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Bent Larsen vs Wolfgang Unzicker
Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966), Santa Monica, CA USA, rd 12, Aug-04
English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Full Symmetry Line (A38)  ·  0-1


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sac: 36...Qh3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  iron maiden: 39. f4 in that line also seems to work. On the other hand, this game was part of a string of losses for Larsen that was just as catastrophic as Fischer's losing streak in the first half of the tournament, so Larsen's play is somewhat understandable.
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  Darknite: 37 Rc8+ Kg7. 37...Qxc8 is unecessary.
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  sneaky pete: <iron maiden> Larsen was in time trouble. 37.Rc8+ .. doesn't help as after .. Kg7 38.Kxg1 Bh2+ black mates in 2 or 3 moves. 37.Qxe5+ dxe5 38.Kxg1 .. avoids an immediate mate but would still lose.

In the tournament book both players agree that white should have played 35.Kd2.. (instead of 35.Kf2? ..). Larsen: "There is no immediate win, but white's position is rather hopeless." Unzicker: "... with a probable draw."

Aug-24-05  cyclemath: This game is the puzzle in The Times (UK) today, but it's reported there as being from the British Championship 2005, which made me do a bit of a double take. :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: a misprint-these things happen sometimes when non educated in chess staff mix up the captions-its worse when the positions dont work!
Aug-24-05  notyetagm: Nice tactics by Unzicker. He uses the well <known mating pattern> ...♗h2+/...♗g3+/...♕h2+/...♕f2# to win easily. It pays to know your mating patterns.
Dec-30-14  zydeco: An interesting contrast of styles. Unzicker is the epitome of a correct player, while Larsen tries to create imbalances at any cost.

The opening is played exactly. Unzicker suggests 19.e4 and 21.Ne4 as alternatives for white.

On move 23, Larsen comments: "It is alright to play for a win with white here, especially as Unzicker had only a half hour left, but it should be done very calmly."

On move 25, Larsen writes: "This is suicide. The tragedy of the 11th round [Larsen's loss to Donner] starts repeating itself."

Unzicker offered a draw on move 28, when he was significantly better (he was worried about time pressure), which Larsen refused. "A courage worthy of appreciation!" writes Unzicker.

29.Qf4 was better for defense.

Larsen was in horrible time pressure when he erred with 35.Kf2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Got it.

White would have lasted longer with 36. Qxe5 Qxe5 37. Kxg1, giving up his ♕ for ♖+♗, but after 37...Qg3+ his loose ♙s would start falling off the board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonalley: hardly "insane" ... but definitely "inspired"!
Aug-06-17  YGraupera: Got it !! First Sunday puzzle all time!!! (Not so difficult, I'm afraid)
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White threatens Kxg1, Qxh6 and Bxb5.

Black can start an attack against the white king with 35... Be4 36.Qe4 d5 37.Qd3 Qh3 (threatens Qh2# and Qg3#):

A) 38.Kxg1 Bh2+ 39.Kh1 (39.Kf2 Qg3+ 40.Kf1 Qg1#) 39... Bg3+ 40.Kg1 Qh2+ 41.Kf1 Qh1#.

B) 38.e4 Qg3+ 39.Ke3 d4+ 40.Kd2 Qe1#.

C) 38.Bf1 Bg3+ 39.Ke2 (39.Kxg1 Qh2#) 39... Qxf1+ 40.Kd2 Qe1#.

