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Bent Larsen vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
"A Game of Shadows" (game of the day Feb-09-2012)
Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966), Santa Monica, CA USA, rd 7, Jul-27
Sicilian Defense: Accelerated Dragon. Maroczy Bind Breyer Variation (B39)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-09-02  bishop: Petrosian is usually a good defender.If he wanted to put his knight on c5 why dind't he do it in one move instead of three?
Nov-27-02  drukenknight: This is the famous queen sacrifice vs Petrosian. If you count one move only (and not the entire game) perhaps it was the most astounding move of the decade. Because it came against Petrosian the best defensive player of his era.

BUt I dont get it. What happens if he just takes the Q? 25....fxg6

Nov-27-02  PVS: <What happens if he just takes the Q? 25....fxg6?>

I think pretty much the same thing. What would have been great is 25...Nc7 answered by 26.Qxg7+

Dec-03-02  drukenknight: PVS isnt the line (taking the Q) better if he doesnt interpose with the Rook e.g:

25...fxg6 26 Bxe6+ Kh7 27 Rh3+ Bh6 28 Rxh6+ Kg7

Dec-03-02  PVS: When I was fooling around with that position last week I quickly abandoned that line, but I cannot recall why. I may have seen something bad, or I may have overlooked something.
Dec-03-02  drukenknight: In the real game, he blocked with the R. Maybe he was thinking of doing that in the sacrificial line.

Black also needs to get his Q more active, but I guess that comes later.

Jun-06-03  kutuzov: Well you have to admit, Larsen's queen sacrafice was good. The game went Qxg6 Nxf4. This leads to positions essentially the same after ..fxg6 Bxe6. After Rxf4 fxg6 Bxe6 Rxf7 Rxf7 Kh8 Rg5 b5 Rg3 Black resigns. The alternative try ..Kh7 Rxh4+ Bh6 Bxh6 does not help black via ..g5 Rxg5 Qxb6 c5 etc
Jun-06-03  drukenknight: it looked good the last time we checked it. if you play through it there are some astounding combinations with the rooks etc.

so where does black go wrong? should he have played e6 at some pt. in order to get Q/R active? e.g. move 21 or 22.

Jun-06-03  Larsker: <If you count one move only (and not the entire game) perhaps it was the most astounding move of the decade.>

"25. Qh6xg6!
For the crowd, this move was the big experience. Many told me afterwards how surprised they had been. I had to ask them what they had expected. A retreat to h4? Then black would have played -,f5 and had a clear winning position. The decision wasn't a difficult one, I spent 3 minutes on it but I could also have played a tempo. If I hadn't been able to make this move, I would have had to play something else than 23. Rf3." (From "Bent Larsen: 50 selected games" where Larsen spends five pages on this game). (My translation).

Jul-01-03  drukenknight: Larsen's Famous Queen Sack. He saw the winning line all the way. So he says. Sorry to disappoint you all, but the queen sack does not win. Anybody want to try 28...Be5?
Jul-01-03  Larsker: <Sorry to disappoint you all, but the queen sack does not win. Anybody want to try 28...Be5?> Larsen notes in his book: "28. -,Be5 stops the direct mating attack but is hopeless because of 29. Rf5 and 30. Rfxe5."
Jul-01-03  drukenknight: Well do you want to believe Larsen or the computer?
Jul-01-03  Larsker: <Well do you want to believe Larsen or the computer?> That's what the world looked like in 1969 when Larsen wrote his book. If you've found something better on the computer, then please post it. I hear that Larsen plans to make a new edition: "100 selected games". Now, also he has the computer to check out everything.
Jul-01-03  drukenknight: I dont have the time right now. I have about a million other games going on and I have to drive to Pennsylvania. Why dont you go to chessbase and see what happens? Sometimes it is more fun to work it out by hand.
Jul-01-03  Larsker: OK - here it comes:

28. -, Be5 29. Rf5, Kg7 30. Rf5xe5, d6xe5 31. Rxd8, Rxd8 (3.09). Fritz 8.

Jul-02-03  drunknight II: okay larsker are you going to take fritz word for this or do you want to go through this logically?

After all you are the LARSKER. What would Lasker say: Let the student take the board and men and set them up and push them around. Try to find the most forcing lines...

Okay so what do you think is happening on move 25 and move 28. Petrosian says he saw it, the sack was obvious, you dont even have to study the board.

Okay so what is happening these moves?

Jul-02-03  Shadout Mapes: Why don't you take the board, dk? 28...Be5 29.Rf5+ your move.
Jul-02-03  drunknight II: Not yet Shadout, I promise I will if larsker wont. I want to see if Larsker wants to work this.

Dont misunderstand, larsk, I am not trying to belittle you. I play chess only because I like to see the patterns that develop and it is fun to experience it with another person. I am pretty sure you will be surprised at your own powers if you just think this through logically.

Okay, after I went onto PA yesterday I took the game w/ me and looked at it at the New Stanton rest stop. I spent about 15 minutes but I found a real nice line.

