< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 5 OF 8 ·
|Feb-26-11|| ||kbob: Extreme heat and thin Denver air have been cited to spare Larsen's feelings, but in a way it easy to see how he could be overconfident with contempt for Fischer. Larsen was not very tolerant of the young Bobby's bratty ways, and he had crushed Fischer's ridiculously naive 29. Q-h3?? at Santa Monica 1966 and 26. N-e6?? at the interzonal. Larsen's stellar year 1968 was marred only by the candidates match with Spassky, which must have seemed to him like a minor glitch in the path of destiny. He stated very clearly "Larsen will be the next world champion." Imagine, to be laid so low at the very apex of your powers.|
|Feb-26-11|| ||fab4: Tarrasch came up with a good defence when he claimed he was suffering from the effects of the sea 200 miles inland at a tournaent in Germany.lol|
|Feb-27-11|| ||cwcarlson: Larsen won the 1968 US Open in Aspen so a hot Colorado summer wasn't new to him. And by the way, wasn't it just as hot for Fischer? Larsen gave a simul in Denver in the summer of 1974. I asked him who he expected to win a match between Fischer and Karpov, and he said no one could beat Fischer. After going over the games they played in 1971 it's easy to see how he could feel that way!|
|Feb-27-11|| ||perfidious: <kbob> Larsen himself cited the heat in an interview many years ago, with CHO'D Alexander.|
|Feb-28-11|| ||fab4: Larsen was a great player though. absolutely.
He , like others, had the misfortune of playing in the same time context of a hungry and demonic Robert Fischer.
|Mar-31-11|| ||PSC: Yeah, Larsen himself thought he would win the match. I looked at this game here, annotated: http://patzerseescheck.blogspot.com...|
|Jun-04-11|| ||PSC: <kbob> It ought to be pointed out that Larsen was Fischer's second in the 1959 Candidates Tournament, after missing out himself in the 1958 Portoroz Interzonal, where he finished 16th.|
|Jul-07-11|| ||HeMateMe: Nice photo for this page. Is it the drawing of colors for the match?|
|Jul-08-11|| ||DrMAL: <PSC> Thanx for your annotations, very nice job. This is one of my favorite games as well, particularly for its subtlety and preciseness. But I disagree on a few things. First, 12.Re1 is not an improvement over 12.Ba3 and this was not important in Fischer vs Mednis, 1962 especially since Fischer played 13.Re1 in that game anyway. |
12...O-O is probably black's best reply to 12.Re1 and, after this, white's best is probably 13.Ba3 a simple transposition (or 13.Rb1). If 13.exf6 the proper response is not 13...gxf6 but instead 13...Rxf6 (14.Ba3 Nf5) and the game is very nearly equal.
In any event, 12...Ng6 should be regarded as a mistake, after 13.Ba3 and the ensuing exchanges white has a clear advantage. Larsen simply neglect to castle either short on move 12 (best) or long on move 17.
Second, 17...Kf7 was not an interesting move "with verve and imagination" it was not even dubious it was a mistake that solidified white's advantage. Here, castling long and inviting 18.Qxa7 or moving a6 and inviting 18.Qxd5 were black's two best perhaps only viable options.
After 18.f4 the only strong move, black plays best replies but by 20...Kf6 Larsen is losing. As <PSC> points out Fischer missed the winning move 21.Bd6! After 21...Qd8 (or 21...Qc8) 22.Bf3 Be6 (or 22...Bc6) 23.Qd4+ and black can resign.
After Fischer's mistake 21.Bf3 the game is equal again. With 22...Kg6 white has several good options (Rxe5 or Be2 or Kh1 or others like Bd6 or Bxb7) all with about equal chances, the game is quite complex. Fischer's decision Rxe5 resulted in material gain but giving Larsen the initiative. As such, 25...Qe3+ played was probably best.