D) 38.Rc8+ Kg7 39.e4 (other alternatives as above) 39... Qg3+ (or 39... Rg2+ 40.Kf1 Rh2+ 41.Ke1 Qxc8 - +) 40.Ke3 d4+ 41.Kd2 Qe1+ 42.Kc2 Qb1+ 43.Kd2 Bf4+ 44.Qe3 Bxe3#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I missed 37.Rc6 which equalizes according to Droidfish.
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  whiteshark: Got it, too!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I went for 40...Qf2#
Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: Maybe 33.Qe4 equalizes for white.
Aug-06-17  Moszkowski012273: Not the hardest Sunday ever...
Premium Chessgames Member
  wtpy: This was not that hard. Got it quickly. Not near as hard as yesterday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: True, this was an easy puzzle for a Sunday. But I must confess, it sure felt good to actually get a Sunday puzzle for a change.
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  chrisowen: Hump visual vine e5s essays hind e4s enter vim h3s hack bud gangway 37.Kxg1 nah gab bud mate 4 ave entropy 37.Qxe5+ nahs eggers tin black 3 auld gate taurus bull i vim u h2s hub u h1s ha g3s gums u g1s ga ga h2s hub u f1s fa da dee u h1 bud mate ave i vim luv hump boot vet pov vip wolf i dunk flu flicks gang jack care jar raced its hip tone i vow its hint poe vim vow its net hi vent vis op point he pivot eh pinto thine op hone pit low eve luv von guv hunt then luv poi vim note phi vow vet ope vows hint vent any vows vims e5s essays vint ave hump mob boot dint vim duck pov op pow luv ply fowl wolf cry flick vim yin yang like under lucks ask gas gang nag jangle cj jar car care raced its hip tone i vow ever vote vim egger 35...Be5 36.Qe4 Qh3 37.Kxg1 nah gab bud mate 4 ave eye ball etc yes been uba buy bag ebullient ramble give e5 ebbers essays entrap extra vets eelman over one bone cone then done vote vim eoyore ghee oil enough hug hang hung gulch heel divide into fifths eel been in eider down e5s essays vide vim entropy 37.Qxe5+ nah eggers black 3 auld gate taurus bull i vim any vow hubsoff 37...Bh2+ eye hub harangue 38.Kh1 Bg3+ ego gack gum ganghaunt 39.Kg1 Qh2+ eh eg hub door 40.Kf1 Qh1 bud mate ave i vim blue lubbly jubbly wu;

blush bawl built bull wall vims can nah ave nails bar rabble bag band dint lab baulk drank;

flav flap band dank dive happy bung up hang muddle ar band under head brag flav mad aggregate quagmire vow band mans avid aid fast faust fuss flanks fawns fab bad daffy duck dab hang hung fad had dug glads 35.Kd2 ado dab level auld gate taurus bull i vim fancy 35.Kf2 ado fab black 2 auld gate taurus bull i vim cab cub back buck crab vam clubs ums da fine it tink he aorta good jug cad ave hump came line e5s essays;

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I looked at 35...Rh1, seeing 36...Bxh4+.

The problem is after 35...Rh1, white has 36 Qg4, (so the black queen cannot get to h3.) Then, after 36...Bxh4+ 37 Kg2, below, white only loses a pawn.

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Aug-06-17  CJD: Easy to solve. Takes time to solve. The key is to see the Bishop Fork if white plays the move. QxPh4.
Aug-06-17  JohnDMaster: I am proud of myself, I had not seen this game before and I was forced to find the answer based on white is getting ready to win and black has the mating pattern with Bh2 etc. Be5! is the only move that makes sense and Qh3!! threatens mate. Then mate on f2 or h1 is the finish
Aug-06-17  SpamIAm: In 1966 Larsen was perhaps the second strongest player outside of the Soviet bloc (guess who was first). At the Second Piatigorsky Cup he beat World Champion Petrosian twice. Yet here he loses to Unzicker, a good GM but usually not considered to be on a par with him. As Larsen himself once said, chess is a beautiful mistress which one keeps returning to, no matter how many times she rejects you. (from Saidy's "The Battle of Chess Ideas")
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I'm late to the party, but I would guess that the idea is 35...Be5! 36.Qe4 Qh3! and if 37.Rc8+ Black can decline with 37...Kg7. White probably has to play instead 37.Qxe5+ dxe5 38.Kxg1, but it looks pretty hopeless since the h-pawn is immediately hanging.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Yup, got it. Maybe decided to give me an easy Sunday puzzle for my birthday.
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