Posts Tagged ‘Petrosian Tidbits’

The Fabulous 70s: 3 Chess People and a Beautiful Woman … Plus, Petrosian Tidbits

June 14, 2008

4 Peeps Hangin’ Out in 1976

Upper left: Louis D. Statham, the famous patron of the Lone Pine super-Swisses. Upper right: ex-WC Tigran Petrosian, winner of Lone Pine 1976 (the 6th LP incarnation). Bottom left: OK it’s not a beautiful woman. That title was simply meant to trick you to this site. It’s British GM Tony Miles, co-winner of the 1976 National Open in Las Vegas. Bottom right: the other co-winner, future IM Ed Formanek. Carl Budd took both photographs.

Tigran Petrosian Tidbits

We learn some interesting tidbits from Petrosian’s interview in this issue (interview conducted by stalwart USCF official Ed Edmondson – he had a cool name).

  1. Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian Factoid #1: He was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, but was 100% Armenian.
  2. Tigran’s dad was a refugee from Turkey.
  3. Tigran left Georgia when he was 17.
  4. Tigran journeyed 160 miles to Yerevan, Armenia.
  5. Before she got married to Tigran, Rona was an English teacher.
  6. Tigran had two sons, Mikhail and Vartan.
  7. Petrosian also enjoyed checkers, cards, and an Armenian backgammon variant called Nardy. He also played ping ping and billiards.
  8. He liked to watch ice hockey and soccer.
  9. He was a supporter of club “Spartak” and played first board for Spartak chess team.
  10. His main hobby was philately (stamp collecting) MG Note: just as it is Anatoly Karpov’s! He liked to collect art stamps and chess stamps.
  11. He used to attend the opera regularly.
  12. He was awarded the honorary Master of Sport title [MG: relatively late?!] in 1960.
  13. He was chief editor of “64” chess magazine when this interview was conducted in 1976.
  14. If he won a prize abroad, he could keep some of it and give some of it back to the state (the USSR).
  15. He was impressed by young Seirawan at Lone Pine 1976. Apparently young Yasser managed to beat Tigran in a friendly skittles game (one of several they played) although Tigran pointed out “I was not serious, I was having fun.” MG Note: You wouldn’t see Fischer very light-hearted after a skittles loss.
  16. He reiterates his belief that “… in chess there is nothing accidental. I believe only in logical, correct play.”
  17. On Fischer: “[he] tries to make the opponent play something other than the best move, than he – in turn – does make the best move.”
  18. “Everything in chess is rather wooden – wooden pieces, wooden problems, wooden decisions.”
  19. Petrosian in 1976 rated Ljubojevic’s chances of becoming a world championship contender as higher than Mecking’s, although both GMs were at that time young superstars. He also mentioned Ulf Andersson and he stated “I hope he will awaken one day.” (!)

Readers will enjoy this mind-blowing Petrosian victory over former World Champ Garry Kasparov.

I also learned from Wikipedia that Petrosian received a PhD in 1968 from Yerevan State University (is this something like Georgia State University?) on the topic of “Chess Logic.” Write what you know about!

So Many Tigran Petrosians

There’s a modern-day (young) GM Tigran Petrosian, apparently unrelated to the WC unless somebody knows differently?.  But did you know there’s a third Tigran Petrosian running around, quite literally – a professional soccer player!

More Lone Pine: Not for the Faint of Heart

On the principle you can’t get enough Lone Pine photos, here I am playing GM Lev Alburt at Lone Pine 1980 with Steve Odendahl (nice hair!) in the back. Lev, who had only recently defected to the USA, had cool Soviet-style slightly tinted dark glasses that he wore indoors.

Lev Alburt vs MG

Postscript: Princeton Graduation Drama in 1980

Since the above Lone Pine photo was from March 1980 I only had 2 more months ahead of me of the undergraduate life at Princeton. Woo-hoo! But there was drama. I overslept a required final in Genetics administered by the non-too-happy Professor Tom Cline (we called him Tom Clone). I was able to get a re-test supervised by a proctor in some administrative building a few days later. Guess what, I overslept again. I was 75 minutes late for a 2 1/2 hour exam. I wound up getting 43 points out of a maximum of 200. On one essay, the grader drew a red diagonal line through my babble and simply wrote “Sorry”, awarding me a 0 out of 50 on that question (involving an asteroid that crashed to Earth with some genetic samples; I had no idea what the question was talking about). After this debacle, Prof. Cline called me into the office. “This exam”, he exclaimed, waving it around, “is not just an F. It’s a K or an L. But I’m not going to fail you, I don’t want to see you on campus next term. So I’m giving you a D minus. Now get out.”

Amusing Post-Postscript

Ian Rogers has popped up on the blogosphere. But it’s not the Grandmaster. Instead, we apparently have a media baron who recently departed the ‘troubled’ Yahoo company.