'My Favorite Game Of'. Number 1. Tigran Petrosian.

'My Favorite Game Of'. Number 1. Tigran Petrosian.

May 4, 2018, 5:30 AM |

Yo everyone!

Well, the pressures of work, life and grandparenthood, etc. have recently been playing havoc with the amount of time I have on my hands to put articles together. So, I have decided to change my approach for a few weeks, and start a new series. Hopefully we can make it 'interactive'. So, if you have a favorite game of the given player - post it in the comments! Failing that, say what it is and I will add it there. Also, I would love to see any suggestions of who I should include in the series. Again, just post it in the comments!

As my regular readers will have realised, I am not one who just looks at the most famous games of the most famous players. There is a huge amount of incredible chess out there that people never get to see. For example in my post on Ludwig Engels there is a game which, if it had been played by Alekhine, Tal, Kasparov, or someone of similar reputation, would be in most 'greatest games ever' lists.

So, very often my favorite game of a particular player is not one of their most famous, and I hope that fact will help to make the series worth following. I will try to annotate the games properly!

Where to start? There was a thread on chess.com a while ago on the lines of 'The  greatest player who ever lived'. Yep, that old chestnut, as we say in England. As could be predicted, Morphy and Fischer got the most votes, while some magnificent players didn't get much of a mention. One of those was Tigran Petrosian. With my historian head on, I have to say that he was a truly phenomenal, and historically important, player.

In the period from 1934 to 1978 - that is 44 years - only ONE player managed to win a match in defence of the World title. Petrosian.  I think people tend to underestimate just how good he was, because of his reputation for drawing a lot of games. Well, the fact is, that for 30 years he played almost exclusively in the strongest events. ( he was part of 10 consecutive World Championship cycles )  Very often the first priority in those events was to qualify for an even stronger one! He was practical enough to make sure that he would finish in one of the qualifying spots, even if his approach drew criticism which upset him. He did, however, play some incredible and original games.

I am lucky enough to have a book from his own personal library, with the author's inscription 'to our great teacher'. It was sent to me by Edward Shekhtman, who has done incredible work assembling Petrosian's games and  writings. Petrosian's comments in the game are from Shekhtman's book 'Petrosian's Legacy'. It's a wonderful book!

My favorite Petrosian game was played against Bruno Parma at he great Moscow Tournament in 1971, and the header photo is of Petrosian and Panno in 1963.

Enjoy the game!!