Tigran L. Petrosian has the same name as the former World Champion, but his style is very different, as can be seen in our game of the day.
Tigran Petrosian, an Aremnian who was World Champion from 1963 to 1969, was known for his defensive prowess. His contemporary namesake, who is also from Armenia, takes after another ex-Champion, Mikhail Tal, who was known for his attacking abilities. In the following game, the modern Petrosian shows what he can do against one of his compatriots, Manuel Petrosyan, an international master.
Petrosian, TL. vs. Petrosyan, M.
Mayors Cup Yerevan KO |Yerevan ARM |Round 1.1 |31 Jan 2017 |ECO: A00 |1-0
1. g3This is not an aggressive first move, but it did not prevent White from launching an aggressive attack. 1... d52. Bg2e6
( 2... e5Of course there is nothing wrong with occupying the center. )
3. d3Nf64. Nd2Be75. e4c5By an move transposition, the position is now a French King's Indian attack. 6. e5!?This is the extra option White has because of the unusual move order. Normally his knight is already on f3 and he cannot play f4 so easily as in this game. 6... Nfd77. f4!?Ambitious. I like this move.
( 7. Ngf3The normal move does not work because White has not yet castled. 7... Nc6And because White cannot play Re1, he would just lose a pawn. )
7... h5?!This looks like a bad idea.
( 7... Nc68. Ngf3b5This would have been better. Black would develop his pieces first and then could castle on either side, depending on where White tried to attack. )
8. c4!White attacks the center. 8... h4
( 8... d49. Ne4And White would be much better. )
9. Ne2Nc610. O-O!Brave but strong. The open h-file is not too dangerous with a White bishop on g2 and no Black pieces able to attack at the moment. 10... hxg311. hxg3Nb6?!This is very passive.
( 11... g5!This move would have created a lot more counterplay. 12. cxd5exd513. Nf3gxf414. Nxf4Nf8!With an unclear position, though Black is probably not worse. )
12. b3The knight on b6 is poorly placed and Black has trouble developing. 12... f6?This causes more problems for Black's king than for White's.
( 12... Bd7This doesn't look very comfortable for Black, but he is not doing that badly. )
13. Nf3!fxe514. Nxe5Nxe515. fxe5Black is now in trouble as White is going to play Nf4. 15... g5Black tries to stop the onslaught, but the punches keep coming. 16. Nc3
( 16. d4!This may have been even better, but I think that the move that was played was also quite good. 16... dxc417. bxc4It's going to be hard to stop the queen from landing on g6. 17... Nxc418. Qc2 )
16... a6A bad move, but it's hard to suggest anything else. 17. Qf3!The threat is Qf7. I don't think I've ever seen anyone get ripped to shreds this quickly after a quiet first move like 1. g3! 17... Rh718. Bxg5!The rest was agony for Black. 18... dxc4
Samuel Shankland is a United States grandmaster ranked No. 4 in the country. He is a professional player and recipient of the Samford Fellowship in 2013, the most prestigious award in the United States for young chess players. He was also a member of the team that won the gold medal at the 2016 Chess Olympiad. He is at @GMShanky on Twitter, has his own site, and is also on Facebook.
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