Ronen’s Greatest Hits! - Tigran Petrosian
Player(s): Tigran Petrosian
He emphasized defense above all, and this earned him the nickname of "Iron Tigran. After Tal, GM Ronen gives us insight into the chess and life of a great player who we can define as Tal's opposite. The Magician of Riga was a spectacular player, always ready to sacrifice piece after piece to push his opponent into unknown territory, whereas Tigran Petrosian made of his incredibly deep understanding of the defense technique the weapon which led him to conquer the World Champion title in 1963. Tigran won the World Championship match against chess legend Mikhail Botvinnik, then defended it in 1966 against Spassky, to lose it to Spassky in 1969. Petrosian was the defending World Champion or a World Championship Candidate in ten consecutive three-year cycles, setting up a record that will probably never be broken. His tenacity at the chess board had made this coriaceous Armenian a chess legend. Petrosian was known for his use of the "positional exchange sacrifice", where one side sacrifices a rook for the opponent's bishop or knight. Kasparov discussed Petrosian's use of this motif: "Petrosian introduced the exchange sacrifice for the sake of 'quality of position', where the time factor, which is so important in the play of Alekhine and Tal, plays hardly any role. Even today, very few players can operate confidently at the board with such abstract concepts. Before Petrosian, no one had studied this. By sacrificing the exchange 'just like that', for certain long-term advantages, in positions with disrupted material balance, he discovered latent resources that few were capable of seeing and properly evaluating." In this short series, GM Ronen shows use a lot of these positional sacrifices, that demonstrate the amazing understanding of the game by this modern chess legend.