Bobby Fischer’s amazing Four Queens Chess Game against “Iron Tiger” Tigran Petrosian! 1959

Bobby Fischer’s amazing Four Queens Chess Game against “Iron Tiger” Tigran Petrosian! 1959


morning all I like to show you an
absolutely classic encounter when Fischer was just 16 in the bled Zagreb
Belgrade’s candidates tournament in1959 he was playing against Tigran Petrosian.
Tigran Petrosian was a soviet armenian grandmaster world champion between 1963
and 69 he was nicknamed iron tiger pardon me .. iron Tigran … due to his almost
impenetrable playing style which emphasized safety above all else he was
a candidate for the World Chess Championship on eight occasions 1953 56:59 62
71 74 77 1980. He won the World
Championship in 1963 against Mikhail Botvinnik and successfully defended it
in 1966 against Boris Spassky and lost it in 1969 to Spassky thus he was the
defending world champion or a World Championship candidate in ten
consecutive three year cycles. He won the the Soviet championship four times
nineteen fifty-nine sixty one sixty nine and seventy five and is recognized as
the hardest player to beat in the history of chess. I would like to add on this
channel there was a set of videos Kasparov against Petrosyan which I
called conquering a style but it should be noted that in the latter two
encounters Petrosian’s health was suffering which may have had a big
impact on those games. In the early encounters against Kasparov it was shown
that Petrosian was a great wriggler especially with his king being able to
wriggle his King into safety. Let’s look at this game then – so Fischer with White
kicked off with e4 and Petrosian played the caro-kann – a very solid opening but
maybe a bit of a surprise – perhaps Sicilian was expected we see Nc3
and Petrosian played d5 and now this variation Nf3 – okay so this is
the two Knights variation not very originally named – both knights coming out
called the two Knights variation – Bishop g4 pinning a knight and black is
emphasizing a dark square strategy actually this signifies to undermine
white on the dark squares by taking on f3 at some point potentially and we’ll
see this -White encourages black to do that exchange getting a light square
bishop now Nf6 d3 e6 and this Bishop it could go to e2 but actually g3
is favored and this move is very popular Bishop b4 which aims to actually
exchange off the dark square Bishops and leave white even more vulnerable
potentially on future dark squares and you’ll note in particular c3 – keep a note
in particular of the c3 square so a strategic Bishop exchange here – Black is
now threatening d4 so not giving white time to play Bishop g2 either – that would
be a pretty bad Bishop g2 here d4 even though a3 black has Queen a5 here and
is unclear to lose the exchange like this so okay so this is this is very
theoretical Bishop b4 even today this is the most popular move and Bishop d2 now is
played and black does go in for the bishop exchange with d4 driving the
knight back to b1 but it can come back out potentially to use the c4 square on
this exchange and Petrosian did actually take immediately on d2. I think nowadays
this is quite a rare idea to take immediately on d2 because it seems to be
helping White get the knight to c4. Queen b6 has been played at least eight
times according to my (Chessbase) “live book” Bishop takes d2 much rarer. Petrosian played it
anyway accelerating this Knight coming back to c4 which seems a
very comfortable idea and in fact it seems strange
maybe that Petrosian not only encourages this Knight to come to c4, is also saying
to white you know do it to attack e5 giving e5 a target but the point of e5
is to lock in this Bishop this fianchettoed Bishop so ok Bishop g2 – no rush to play
Nc4 c5 giving black the c6 square potentially for the knight. Castles now
knight c6 Queen e2 getting out of the way of the F pawn so this is a typical
Kings Indian in reverse and a Kings Indian attack formation where f4 now and you
might think the pressure on e5 might be good in conjunction with Nc4 later.
Petrosian plays Queen e7 and we do see this kind of Kings Indian attack formation
and black now castles Queen side. I think castling kingside looks a little bit
riskier perhaps white can just play f5 potentially unless it’s really weakening
the dark squares considerably but it looks like a standard thing you do in
the Kings Indian defense to roll these pawns up so castling Queenside maybe
seems a bit safer in some respects and Fischer gets to work now on on the
Queenside but it’s not just about the King – this next move which he plays a3 –
