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Bent Larsen vs Lajos Portisch
Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966), Santa Monica, CA USA, rd 9, Jul-31
Bishop's Opening: Boi Variation (C20)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The opening is of some theoretical importance, demonstrating white's advantge after 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5?! 4. Qg4! in the Vienna. Larsen's technique in winning the rook and pawn ending is also instructive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Cyphelium: There is an amusing trap in this opening if black plays 4.- Qf6, which looks strong at a first glance. 5. Nd5! Qxf2+ 6. Kd1 Kf8 7. Nh3 Qd4 8. d3 (ooops queen is getting trapped)8.-d6 9. Qf3 Bxh3 (black thinks that he made it) 10. Rf1! Be6 11. c3 . I used to play 2. Nc3 a few years back and actually won a couple of games like this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  euripides: After15...d5 White is able to exploit the underlying black-square weakness and looseness of Black's pieces very deftly.For instance, if 19...dxe4 then 20 d4 and Black's knight seems to be lose e.g. 20...Qe6 21Qxe6+ or 20... Qd6 21 Bf4 to befollowed by Be5 or 20...Qe7 21Bg5.
Jan-01-15  zydeco: An interesting matchup between a 'right player' (Portisch) and a 'wrong player' (Larsen). Portisch actually had Larsen's number for most of their career, but this game is a bit like Larsen vs Portisch, 1964 when Larsen completely wrongfooted Portisch.

Larsen comments on move 2: "Against Portisch it is probably wise to play such an old fashioned opening. He knows a great deal of theory and feels at home in those openings. It is my impression that he feels uncomfortable in "museum openings."

Both players agree that Portisch should have played 11....Ne3 12.Bxe3 Bxe3 13.Qg3 Nd4 with equality. Portisch says that he overestimated his chances and tried for a win with 11....Nf6.

Portisch thinks he should have played 12....d5 13.exd5 Nb4. If then 14.Kd1 e4! If 14.fxe5 Qxe5 15.Kd1 Nbxd5 16.Re1 0-0 with a wild position.

The book on Portisch at this point was that he reacted nervously whenever a game suddenly became wild -- and Poritsch plays into that by avoiding the wild line for a 'safer' but inferior variation with 12....Na5.

Portisch says that he missed 17.c3! after which white's superiority is evident.

On move 29, Larsen writes: "Must I tell the truth and nothing but the truth? Well, the spectators were very noise every time Fischer or Petrosian made a move, and it was very difficult to concentrate. Here I realized that in my calculations I had overlooked something very simple. If 29.Rxg6 Rxg2! I took some time to overcome the shock and study all the calculations carefully, and, for the 10th or 15th time in this game the most straightforward line turned out to be the best."

Larsen comments on the ending that "black's position is hopeless, but in some variations only one tempo is missing!"

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