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As The English cricket team have come to appreciate, there is something intrinsically unsatisfying about a victory achieved in a well- contested game. After all, one can only win when the opponents make mistakes, and where is the beauty in that? No, at cricket as at chess, the greatest art is to be seen in the well-played draw.

White: Tigran Petrosian

Black: Yevgeny Vasyukov

USSR Team Championship 1973

1.c4 c5 2.b3

Petrosian always preferred a gardening approach to opening theory - keeping his hedge of pawns neat, rather than trying to entice errors with vulgar tactics.

2...Nc6 3.Bb2 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.e3 Be7 6.Be2 0-0 7.0-0 d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Na3 b6 10.Nc4 Bb7 11.d4 Rc8 12.dxc5 Bxc5 13.a3

White's hedge is growing. He plans to push Black back with b4, but the black b-pawn has ideas of its own.

13...b5 14.Ncd2 Qb6 15.Qb1!

This is the famous Petrosian shuffle, threatening to mate with Ng5.

15...f5!? 16.b4 Bxe3!

Black must play vigorously if he is not to be made to regret the weakness on e5 caused by his previous move.

17.fxe3 Nxe3 18.Kh1 e5!

Far superior to Nxf1. Now 19.Nxe5? Nxe5 20.Bxe5 Bxg2+ wins for Black.

19.Nb3 e4 20.Nc5!

Bravo! Now 20...Nxf1 is met by 21.Qa2+ Kh8 22.Ng5 with a raging attack.

20...exf3 21.Rxf3 Rce8 22.Nd7 Qd8 23.Nxf8 (see diagram)

Black finds a way to fight for the initiative.


Unleashing the power of the bishop on b7. White must now tread carefully.

24.Rxe3! Rxe3 25.Bf1

He plans to meet 25...Kxf8 with 26.Bxd4 Qxd4 27.Qxf5+ Kg8 28.Rc1, but Vasyukov is up to the challenge.

25...Rh3! 26.Bxd4 Rxh2+!

Ensuring that equilibrium is regained.

27.Kxh2 Qh4+ 28.Kg1 Qxd4+ drawn by perpetual check.