Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 09 Sep '12 17:49
    Apparently, they both have endgame skills... How do they distinguish themselves in the endgame? They said something like mighty attackers would throw everything they have at Petrosian and would just lose in the endgame(that's why I'm pretty sure Petrosian has great endgame skill)

    If you saw a Petrosian endgame, would you be liable to confuse his play for Capablanca's? How did Petrosian feel about Capablanca, anyway? Would he feel like it's an honor for his play in the endgame to be compared to Capablanca's?

    Or is it just an objective thing? As in, it's easier for Petrosian to tell he has a good position in the endgame, so he puts pressure on his opponents there when he does. And wins.

    Is there even a Petrosianiac way to get to an endgame?
  2. 09 Sep '12 20:57
    There are not any world champions that had weak endgame skills. Capablanca was more dominate in his day, he had an 8 year undefeated streak, playing against the strongest competition that the world. Tigran was also world champion and displayed some amazing skills in his games, but he did not dominate all of the other players of his day in the same way that Capablanca did.

    Capablanca had more games where he would go into an endgame essentially even and then find a way to squeeze out a win. I got the same feeling playing through Karpov endgames, the positions would be effectively even, but Karpov would find ways to put some pressure in very simple positions, and then keep rearranging to force the defender to hold up, many people could not find the solutions over the board.

    Tigran seemed to have less games like that where he manages to find a victory in a dead even endgame. The two things that stood out to me in his endgames were how tenacious he was in a bad position, it was unreal how well he could defend when he was under pressure (in both the middle game and the endgame), and the many different beautiful ways that he could find to sac the exchange.
  3. 09 Sep '12 21:30
    Originally posted by chrspayn
    There are not any world champions that had weak endgame skills. Capablanca was more dominate in his day, he had an 8 year undefeated streak, playing against the strongest competition that the world. Tigran was also world champion and displayed some amazing skills in his games, but he did not dominate all of the other players of his day in the same way that ...[text shortened]... and the endgame), and the many different beautiful ways that he could find to sac the exchange.
    Ah, that helps. Thank you. It seems that endgame skill comes with the territory of being a World Champion..
  4. 10 Sep '12 05:55
    Originally posted by chrspayn
    There are not any world champions that had weak endgame skills. Capablanca was more dominate in his day, he had an 8 year undefeated streak, playing against the strongest competition that the world. Tigran was also world champion and displayed some amazing skills in his games, but he did not dominate all of the other players of his day in the same way that ...[text shortened]... and the endgame), and the many different beautiful ways that he could find to sac the exchange.
    In fact during his non losing streak between 1916 and 1924 Capa played only in one top GM tournament - London 1922. He had his loss (vs Reti) in 5th round of another top GM tournament - New York 1924.

    Also domination of Capa was not so absolute - during his championship he played in 5 tournaments:

    1) London 1922 - 1st place
    2) New York 1924 - 2nd place (behind Lasker)
    3) Moscow 1925 - 3rd place (behind Bogoljubov and Lasker)
    4) Lake Hopatcong 1926 - 1st place
    5) New York 1927 - 1st place

    So he took 1st places in 50% of top GM tournaments (Lake Hopatcong can hardly be considered as top GM tournament). Good result but not absolute domination.

    Also to compare results we should take into account that there were more strong GMs who had real chances to fight for WC title in 60ties.

    Generally speaking on differences between Petrosian with Capa - play of Capa always seemed to be so clear and understandable, while Petrosian`s opponents (like Botvinnik and Spassky) had admitted that they often could not understand his play.

    In fact Petrosian has claimed that Capa is one of the players who affected his style. Both of them are more positional players (but also good tacticians), excellent defenders and endgame players. But Petrosian`s play was affected also by Nimzowitch - his play was more unconventional. Also Tigran seems to be better tactician than Capa.
  5. 10 Sep '12 07:41
    Capablanca's skill in endgame is overrated. It's more part of legend that he did not prepare himself, that he waspure talent etc.

