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Were Petrosian and Tal the same player in disguise?


  • 21 months ago · Quote · #21

    Psalm25

    Certainly am not "dismissing" any GM based on the style he feels most comfortable with. One of the reasons the Tal-Botvinnik match was so interesting to many chess writers and GMs is it was seen as a clash of scientific and creative chess. The fact that Tal won and then lost the rematch is an indication (to me) that labeling a style as good or bad is faulty.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #22

    Psalm25

    One of the chess books I had a few years ago advised amateurs to determine where they fell on the spectrum of positional and sacrificial chess with Korchnoi represented on the positional extreme and Nezhmetdinov represented on the sacrificial extreme (Karpov was on the positional side, Tal on the sacrificial side, Fischer near the middle, etc.) The amateur was then supposed to play over and study GMs whose style came closest to their own. That seemed to make sense to me.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #23

    varelse1

    In Botvinnik's word's "When Tal sacrifices, take, then analyze. When I sacifice, analyze, then take. When Petrosian sacrifices, DON'T TAKE!"

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #24

    TetsuoShima

    varelse1 wrote:

    In Botvinnik's word's "When Tal sacrifices, take, then analyze. When I sacifice, analyze, then take. When Petrosian sacrifices, DON'T TAKE!"

    and if you dont take, then you just play a piece down??

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #25

    TetsuoShima

    Psalm25 wrote:

    One of the chess books I had a few years ago advised amateurs to determine where they fell on the spectrum of positional and sacrificial chess with Korchnoi represented on the positional extreme and Nezhmetdinov represented on the sacrificial extreme (Karpov was on the positional side, Tal on the sacrificial side, Fischer near the middle, etc.) The amateur was then supposed to play over and study GMs whose style came closest to their own. That seemed to make sense to me.

    probably that was the reason why Korchnois games were so hard to understand for me.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #27

    Bill_C

    That was one of the things I noticed in his games was his almost 180 degree change of plying style between blitz and standard 40/2 20/1 etc.) games. I asked a friend of mine who was a coach in Portland about this and he would tell me that most of the time his students (mostly at the Class A/Expert level) would play more positional chess in longer games-though in specific lines they could be attacking players as well-and would use blitz games to work on tactics specifically geared towards a particular opening, almost as a rapid-fire approach to understanding tactics by continuous repetition. He also said that many Masters and even some GMs would utuilize blitz chess to sharpen reaction time in calculating combinations and tactical themes rather than totally relying on the games as being a holistic approach to playing long games. Not really sure how much this really holds weight however, I do know that the ideas I try to work on in Blitz (imbalances, tactics and endgame technique) seem to be able to be focused more sharply when I take the repetitive approach and then slow it down in CC games to calculate out lines in attack and defense as well as endings.

    I am not sure I would recommend this approach for trying to radically improve overall play but the overall concept seems to work somewhat for me in games within 200-250 points variance, slightly less in games where the difference is +300 points. Either way, the blitz games are a fun break from the longer CC games.

    On a side note though, last week I took first in a 10 minute Blitz tournament with a 4.5/5 score, drawing only to the player who came in second overall. i noticed that the combination of blitz and onlline games was a lot better in the 10 minute games in that I was able to combine solid attacking and positional/endgame play with the rapid pace of the moves, ultimately getting back to 1500 blitz at one point for the first time in almost a year.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #28

    linuxblue1

    When they played each other new laws of physics were discovered and a new science was created.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #31

    Psalm25

    Petrosian's tendency toward caution and safety is illustrated well (from the few games of his that I've seen) by the first game of the Fischer vs. Petrosian match that determined the challenger to Spassky. Petrosian, playing black, employed a destructive novelty and appeared to have Fischer on the ropes.

    But Petrosian didn't follow up the novelty by playing the recommended line, which many GMs and computer analysis confirmed would have yielded him a significant advantage. Instead he opted for safety and ended up blowing a game he should have won (similar to the concept of "prevent defense" in football. The only thing it prevents is victory.)

    Petrosian couldn't explain why he didn't follow the recommended line of the novelty, which had been worked out ahead of time in home analysis.

    Kasparov writes: "It is hard to understand what Petrosian was frightened of. And he himself said: 'Why I didn't play ...Rxg2, I simply cannot explain.' ... According to Korchnoi and Furman, 'it would appear that, after being in a fighting mood at the start of the game, from this point Petrosian decided to make a draw.' But in Dvoretsky's opinion, 'it was most probably Petrosian's dislike of calculating complicated variations and his characteristic excessive caution.' Of course, in his place, Tal would have rushed into the mass of complications, whereas 'iron Tigran' was aiming in the first instance for safety."

    (Kasparov: My Great Predecessors Part IV, page 412)

    At the time of the first Fischer vs. Petrosian game, Fischer was on a long winning streak, having beaten Taimanov and Larsen by 6-0 scores and winning the final six tournament games that preceded those matches. Imagine if Petrosian had won (and with black!) against Fischer in their first Candidate's match game.

    That game is worth a look for anyone who hasn't seen it. The ...Rxg2 move that Petrosian decided not to play is the 16th move of the game and Petrosian instead plays ...Bf5.

    That was one time when Petrosian's playing style didn't serve him well.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #32

    Chigosian50

    Whatever chess coach suggested that Korchnoi is at the positional end of the spectrum should buy a copy of his game collections and study them first! The one recurring theme in Korchnoi's career (in addition to his fighting spirit) is his tendency to stumble into positional blunders and having to fight his way out.....

    The point I tried to make when starting this post is that players who use tactical means as their primary tool can come in defensive or attacking personalities, and ingrained habits are hard to break.

    Interesting to note that Kasparov never considered Petrosian a positional player, while Karpov mentions him as his only equal in positional manoeuvring!

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #33

    TetsuoShima

    Chigosian50 wrote:

    Whatever chess coach suggested that Korchnoi is at the positional end of the spectrum should buy a copy of his game collections and study them first! The one recurring theme in Korchnoi's career (in addition to his fighting spirit) is his tendency to stumble into positional blunders and having to fight his way out.....

    The point I tried to make when starting this post is that players who use tactical means as their primary tool can come in defensive or attacking personalities, and ingrained habits are hard to break.

    Interesting to note that Kasparov never considered Petrosian a positional player, while Karpov mentions him as his only equal in positional manoeuvring!

    well i read somewhere that Petrosian became defensive, because in his youth he played to recklessly on attack and his defensive skills then helped him to save a half point. That way he really became what he was.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #34

    Chigosian50

    Partially true I guess, but what most commentators fail to highlight is that Petrosian played in his unusual style because he enjoyed defending more than attacking. This is not cowardice or exaggerated caution, it is a matter of personal preference. Many people seem to work from the naive assumption that attack is noble and defence cowardly. But I think we're both misquoting that article you mentioned about Korchnoi being a positional player. I think the graph was supposed to show how much they value material....if you remember which book please check.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #35

    Chigosian50

    Not really no. A bit late to ask after you've posted, don't you think?

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #36

    Psalm25

    Can't find the source but I think you're right - it was a chart spectrum concerning how much emphasis GMs placed on material value. Good catch

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #37

    Chigosian50

    Thx Psalm25, love your name, it's the sort of text I can live off for ever.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #38

    Psalm25

    Thanks, there are a lot of great Psalms; this one's one of my favorites

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #39

    AndyClifton

    whiterhino wrote:

    I think that Petrosian and Tal had a hell of a lot more in common than most people think!

     

    Er...I guess...


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