Tigran Petrosyan: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life

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Tigran Petrosyan: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life
Tigran Petrosyan: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life

Video: Tigran Petrosyan: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life

Video: Tigran Petrosyan: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life

Tigran Vartanovich Petrosyan is a Soviet chess player, chess journalist and publicist of Armenian origin. The ninth world chess champion (1963-1969). Received the title in 1963 by defeating Mikhail Botvinnik. He defended his title in 1966 by defeating Boris Spassky. Lost his 1969 title, losing to Boris Spassky. He was famous for his ability to defend himself, thanks to which he received the nickname "Iron Tigran".

Tigran Petrosyan: biography, creativity, career, personal life
Tigran Petrosyan: biography, creativity, career, personal life

Childhood and youth

Born June 17, 1929 in Tiflis (according to some sources - in the Armenian village of Ilistye, and then the family moved to Tiflis). Father - Vartan Petrosyan, janitor of the Tiflis House of Officers. Tigran was the third and youngest child in the family (after brother Amayak and sister Vartush). He loved to go to school, studied at the Armenian school number 73. According to Petrosyan's recollections, he studied the rules of chess in 1940 or 1941 in a pioneer camp. Besides chess, he played checkers, backgammon and Turkish checkers. When the Palace of Pioneers opened in Tbilisi, where a chess club operated, the guy signed up there. The first few months he learned the basics of chess under the leadership of Nikolai Sorokin, and from the end of 1941 - Archil Ebralidze. The first chess textbook was an abbreviated translation of the book by Ilya Maizelis "A textbook of a chess game for youth", which little Tigran bought in an Armenian store. The next chess book I read was My System in Practice by Aron Nimzowitsch. Young Petrosyan analyzed the positions and games of labor from the Danish grandmaster so many times that he learned it by heart, and Nimzowitsch's chess views became one of the foundations of the style of the future world champion. Favorite chess players also included Jose Raul Capablanca and Emanuel Lasker. The section trainer, Ebralidze, was a supporter of logical and solid positional play and demanded this from the students: “No accidents! A good game is only the one where everything was logical, where each of the opponents found and made the best move every time, and where the winner was the one who saw and counted further”. At first, Tigran did not stand out for his special skill among his peers-chess players. Many years later, when Petrosyan was already a grandmaster, his first coach admitted: “Forgive me. I didn't immediately sense your future. Others were more visible. Be bolder, more confident …”. So, the main hope among his pupils, Ebralidze considered Petrosyan's peer Alexander Buslaev (vice-champion of the GRSR in 1953 and the champion of the GRSR in 1954).


Soon after the beginning of the Second World War, his mother died, Tigran went to work as a timekeeper, a projectionist's apprentice, in order to somehow help his father, who was already over sixty. Through work and a serious illness, the guy missed a year and a half of school, and when he returned to school, his father died. Since his brother went to the front, in order to preserve public housing at the House of Officers on Rustaveli Avenue, 15-year-old Tigran was forced to replace his father, becoming a janitor at the House of Officers. The aunt took custody of the family and helped clean the street.

In 1944, the eighth-grader Petrosyan was allowed to participate in the Georgian championship among men. There, the young man performed mediocre, taking 9-11th places out of 18 participants. The following year, the young man took second place in the Tbilisi championship, ahead of his mentor Ebralidze.

After more than four years of chess lessons, 16-year-old Tigran Petrosyan begins to win in republican and all-Union tournaments, dividing 1-3 places at the All-Union Youth Tournament in Leningrad in 1945. and in the same year he received the title of Georgian champion among adults. In 1946, Paul Keres, Vladas Mikenas and Yevgeny Zagoryanskiy performed out of competition in the championship of the Georgian SSR. All of them were ahead of Petrosyan, who took 5th place. This tournament was the first where the future grandmaster took points in a game with a world-class player - in an equal position he offered Keres a draw, but he refused. In the endgame, the Estonian was forced to admit that the position was equal and still agreed to a draw.

