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Robert James Fischer vs Bent Larsen
"Game of the Dane" (game of the day Jul-16-09)
Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Leonhardt Variation (B88)  ·  0-1
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Last move:

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Given 17 times; par: 77 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-14-15  Retireborn: <Howard> Yep, used an early version of Houdini to check that I'd worked it out correctly. Interestingly Houdini prefers 26...Qc4 at first, takes it a minute or so to see that Qa7 is even better!
Feb-25-15  DWINS: <Howard, Retireborn>, Stockfish 6 agrees with Larsen and finds that 26...Qc4 is significantly stronger than 26...Qa7.

I let it run to depth 30 and it evaluates 26...Qc4 as giving Black an advantage of -1.70, while 26...Qa7 yields an advantage of -0.77

26...Qc4 27.b3 Qxe6 28.Qxe6 Bxe6 29.Rxd6 Re8 30.Rg6 Rfe7 31.Rg2 Rc7 32.Kb2 Kf8 33.Rb6 Bf7 34.Rh2 Rc3 35.Rxb4 Rxf3 36.Rh1 Rf4 37.a5 Ra8 38.Ra1 Bxh5 39.a6 Rf7 40.Rb7 Bg6 41.b4 Bxe4

26...Qa7 27.Qg6 Bxa4 28.Nxg7 Rxg7 29.Qe6+ Kh7 30.Qf5+ Kh8 31.Qf6 b3 32.Qxh6+ Kg8 33.Rxg7+ Qxg7 34.Rxd6 Qxh6+ 35.Rxh6 bxc2 36.Rb6 Rc8 37.Ra6 Be8 38.Rf6 Kh7 39.Rf8 Kh6 40.Rf6+ Kxh5 41.Rf5+ Kh4 42.Rxe5

Feb-25-15  Nerwal: <Stockfish 6 agrees with Larsen and finds that 26...Qc4 is significantly stronger than 26...Qa7.

I let it run to depth 30 and it evaluates 26...Qc4 as giving Black an advantage of -1.70, while 26...Qa7 yields an advantage of -0.77>

Indeed but this is a weird case where Stockfish is completely wrong : it doesn't see 26... ♕a7 27. ♕g6 ♕e3+ 28. ♔b1 ♗xa4 as completely winning for black unless you feed it to it (29. ♘xg7 ♗xc2+ leads to a sweet checkmate sequence, for instance). Meanwhile even Houdini 1.5 finds this almost instantly.

Feb-25-15  DWINS: <Nerwal>, You're absolutely right! I have noticed this a few times before. I wonder if the developers have seen this type of behavior from Stockfish?
Mar-03-15  Howard: So, Larsen did indeed miss a quicker win. Someday, I'll have to study this position for myself.
Mar-03-15  Everett: <Mar-03-15 Howard: So, Larsen did indeed miss a quicker win. Someday, I'll have to study this position for myself.>

No, why bother? Don't buy the book, ask others for computer help, and don't learn a thing except <"Larsen did indeed miss a quicker win."> You just keep on truckin'.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Underworld: Why 26. Ne6? I would've preferred Nf5. I thought that was going to be the move when 23. Qg4 was played and invited e5. It puts the knight in a better position and forces black to take with the bishop. However, I don't like this opening for white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  NeverAgain: <Underworld: However, I don't like this opening for white.>

It's not the dance, it's the dancer.

I can think of few opening variations as violently beautiful and imagination-taxing as the Velimirovic: the Polugayevskiy, the Poisoned Pawn in the Najdorf, the Four Pawns Attack in the Alekhine, some esoteric lines in King's Gambit ... Of course, some love seeing the board almost literally torn to pieces, others enjoy plodding through a Berlin or a Classical Caro-Kann ... That's what makes chess such a fascinating thing, doesn't it?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <RookFile: Ok, it's settled. Max Pavey was the greatest player in the history of chess.>

Abe Turner was pretty tough too.

Aug-23-16  Howard: Well, he wasn't "tough" enough to withstand a knife wound.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: "Maybe this is Larsen's high water mark in chess."

Does winning this not count.

Biel Interzonal (1976)

And this one caused a minor sensation.

Karpov vs Larsen, 1979

In some eyes that 6-0 loss to Fischer damaged his reputation but never his own belief in himself. A great player, we could do with his like and attitude today.

Aug-24-16  Howard: Sally Simpson, let's not forget Larsen's huge victory at Buenos Aires, 1979, in which he shellacked the rest of the field !

Then, there's also his brilliant second-place finish at Niksic 1983, ahead of the likes of Portisch, Timman and Seirawan.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Howard,

I knew there were other success's but my two was to show he was not washed up after 1971.

