Alexander Dmitrievich Petrov (Russian : Алекса́ндр Дми́триевич Петро́в) (February 12, 1794, in Biserovo, near Pskov – April 22, 1867, in Warsaw) was a Russian chess player, chess composer, and chess writer.
Petrov was born 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.
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.
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.
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.
Petrov died 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).