Tigran Petrosian, Chess Grandmaster

Tigran Petrosian, Chess Grandmaster

Known as “Iron Tigran,” Tigran Petrosian was a masterful defensive chess player and he reigned as world champion from 1963 to 1969. He became famous not for his flamboyance, but for his patience and methodology. Being the first Armenian world champion in history, he had a huge impact on the popularity of chess in Armenia.


Petrosian was born in Tiflis to an impoverished family. He played chess from a young age, and as his skills developed, he moved to Moscow to find more challenging players and improve his game.

Claim to fame

Being world chess champion for seven consecutive years.

What he said

"Chess is a game by its form, an art by its content and a science by the difficulty of gaining mastery in it. Chess can convey as much happiness as a good book or work of music can. However, it is necessary to learn to play well and only afterward will one experience real delight."

“If it is true that a player's style is his person, then everyone plays as he is intended to by nature. I am naturally cautious, and I altogether dislike situations which involve risk.”

What others said

“My games with the 9th world champion broadened my understanding of chess. Had it not been for these two defeats, I would possibly not have reached the top in chess.” – Garry Kasparov

"Petrosian is great at seeing and tackling a threat 20 moves before it materializes! I was stunned by his uncanny ability to keep improving a position that was already very strong. He is definitely a very subtle player. "– Bobby Fischer

"Petrosian was the Defender in chess. He was the first grand master to demonstrate that almost any position could be defended. He showed that chess is a game with lots and lots of resources. Petrosian’s style was very sophisticated and hard to understand. There was something very mysterious about him…" – Vladimir Kramnik

Noteworthy work

Petrosian-Karpov blitz chess game