He was a Candidate for the World Chess Championship eight times from 1953 to 1980. [17] As evidence for this claim, he noted that all 12 games played between Petrosian, Geller, and Keres were draws. He was nicknamed "Iron Tigran" due to his almost impenetrable defensive playing style, which emphasised safety above all else. He was strongly influenced by Aron Nimzowitsch system, and especially the idea of prophylaxis. I got sick and missed a year in school. [62], This article is about the chess player and world champion. The chess world was set ablaze this past week with a news release from Chess.com: Tigran L. Petrosian (a 2500+ rated GM currently ranked #260 … I could be more 'interesting'—and also lose. We had a babushka, a sister of my father, and she really saved me. His detractors condemned his reluctance to attack and some put it down to a lack of courage. In a 1969 interview with Time magazine, he recalled:[9], He used his rations to buy Chess Praxis by Danish grandmaster Aron Nimzowitsch, a book which Petrosian later stated had the greatest influence on him as a chess player. The 33-year-old Tigran Petrosian defeated the Patriarch of Soviet chess 12,5:9,5. He was nicknamed “Iron Tigran” due to his almost impenetrable defensive playing style, which emphasised safety above all else. Petrosian was born to Armenian parents on June 17, 1929, in Tiflis, Georgian SSR (modern-day Georgia). In spite of these obvious successes a strange paradox surrounds Petrosian's playing style. [6] As a young boy, Petrosian was an excellent student and enjoyed studying, as did his brother Hmayak and sister Vartoosh. [6] It was about this time that his hearing began to deteriorate, a problem that afflicted him throughout his life. He will 'smell' any kind of danger 20 moves before!" [8] After training at the Palace of Pioneers for just one year, he defeated visiting Soviet grandmaster Salo Flohr at a simultaneous exhibition. [11][31], Petrosian died of stomach cancer on August 13, 1984, in Moscow and is buried in the Moscow Armenian Cemetery. [56] Two of Black's responses to the Petrosian Variation were developed by grandmasters Paul Keres and Leonid Stein. This attitude was illustrated by his result in the 1955 USSR Championship: out of 19 games played, Petrosian was undefeated, but won only four games and drew the rest, with each of the draws lasting twenty moves or less. [38] He was nicknamed "Iron Tigran" due to his playing style because of his almost impenetrable defence, which emphasised safety above all else. Some of the older men helped me out. In addition to practicing his chess, Petrosian also prepared for the match by skiing for several hours each day. He won the World Championship in 1963 (against Mikhail Botvinnik), successfully defended it in 1966 (against Boris Spassky), and lost it to Spassky in 1969. Playing Style and Legacy: Tigran Petrosian was known for his incredible defensive capabilities, which made him among the most difficult players to defeat in the history of chess. But Petrosian remained one of the best players in the world for … However, Petrosian did not even respond, instead went ahead and won the game. As it turned out, he switched off his hearing aid, and did not hear when Gligorić re-offered the draw. In 1987, World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov unveiled a memorial at Petrosian's grave which depicts the laurel wreath of World Champion and an image contained within a crown of the sun shining above the twin peaks of Mount Ararat – the national symbol of Petrosian's Armenian homeland. Petrosian earned the title of Master during the 1947 USSR Chess Championship, though he failed to qualify for the finals. 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