Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian (June 17, 1929 - August 13,1984) is a former world chess champion.
An ethnic Armenian, Petrosian was born in the city of Tbilisi, Georgia, USSR and died in the Russian capital, Moscow.
His results in the triennial Candidates tournaments, held to determine the challenger to the world champion, showed a steady improvement: 5th at Zürich in 1953; equal 3rd at Amsterdam in 1956; 3rd in Yugoslavia in 1959; 1st at Curaçao in 1962. In 1963 he defeated Mikhail Botvinnik 12.5 - 9.5 to become world chess champion.
Petrosian defended his title in 1966, defeating Boris Spassky 12.5-11.5. In 1969 he was beaten by Spassky 12.5-10.5. In 1968, he was granted an M.Phil. from Yerevan University for his thesis, "Chess Logic."
He was the only player to win a game against Bobby Fischer during the latter´s 1971 Candidates matches, finally bringing an end to Fischer´s amazing streak of nineteen consecutive wins (6 to finish of the Interzonal, 6 against Taimanov, 6 against Larsen and the first game in their match).
He has two major opening systems named after him: the Petrosian variation of the King´s Indian Defence (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. d5) and the Petrosian system in the Queen´s Indian Defense (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3). A variation of the Caro-Kann defense also bears his name, along with former world champion Vassily Smyslov; the Petrosian-Smyslov variation (1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7).
He is most famous for being one of the best players pioneering the school of prophylaxis, years after Aron Nimzowitsch. His games are now widely used for instruction in chess schools around the world.
- World chess champions by Edward G. Winter, editor. 19981 ISBN 0080249041
- Twelve Great Chess Players and Their Best Games by Irving Chernev; Dover; August 1995. ISBN 0486286746