Alexander Petrov (chess player)

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Alexander Petrov

Alexander Dmitrievich Petrov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Дми́триевич Петро́в) (February 12, 1794 – April 22, 1867) was a Russian chess player, chess composer, and chess writer.

Petrov was born in Biserovo, near Pskov, into a noble family and is usually remembered as the first great Russian chess master. From 1804, he lived in Saint Petersburg. In 1809, he defeated Kopev and Baranov, Petersburg's leading chess players, and became Russian best player at the age of 15. For over half a century Petrov was considered Russia's strongest player.[1]

He is an author of the first chess handbook in Russian (Shakhmatnaya igra (...), St Petersburg 1824). He also analysed with Carl Friedrich von Jänisch the opening that later became known as the Petrov's Defense or Russian Game (C42).

From 1840 he lived in Warsaw (then in the Russian Empire), where successfully played against top Warsaw chess masters: Alexander Hoffman, Piotrowski, Szymański, Siewieluński, Hieronim Czarnowski, Szymon Winawer, etc.[2]

Petrov won matches against D.A. Baranov (4–2) in 1809, Carl Jaenisch (2–1) at St Petersburg 1844; Prince Sergey Semenovich Urusov (3–1) at St Petersburg 1853 and (13.5–7.5) at Warsaw 1859; and Ilya Shumov (4–2) at St Petersburg 1862.[3]

During the January Uprising (1863–1864), he left Warsaw for Vienna and Paris. Among others, he played a match with Paul Journoud at Paris 1863.[4]

Petrov died in Warsaw in 1867, and was buried in the Orthodox Cemetery in Warsaw.

His most well-known problem is "The Retreat of Napoleon I from Moscow" (St. Petersburg 1824).

Alexander Petrov (1824)
"The Retreat of Napoleon I from Moscow"
c8 black king
d8 black knight
c7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
a6 white knight
e6 black pawn
f6 black rook
g6 white bishop
a5 black knight
b5 white knight
c5 white pawn
a4 black pawn
c4 black pawn
d4 white pawn
f4 black rook
g4 black pawn
e3 black bishop
b2 black pawn
c2 white pawn
f2 black pawn
h2 white king
h1 white queen
A few moves before checkmate

Notable games[edit]


  1. ^ A. D. Petrov, by Isaak Linder, Moscow, 1955.
  2. ^ Litmanowicz, Władysław & Giżycki, Jerzy (1986, 1987). Szachy od A do Z. Wydawnictwo Sport i Turystyka Warszawa. ISBN 83-217-2481-7 (1. A-M), ISBN 83-217-2745-X (2. N-Z).
  3. ^ Edo Historical Chess Ratings
  4. ^ Paul Journoud player page at

External links[edit]