I’ve been playing through some of Petrosian’s games lately on my iphone and have come across some nifty positions.   Tigran Petrosian was World Champion from 1963 – 1969 and was renown for being a very defensive player who rarely lost.  It was surprising therefore when I came across the following position with Petrosian playing Black a pawn down in a double rook ending.  Surely with White’s extra pawn being doubled Petrosian could find a way to draw?

He has just played 1…R-c3.   Today’s puzzle is how did the game finish?   Did Petrosian gets his draw or did he suffer a rare defeat?

I’ll give you a couple of hints.   Firstly, the game does not last very long.   Secondly, sometimes it pays to look for an idea rather than just analysing moves.

[fen caption=”White to play.”]8/8/2p2R2/7p/5P1k/2rR3P/5PK1/2r5 w KQkq – 0 1 [/fen]


White played 1.Rg3! threatening 2.Rg4+ hxg 3.Rh6# so Black was forced to play 1…Rc5 but after 2.Rh6! he can resign as 3.Rg4+ is mate.