Thursday, November 20, 2008

Petrosian vs. Najdorf (Blitz) Match

Tigran Petrosian image from, "Tigran Petrosian" entry. 

From Zvi bar Shira and Avner bar Nir's report on the 1964 Chess Olympiad in Tel Aviv, Israel (Ma'ariv, Nov 28th, 1964): 

'While the Olympiad was going on in the playing and demonstration halls, Najdorf and Petrosian sat privately to play a match of blitz games. The few spectators heard, after every strong move, comments such as "My name is Najdorf!" or "I'm Petrosian!". During the match the world champion [Petrosian -- A.P.] came "out of his shell" and was seen as a humorous, witty man.'

While such offhand reports shouldn't be taken too seriously as character analysis, this certainly fits with Edward Winter's note (reviewing The Games of Tigran Petrosian) that Petrosian was well liked -- and his chess greatly appreciated -- by his colleagues. He was very far from the dour, humorless 'drawing master' he was supposed to be according to the popular chess press, merely for, in Winter's word, 'not playing like Tal'. 

Is anything else known about these games? (Perhaps one of the spectators recorded the moves?) Unfortunately, even the match's result is unknown, since the very line where the reporters gave it was garbled by the printer.

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