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Fischer - Larsen Candidates Semifinal Match

Robert James Fischer6/6(+6 -0 =0)[games]
Bent Larsen0/6(+0 -6 =0)[games] Chess Event Description
Fischer - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1971)

Two weeks after Fischer's sensational 6-0 shutout streak in the Fischer - Taimanov Candidates Quarterfinal (1971), at Vancouver, he met at Temple Buell College, Denver, Colorado USA to play a 10-game candidates match against Bent Larsen starting on July 6, 1971. Larsen had qualified from the Larsen - Uhlmann Candidates Quarterfinal (1971). Fischer said to a reporter before the match: "Been traveling for a year, match to match. I need a personal life. I'm not as narrow as some people think, you know. But right now all I think of is the world championship. Chess is my whole life" ... "(Larsen)'s good. But I think I'm the best around. I don't say that to brag. I think it's true. I love the game - and I hate the Russians because they've almost ruined it. They only risk the title when they have to, every three years. They play for draws with each other but play to win against the Western masters. Draws make for dull chess, wins make for fighting chess." (1)

And fighting chess is what Fischer delivered. After six consecutive wins he dispensed with Denmark's best, repeating another amazing 6-0 performance. Preparing to face Boris Spassky in a World Championship match, he would first meet the winner of the Petrosian - Korchnoi Candidates Semifinal (1971). This turned out to be Petrosian, hence the Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final (1971).

(1) Life, July 23, 1971, p. 61.

Original collection: Game Collection: WCC Index (Fischer-Larsen 1971), by User: Hesam7.

 page 1 of 1; 6 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Fischer vs Larsen 1-0411971Fischer - Larsen Candidates SemifinalC19 French, Winawer, Advance
2. Larsen vs Fischer 0-1541971Fischer - Larsen Candidates SemifinalA30 English, Symmetrical
3. Fischer vs Larsen 1-0411971Fischer - Larsen Candidates SemifinalB88 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
4. Larsen vs Fischer 0-1331971Fischer - Larsen Candidates SemifinalE97 King's Indian
5. Fischer vs Larsen 1-0461971Fischer - Larsen Candidates SemifinalB88 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
6. Larsen vs Fischer 0-1401971Fischer - Larsen Candidates SemifinalA02 Bird's Opening
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <john barleycorn:

Fischer kept his jacket on as did some of the spectators.>

Notice Larsen is in his shirt.

...but I think its because
Fischer was the Fisch-er, and Larsen was the Fisch-ee.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Petrosianic: Fischer would have won easily at that time, but it still would have been fun to watch the soap opera.>

...there may have even been a good game or two.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <SpiritedReposte: Which also brings to mind something I've wondered about...Fischer seemed to have psychological warfare on his side along with superb chess skill.>

I think this is way overblown.

If you call being down two games with
Spassky as white <psychological warfare> please don't give me any.

Only Fischer would lose an unfinished match in 72.
Only Fischer lost the match to Reshevsky.
Only Fischer left the Sousse Interzonal.
Only Fischer lost the title in 75.
Only Fischer was denied a reign at the top, because of Fischer in the late 70's.

Fischer sure had a strange way of "winning" thru his antics and protests.

Jan-02-15  SpiritedReposte: Well <dice> I meant Fischer most likely got into his opponents heads. And if I had to guess he wasn't doing it intentionally, he was just a control freak.

Either way it probably unnerved a lot of his adversaries.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: What must have annoyed Larsen during the match, among other things, was that if Petrosian won the other semi-final (as he did), then Larsen would have great winning chances against him. Larsen had done very well recently against Petrosian. Fischer also had done well but without as much éclat.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Larsen's record against him at the time was +3-6, he had lost the last two decisive games. His most recent win against Petrosian had been 5 years previously. That's not to deny, of course, that the ever-optimistic Larsen would have rated his chances at anything less than 100%.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <offramp: What must have annoyed Larsen during the match, among other things, was that if Petrosian won the other semi-final (as he did), then Larsen would have great winning chances against him. Larsen had done very well recently against Petrosian. Fischer also had done well but without as much éclat.>

This strikes me as pretty eclatful.

USSR vs. Rest of the World (1970)/Robert James Fischer

Must have been quite a shock for Petrosian; he'd only lost once to Fischer in thirteen games up to that time, on a blunder.

