Understanding before Moving 168: Chess history in a nutshell (49)

by ChessBase
3/10/2024 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books on chess training and strategy. In the 168th episode of his ChessBase show "Understanding before moving" Herman continues his series "Chess history in a nutshell" and takes a look at the unique style of Tigran Petrosian, World Champion fro 1963 to 1969. | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


Tigran Petrosian (1)

One of the previous episodes in this series on chess history was about Mikhail Botvinnik (1911 - 1995) who, after winning the World Champion title in 1948, lost it three times in the following years and always managed to regain it.

In 1963 Botvinnik played his last World Championship match, this time against Tigran Petrosian (1929 - 1984), who emerged victorious only in the gruelling final phase of the match. Aging and tired, Botvinnik saw no point in preparing for a rematch with Petrosian (1929 - 1984), allowing the latter to retain the title for the next few years.

Petrosian was a player known for his unique style of play. His nickname "The Tiger" accurately describes his game. Like a true tiger, he would prowl around his prey, occasionally lashing out with a claw. Then, with chilling patience, he would wait until his opponent had no way to escape, grab his prey and not let go.

Petrosian had an excellent sense of danger, but his slightly defensive nature led to many draws. As a result, he found it difficult to win many events as a tournament player. As a match player, however, he always went far, was almost unbeatable and patiently waited for his opponents to make the slightest mistake.

His main influence was Nimzowitsch, and he knew Nimzowitsch's masterpiece 'My System' almost by heart.

In the following game we see a flawless demonstration of the "stranglehold" we were used to seeing from him. The position shown in the diagram below already gives us an idea of the picture we are going to get after Petrosian has trapped his opponent.

His last move was 24.Nd3-e1, to which Bondarevsky replied with 24...Rb5-b7. The big question now is what plan White should follow to further extend his advantage. What would you do?

Master Class Vol.10: Mikhail Botvinnik

Our experts show, using the games of Botvinnik, how to employ specific openings successfully, which model strategies are present in specific structures, how to find tactical solutions and rules for how to bring endings to a successful conclusion

This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


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