Both players are very accurate (including 32...Qxc3 it was best) and, despite the material imbalance, after 34.Bxa7 the games is equal with several choices for black. Although equal, the pressure builds on Larsen who starts getting inaccurate, as Houdini shows (lines truncated):
click for larger view
27/73 50:57 16,050,164,704
0.00 34...Ke6 35.a5 Qxa5 36.Bd4 Qd2
-0.03 34...Ke5 35.Bc5 g5 36.Rd1 Qxc2
-0.06 34...g6 35.a5 Qxa5 36.Bd4+ Ke7
-0.15 34...f4 35.a5 Qxa5 36.Bd4+ Ke6
-0.30 34...Ke7 35.Bc5+ Ke6 36.Rd1 Qxc2
-0.35 34...Kf7 35.Bb6 Qxc2 36.a5 Qd3
34...g5 and 36...Qb2 (instead of 36...Qa2) another small inaccuracy gave Fischer a small edge. But then 38...Qa3 (instead of 38...Qf2) was a very subtle mistake that should have been decisive. Here, Fischer again did not choose the winning move 39.Re1+ but this time 39.Bb7, second best, at least kept up the strong pressure. Larsen finally collapsed with 39...Qc5 (instead of Qb3) that loses on the spot.
It is easy to criticize moves afterwards with loads of time and a computer to check with. Fact is, this game is very complicated and difficult OTB. Both Fischer and Larsen played fabulously and the game was essentially won from slight errors under great pressure rather than any sort of blunder.
|Sep-12-11|| ||whiteshark: <It is easy to criticize moves afterwards with loads of time and a computer to check with. Fact is, this game is very complicated and difficult OTB. Both Fischer and Larsen played fabulously and the game was essentially won from slight errors under great pressure rather than any sort of blunder.> How true!|
|Sep-12-11|| ||SimonWebbsTiger: @<whiteshark>
Tal expressed that sentiment:
<I shall observe for the thousand and first time: years of analysis and minutes of play are not quite the same thing.>
(quoted in <the Magic of Mikhail Tal> by Joe Gallagher, Everyman 2000.)
|Sep-12-11|| ||jackpawn: Larsen had the misfortune of playing Fischer at his very peak. I don't think anyone has reached that level. Only Kasparov has come close.|
|Sep-12-11|| ||Kinan: Only Kasparov came close? came close?
I would like to hear an opinion about why people consider Fischer as the greatest chess player in history??!!
To me, I don't see him getting better than 3rd place after Alekhine and Kasparov.
|Sep-12-11|| ||jackpawn: My OPINION is that Fischer, at his absolute best (1971), reached levels no other player has touched. Kasparov obviously played at an extremely high level for a very long time. I have no problem with someone calling Kasparov the greatest player of all time. It's fair to judge a player based on his entire career. My statement was regarding peak performances over a few years. There, I believe, Fischer stands alone.|
|Sep-12-11|| ||Petrosianic: Because a) he's American, and b) because frankly he makes a great story that even people who can't play chess can relate to. Mercurial genius comes out of the blue, beats everyone, then disappears again. Objectively, Kasparov was "better" than Fischer, but not in a way that people can relate to. "Guy kicks everyone's butt, does it for 20 years until they're thoroughly sick of it, then finally loses and retires." Not exactly the kind of thing that catches the public imagination.|
|Sep-12-11|| ||Kinan: But peak isn't the only way (if it's a valid way) to judge who is the best.
Things like the length of the reign and the performance rate are more crucial for this department, which in that case Fischer stands behind many other players.
I agree with Petrosianic here, he had the most interesting story, and he emerged as a lone fighter against the communists, thus he is the most famous.|
|Sep-12-11|| ||talisman: Kaspy says in OMGP that the reason Fischer defeated Larsen was because Denver was experiencing a heat wave. It was too hot for Larsen...didn't they have air conditioning in Denver in 1971?|
|Sep-12-11|| ||TheFocus: And yet that same heat wave didn't affect Fischer or anyone else.|
I guess any excuse will do.