    Alekhine was better in endgames than Capablanca.
    Says who? Fischer. During GM torunamernt Rovinj-Zagreb 1970, he spent a lot of time in converation with Vladimir Vukovic, Croatian teoretician, and long-time editor of Yugoslavian Chess Messenger.
    "You know", said Fischer, "that Alekhine, he used to play engmaes better even than Capablanca..."

    Capablanca's succesor is - Karpov.
    If chess people used to say that Karpov is improved Petrossian, so we might say that Petrossian is flawed Capablanca... 🙂
  6. 10 Sep '12 12:12
    Originally posted by vandervelde
    Capablanca's skill in endgame is overrated. It's more part of legend that he did not prepare himself, that he waspure talent etc.

    Alekhine was better in endgames than Capablanca.
    Says who? Fischer. During GM torunamernt Rovinj-Zagreb 1970, he spent a lot of time in converation with Vladimir Vukovic, Croatian teoretician, and long-time editor of Yugos ...[text shortened]... Karpov is improved Petrossian, so we might say that Petrossian is flawed Capablanca... 🙂
    Fischer has made even more inadequate claims, but I doubt if even he would claim that Petrosian is flawed Capablanca. Especially taking into account that Petrosian did not lose his title in first match.
  7. 10 Sep '12 14:50
    Originally posted by vandervelde
    Capablanca's skill in endgame is overrated. It's more part of legend that he did not prepare himself, that he waspure talent etc.

    Alekhine was better in endgames than Capablanca.
    Says who? Fischer. During GM torunamernt Rovinj-Zagreb 1970, he spent a lot of time in converation with Vladimir Vukovic, Croatian teoretician, and long-time editor of Yugos ...[text shortened]... Karpov is improved Petrossian, so we might say that Petrossian is flawed Capablanca... 🙂
    It's perhaps a bit extreme to maintain that his endgame skills were "Overrated". He was clearly better in the endgame then any other phase of the game, and it was enough strength for him to become a world champion.

    It's also obvious that he did prepare, work hard on his skills, etc. Alekhine was also a very strong player, and he did win the world championship off of Capa (although he also spent the rest of his career avoiding a rematch, for whatever reason).

    At any rate both Capa's skills and Tigran's skills were strong enough to net them a world championship, and we can learn a great deal from studying their games. I also agree that chess in Capablanca's time was a little simpler then in Tigran's time (although theory was also less well developed, giving Capa less to learn from), but that just gives us a different type of game to study. I have heard a number of strong players suggest that when studying the games it makes more sense to start with the older games first, because they are easier to understand.


    "Capablanca was possibly the greatest player in the entire history of chess" Bobby Fischer

    "Capablanca invariably chose the right option, no matter how intricate the position" Garry Kasparov

    "You cannot play chess unless you have studied his games" Mikahil Botvinnik
  8. 10 Sep '12 15:07
    "Is there even a Petrosianiac way to get to an endgame?"

    Suck forward the enemy pawns so they become weak and leaves holes
    behind them. Sac a Rook for a Knight and use your remaining Knight to
    create total havoc on the weak squares. 🙂

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    "Capablanca's skill in endgame is overrated." 😕

    I think you learn more from Capa's endings than Petrosian's
    (for reasons I'll explain later).

    Although there is a certain amount of myth building going on surrounding Capa.
    So it is with alll great players.

    Four of those 8 years Capa was undefeated were WWI.
    There not much chess going on then. I have the BCM for those WWI years.
    They were publishing skittles games between amatuers to fill their pages.

    It is easy to build a myth around any player.

    Petrosian says he was influenced by Nimzovitch.

    Cue one of Nimzovitch's favourite mis-quotes:

    "The threat is stronger than the execution."

    So the young Petrosian read this (Petrosian claimed he slept with Nimzo's
    'Chess Praxis' under his pillow) and a stye was born.

    Petrosian snuffed out the opponents threat before it could get executed.
    Often seeing the threat against him before his opponent even thought of it.

