Tigran Petrosian

Tigran Petrosian (Armenian: Տիգրան Պետրոսյան Tigran Petrosyan; Russian: Тигран Вартанович Петросян Tigran Vartanovich Petrosyan) (June 17, 1929 – August 13, 1984) was a Soviet Armenian grandmaster, and World Chess Champion from 1963 to 1969. He was nicknamed "Iron Tigran" due to his almost impenetrable defensive playing style, which emphasised safety above all else.

Petrosian was a Candidate for the World Championship on eight occasions (1953, 1956, 1959, 1962, 1971, 1974, 1977 and 1980). He won the world championship in 1963 (against Mikhail Botvinnik), successfully defended it in 1966 (against Boris Spassky), and lost it in 1969 (to Spassky). Thus he was the defending World Champion or a World Championship candidate in ten consecutive three-year cycles. He won the Soviet Championship four times (1959, 1961, 1969, and 1975).

Petrosian was recognised as the hardest player to beat in the history of chess by the authors of a 2004 book.

Read more about Tigran Petrosian:  Early Years, Grandmaster in Moscow, 1963 World Championship, Reigning World Champion, Later Career, Death and Legacy, Olympiads and Team Championships, Playing Style, Deafness, Quotations