Mastery: Master Games

Play Like Tigran Petrosian

Play Like Tigran Petrosian

Tigran Petrosian was the World Champion from 1963 - 1969. He won matches against fellow champions, Mikhail Botvinnik and Boris Spassky before finally losing a rematch to Spassky. His solidity and mastery of prophylaxis earned him the nickname Iron Tigran. Despite his reputation, Petrosian also played brilliant attacking games and was known for frequently sacrificing material. Try to find the moves and learn from five of the great champion's best games.

  • Play Like Tigran Petrosian: Petrosian vs Pachman

    Ludek Pachman was a strong Grandmaster, author and political activist in Czechoslovak and West Germany. He was one of the best players in the World but Petrosian never lost to him and won five times, including this brilliant game.

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  • Play Like Tigran Petrosian: Petrosian vs Spassky

    One of Petrosian's toughest opponents was the next World Champion, Boris Spassky. In 1966 Spassky won the candidates and many assumed that he was going to take the title. However, Petrosian held strong, confused Spassky and won the match.

    • 1 challenge
  • Play Like Tigran Petrosian: Bronstein vs Petrosian

    David Bronstein was one of the greatest attacking players ever and nearly a world champion. However, Petrosian was an amazing defender. In this game and others he accepted a sacrifice from a great attacker and converted the material into a win.

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  • Play Like Tigran Petrosian: Petrosian vs Nielsen

    Petrosian remarked more than once on his love for playing against the Dutch Defense. It was exactly the sort of strategically risky opening that he was able to take advantage of. This game, against Palle Moeller Nielsen, is a perfect example.

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  • Play Like Tigran Petrosian: Tal vs Petrosian

    Mikhail Tal was the greatest attacking player of his day, so when he met a great defender like Petrosian, there was likely to be excitement. In this one, Tal achieved the sort of opposite side castling position he enjoyed but Petrosian's attack came first.

    • 1 challenge
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