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1969 World Championship Match

1969 World Chess Championship
Boris Spassky (USSR) vs. Tigran Petrosian (USSR)
Moscow, USSR
April 14 - June 17, 1969

Conditions:  Best of 24 Games.  In the event of 
a 12-12 tie, Petrosian retains the title.

USSR, 1969 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Score
Spassky 0 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 0 1 ½ ½ 12½
Petrosian 1 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1 0 ½ ½ 10½
Result:  Boris Spassky becomes the 10th World Champion.

See the Games of the Match!


  • Max Euwe:  Petrosian's talent stands out vividly in lightning play, at which he is unbeatable. His incredibly quick reaction and his highly individual and quite inimitable assessment of the situation on the chess board enables him to determine difficulties a long way off. I never cease to admire Spassky's mastery. His strongest qualities are a spirit of enterprise, versatility, and a willingness to go in for the risks that are justified in such an emotional game as chess.

  • Mikhail Botvinnik:  Petrosian's chief strength consists in the virtuosity with which he eliminates his opponent's attacking possibilities. The World Champion possesses a remarkable talent for "spoiling" the trajectories of the enemy pieces. He does it artistically, without any effort, simply intuitively. To defeat Petrosian it is necessary to be excellently prepared from a theoretical point of view, to think out a complex of opening schemes that might place the World Champion in a difficult situation, to force him to calculate variations. Then the World Champion would have to expend much time and energy, and that would limit his recources for potential manoeuvring. Boris Spassky is now approaching his optimum strength. His style has become exceptionally universal and rational, he finds everything legible and clear. That does not mean that he has begun to play in a "dry manner", that his games lack combinations and tactical ideas. As before, there are many of them, but Boris Vasilievitch employs them only when it is necessary, when the position itself demands them. Such poise promises the very greatest successes.

  • Vassily Smyslov:  The World Champion has penetrated deeper perhaps than anyone into the secrets of positional manoeuvring. He is finely sensitive to all the nuances of the struggle on the chess board. Who will win: Petrosian or Spassky? It is hard to say. I wish to make just one remark. There is a Russian saying: "Repetition is the mother of understanding." In 1954 I could not win the crown from Botvinnik, but three years later I succeeded in doing so. Why should not Spassky also do the same? He has every ground for achieving it.

  • Mikhail Tal:   Petrosian possesses a remarkable capacity for perceiving his opponent's possibilities in advance. This quality sometimes prevents him from winning, but then it often comes to his aid.

  • Tigran Petrosian:  Spassky is a player who knows what he wants and understands how to go about getting it.

  • Boris Spassky:  It is hard for me to say how the match will end, but I am in an optimistic frame of mind. Petrosian is a remarkable player with enormous potentialities.

  • David Bronstein:  What do I think of the forthcoming Petrosian-Spassky match? Frankly speaking, I do not know. I would know if I had had the chance to meet one of them in a match myself.