Alexander Petrov: Immortal Game

Alexander Petrov: Immortal Game

Gnawvous
Apr 13, 2008, 12:00 AM |
5 | Chess Players

 

Alexander Dimitrovich  Petrov (1794-1867), the inventor of Petrov’s Defense, and author of one of the first Russian chess manuals (1824), was the outstanding Russian player of his day. He gained this supremacy in his teens, and held the top position for more than fifty years!

In 1840, he moved to Warsaw, where he devoted less time to chess; yet, when occasion offered, he met his challengers, but rarely recorded his games. Luckily for us, he did manage to record his finest game while living here, this against a teacher named Alexander Hoffman. The two played against each other at a frequency of a game every month over the next 20 years. Petrov held these games in high regard, and compared them to the matches between Labourdonnais and McDonnell.

This particular game is known as Petrov’s Immortal. It illustrates the finest example of castling in chess history, and may be used it to help beginners study a master game while learning about the rules for castling, sacrificing material for the attack, and constructing a mating net. The opening employs the very unusual Ghulam Kassim Variation of the Giuoco Piano. Ghulam Kassim was the co-author of the first openings monograph, and the first proven player in India. He is noted for playing in the first recorded games of Indian Chess History, and passed away during the year of this game, 1844. Its nice to think that perhaps the reason Petrov bothered to record this game, and play its unusual variation, was in tribute to India’s great Ghulam Kassim!

 

 

 


 


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