it’s about potentially undermining with e5 the e5 if Nc4 is
happening then b5 would also be a very useful threat to undermine this e5
pawn and break black’s structure in fact also beat bxc to try and undermine
black’s pawn structure here. We see now Knight e8 which does mean black is
possibly playing f6 soon to maintain that pawn chain which is like a
lock and key against this Bishop and possibly in this position you might
consider F takes e5 but it’s not that effectual in this position
F takes e5 Knight takes e5 say b4. Black has a very impressive knight on e5 here
and this attack really needs this Bishop but it’s completely blockaded so this
might not be ideal in in this position to play F takes e5 not only that for
example let’s take this a bit further black might even be able to play h5 to
try and weaken White further on the dark squares so this kind of position doesn’t
seem too bad for black but it’s a possibility that needs to be factored in
to play F takes e5. Fischer actually played b4 and now here again what
happens if f6. Well maybe b5 this might be okay for white to use this kind of plan
and the bishop might not be too terrible with h4 Bishop h3 later so this might
not be that bad it’s a bit blocked in but in the game Tigran undermines his
own structure here in the center with the move C takes b4 a bit provocative in
some respects and here now F takes e5 is under slightly better circumstances than
earlier much earlier because the knight and queen are now ready for b4 here
also the Knight is kind of protecting a7 so this is a very different position
here much more effective in fact it seems for f takes e5 to be reconsidered whilst
before positionally it could be ruled out – here this looks like it’s
quite attractive if Knight takes e5 that’s particularly bad – a takes and we are on a7
so slight nuances that means F takes e5 is more effective here and this pawn
chain being undermined with no c5 pawn makes queen f2
more effective and all of a sudden we’ve got resources like c3 targeting a7 so in
this position after C takes b4 it does seem that F takes e5 is a viable
idea here – if black takes the Queen maybe check and rook takes f7 this is
this is nice for white so okay but Fischer in the game played Knight c4 and
this gives to Tigran a chance to maintain his pawn chain with f6 and in some way
really justifying blacks C takes b4 actually because now the pawn chain has
been maintained black has actually weakened this c3 square with the earlier
strategic exchange of dark square Bishops the c3 square is a great target for a
positional maneuver like this and also black has the potential here to create
an outside passed pawn already there were the seeds of an outside passed pawn in a
position to be born more in mind this Bishop is still locked in and this pawn
chain ok against the knight c4 seems solid enough now white plays F takes
black takes with F pawn a takes and now b5 is a serious threat in this position
very very serious threat but Nc7 has dual purpose not just against b5 but the
Knight can consider coming in later to c3 which has been weakened white is weak
on the dark squares here. Knight a5 and now Tigran does a very very good move
potentially white is threatening Knight takes and rook takes a7. Does he use his King ?!
If he uses his King to protect b8 this might be playable takes because how
does White actually gain more pressure here let’s give an example Knight b5 is
pretty solid supporting a7 it looks as though black shouldn’t have too much of
a problem here. White is playing without this bishop in this position this
diagonal is not really something to be scared about
so this is not too great for white this kind of position so King b8 does seem
playable but Tigran played actually Nb5 which is also playable
immediately setting sights on c3 white plays Knight takes c6 bxc6 which
can protect that pawn doubly now with Knight and the Queen – so what can White do?!
he’s with this kind of dead bishop has he got that much play against black?! his
next move rook f2 as though he’s interested in doubling on the F file -we
see g6 potentially getting out of the way if if there’s a doubling on the f-file
g6 and now we see h4 king b7 and now Fischer plays h5 so he’s
trying to get some something going on the kingside here. He’s got that f-file.
Kind of gazing down the f-file. Now if immediate Nc3 this pawn is also been
on here in principle it seems as a bit dangerous to leave f7 Queen takes b4 is
actually played check King b6 it looks strange for the King to be on b6 as well
but if the King did step back then I think that might be much more dangerous
