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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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Given 50 times; par: 34 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I didn't get it
Premium Chessgames Member
  Moonwalker: Beautiful! Too deep for me to calculate but deep enough to appreciate!
Sep-20-10  sethoflagos: <<An Englishman>: Good Evening: I thought Saturday's puzzle was too easy...>

Really? I found the position extremely difficult. To my knowledge, no-one found a line as strong as

29 Qxf4! Bg5 30 Rxf7! Rb7!

As for 29 Qxc5!? Bg2! 30 Red1! we didn't get past first base did we?

Sep-20-10  Loser Of Threads: i find the discussion regarding the difficulty of finding the queen sac to be very interesting.

ok, i've seen the position before too. and yeah, it's in a puzzle, so you look at the queen sac.

but would i find such a move in a real game? i'd like to think that i would at least <consider> the move in a real game setting.

this is one of those positions where a player with some experience will consider such a sacrifice <disclaimer - i am a hopeless patzer> - all the white pieces are in attacking positions, black is squirming around, it just <feels> like there might be some kind of deathblow in the position.

it's not like <eureka i can sac the queen out of nowhere>. once you glance at the idea of the queen sac, maybe you see a move or two ahead, and you see that there might be something there, so maybe you spend a little more time looking into it, and the variations eventually work themselves out. in many of these situations, the sac doesn't work, and you have to continue to develop the attack methodically. but sometimes the sac works; the difficult thing is to have a feeling for when to look for it.

it's like the beginner's rule - consider <every> check and capture that is possible, even if it looks ridiculous at first sight. if it is actually ridiculous, you've wasted 3 seconds to disregard it. but what if it isn't actually ridiculous? it's worth the 3 seconds to find out.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <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?

In Y Porat vs Larsen, 1964, Larsen played 14...♘c5 and had an even position, although Porat's 16.♗d4 was an error.

"My own moves...I remembered but where had Porat's queen's rook been?" - quote from "Larsen's selected games of chess, 1948-69"

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Amazing ♕ sacrifice. White wins without the ♕. The black ♖ on a8, not helping.
Feb-09-12  xthred: Why does white give up his Queen?
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Santa Barbara? Santa Monica.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Great attack. Larsen lit him up pretty good, here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: I"m surprised that this masterpiece has taken so long to be GOTD.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sularus: <xthred: Why does white give up his Queen?> because the position calls for it. or it's the right thing to do. or it's the solution to the position. or it's the fastest way to win.
Feb-09-12  scormus: Briliant attacking play by Bent Larsen. Qxg6 is a bomb, but the whole atacking concept is a masterpiece. In those days it was unheard of for the Iron Tiger to get beaten like that.
Feb-09-12  Mudphudder: Wow, the queen sac was amazing. I agree....the game as a whole was one of Larsen's best in my opinion. Especially when considering who he won it against!
Feb-09-12  SChesshevsky: Not an especially good game from Petrosian I thought, strangely he moved his Knight around a lot, his queen and Qrook didn't move at all and didn't look to try to prepare any pawn levers.

I thought he was in bad shape at 22. Rxd5, I might have tried 22...e6 trading Queens and hoping for a chance at some counterplay though probably losing an endgame with a Rook against two Bishops.

It looks via this game and some others that one has to answer f4 & f5 somehow especially with the B on g7 as letting it go seems to cause big problems later on.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: It's always an entertaining pleasure playing through this masterpiece.
Feb-09-12  KingV93: Tactical Masterpiece!!
Feb-09-12  lemaire90: Maybe Petrosian's knight maneuvers were to slow (example : from 15... Nc7 to 18...Nc5, this journey could have been done in one move). It looks weird that the black queen was never developped, which is probably why white could sac his and get away with a mating attack.
Feb-09-12  newzild: This was the first time I have seen this game, and I enjoyed it very much. Thanks,
Feb-09-12  Garech: In Frank Brady's biography on Bobby Fischer, he described this as a

"...shimmering queen sacrifice..."

which I think is pretty apt. Great play!



Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <piltdown man: I"m surprised that this masterpiece has taken so long to be GOTD.>

It hasn't. It was also GOTD on November 20, 2005 with the pun "Grand Larseny", not to mention White's 25th move being used as a Sunday puzzle on 9/19/2010.

The good ones are worth a rerun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Wow! White's mate threats are so strong that the queen can be sacrificed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: One of the damnedest things about chess is that you can only move one man at a time. For every piece you develop, one or more other pieces remain undeveloped. Every asset thus contains an element of liability. That's what makes chess hard.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Grand Larceny is a wonderful pun. Run it with the original pun.
Feb-09-12  ewan14: Larsen beat Petrosian in both the Santa Monica games

Respect !

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <andrewjsacks> Yeah, I tried to get to correct the location from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica back in Sep-2010 but they apparently won't even take an eyewitness' word for it. Even my song didn't convince them. Maybe if I threaten to compose (and sing!) a song about it might do the trick.
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