In 1946 he moved to Yerevan on the initiative of Andranik Hakobyan, one of the founders of chess in Armenia, the then director of the chess club. Out of competition, he won the Armenian championship, received the title after the match with Henrikh Kasparyan. The same year he won the All-Union Youth Tournament in Leningrad without suffering a single defeat. A. Hakobyan got the chess player to work as an instructor in the "Spartak" society and applied for a room in Yerevan, which, in the end, was allocated at the republican committee of physical education. In the championships of the Armenian SSR in 1947 and 1948, he shared 1-2 places with Henrikh Kasparyan, in 1949 he lost to him a full-time game and lost by half a point, finishing the tournament in second position. Interestingly, in the 1949 republican championship, both first prize-winners lost their games to the mediocre chess player Loris Kalashyan, a student-philosopher who was a friend of Petrosyan, and in the future created a chess faculty at the Institute of Physical Education and defended his doctoral dissertation in philosophy.

In the late 1940s, Tigran could not yet compete with the leading chess players of the Soviet Union. In the semifinals of the 1947 national championship, he finished 16-17th among 18 participants, in the semifinals of the 1948 championship he became fifth, while the first three prize-winners passed to the final. In 1949, Petrosyan finally passed the selection sieve for the final of the USSR championship, finishing second in the semifinals, which took place in Tbilisi. He outstripped, in particular, such masters as Holmov, Ilivitskiy and Makogonov.

In October 1949, Tigran Petrosyan came to Moscow to participate in the final of the USSR Chess Championship in 1949 and intend to stay in the capital. In the first round against Alexander Kotov on the seventh move, the representative of Yerevan made an elementary mistake and resigned after a few moves. The next games he lost to Smyslovaya, Flora, Geller and Keres, and felt the taste of victory already in the 6th round, defeating Andre Lilienthal. In his debut championship of the Soviet Union, Petrosyan finished in 16th place. In Moscow, the young Armenian master had significantly more opportunities to participate in tournaments to improve his practical game. He got a coach - Andre Lilienthal.

Petrosyan was very unpretentious in everyday life. At first, as an avid fan of the Spartak football club and a member of the sports society of the same name, he agreed to live at the FC Spartak training base in Tarasovka, although it was about thirty kilometers from there to the center of Moscow. Lilienthal recalls that after playing in one of the Moscow chess clubs, Tigran announced that he would stay there overnight - it turned out that he lived right in the chess club. 1950 took third place in the Moscow championship and shared 12-13th places in the USSR championship.


World title fight (1951-1962)

1951 is called the turning point in the chess player's career, the beginning of the era of the "iron Tigran" - he won the Moscow championship, in the 1951 championship of the Soviet Union he shared 2-3rd places with Efim Geller (he was only ½ point behind the winner Paul Keres), received the title of grandmaster USSR and the opportunity to compete in an interzonal tournament.

Before going to the interzonal tournament in Stockholm in 1952, the young grandmaster had a very modest experience of international performances - only the memorial Ґ. Maroczi in Budapest in the spring of the same year. In the interzonal competition, he won 7 games, drew 13 and did not lose a single one, dividing 2-3 places with Mark Taimanov, having received the right to play in the tournament of contenders for the title of world champion. At the beginning of 1953, he held an international tournament at a high level in Bucharest (+7 -0 = 12), where he finished second, ahead of Boleslavsky, Spassky, L. Szabo and Smyslovaya. In preparation for the USSR-USA match, Soviet grandmasters held a training tournament in Gagra in the summer of 1953, in which all the country's strongest chess players played, except for the world champion Botvinnik and the vice-champion Bronstein.22-year-old Petrosyan took second place after Vasily Smyslov, ahead of, in particular, Boleslavsky, Averbakh, Geller, Kotov, Taimanov and Keres. In Soviet times, the games of the tournament were not available, and its existence was not mentioned in the chess literature and the press.

The 1953 Candidates Tournament took place in August-October in Neuhausen and Zurich and gathered all the strongest candidates for the world title. The tournament confirmed the dominance of the Soviet chess school in the world - among the 10 leaders there were 8 representatives of the USSR.

In a similarly cautious manner he acted in the championship of the Soviet Union in 1954, where he did not suffer a single defeat, but won only 6 times, in 13 cases he agreed to a world war. As a result - 4-5th places.

In the 1958 national championship he took second place: +5 -0 = 15. He was the only chess player who did not lose a single game, while the other participants lost at least two.