Queen f2 and we’ve got resources like c4 in fact because of this – this is an
important idea in this position if black takes a7 is gonna be under fire so okay
and now we see Queen f2 and it looks as though c4 now is possible using that
pin on the d4 pawn. That’s the principle kind of threat and Tigran could have
tried to dampen that down by playing Queen b2 here – okay the
white rook moves and now a five and now c4 and we can just take on f2 and
then play Knight c3 but he didn’t nail down c4 here in fact after Queen f2 Tigran played a five allowing c4 which sorts out one connectivity issue that
now White’s pieces can can swing to the Queen side potentially but this is a
very strong Knight now on c3 protecting key squares the King – it looks as though
the King is strange on b6 but this is Tigran Petrosian he’s very good with
King Safety – one of the most difficult players to beat ever in the history of the
game and he knows how to put his King into great safety so
it seems paradoxical to walk it up the board but in this situation now he’s
got this very nicely entrenched Knight he’s got this running past outside pawn
and he’s controlling key squares well enough for King safety not to be such a
major issue rook f1 which might be a slight mistake
perhaps Queen f6 as pointed out by my analytical assistant here with Queen g7
potentially and there is a threat of Qxe5 –
what would black do?! maybe rook d f8 and we can have hairy
continuations like this but white should be okay but in the game we see this move
rook f1 and now black can really emphasize that passed pawn. a4 is played
Fischer plays Queen f6 trying to counter-attack on this side of the board
and probing touching both rooks with this move means that now rook takes h7
to deflect one rook away from protecting the other is on the cards. That’s kind of
ignored now – perhaps best for black would have been Queen d6 after Queen d6 it
seems it’s a difficult position for white here it seems for example Queen g7
it doesn’t matter about such checks here because the King remarkably can use the
c5 square here and White’s attack is running out of steam and again we’re
faced with this menacing passed ‘a’ pawn in this position so okay so Petrosian
played actually queen c5 which i think is is a little bit less accurate than
Queen d6 and now it allows Fischer’s next move rook takes h7 getting a pawn
okay but now look Rdf8 queen takes rook takes
h7 does Petrosian want to exchange off rooks – well in principle yes he’s got
this outside dangerous past pawn but White has also got now this dangerous
‘h’ pawn to counterbalance this ‘a’ pawn so yes Petrosian takes on f1 though and
pushes his ‘a’ pawn and the white queen is a bit helpless against this pawn
queening. All White can do now is try and queen himself how can he get back in
time?! There’s no way so we’re in a strange situation here where the earlier
dark square strategy led to white being weak on the dark squares and this
wonderfully entrenched knight on c3 maintained king safety for kings on
opposite sides of the board which has now culminated in two passed pawns
on opposite sides of the board so white plays now h6 and black plays a2 and
they’re both going to queen quite ruthlessly Queen g8 setting the queening
square – a1 queening – h7 and black believe it or not hasn’t
got really time to exploit White’s King safety here although it seems the shot
Ne2 check might be promising what would go on here?! Say King g2 there is a
shot here Knight takes g3 so that if King takes this is crushing Queen takes
f1 that is a big big problem here imagine this scenario Queen takes d3
this is not very nice for white at all Black’s got the checks in first here and
is left with material advantage but Knight takes g3 – you might think well
Queen takes again there’s Queen f8 so this is an important tactic to consider
because it’s putting a dampener on things it seems but in this position
white can actually force a perpetual check
With check check check check and there’s no escaping it because if if
this loses the a7 square because here if we try and win this queen there is queen a7
and this is just perpetual check again so the king cannot escape the perpetual
checks here so perpetual checking saves the day in this position but it was an
important tactic to bear in mind this Knight e2 check for Knight takes g3.
Petrosian actually played Queen d6 and now we have the four Queens on the board
which makes the game very unique to have four Queens. It’s very rare this happens
in very high-level games so I think the preconditions for it to happen were :
