Malcolm Pein on…Petrosian’s Patience 


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Malcolm Pein presents a fine example Tigran Petrosian’s patience in today’s Daily Telegraph chess column.

‘Iron Tigran’ recently appeared in our Checkmate Monday series, complete with some of his bitter battles against Viktor Korchnoi. This time he is up against Boris Spassky in game showing many of his trademark traits.

Over to Malcolm for the full story…

Malcolm Pein on…Petrosian’s Patience

Yesterday we saw the potential pitfalls of Black castling too early against a Queen’s Pawn system. Against 1.d4, 2.Nf3 and 3.Bf4/g5, Black should take care to ensure White cannot launch an early attack.

This model game by ninth world champion Tigran Petrosian sees him not commit his king
too early.

B. Spassky – T. Petrosian
WCC Game 7, Moscow 1966
Torre Attack

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 d5 4.Nbd2 Be7 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 c5 7.c3 b6 8.0–0 Bb7 9.Ne5 (White intends f2–f4 with a super Stonewall setup where the ‘bad bishop’ operates outside the pawn chain) 9…Nxe5 10.dxe5 Nd7 11.Bf4 (After 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.f4 Black has to decide where to castle. If he goes short and plays f7–f6, White should be slightly better) 11…Qc7 12.Nf3 h6! 13.b4 g5! 14.Bg3 h5 (Of course, not 14…cxb4? 15.cxb4 Bxb4 16.Nd4 when the black king has no hiding place) 15.h4 gxh4 (Or 15…g4 16.Ne1 Nxe5) 16.Bf4 0–0–0! 17.a4? c4!! (Deep positional understanding. Black gives away a huge central square, but safeguards his king by preventing a queenside file being opened)

Petrosian's Patience 

18.Be2 a6! (Now if b4–b5 a6–a5 or a4–a5 b6–b5) 19.Kh1 Rdg8 20.Rg1 Rg4 21.Qd2 Rhg8 (Now it’s one-way traffic) 22.a5 b5 23.Rad1 Bf8 24.Nh2 Nxe5!

Exchange Sacrifice

25.Nxg4 hxg4 26.e4 Bd6 27.Qe3 Nd7 (27…g3! 28.f3 Ng4! and 27…dxe4 were even better) 28.Bxd6 Qxd6 29.Rd4 (29.f4 f5 30.e5 Qe7 31.Kh2 Nb8!) 29…e5! 30.Rd2 f5! 31.exd5 f4! 32.Qe4 Nf6 33.Qf5+ Kb8

Test Your Strength

For today’s puzzle, how does Black answer 34.Qe6?

Spassky - Petrosian

34.f3 Bc8 35.Qb1 g3 36.Re1 h3 37.Bf1 (37.gxh3 g2+ 38.Kg1 Qd7!) 37…Rh8 38.gxh3 Bxh3 39.Kg1 (39.Bxh3 Qd7) 39…Bxf1 40.Kxf1 e4! 41.Qd1 (41.fxe4 f3!) 41…Ng4! 42.fxg4 f3 43.Rg2 fxg2+ 0–1 Black wins after 44.Ke2 Qf4 or 44.Kxg2 Rh2+ 45.Kg1 Qh6.

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

34.Qe6 Qxe6 35.dxe6 Ne4!

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