In January-February 1959, in his native Tbilisi, he first won the title of champion of the Soviet Union. In the first half of the tournament, Petrosyan fell ill with the flu and missed about a week. After he recovered, the rest of the games had to be played with a tighter schedule in order to catch up with the other participants. Returning to the championship after a forced pause, he began to play more actively, in the 9-12th round he won four victories in a row and took the lead until the end of the championship

In January 1960 he shared first and second places with Bent Larsen at the Beverwijk tournament. At the end of January, the next championship of the Soviet Union began in Leningrad. In a tense struggle until the last round, Tigran Petrosyan shared 2-3rd places with Yefim Geller, half a point behind Viktor Korchnoi.

In January-February 1961, he won the national championship for the second time.

The 1962 Interzonal Tournament culminated in a landslide victory for Bobby Fischer, who was 2½ points ahead of his pursuers. Tigran Petrosyan shared the second-third places with Yefim Geller

The 1962 Candidates Tournament was held on the island of Curacao in the Caribbean. According to Petrosyan, the unusual climate (30-degree heat) and the long distance of the competition (28 rounds) caused considerable fatigue among the grandmasters at the end of the tournament. Efim Geller, Tigran Petrosyan and Paul Keres walked in a dense group in front. The final two rounds, the 27th and 28th, were decisive. Keres unexpectedly lost to Benko in the penultimate round (Pal Benko later recalled that during the analysis of a postponed game against Keres, Geller and Petrosyan came to his room, offering their help, which he refused) and in the last game he had to defeat Fischer. Before the last round, Petrosyan guaranteed himself at least second place and quickly agreed to a draw with the outsider Philip, expecting the result of the Keres - Fischer game. The Estonian failed to beat the American prodigy, agreed to a draw and was ½ point behind Petrosyan. After failures in the previous three cycles, Tigran Petrosyan finally became a participant in the match for the world title.


World Champion (1963-1969)

According to FIDE rules, the conditions of the match had to be approved at least 4 months before its start. Several months have passed since the end of the Candidates Tournament in June, Petrosyan and Botvinnik, as members of the Soviet Union national team, managed to play at the 1962 Chess Olympiad, and negotiations regarding the match had not yet begun. The champion was not sure if he would defend the title, because at more than 50 years of age, it is not easy to play months of intense matches, but doctors still allowed him to play. The fact that Botvinnik was not in the best shape was evidenced by his mediocre result at the chess Olympiad: +5 -1 = 6 (66, 7%), the worst indicator among the chess players of the USSR national team. Some uncertainty reigned, the chess players were invited to the conference on the championship match as early as November 10th. The start of the match was scheduled for March 23, 1963.

At the end of November 1962, Petrosyan underwent minor surgery to eliminate the causes of systematic angina. The operation was performed by Dr. Denisov, who earlier, in 1958, performed a resection of the nasal septum to a chess player.

Isaac Boleslavskyy was Petrosyan's second, Alexey Suetin and Vladimir Simagin also helped the challenger before the match. The debut consultant of the reigning champion was Semyon Furman, who trained Botvinnik even before his victory match against Tal in 1961. Botvinnik refused the services of a second. According to the rules of the match, the second was the only person who had the right to help the player during the home analysis of the postponed game.

Petrosyan unexpectedly lost the first game with White, but already in the fifth he evened the score, and in the seventh he took the lead. In the 14th game, Petrosyan lost and the score was equal again. At the post-match press conference, the Armenian chess player said: “In the 14th game, I analyzed the postponed position until three o'clock in the morning, and then the whole next day until the end of the game. I came to play out very tired, made a mistake in the endgame and was defeated. But I realized how important it is to have a fresh head! In the future, I dramatically changed the game day mode. It took only 10-15 minutes to prepare for a new game, I walked a lot around the city. After the crucial 15th game, in which the challenger came out ahead, Botvinnik's game showed signs of fatigue, since he was eighteen years older than Petrosyan. The reigning champion had a good attack in the 16th game, but before catching up he wrote down a bad move and the Iron Tigran managed to achieve a draw. After Petrosyan's victories in games 18 and 19, it became clear that Botvinnik would no longer catch up. The tired Botvinnik played the rest of the games inertly.

All of Armenia followed the vicissitudes of the championship match, several large demonstration chess boards were placed in the center of Yerevan, near which thousands of people gathered, and the moves were learned from Moscow by phone. The footage of a crowd of thousands watching the game on a large demonstration board on the facade of a house in Yerevan was later used at the beginning of the feature film "Hello, It's Me!" (Russian. Hello, it's me!) directed by Frunze Dovlatyan with the participation of Armen Dzhigarkhanyan and Rolan Bykov. After the arrival of the new champion in Yerevan, on the railway platform, the human flow lifted Tigran Petrosyan in his arms and carried him several kilometers - up to Lenin Square. Armenian fans presented the champion with a car, and Georgian fans - a picture of the classic of Armenian painting Martiros Saryan.