both sides castled opposite to each other, black had the signs of
an outside passed pawn earlier on and white was working on the Kingside to
generate a dangerous passed pawn himself and we have this remarkable scenario now
so what is white actually threatening if he had another move. Well he’d start checks
maybe which would be pretty dangerous maybe he wouldn’t mind exchanging off a
queen and to try and pick up e5 and then use his ‘g’ pawn later. Well
Petrosian guards against Queen b8 Fischer in this position plays the move g4 which is
actually apparently one of the best moves to play from an engine perspective
in this very very complicated position if he tries Queen e8 this seems to be a
viable alternative to just target the e5 pawn black might be able to respond
Queen a to e7 it’s strange to have to qualify Queens
but it’s a wonderful aspect of this four Queen scenario
and say Queen a8 very complicated position indeed really this kind of
scenario very unusual Queen dc-7 is example White has always got the option as well
to try and trade off one pair of Queens this looks good for white from at least
from an engine point of view this this position so Queen e8 looks like an
alternative to g4 which is what Fischer played – rather optimistic I guess to try
and think of that pawn as now queening in this new scenario
Petrosian does something very interesting he continues his King walk
with the move king c5 now okay and now we see white playing Queen f8 exchanging
off one of the Queen’s potentially. Queen a to e7 but now avoiding the Queen exchange I
don’t think this is good for white here taking Queen h6
this might not be that’s hot for white here because black has these invasion
points in this position like f3 in particular
so what Fischer did here is actually Queen a8 – he is bearing in mind the check
possibilities and Petrosian does the only move I think Queen a3 looks
like a very very serious threat especially with c5 coming up potentially
as a resource so he plays actually King b4 – the King helps himself to
defending here the a3 square and we see now Queen h2 is though there’s an interesting
queen b2 and remarkably again and this is why I think Petrosian is an
amazing King wriggler and with this King wriggling he even had later success
against the likes of Kasparov in some games the King helps himself to defence with King b3 remarkably but it does also mean now that Queen a3
is possible with this battery of Queens as well – so we see Queen a1 and the
Knight is covering key squares here b1 and d1 as well. Black now plays Queen a3 and
if white refuses an exchange of Queens now let’s say white plays Queen e1 then
Queen g5 it looks very difficult indeed to see what White’s actually doing here
so Fischer simplifies now the position so alas that’s the end of the four Queens
now after Queen takes a3 King takes a3 Queen h6 and then we see Queen f7
interested in that f3 square and the King defends f3 with King g2 and now
we see the move King b3 – where is this King heading?! Well it seems that’s
potentially there’s Nd1 to e3 on the cards so the King is stepping out of
potential checks like on d6 perhaps – was this really a threat for white or Queen
c1 check in particular is more relevant so the King is stepping out of checks
here. Fischer goes back with his Queen and we see now Queen h7 which looks a
little bit odd what does the Queen actually doing there?! It’s standing
by this pawn it doesn’t look as though it’s got major prospects and now
a bit of a howler from Fischer – he plays King g3 which allows a nice tactic. I
wonder if you can spot it if I give you 10 seconds starting from now … okay Queen takes e4 there’s a nice fork
here if takes Knight takes e4 check and black is winning here in this position
so .. Fischer plays the much better queen f2
which keeps his chances alive and after queen h1 .. Fischer offered a draw
which thankfully for him was accepted. He was a bit nervous about it not being
accepted black is slightly better black has got prospects of e4 here but
Petrosian I guess was extremely tired after this game with the complexity of the
Four Queens earlier decided to .. well a draw was accepted so let’s see in this
final position if Queen g2 Queen h6 Black’s better but it’s not so clear
about e4 as long as e4 is stopped black has some work to do but okay it’s it’s still very very
complicated. The win is going to be a protracted struggle from this
position so fair enough after Queen h1 a draw was agreed so
an intense and exciting game with four Queens on the board – an extremely
memorable game indeed comments or questions on YouTube thanks very much.

