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Petrosian's style of play, although highly successful for avoiding defeats, was criticized as being dull. Chess enthusiasts saw his "ultraconservative" style as an unwelcome contrast to the popular image of Soviet chess as "daring" and "indomitable". Fellow Soviet chess grandmaster and personal friend Mikhail Tal described Petrosian as "cowardly", out of frustration that this eminent tactician so rarely showed the chessworld what he was capable of. His 1971Candidates Tournament match with Viktor Korchnoi featured so many monotonous draws that the Russian press began to complain. However, Svetozar Gligorić described Petrosian as being "very impressive in his incomparable ability to foresee danger on the board and to avoid any risk of defeat." Petrosian responded to his criticisms by saying "They say my games should be more 'interesting'. I could be more 'interesting'—and also lose." Petrosian was, in the words of future World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, "the first defender with a capital D".[
Aside from Petrosian,Lasker and Steinitz also comes to mind.
But Carlsen is getting more impressive with his defense.And he doesnt play not to lose unlike Petrosian.
Ulf the Wolf.
Petrosian was NOT a defensive player- he had superb defensive abilities, but his style was both positional and "aggressive".
Thank you, well said.
Stats mean very little. One could have a lower "losing percentage" by taking fewer risks, being highly proficient in endgames, or by playing a weaker average opponent.
The real test would be the win-draw-loss percentage in games against players within 200 points of their rating AFTER being down a pawn (or the positional equivalent of -1.00 by Houdini or another strong engine). That would illustrate defensive results.
My own list would include the most fearsome counterattackers, Lasker, Rubinstein, Alekhine, Keres, Korchnoi, Karpov, Kasparov, Ivanchuk, and Anand.
The best defense is a good offense. Many grandmasters have more draws than wins or losses. How do you measure defense in chess?
It can't be strictly by win loss %. If I played against players rated under 1000 my win loss % would be better than Kasparov or Carlsen. Here is an example of an excelent defensive draw.
"Best defence is attack." <-- Who said that..?
Better solution for black are:15.Ba6+ Ka416.Nxc6 and so on, like simulator below:
"Best defence is attack."
The best defence is a good offense? Perhaps Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, or Carl Von Clausewitz.
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