The first tournament in the rank of world champion was the strongest Piatigorsky Cup in Los Angeles in July 1963. Petrosyan had a mediocre first round (3½ points out of 7) and had to take risks in the second round to catch up with the leaders. Having received three victories in the second half of the tournament, he shared the first and second places with Keres with an overall result of +4 -1 = 9. The organizers presented the winner with an “Oldsmobile” car.

In April-June 1966, he played for the world title against Boris Spassky, who won the 1965 Candidates matches. The first six games of the championship match ended in a draw, Petrosyan won 7 and 10, in the 12th he played a good combination, but did not complete it, got into time trouble, and the game ended in a draw. This dealt a psychological blow to Petrosyan, besides, his throat hurt, and the title defender took advantage of his right to a time-out. After that, the initiative passed to the applicant. In the 13th game, while playing out, Petrosyan achieved a draw position, but in time trouble he made a mistake and lost. The champion played the next game demoralized, and only during the play-out did he save himself from defeat. Spassky won the 19th game and equalized the score in the match - 9½: 9½.

In the 20th game, Spassky surrendered in a hopeless position. The opponents played the next game carefully, without risk, and agreed to a draw. in game 22, the position was repeated three times, but a draw did not suit Boris Spassky, he continued the game, got into a difficult position and resigned. The score was 12:10 in favor of the champion, therefore, according to the rules, he defended his title. The parties that remained became a formality.

At the 1967 Venice tournament, the world champion was the clear favorite. From the first rounds the leadership was taken by Johannes Donner (Holland) and Tigran Petrosyan. In the 9th round, a face-to-face meeting of opponents took place, in which already in the middle of the game Petrosyan had two extra pawns and a good position. However, a series of his unsuccessful moves allowed Donner to save the game and end it in a draw. As a result, the Dutch grandmaster was one point ahead of the world champion.

In 1968 he held the Chess Olympiad in Lugano at a high level and without defeats, but at the international tournament in Palma de Mallorca he was 2½ points behind the winner Viktor Korchnoi, finishing in 4th place.

1969 Tigran Petrosyan met Boris Spassky again in the match for the chess crown. Despite the best tournament results of the challenger in recent years, experts considered Spassky's chances higher. Spassky played powerfully the first eight games, after which the score was 5: 3 in his favor. The lost victory in the ninth game, where Petrosyan managed to snatch a draw, and the defeat in the tenth game knocked the challenger out of balance, and in the eleventh game the champion leveled the score - 5½: 5½.

After twenty games, Spassky was one point ahead, and the decisive game was 21, where Petrosyan was positionally losing and had to sacrifice an exchange and attack in order to keep the chances of a draw, but chose an exchange and simplification of the position, which played into the hands of the challenger, who brought game to win. Boris Spassky got a comfortable two-point lead, which he retained until the end of the match.

Despite the defeat in the match for the world title, the grandmaster was in good shape, which was confirmed by victories in the 1969 USSR Championship and second place at the international tournament in Palma de Mallorca.

After the 1969 match, he stopped working with long-term second and coach Isaac Boleslavsky.

Participant of the 1970 Match of the Century in Belgrade, where the world chess team played against the USSR team. The match consisted of 4 rounds on 10 chessboards, and the American Robert Fischer was Petrosian's rival on the second board. Petrosyan lost to Fischer in the first two games, and the next two ended in a draw - 1: 3. V. Korchnoi and V. Roshal on the pages of the newspaper "64" expressed the opinion that psychologically the former world champion was not ready to confront the American grandmaster. At the end of the year, Fischer confidently won the 1970 interzonal tournament and became one of the favorites for the world title.