100 thoughts on “Bobby Fischer’s amazing Four Queens Chess Game against “Iron Tiger” Tigran Petrosian! 1959

  1. I lost a game against a well ranked opponent yesterday simply because of a check, leaving my queen open to attack. I wanted to put my hand through the god damned computer screen.

  2. Right at the end, Qg2 seems like a drawn game to me. Perhaps Qh6 could be viable, but it becomes a bit sticky to hold on to the c6 pawn while still defending the g pawn's advance, so Petrosian would have been happy to accept a draw. Either that, or force a perpetual check later in the game.

  3. What chess board is this? How do you get it? Iserched everywhere chess boards I can use and nothing shows up!

  4. It's pretty impossible for normal people like me to guess those smart moves in just 5 seconds. I always pause them to think but still get wrong guesses. damn

  5. Would love to have been there . . . when someone had to go looking for two more Queen pieces for the players to put on the board.

  6. I so want to see 6 queens now. That would be absolute madness. Talking about throwing theory out of the window.

  7. i think it is a testament to how wild and crazy "bug house" is that things that are ridiculously rare in real chess, like 4 queens on one board happen all the time in bug house.

    my favorite bug house moment:
    me: sac for a bishop
    partner: he doesn't have any bishops, you have them all

    and then I realized that i'd placed all the bishops on the white squares, and had none on the dark squares : )

  8. "4 Queens" is a casino in downtown Las Vegas. I have not seen this entire video, but see the title has confused some. Chess tournaments are held in Las Vegas too!

  9. i know this an old video so its probably been asked but wouldnt bishop to g2 be an option for white? pins the queen and pawn. knight still cant make a check on due to the white queen and pawn structure. from here black queen to h6 to maintain safety would be likely. from here white could march his g4 pawn forward with the protection of queen and king. for black to break this up he would surely need to sacrifice his remaining knight

  10. Thanks for posting. Fascinating and unusual. I gave up following chess when the 'checkers' notation was adopted. Great for 8-bit computers with limited memory, but definitely human unfriendly. I wasn't impressed by that "improvement."

  11. Thanks for posting. Fascinating and unusual. I gave up following chess when the 'checkers' notation was adopted. Great for 8-bit computers with limited memory, but definitely human unfriendly. I wasn't impressed by that "improvement."

  12. Mega Star of chess, Super grand master, einstein of chess…….call what you may, words are not enough to describe the genius of bobby fischer in this life.
    Fischer rejecting the title retaining match against Anatoly karpov has pained the hearts of all his fans even today though bobby himself never regretted.
    Bobby fischer giving up chess at his pinnacle has made the chess world bankrupt of a great talent. This is the only blunder he made though never on chess board but in life.
    we love you bobby forever. in spirit you are always with us. your games are in this world for all of us to cherish for generations together. you are the very reason for our existance in chess.
    Though you are no more, we are still learning from you through your games.
    god takes them away young whom he loves the most….you are foremost among them.

  13. Bobby Fischer was not a chess player – He was a chess magician….able to do the impossible tricks which even grand masters' brains could not comprehend.
    Had he continued his play, he would have whipped many more asses in the world of chess championship play. He was a messenger of god specially sent to the chess world.
    His lack of defending his title rematch with Anatoly Karpov is still regretted by all his fans throughout the world.

  14. Love the video and appreciate the time you took, but the game was already played all the hypotheticals takes away from the excitement of the match maybe a couple possibilities here and there but after every move is a little much in my personal opinion never the less thank you for this was very interesting what a match.

  15. I’m against the chess rule that allows a pawn to be promoted to any non-king piece. I think the rule should be that pawns are allowed to promote only to pieces already captured by the opponent. Of course, it’s useless to be against the rule in tournaments &c, but I usually manage to make a pre-match agreement with my opponents to disallow it.

  16. Great presentation. The extra variation analysis in certain points was needed in order to understand the game better from both strategic and tactical point of view. People that dislike this, should find the game in numerous sites and press the "play button". You cannot enjoy a work of art without context . Without knowing what the hell you are looking at.

  17. Great commentary. I do have two questions: 1) Why did Fischer allow black to clamp down the center, and 2) Why did Petrosian sacrifice his two pawns instead of defending them and push his outside pawn?

