Understanding before Moving 23: "V" stands for Victory!

by ChessBase
4/18/2021 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 23nd instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman takes a look how Tigran Petrosian, World Champion from 1963 to 1969, played against the King's Indian. | Photo: Tommy Grooten

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As a junior player, I became mesmerized by the extraordinary play of former World Champion Tigran Petrosian. His pieces almost always seem to be in complete harmony and he almost always seems to know which piece to keep and which piece to exchange.

With White he was particularly successful when playing against the King's Indian. His ideas in these positions have been taken up by a large number of players and "the Petrosian Variation" of the King's Indian still makes life difficult for Black.

I am the proud owner of a copy of "Petrosian's Best Games" by Peter Hugh Clarke, who waxes all lyrical about the Armenian World Champion. Clarke notes that Petrosian managed to "lock" the kingside in quite a number of King's Indian games, thus nipping black's traditional plan in the bud. A pawn formation Petrosian often adopted was shaped like a "V", which according to Clarke stands for "Victory"!

In the diagram position, White can quickly win and with a little imagination the final position of his pieces looks like a "V". How should White proceed?


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