In the 1973-1975 qualifying championship cycle, the rules stipulated that to win the quarterfinals of the Candidates' matches, three games must be won (the match limit is 16 games), to win the semifinals - four games, and to win the final - five games. Tigran Petrosyan, as a finalist of the previous cycle, began the fight in 1974 with the quarter finals, where in the city of Palma de Mallorca he defeated the Hungarian Lajos Portis. Possible venues for the semi-final Korchnoi - Petrosyan called Moscow, Kiev or Odessa. Leningrader Korchnoi refused to play in Moscow (where Petrosyan lived) and Kiev (where he lost to Spassky in the 1968 Candidates' semifinal match). The semifinal candidates match in 1974 in Odessa ended in a scandal, after which Petrosyan refused to continue the fight after the 5th game. Officially because of health problems. Viktor Korchnoi argued that during the tense moments of the fight, Petrosyan began to swing his leg, rocking the table and touching the opponent's leg. The Armenian grandmaster stated that the provocations were started by the Russian, who also verbally insulted the opponent. Therefore, Petrosyan, after the defeat in the fifth game, when the score became 1: 3 in favor of Korchnoi, refused to continue the match.

In March-April 1977, in Italy, Chocco played the quarterfinal match of the candidates against Viktor Korchnoi, who did not return to the USSR after the tournament in Amsterdam in 1976 and asked for political asylum in Western Europe. Petrosyan was among the signers of the open letter, which condemned the actions of the "defector", so the match was held in an atmosphere of hostility and almost hatred. Before the first game, the rivals did not say hello and did not even shake hands with each other. In his recollections, Korchnoi did not assess the level of the match highly, because both participants repeatedly made mistakes. Petrosyan lost with a minimum score of 5½: 6½.

The 1978 Chess Olympiad was the first where the Soviet Union lost in the fight for gold medals. The Iron Tigran played reliably on the second board (+3 -0 = 6), but the USSR team lost the first place to Hungary. After that, the composition of the national team was rejuvenated, and Petrosyan was no longer called up to the national team to participate in the Olympiads.

In the 1979 interzonal tournament in Rio de Janeiro, the 50-year-old grandmaster tied for 1-3rd places, becoming the only participant who passed the tournament without defeat.

The draw for the quarterfinals of the applicants again identified Viktor Korchnoi as rivals. The 10-game match took place in Velden, Austria in March 1980 and ended with the defeat of the ex-champion after nine games - 3½: 5½.

In a very strong "Tournament of Stars" in Moscow in 1981, he shared 9-10 places with Ulf Andersson.


Rapid chess, journalism, coaching

Petrosyan was quick to think and played, and had a reputation as a strong blitz player. He won the popular blitz championships of Moscow for the prizes of the newspaper Vechernyaya Moskva four times, and in March 1971 he won the All-Union blitz tournament of grandmasters with a phenomenal result of 14, 5 out of 15 (before Korchnoi, Balashov, Karpov, Tal, etc.). In the strongest international blitz tournament of the 1960s-1970s in Novi Sad in 1970, he took 4th place (after Fischer, Tal and Korchnoi). Grandmaster Salo Floor of 1971 called Petrosian and Fischer the strongest blitz players in the world.

The journalistic talent of the chess player was revealed while commenting on the championship matches between Botvinnik and Smyslov (1957 and 1958) and Tal (1960 and 1961) in the newspaper "Soviet Sport". Author of chess articles in Pravda, Literaturnaya Gazeta, Chess in the USSR and other publications.

In 1963-1966 - editor-in-chief of the Chess Moscow magazine; later, thanks to his petition, the weekly 64 began to appear in Moscow. Petrosyan worked as its editor-in-chief for almost ten years (1968-1977). He wrote prefaces to several books and gave chess lectures on television.

Although Tigran Petrosyan did not consider himself a good coach due to his difficult character, he was among the leaders of the Spartak children's school in Moscow, founded in 1976. Petrosyan's classes were attended by grandmaster Boris Gelfand as a child.

Petrosyan has always been loyal to the Soviet regime, in the book The KGB Plays Chess (2009), the authors write that the grandmaster collaborated with the KGB.

Since 1958 - member of the Presidium of the USSR Chess Federation. He was the chairman of the highest qualification commission, headed the presidium of the chess section of the DSO "Spartak".


In recent years, I felt bad, which led to a deterioration in chess results. In December 1983 he began working on his autobiography, but his health condition did not allow him to complete it. Doctors diagnosed pancreatic cancer, the grandmaster underwent two operations. He died in the hospital of the Ministry of Railways in Moscow on August 13, 1984. He was buried at the Armenian cemetery in Moscow near the central alley, at 6/1.