  18. Replayable game link: http://www.chessworld.net/chessclubs/ltpgnviewer32/ltpgnboard.asp?GameID=4771468&v=nJwRwNTOeDM
    Join me or other Youtubers for a game: http://www.chessworld.net/chessclubs/asplogin.asp?from=1053 – Cheers, K

  19. First it was beat the computer now its learn from the computer.. can anyone beat these top engines now? like Magnus does he play against an engine for competitive games. think il check the tube for this.. I play on chess.com for fun I dont know any openings really.. I maybe get a 900 rating if im feeling good .. any tips for getting better? must I learn all this theory or just get an engine? Cheers

  20. I Remember the Spassky Fischer matches l was 10 in 66 and just starting to get interested in chess. l'm not sure if it was just because i was interested at the time or if was that these guys really brought major US interest to the game. l seem to remember it being on the cover of Time Magazine back them. Love you videos

  21. At 14:10, why didn't Petrosian en passant the C4 pawn with his queen?
    That would take the pawn, and threaten the rook and the D3 pawn.

  22. I'm not that great at chess and much less even in the endgame, but why couldn't white have played Queen to f7 in the drawn position? Sure it allows black to check with Queen to g1 but I don't find anything black can gain from that.

  23. It's funny that I only noticed I'd already watched this game on your "Best of the 1950s" series when the players were about their additional queen!

  24. Informative video.  It took me the longest time to figure out what the "G Free" square/position was.  I'm going to call it the East London System.  And the King's "Injun" defense just sounds offensive to the American ear.  I await all the predictable replies attacking various US American accents, which would be deserved.

  25. Stockfish basically implodes & can't figure anything out after the 4th queen hits the board. We need Alpha Zero's help here!

  26. Ffs just show the moves that were played because you make it way too confusing moving pieces around that weren't played

  27. i think alot of players dont realise how important the pawns are.its not until the end games you see how powerfull the pawns become.i think these end games can go on along time.as its not so much attacking and developing pieces.its more like checking and the king can keep avoiding checks.as there are more squares for the king to move in between checks in an end game.sometimes drawers are alot more reasonable.rather than go on through endless options.i think with there being more spaces in an end game like this sometimes a drawer is best option rather than go.

  28. Kingcrusher, Eventhough you thought black was better in the final position, wouldn't the game have still been a draw anyway with best play? For example white could have built a defensive bridge with 49. Qg2 allowing an immediate draw with perpetual check once the white queen was outmaneuvered into position from the kingside to the queenside. On the otherhand if upon 49. Qg2 black simplified to a minor pieces and pawns endgame that would also have been drawish as long as white could stop his pawn structure from being undermined with e4? I love to think that Fischer didn't swindle a win from Petrosian. Swindling isn't Fischer's style.

  29. The original chess game never had queens coming in after the pawn reaches the end. Originally the pawn would be able to bring a knight, rook, bishop or queen if and only if those pieces were taking by the opposing kingdom. Pawns are SAVING their fellow kinsmen. If none were available, which is a bit rare, then the pawn would stay there and cannot be harmed by the opposing kingdom. It is actually funny to see players play today: going on "sacrificial runs" like there is no tomorrow, where in truth the object of the game is to protect your kingdom. The Israelites knew how to play this game in its purest form. Thank the Lord for this game. Amén. 🌿

  30. The most puzzling thing about chess IMO is, most world champions are young. One would think the more experience one has the better, hence there would be a lot of 50's, 60's world champions, but not true. Puzzling:)

  31. At 19:47, why wouldn't Fisher have moved his pawn to c5+ and if Q defends, Qb3+. If King defends, then Qc3+? It would open up the board for black, it seems to me. Somebody please explain why he didn't. Thanks.

  32. Boby Fisher, the Men, a good Men, who said the biggest Truth about USA!!! ( Fisher: "USA
    is the biggest Evil the World"! I liked people, who talking the Truth, and about USA too!!! )

  33. I wish all these video makers would use a colour scheme or something to show when they're doing their own theories rather than what actually happened so I dont get so lost. Nice game though

  34. Very enjoyable and the commentary much appreciated, but the captions (text) at the bottom of the screen running over the first two rows of the chess board were irritating!!

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