    That's the stuff myths are made of.

    Capa's endings are clear precise and perfect. Very easy to understand.
    You will learn from them.
    The players of Petrosian's era thanks to Capa, knew what positions to aim
    for and what to avoid. If lost they would resign before being shown so you
    won't see these crystal clear wins, though if asked I've no doubt at all that
    Petrosian would have played them equally as well.

    I often read in the ending the King is a fighting piece and did play over
    examples to convince me so. However it was two Petrosian games that
    drove this home.

    Before we continue I have to advise you not to try this at home. 😉

    Fischer - Petrosian Yugoslavia 1959

    Usually the King flexes his muscles after the Queens are off.
    Petrosian got his King working with a very active Fischer Queen still on the board.


    Position at move 49.
    Black's big bits are tied down to holding the d-pawn. White's big bits tied
    down hitting it. So why not use the Black King to guide home the a+b-pawns.
    And that is just what he did.

    Position after 61 moves.


    Final position



    Next is Petrosian V - Botvinnik in the 1963 world title match.
    Here is the latter half of the game. This is a Fightin King.

  9. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    10 Sep '12 18:09
    Originally posted by Pacifique
    In fact during his non losing streak between 1916 and 1924 Capa played only in one top GM tournament - London 1922. He had his loss (vs Reti) in 5th round of another top GM tournament - New York 1924.

    Also domination of Capa was not so absolute - during his championship he played in 5 tournaments:

    1) London 1922 - 1st place
    2) New York 1924 - 2nd ...[text shortened]... mzowitch - his play was more unconventional. Also Tigran seems to be better tactician than Capa.
    That would be 60%.
  10. 10 Sep '12 18:15 / 1 edit
    Main difference is that Capa was much better looking than Tigran.

    I sometimes wonder who was better at playing their existential endgame.
  11. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    10 Sep '12 18:37
    Originally posted by homedepotov
    Main difference is that Capa was much better looking than Tigran.

    I sometimes wonder who was better at playing their existential endgame.
    I don't think anyone on RHP will be able to tell you, so I guess you will have to keep on wondering or "forget about it" as the New Yorker says.
  12. 10 Sep '12 18:49
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    That would be 60%.
    My mistake.
  13. 10 Sep '12 19:26
    Originally posted by homedepotov
    Main difference is that Capa was much better looking than Tigran.

    I sometimes wonder who was better at playing their existential endgame.
    If I understand this , right, Petrosian would use his endgame skills to not lose(hence the drawish nature of his games), and Capablanca would use his endgame skills to win. I'm pretty sure the statistics support this idea.

    Petrosian = endgame defender and Capablanca = endgame aggressor?
  14. 11 Sep '12 01:00 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by hamworld
    If I understand this , right, Petrosian would use his endgame skills to not lose(hence the drawish nature of his games), and Capablanca would use his endgame skills to win. I'm pretty sure the statistics support this idea.

    Petrosian = endgame defender and Capablanca = endgame aggressor?
    It's true that Petrosian is famous for holding bad positions to a draw, and Capablanca is famous for winning drawish looking endgames, but no one get to be world champ without winning a great many games, and no one plays chess at the highest level without drawing a great many games. From the player breakdown on Chessgames.com:

    Capablanca: +371 -47 =262 (73.8% )
    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=47544

    Petrosian: +697 -160 =1071 (63.9% )
    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16149
  15. 11 Sep '12 01:10
    Don't seem to be able to edit the post above, here are win/draw/loss breakdowns for Capa, Tigran, and a couple of other World champs for reference:

    Capablanca: +371 -47 =262 [73.8%]
    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=47544

    Petrosian: +697 -160 =1071 [63.9%]
    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16149

    Kasprov: +796 -124 =780 [69.8%]
    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=15940

    Fischer: +418 -85 =246 [72.2%]
    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=19233

    Kramnik: +440 -121 =786 [61.8%]
    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=12295

    Anand: +613 -191 =888 [62.5%]
    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=12088