Personal life

Wife - Rona Yakovlevna (from the Avinezer house), translator from English, Jewish, native of Kiev. She was born in 1923, married Petrosyan in 1952, died in 2003, and was buried at the Vostryakovskoye cemetery in Moscow. They raised two sons. Mikhail is the eldest son, from Rona's first marriage; joint son - Vartan. Rona has always supported Tigran and was a good psychologist. Son Michael recalls that “… dad did not want to become a world champion at all. His mom made him. Rona also drove a car, drove her husband, Tigran almost never got behind the wheel.


Petrosyan is considered a classic of positional style of play and a master of defense. Contemporaries called him the best chess defender in the world. He combined the depth of thinking with exceptional intuition, a sense of position, high tactical skill and filigree implementation technique. He called Nimzovich, Capablanca and Rubinstein his idols.

As a connoisseur of closed openings, he tried not to "reveal his cards", but first to find out the opponent's plan for the game. Among the techniques were, for example, not to attack swiftly at the first opportunity, but to limit the opponent as much as possible and develop your pieces to get a profitable middlegame and endgame. He became famous for his skill in sacrificing material for positional considerations. For long-term advantages of his position (better structure, excellent pivot points), the grandmaster easily gave up a pawn or an exchange, which became his trademark technique. After the sacrifice, Petrosyan played emphatically calm, not trying to immediately play the material, but gradually accumulating positional advantages and advantages.

The main problem of the grandmaster was passive wrestling. Due to his reluctance to play actively, he sometimes drew or lost potentially winning games.

Mikhail Botvinnik: “It is difficult to attack his pieces: the attacking pieces move slowly, they get stuck in the swamp that surrounds the camp of Petrosyan's figures. If at last it is possible to create a dangerous attack, then either time is short, or fatigue is acting."

Max Euwe: "Petrosyan is not a tiger that jumps on its prey, rather he is a python that strangles its prey, a crocodile that waits for hours for a convenient moment to deliver a decisive blow."

He was a good psychologist - Botvinnik and Spassky, after their championship matches with him, admitted that it was difficult for them to unbalance Petrosyan or foresee his plans. So, Boris Spassky said: "Petrosyan's advantage is that his opponents never know when he will play like Mikhail Tal."

Hobbies, hobbies

He loved music of different styles - classical (favorite composers - Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Wagner), jazz, pop. Collected records, was interested in musical equipment, cinema - and filming. When I was resting in my office at the dacha, I took off my hearing aid and turned on the music at full volume. He was a devoted fan of the football and hockey teams of the Moscow "Spartak". Played backgammon and table tennis. Favorite writer - Mikhail Lermontov, favorite actress - Natalie Wood.

Although the spouses have a little two-room apartment in the capital, the Petrosyans liked to live more at a dacha near Moscow in the village of Barvikha. He loved gardening, willingly fiddled with country beds.

Graduated from the Yerevan Pedagogical Institute named after M. V. Ya. Bryusov. 1968 at the Yerevan State University under the guidance of academician Georg Brutyan he defended his thesis for the degree of candidate of philosophical sciences on the topic "Some problems of the logic of chess thinking" (Russian. Some problems of the logic of chess thinking). The same year he published in Yerevan a book in Armenian "Chess and Philosophy" (Շախմատը և փիլիսոփայությունը).

Notable parties

Although Petrosyan has played hundreds of games against some of the strongest chess players, some of them are considered classic examples of his strength and playing style. Several winning games were chosen against the leading players, which were highlighted by the grandmaster himself (they were included in the collection of his games) and which were repeatedly republished in chess publications.