Feb-24-15  RookFile: Let's talk for a moment about Fischer vs. Reshevsky. Fischer had a contract stating what time the games would be played. A rich guy says he needs the game played at 11 AM so that he can go to a piano recital. You're playing a dangerous opponent and you know that time is no good for your body. What would you do?
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <RookFile> Wasn't it Mrs Piatigorsky the one who requested the time change?
Feb-24-15  RookFile: I don't remember. Maybe, it was the husband, maybe the wife. Make it the wife if you want.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I think it was the Wife.

From Petrosianic's link:

<However, Mrs. Gregor Piatigorsky, one of the sponsors of the match, had a Sunday afternoon commitment that she didn't want to miss, and so intervened to have the game scheduled for Sunday morning instead of Sunday afternoon. Reshevsky agreed to play then, Fischer didn't want to, and so sat in his hotel room as his clock ran out, deliberately forfeiting the game>

Feb-24-15  RookFile: That's fine. Mrs. Piatigorsky. She wanted to go see somebody play the piano. Anyway, what would you do?

There's no right or wrong answer. For example, Reshevsky knew which side his bread was buttered on, they had probably been giving him money in various forms for years.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <RookFile> I know you know there's a page for the Fischer-Reshevsky match, because you've posted on it.

Fischer - Reshevsky (1961)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: It was a messy match. Granted, Fischer didn't handle it very well, but Mrs. P was the primary villain, scheduling a public match by pros around her own social schedule, as though it was a trained seal act or something.

Fischer had tried to argue that it was too early to play, but he'd played even earlier at Leipzig. More likely it was the indignity of taking a back seat to the sponsor's whims.

It was Reshevsky's (obviousy biased but possibly partly true) view that Fischer had simply had enough of the match and used it as an excuse to get out. Reshevsky thought that Fischer was embarrassed by his failure to win the adjourned Game 11, after boasting so publicly that he was going to.

Feb-24-15  RookFile: Well, I'll answer my question. I think there were 5 games left in the match. Under the unfair conditions, this is what I would have done:

With white, I would have played and repeated the Maroczy Bind setup from game 10. Reshevsky would have allowed that, because he was betting the whole match on the Accelerated Dragon.

You play this, and just take a look. If there's nothing there, you just offer a draw around move 30, and Reshevsky accepts it.

I quite agree with Petrosianic's comment that it is insulting to be treated as trained seals.

Anyway, that's what I would have done, but I can understand Fischer saying that a contract is a contract.

Premium Chessgames Member

Translated materials from old <64> volumes

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Eyal> Thanks for posting these here and on Fischer - Taimanov Candidates Quarterfinal (1971). I was struck by this from Krogius:

<They say that Fischer won 13 games against Larry Evans. Zarubin concludes that Balashov has great knowledge of Fischer's body of work, and Fischer himself has a phenomenal memory.

I think that the 13-0 score cannot be used as a proof for the author's conclusions. A well-known game between two American grandmasters in the 1962/63 US Championship ended in a draw at move 33 (Grunfeld Defence, Evans played White). This game was published in foreign magazines, mentioned by Fischer in his book My 60 Memorable Games and even published in the Shakhmatniy Bulleten' #5, 1963. There were other drawn games: Fischer - Evans, 1958/59 US Championship (Sicilian), published in Shakhmatniy Bulleten' #6, 1959, and Evans - Fischer, 1966/67 US Championship (English opening), published in Shakhmatniy Bulleten' #6, 1967.>

Amazing that we can look up all the games between them now with a couple of mouse clicks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: He won 2 games from Evans. 13 is the number he won from Bisguier.
Feb-27-15  RookFile: Now keypusher, you should know that there is a different page for a post like that. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <RookFile: Now keypusher, you should know that there is a different page for a post like that. :)>

Actually, the quoted language comes from Eyal's link, which is stuff from <64> about the Fischer-Larsen match. Sort of an souped-up internet version of <Russians v. Fischer>. Well worth a look.

It's going to be tougher and tougher for chess-book authors with all the amazing things now available on the internet.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <RookFile: Now keypusher, you should know that there is a different page for a post like that. :)>

Don't be so sure that guy would know.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The games of this match were outstanding.

Some of the games in the Taimanov match were a bit substandard (not Fischer's fault) but both players played very well in this match.

Larsen, sadly, was too optimistic before it began and too fatalistic at the end.

Jun-24-16  cwcarlson: I saw all six games. Larsen was hard to recognize in games 3 and 4, but the others were unforgettable, especially the first. Bobby played quickly and confidently while Larsen sweated and ran low on time. Hard to believe it was 45 years ago!
Jun-24-16  parisattack: Tempus fugit <cwcarlson>. It was indeed a memorable match and we were there!

Hope all is well your way.

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Bobby was just Lucky. As always :-)
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