Tigran Petrosian: Biography

Tigran PetrosianTigran Petrosian – Soviet Armenian Grandmaster, Master of Sport of the USSR, chess theoretician and analyst, chief editor of “64” weekly newspaper, candidate of philosophical sciences – was born on June 17, 1929 in Tbilisi.

He began playing chess at the age of 8 Petrosian earned the title of Master in 1947, in the semifinal of the USSR Chess Championship. After moving to Moscow in 1949, Petrosian’s career as a chess player advanced rapidly.  He took the third place in the Soviet Championship in 1950, and in 1951 and 1956 he was out of competition.

In 1962 having won the Candidates Tournament, Petrosian earned the right to challenge Mikhail Botvinnik for the title of World Chess Champion. In 1963 Petrosian won the match against Botvinnik securing the title of World Champion.

In 1966 Petrosian retained the title of World Champion defeating Spassky, but in 1969 he lost it to Spassky.

Tigran Petrosian together with the Soviet team became nine-time Olympic gold medalist.

Petrosian was a conservative, cautious, and highly defensive chess player.

He was nicknamed “Iron Tigran” due to his almost impenetrable defensive playing style, which emphasized safety above all else.

Tigran Petrosian died on 13 August, 1984 and was buried in the Armenian cemetery of Moscow.