His 'Move by Move' book was mentioned (wonder when they will get around to doing seems Everyman are doing a 'Move by Move' on everyone.)

So what's is the routine here. Plug in a computer, it finds obscure improvements and the 'author' tarts up the text.

Don't have any of the 'Move by Move' series but have considered getting Beonstein's Move by Move because it is done by Steve Giddins and he is of my generation and can write in an entertaining manner (when he wants to). Hopefully he won't be so computer savvy and reliant on Houdini. You may get some human input.

Having said that he also has a 'Move by Move' on Alekhine. That is one too many.

These things should be a labour of love, a one off. Written by a dedicated fan.

They are churning them out quicker than you can say: "If only you had Houdini, you could do this yourself."

Think I'll stick to Alkehine's Best Games and his 'warts an all' comments. I know who is doing the talking there.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I like the "Move by Move" books.
The Alekhine book is welcome because Alekhines notes are certainly flawed.

Still a number of greats not done: Kasparov (perhaps a lower priority due to Stohls excellent books), Lasker (also perhaps a lower priority due to Nunns recent book), Smyslov, Keres, Geller.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Plang,

That was part of the fun (and learning) in Alekhine books, 'some' of the notes are very dodgy. Actually very few, Your task was to discover them.

I'll give Bronstein a go. Only because it's Steve Giddins. I'll be disappointed, nay...furious (I'll send the book back to them.) if the pages reek of silicon.

I have Smyslov, Keres and Geller's (and Bronstein's) best games.

If they ask nicely I'll do Tarrasch for them and there will not be one computer variation in the whole book.

On second thoughts I'd be competing with the great man's 300 games.

Sorry boys. I'm up for a quick buck and fleecing mugs as much as the next man but I draw the line there.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Tough to find a book that doesn't rely on computers to at least some extent.

The Keres anthology is one of my favorite - he is a great chess writer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Plang,

Should it not be:

"Tough to find a book 'nowadays' that doesn't rely on computers to at least some extent."

Keres, Tartakower, Tarrasch, Alekhine Purdy certainly did not use them and turned out some classics.

Had this discussion with a strong GM and author, he is of the opinion that if your analysis is not checked with a computer then you are doing the reader a dis-service.

I agreed, but in some cases is it the writers analysis being checked or is it solely computer variations with no human thought or ideas at all. The computer in these cases are not a tool but a crutch.

Soon books will have the the make of the computer on the cover (in bold) along with 'operated by' the player's name.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I agree with you 100%. I will take GM analysis over computer analysis every time.

But I like modern players supplementing the analysis of historical games as many things have changed about the way chess is played. John Nunn is particularly good at this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Plang,

Honestly I'm not a nit-picker so please forgive me if I correct very slightly this bit:

" many things have changed about the way chess is played."

Can we read it as:

" many things have changed about the way chess is analysed."

I use to really enjoy the pre-computer days when some relatively unknown chap had a Mr Thomas moment in a magazine.

Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1961

See also here:

Mr Thomas was not the first to spot 28.Nd2.

In lesser well known cases an improvement was often followed by months of variations being swapped back and forth.

These days of course all arguments are settled on the spot with a miserable computer. They have taken the fun out of chess.

Regarding John Nunn.

Yes, but some things are best left alone as tinkering and tampering may indeed break it.

Him and his cronies sticking their snouts into Fischer's 60 was a disaster resulting in the book being withdrawn, pulped, reissued and apparently unsoiled by Nunn and his merry band of butchers.

Edward Winter had a field day.

It's a shame John has that on his CV his notes to games in BCM are brilliant. But that is just me highlighting one classic case where 'supplementing the analysis of historical games' blew up in their faces.

In his Book on the Four Knights he is looking at the Belgrade gambit and honestly admits a computer had found a line that busts one variation clean off the table. Others may not have been so honest and taken the 'glory' for themselves. (and don't tell me that has never been done....poor computer never gets any credit.)

I've also had a pot at the Doc here.

Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858 (kibitz #782)

Seems he does not like the 'Morphy at Opera Game.' The game is one of his pet hates.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I really love Nunn's book on Lasker - seeing games played 100 years ago through a modern perspective is interesting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Plang,

I have the Soltis book on Lasker which is very good.

Sep-01-16  Howard: Nunn's book on Lasker is probably even better---I have that one, and it's very well-done.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Have not seen Nunn's book on Lasker, but he is a fine writer, besides being able to play a little.
Sep-18-16  Howard: Come to think of it, I wonder if Kasparov's MGP has these above-mentioned corrections included. He does analyze this game, as I recall.
Sep-19-16  Howard: Nope! Those improvements, which Larsen and Kasparov apparently missed, are not included in MGP. Just consulted the book last night.

Computers have apparently come a way since 2005, when that volume came out.

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