I think the first step is to try to find out what is happening on move 25. Both players said they saw the sack. They said it was obvious. Okay why is it obvious and what is Petrosian trying to do?

we can do this first step w/o spoiling the fun.

Jul-02-03  Larsker: Does the Fritz line that I posted win? Not directly - but it gives a strong advantage to white. Strong enough for Petrosian to give up. If you can refute white's line then please do so.

Larsen's chapter on this game is quite extensive (5 pages in two colums). It's fun to read because it includes his own thoughts about many moves, many variations that weren't played, some of Petrosian's thoughts (from the analysis after the game) - and some psychological stuff from the heat of the battle. To Larsen, Black's two blunders are 22.-, Ne6? and 23. -,Bf6?. A quote from the book "As soon as he touched the bishop, he saw it. An old story. But he should have seen it a move earlier."

If you have variations that you think are better for black, they're probably in the book - and I can post Larsen's comments.

On a personal level: DK - I respect your passion for chess. I love people who have a true passion for something. It spreads and it's fun. Ughaibu called you the backbone of this message board - and he's right in a way. A type like you is a gift for any message board because you truly love the subject of the board. (Talking of which, you're totally unfair to Petrosian in saying that he didn't love the game).

Jul-02-03  drunknight II: Yes, Larsker, Ugi's comment made an impression on me too. It's times like those that you feel that the internet is not really just impersonal people named: KingofChess89 or FIzzlewassle but they are real people out there. People who have real lives to lead.

So its a good thing. Yeah.

Pt no. 2. I did not say he did not love the game. I said did he love the game? QUESTION MARK.

I did not know the man. I have no idea. YOu remember what question mark means?

Okay enuf ribbing.

Lets start with move 25. It's a Q for a Rook and Bishop and a pawn. It's dead even yes?

Petrosian is not even too concerned on move 25. He says in the tournament book that he sort of knew he was doomed but he is not playing like that. He simply moves the N to f4 to capture the Q. The R will die on f7.

So what? Its Q for a R/B/p. Agree?

Except for one minor issue of TIME. White has a discovered check that is coming up. Okay so how do you defend that?

Back to you, c'mon, larsk I think you will be surprised at yourself and it might not be in larsen's book either.

back later

Jul-02-03  drunknight II: all right larsk. Now we come to black's 28th move and the game is all even. Even in material. There is one tiny issue, that discovered attack that is always a pain in the neck to defend against.

I always try to think of three things when I see that coming: 1) get my K out of check before it happens. 2) place a piece to attack the piece that is going to give check so I can grab it as soon as it gives check. 3) get my pieces as far away from the discovering piece as possible, in this case get them away from the Rook.

Okay, Petrosian wants to get the K out of there before the check. Kh8 looks better than Kh7 because Kh7 creates a pin. So that move must be better. Except when you look at it, white is going to swap the B on the long diagonal and then there will be no way to stop the R on the h file, the g pawn really cant help.

Okay so what about moving the B out of there?

look at the line that fritz gives you: Be5, then Rf5+, K moves, RxB(f5) exR(f5)

Okay so that is a R for a B plus 2 pawns (the d/e pawns are broken)

Even transaction, right?

Well except for the fact of RxQ. THe D PAWN IS PINNED TO THE QUEEN.

Thats freakin stupid.

Larsk do you believe in this theory that an isolated pawn is worth 0 pts of material?

Jul-03-03  chessdr: I have a counter to 28. ... Be5 in 29. Bh6, which seems to win at least a piece. The immediate threat is 30. Rf8+ winning the queen for a rook. The longer term plan is R-d3-h3.

For example: 28. ... Be5 29. Bh6 Qb6+ (the queen's only safe square) 30. Kh1 Qb4 (most other queen moves lose to the discovered check) 31. Rd3! (let the queen check, Rf1 wins it) 31. ... Kh1 (so now the queen check is a real threat, but white can check all the way to mate:) 32. Bg7+! and now: (I) 32. ... Kg8 33. Rxe7+ and 34. Rh3++ (II) 32. ... Bxg7 33. Rh3+ Bh6 (32. ... Kg8 33. Rf5++) 34. Rxh6+ Kg8 35. Rxe7+ Kf8 36. Rf7+ Kg8 37. Rd7+ and 38. Rh8++.

Black's other try is 29. ... Kh8, in which case the same kinds of threats win, e.g. 30. Rd3 Qb6+ 31. Kh1 Qxb2 (Qb4 transposes into the above line) 32. Bg7+! Bxg7 33. Rh3+ Bh6 34. Rxh6+ Kg8 and now 35. Rf2+ picks up the queen.

Jul-03-03  Larsker: <Larsk do you believe in this theory that an isolated pawn is worth 0 pts of material?> No, I don't. Laszlo's book about middlegames contains 150 positions where an iso pawn actually wins the game (or is instrumental in doing so). I will post some examples when I have studied it a little bit more.
Jul-03-03  drunknight II: Then I guess you dont believe that 28...Bxb2 would be +3 pts.
Aug-04-03  Sylvester: This is a great game and Petrosian was World Champion at the time. Who won the tournament?
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