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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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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-13-14  Petrosianic: <Even when he was a world class GM you had guys like Janosevic and Kovacevic who won (in 1 game each))

Kovacevic, yes. Janosevic, no. His winning record against Fischer is based on three games played. So is Abe Turner's.

Apr-13-14  Bobby Spassky: Fischer lost to only person that was younger than him.
Apr-13-14  Everett: Two, technically. Game Collection: ROOT OF SPAWN or Bobby vs The Youth

Of course, the sample size is ridiculously small, since he quit at 29.

Aug-01-14  thegoodanarchist: OK pun, but I would have called it "Grand Larseny"
Aug-01-14  thegoodanarchist: <SimonWebbsTiger: ...

Whilst the strong American master Abe Turner could boast =1+2 against a young Bobby.>

And if Bruce Lee were 8 years old right now you could kick his butt!

Aug-01-14  thegoodanarchist: And after playing over the game, it is clear to me that the "Great Dane" Bent Larsen was amply prepared for Bobby's g-pawn attack.

Maybe this is Larsen's high water mark in chess. It certainly didn't come later than this!

search "fischer larsen 1971"

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: How often did Fischer castle Q-side when playing his Fischer-Sozin? I don't think too often, I wonder why he did here?

The queenside castling was mentioned early in the kibbitzing for this game:

Fischer vs Larsen, 1970 (#8)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I find it hard to believe that this game isn't included in "Bent Larsen's Best Games" from New In Chess. Maybe Larsen never annotated it. I think it was a good game on his part especially considering the opponent.
Nov-28-14  Petrosianic: When was this published? Larsen's first victory over Fischer was included in Larsen's Best Games of Chess, even though it's nothing special. In a superior position, Fischer simply blundered. It doesn't deserve to be in a Best Games Collection, it's only there because of the identity of the loser. This game is much better. The best game Larsen ever played against Fischer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Petrosianic> It appeared last month.


It's basically an upgrade of "Larsen's Selected Games" but I was surprised that this game wasn't in it.

Feb-14-15  Howard: This just in.....according to the new book Larsen: Move by Move, Larsen apparently missed a quicker win on the 26th move. Rather than play 26...Qc4 he should have played the "impossible to find" (as the book puts it) 26...Qa7 !!.

The book analyzes why that Houdini move would have won easier, but I don't recall it offhand. Just saw it yesterday at a Barnes and Noble.

Perhaps someone out there with a computer....

Feb-14-15  Howard: It's interesting that Timman's excellent The Art of Chess Analysis states that despite Fischer's shellacking of Taimanov (who, of course, bought his way into the Candidates), most experts nonetheless weren't about to write off Larsen when he played Fischer in the semi-finals. This game was one of the reasons why.
Feb-14-15  Retireborn: <Howard> Attacking the pinned knight with 26...Re8 fails to 27.Qxg7+ Rxg7 28.Rxg7+ Kh8 29.Nxc7.

So move the queen somewhere...Larsen's 26...Qc4 is strong as 27.Rxd6 b3 28.c3 Rxa4 gives Black a winning attack; however after 27.b3 Black is forced to exchange queens.

26...Qa7! is even stronger as it protects g7 and avoids a queen exchange; after 27.Rxd6 Bxe6 28.Rxe6 b3! Black's attack wins with a Q check on e3, while after 27.b3 Re8 works without any problems.

It's very logical, but as you say difficult to see!

Feb-14-15  Howard: Thanks much ! I didn't exactly have time in the Barnes and Noble to scribble down the analysis out of the book.

This question isn't important, but did you use an engine to find all this ?

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.

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