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Lajos Portisch vs Bent Larsen
"Bent the Wrong Way" (game of the day Apr-11-2008)
San Antonio (1972), San Antonio, TX USA, rd 15, Dec-10
Horwitz Defense: General (A40)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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sac: 27.Rae1 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-22-04  kostich in time: This one of Portisch's most beautiful games. It was named best game of the second half of 1972 by the Informant(beating out, ithink, Fischers 'symphonic 6th game against Spassky) Part of this games appeal is its "sporting" aspect. It was played in the last round of the great San Antonio tournament.(sponsord by, believe it or not, Church's Fried Chicken) Portisch trailed Karpov and Petrosianby half a point. That last day, Fischer attended the tournament, accompanied by his then guru,Christian "fundamentalist"(actually gnostic) preacher Garner Ted Armstrong.Petrosian and Karpov made short colorless draws, and then walked out. Portisch played Larsen, who surprised everybody by playing a kind of "Franco-Benoni". Portisch went all out to win with a combinative attack. When it was all over, Bobby walked over to Portisch's table and shook his hand, and then showered him with prasie for his play and his fighting spirit. It may have been the last wholly sane thing Fischer ever did.
Apr-11-08  think: How does White finish after 35. ... Kg6?
Apr-11-08  lentil: 36. Be4+
Apr-11-08  jrlepage: 35. ...Kg6 36. Ne5+ Kh5 37. g4+ (37. Nxd3?? Rf1# 0-1) Kg5 38. Nxd3.
Apr-11-08  dovif: 36. ... Kg6
37 Be4+ QxB
38 QxQ+
Apr-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: It have always struck/strikes me 'funny'. a game may get a comment, and not another one for a 'looooooong' time...

So, the next comment, should come around 2013... =)

Apr-11-08  nasher: After 35 .... Kg6 36. Qe8+ Kf5 (forced or Qg8 mate) 37. Qh5+ Kf4 (forced) 38. Qe5+ Kg4 (forced) 39. h3 mate.
Apr-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: This game is so horrifying you can't even keep your wits about you!
Apr-11-08  Samagonka: Amazing game! It's almost like reading a #1 thriller.
Apr-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: This is one of Portisch's most important victories over his great rival. By winning this game he could snatch a shared firts price.

1-3 (Portisch, Karpov, Petrosian) 10.5 pts;
4 Gligoric 10 pts;
5 Keres 9.5 pts;
6-7 (Hort, Suttles) 9 pts;
8-9 (Larsen, Mecking) 8.5 pts;
... (16 players)

Apr-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Either the queen or the rook will fall...if black doesn't get checkmated first.

(If at one time Mr. Larsen would have been sent to "chess prison" as a youth,maybe he wouyld have been scared straight and no longer be bent.)

Note black's feeble attempt at a smothered mate earlier.

Apr-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A cute addendum: White must be wary of what piece he wins the queen with--it had better be the bishop:

35...♔g6 36 ♗e4+ and not 36 ♘e5+ ♔g5 37 ♘xd3??? ♖f1#.

Apr-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Portisch> wrote this of Karpov's and Petrosian's achievements:

"They were more cautious than I. In the last round they did not even dare to take up the dice with white and they calmly lay low in their half point lead domain. Although Fischer, who showed up in the last round as a spectator, referred to them critically for this reason, it is not to say that he is right. If a man leads thoughtout a tournament he does not gamble in the last round with the results of his work up to that point of stake.

In the end I can say my lot was fortunate in that in the last round I was brought together with the greatest hazard player, Larsen. The Danish GM had already lost his patience in the course of the tournament, and, furthermore, a cold bothered him. This needs to be known to understand the game for if we had played after the event, white's victory would seem quite easy."

(One wonders how many would disparage the value of their own success with such accompanying notes?)

Apr-11-08  dabearsrock1010: isn't this a benoni?
Apr-11-08  Petrosianic: No, it's a Bentnoni.
Apr-11-08  Petrosianic: <"They were more cautious than I. In the last round they did not even dare to take up the dice with white and they calmly lay low in their half point lead domain.>

Another factor to be considered is that Petrosian's last-round opponent Suttles needed a draw to become a GM. Who really wants to be the spoilsport that keeps him from getting it?

<Although Fischer, who showed up in the last round as a spectator, referred to them critically for this reason, it is not to say that he is right. If a man leads thoughtout a tournament he does not gamble in the last round with the results of his work up to that point of stake.>

Goodness knows Fischer has made that mistake before. In this game:

Gheorghiu vs Fischer, 1966

Fischer in an inferior (Mednis called it lost already) position, refused a draw around Move 10 that would have given him the Gold Medal, kept playing, got steamrollered, and had to settle for the silver.

The way Mednis reports it, Fischer refused the draw saying "No. There is much play left." Mednis' comment: Something like "Yes, but it's all on White's side."

Apr-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Portisch had a big plus score against the Benoni, winning about 60% of the games against a handful of losses.
Apr-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Its a perfect game by white. 27 Rae1 is absolutely magnificent.

After breaking down this contest, the last chance I saw for black to stay level was on move 20, by playing Bf5 instead of h6.


click for larger view

If white continues as in the text with 21 Ne6, then 21 Qe7. If 22 Nxf8 then 22Qxe3+ 23 Kh1 Rxf8.


click for larger view

Now, its a real struggle.

Apr-11-08  pferd: <kevin86: A cute addendum: White must be wary of what piece he wins the queen with--it had better be the bishop:

35...Kg6 36 Be4+ and not 36 Ne5+ Kg5 37 Nxd3??? Rf1#>

Good point - except the rook is pinned.

Apr-11-08  Lightboxes: Forget about the queen,
Go for the king.

35.Qe7+,Kg6
36.Qe8+,Kf5 (Anything else, check mate)
37.Qh5+,Kf4
38.Qe5+,Kg4
39.H3#

BooYA!

Apr-12-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: oops,in my analysis I had written the incorrect move-here is the correct version:

37...♔g6 38 ♘e5+ ♔h5 39 ♘xd3??? ♖f1# -obviously 38...♔g5 self-pins the rook

Sep-10-13  docbenway: Apr-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member WannaBe: It have always struck/strikes me 'funny'. a game may get a comment, and not another one for a 'looooooong' time... So, the next comment, should come around 2013... =)
You are right that after the comments of 2008 it did take till 2013 exactly for the next comment. Smashing game!
Sep-10-13  parisattack: Larsen plays in romantic style but is outdone by Portisch at his classical best!

Portisch and Gligoric both had fantastic scores against the Benoni.

<docbenway: Apr-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member WannaBe: It have always struck/strikes me 'funny'. a game may get a comment, and not another one for a 'looooooong' time... So, the next comment, should come around 2013... =) You are right that after the comments of 2008 it did take till 2013 exactly for the next comment. Smashing game!>

See you in 2018, Good Lord willing, creek don't rise.

May-10-15  Everett: Portisch may have indeed been a killer vs the Benoni, but there was one time he was hoodwinked by the fox Bronstein, finding himself dead lost by move 19.

Portisch vs Bronstein, 1967

Jun-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The quote from Portisch is cited in Egon Varnusz' collection of Portisch's games, with the ensuing comment by Varnusz.
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