The Master of Defense

The Master of Defense

kenytiger
Jun 1, 2008, 12:00 AM |
4 | Amazing Games

Tigran Petrosian comes to the world in a working-class family in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia in 1929. He learns Chess as a youth and quickly moves up the classification ladder. He confirms his rank of candidate-master in 1945 in the Tbilisi Championship and later in the Georgian Republic Championship.

In 1946, he wins first prize in the USSR Junior Championship (chalking up 14 points out of a possible 15) and in the Armenian Championship. In 1947 he takes first place in the Tbilisi group of a USSR tournament of candidates, qualifying for the semi-final of the USSR Championship. He finish 5th in the semi-final, ahead of many masters, and fullfills the requirements for the title of Master.

After his achievements, Petrosian devotes more time than ever to his studies of theory. At first the results are only fair. He makes good performances on semi-finals of the USSR Championships but only mediocre ones in finals. He attentively analyzes his games to discover his shortcomings and strives to eliminate them in the following competitions. Already then his style of play is original. He does not seek combinational involvements, but neither does he avoid them. We find comparatively few sacrifices, overwhelming attacks or beautiful combinations in his games. On the other hand, we always see far-reaching plans carried out by precise maneuvers.

Petrosian achieves great skills in the art of positional battle, and learns to calculate variations with exceptional speed and accuracy. Gross blunders and oversights dissappear from his playing. He becomes one of the world's best Masters in playing "easy" games; in particular, on more than one ocassion he wins first place in rapid transit Moscow Championships and other tournaments.

In the following short game he energetically refutes the groundless attempt of his adversary to take the initiative into his own hands.

(Notes by Soviet Grandmaster Alexander Kotov)

 

 


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