think after it's too late.
Aug-28-18  Howard: So, after 55...Rxf2, it was all over for Black? Thus, Kasparov was apparently wrong in MGP.

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