  • … The second meeting at the chessboard of an American prodigy and an already experienced Soviet chess player. Petrosyan held the initiative throughout the game, gradually building up his advantage, forcing Fischer to appear in the endgame.
  • Petrosyan's first victory over Botvinnik in official matches allowed him to equalize the score of the match for the world title. In this game Tigran Petrosyan experienced an earlier underestimated variation in the Orunfeld Defense, and in the middlegame with an unexpected pawn move he sharpened the game, winning a pawn and opening the c-file.
  • Recognized as the second best game of the half-year according to the Šahovski informator magazine. The classic "Petrosyan" game, aimed at limiting the opponent's position - Black, despite a significant material advantage, defenseless and closed in his camp.
  • Black captured the center, limited the possibilities of the white pieces and turned the game into a winning ending. She entered the top ten games of the half-year according to the Šahovski informator magazine.
  • Petrosyan, as usual for himself, plays the opening passively, does not rush to attack, waits for his opponent's mistakes and breaks through Black's defense with several precise moves in the middle of the game. Recognized as the third best game of the half-year according to the Šahovski informator magazine.
  • The Soviet chess player played the game brilliantly and took advantage of the American's inaccurate moves. The second best game of the half-year according to the Šahovski informator magazine.
  • A game with the 17-year-old world champion among youths Garry Kasparov, who became one of the prize-winners of the Moscow tournament, and a few years later received the title of world champion among men. In it, Petrosyan defended for a long time, until Kasparov made a gross mistake on 35-move, which allowed Black to seize the initiative and make Kasparov surrender with several strong moves.


After receiving the title of world champion, Petrosyan became perhaps the most popular sportsman in Armenia, and chess became extremely popular. The popularity of the name "Tigran" also grew, for example, one of the strongest modern chess players in the country, Tigran Levonovich Petrosyan, who was born in 1984 shortly after the death of the former world champion, was named in his honor. In the late 1980s, representatives of the republic for the first time won the title of champion of the USSR, and after gaining independence, Armenia regularly receives medals at chess Olympiads and team championships in the world and Europe. Since the 2011/12 academic year in Armenian schools, chess has been a compulsory subject for study in grades 2-4. As of 2018, Armenia has more grandmasters than England or the Netherlands and ranks one of the first places in the world in terms of the number of grandmasters per capita.

Chess tournaments in memory of Petrosyan have been held in Yerevan since 1984, and youth tournaments in memory of Petrosyan have been held in Moscow since 1987.

In 1984, the House of Chess in Yerevan (Khanjyan st., 50a) was named after Petrosyan, the symbolic first stone of the foundation of which was laid by the grandmaster. In the park nearby there is a bronze bust of the grandmaster by the sculptor Ara Shiraz, opened in 1989 (bronze, granite). A street in Yerevan is named after Petrosyan, on which a monument to the ex-world champion by Norayr Kagramanyan is erected. In the Armenian city of Aparan, on Tigran Petrosyan Square, there is a monument to the chess player by Misha Margaryan.

One of the Moscow clubs where the grandmaster played - the former chess club of the "Spartak" society, after the death of Petrosyan was named after him - the Chess Club. T. V. Petrosyan (Bolshaya Dmitrovka St.). The Tallinn Chess Academy named after Tigran Petrosian (Estonian Tigran Petrosjani nimelises Tallinna Malekadeemis) operates in the capital of Estonia.

1999, the Petrosyan memorial took place in Moscow, which went down in history as the "most drawn tournament" at the highest level - 42 out of 45 games ended in a draw, and all the participants were grandmasters (among them Vasily Smyslov, Boris Spassky, Svetozar Gligorich, Bent Larsen and others). FIDE declared 2004 the Year of Petrosyan, Moscow hosted a tournament match between the "Petrosyan team", which included Armenian grandmasters Akopyan, Vaganyan, Lputyan, as well as Kasparov (an Armenian by mother), Leko (his wife and coach are Armenians) and Gelfand (in childhood he trained under Petrosyan), and the "world team" (Anand, Svidler, Bacrot, Van Wely, Adams and Vallejo). In December 2004, at the end of the Year of Petrosyan, an online team tournament was held on four chessboards between the teams of Armenia, China, Russia and France. The teams took the lead. respectively, Aronian, Bu, Svidler and Lotє.2009 FIDE issued the Tigran Petrosyan medal, which is awarded for coaching achievements.

The chess player was depicted on Armenian stamps, in 1999 he minted a silver commemorative coin of 5000 drams for the 70th anniversary of the birth of Petrosyan. From 2018, the portrait of Tigran Petrosyan will be on the Armenian banknote in 2000 drams.


The former world champion, due to sudden illness and death, did not manage to finish writing his autobiography. In the 1960s and 1970s, a number of books and articles about the life of a chess player were written by the columnist for the newspaper "Soviet Sport" Viktor Vasiliev. After Petrosyan's death, chess master and trainer Eduard Shekhtman, with the assistance of Rona Petrosyan, who helped collect and organize her husband's notes, published the books "The Strategy of Reliability" and "Chess Lectures" in Russian.

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