|Sep-12-11|| ||jackpawn: I always thought the heat wave excuse was really lame. This was 1971 so air conditioning was obviously available. It isn't like they were playing out on the sidewalk somewhere . . .|
|Sep-12-11|| ||Petrosianic: Most excuses are fairly lame. Larsen may not have handled the heat as well as Fischer, but the fact that Fischer was just a better player may have had something to do with it. Did he complain about the heat before the match?|
Spassky did pick Reykjavik because he was concerned about weather, and theirs was similar to Leningrad. But I've never heard about Larsen objecting to Denver before the fact (he may have done, I've just never heard it).
|Sep-12-11|| ||TheFocus: I believe Larsen did complain in a Danish magazine in a story about the match.|
|Sep-12-11|| ||I play the Fred: I understand it was unseasonably hot in Denver that summer.|
A pet peeve of mine is when people brand legitimate reasons and explanations as excuses. (I'm not saying Larsen's reasons were legitimate, though Fischer's biographer Brady did say in <Profile of a Prodigy>: "Larsen, legitimately distressed by the summer heat...") For example, in team sports, when a significant player is lost to injury, some people call <that> an excuse for losing. If Aaron Rodgers had been knocked out of the last Super Bowl early on, there could not have been a serious expectiation for Green Bay to win unless the remaining healthy players all played near-perfect football. That's not unresasonable, is it?
|Sep-12-11|| ||Petrosianic: Before the fact or after the fact?
Janowski was the one legendary for excuses, but one of my favorites was Tarrasch's excuse for losing the 1908 match (disturbed by sea air). Since it was played 100 miles or so inland, even a magazine that had supported him editorialized that maybe a chessplaying gift that delicate wasn't robust enough to be world champion. (You've got to love the days when people knew how to be insulting wittily).
There's that story (probably apocryphal) about an organizer who offered Janowski some kind of perfect playing conditions. He complained "You've taken away my excuse", and did badly.
|Sep-12-11|| ||perfidious: <Petrosianic: ....one of my favorites was Tarrasch's excuse for losing the 1908 match (disturbed by sea air)...>|
That's long been one of my favourites as well.
<There's that story (probably apocryphal) about an organizer who offered Janowski some kind of perfect playing conditions. He complained "You've taken away my excuse", and did badly.>
This reminds me of a supervisor in my last job who wasn't happy without a reason to find fault with others.
One night, she came to three of us working together, ticked off several things we might or might not have done to her satisfaction, and on discovering that everything was in order, blew her stack because there was NO reason to complain!
Never heard about Larsen putting up a fuss before the match at Denever either, though he certainly mentioned it in his outstanding interview for CHO'D Alexander's book on chess, which of course was afterwards.
|Sep-12-11|| ||Petrosianic: <That's not unresasonable, is it?>|
It's not unreasonable to theorize about such things (if Botvinnik's wife hadn't died in 1960, maybe he'd have beat Tal the first time). It's only unreasonable when we start to use it to throw out results. To say that that result doesn't really count because of (such and such). Chess isn't played in a bubble. Real life may play a role, and the winners have to overcome those factors as much as overcome their opponent.
The Fischer-Petrosian match is a good example of this one, because it's one of the rare ones where BOTH sides have excuses.
The Fischer fans make excuses for the fact that Fischer did poorly in the first half. He only broke even, and could easily have lost the first 3. Well, that's just because he wasn't feeling well, they say.
The Petrosian supporters have their excuse for the last half of the match, and it's similar to Larsen's. Petrosian never wanted to play in Argentina, he didn't like the heat, and when the heat and went way up, his results went down.
To give him his due, this was a big issue before the match. Fischer and Petrosian had a long phone call with Gligoric as interpreter over the venue. Petrosian wanted to accept Greece's bid, Fischer wanted argentina because it had a higher purse, and he liked the steaks there (seriously). In the end, the issue had to be settled, Petrosian had to play somewhere he didn't want to, but that's a part of chess and a part of life. The results were what they were, and they counted. If you want to argue that he'd have had a chance in a rematch under better conditions, fine, but this match counted.
Maybe the Cowboys would have beat the Packers in the Ice Bowl if it had been 75 degrees instead of 30 below. Yeah, maybe. But so what?
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