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Bent Larsen
Number of games in database: 2,531
Years covered: 1948 to 2008
Last FIDE rating: 2415
Highest rating achieved in database: 2625
Overall record: +1108 -565 =778 (61.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      80 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (130) 
    E90 E62 E97 E94 E66
 Sicilian (129) 
    B21 B52 B80 B50 B40
 English (98) 
    A15 A13 A14 A10 A17
 English, 1 c4 c5 (91) 
    A30 A37 A36 A34 A38
 Uncommon Opening (88) 
    A00 B00
 English, 1 c4 e5 (69) 
    A20 A25 A29 A26 A21
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (320) 
    B30 B27 B39 B38 B56
 Queen's Pawn Game (85) 
    A40 A46 E00 A41 A45
 Sicilian Dragon (70) 
    B39 B38 B35 B36 B34
 Caro-Kann (70) 
    B19 B16 B10 B14 B18
 Reti System (69) 
    A04 A06 A05
 English (68) 
    A10 A15 A17 A14 A16
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Larsen vs Petrosian, 1966 1-0
   Fischer vs Larsen, 1970 0-1
   Larsen vs Geller, 1960 1-0
   Larsen vs A Matanovic, 1965 1-0
   Taimanov vs Larsen, 1970 0-1
   Larsen vs Spassky, 1964 1-0
   Petrosian vs Larsen, 1966 0-1
   Larsen vs Kavalek, 1970 1-0
   Larsen vs Chandler, 1987 1-0
   Larsen vs J Penrose, 1969 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Palma de Mallorca (1967)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Manila (1973)
   Palma de Mallorca (1969)
   Teesside (1972)
   Biel Interzonal (1976)
   Lugano (1970)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1980)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1979)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   Las Palmas (1972)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
   Palma de Mallorca (1971)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   IGM Bent Larsen by 64rutor
   Veliki majstori saha 32 BENT LARSEN by Chessdreamer
   my favourite endgames by obrit
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1960-1979 (Part 1) by Anatoly21
   "Larsen's Selected Games" by Bent Larsen by OBIT
   Larsen Plays the Larsen by willyfly
   Exchange sacs - 3 by obrit
   Nimzowitsch/Larsen Attack by Raymond Keene by willyfly
   Master of Attack--Best Games of Bent Larsen by Ron
   Garry Kasparov's On My Great Predecessors (4) by AdrianP

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Bent Larsen
Search Google for Bent Larsen

(born Mar-04-1935, died Sep-09-2010, 75 years old) Denmark

[what is this?]
Jørgen Bent Larsen was born March 4, 1935 in Denmark. At age 19 he became an International Master, and two years later he achieved the grandmaster title. He was Danish Champion on 6 occasions and won the Interzonal 3 times. After the Amsterdam Interzonal (1964) he advanced to the semifinals of the Candidates, where he lost to Mikhail Tal. He again won the Sousse Interzonal (1967), and made the Candidates' semifinals before losing to Boris Spassky, who went on to win the World Championship the next year.

For his tournament achievements during 1967, including first-place finishes in Havana (1967), Winnipeg (1967), Sousse Interzonal (1967) and Palma de Mallorca (1967), he later became the recipient of the inaugural Chess Oscar award. Other tournament victories were Monte Carlo (1968) and Palma de Mallorca (1969). When the USSR vs. Rest of the World (1970) tournament took place, he played top board for the World, scoring 1.5-1.5 against World Champion Spassky.

In 1971 he made the Candidates' semifinals for the third consecutive time. His opponent was his constant rival, Robert James Fischer. The Fischer - Larsen Candidates Match (1971) met in Denver and, to the astonishment of most of the chess world, Larsen was shut out, losing all six match games. After that defeat his position in the world rankings gradually slipped back. He won at Teesside (1972), and achieved another victory at the Biel Interzonal (1976), whereafter in the Candidates appearance at Rotterdam he was defeated by Lajos Portisch. A dangerous tournament player, he won major events as late as in Geneva (1977), Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1979) and Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1980). Larsen lived his last years in Buenos Aires with his wife, Laura, until his death in 2010. Today the opening move 1. b3, which he occasionally played, is called the Nimzo-Larsen attack after him.

Chessbase eulogy:

Wikipedia article: Bent Larsen

 page 1 of 102; games 1-25 of 2,531  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Larsen vs W Lauridsen 1-024 1948 Hostelbro/HerningC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
2. Larsen vs Laursen 1-052 1950 Holstebro springC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
3. M Barker vs Larsen  1-038 1951 World Junior ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
4. Larsen vs K Blom 1-025 1951 HerningC34 King's Gambit Accepted
5. Larsen vs L Joyner 1-032 1951 Birmingham-jrC30 King's Gambit Declined
6. E Pedersen vs Larsen  1-058 1952 Aabybro mC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
7. E Pedersen vs Larsen  0-140 1952 Aabybro mE48 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5
8. Larsen vs E Pedersen  0-159 1952 Aabybro mA13 English
9. Larsen vs E Pedersen  ½-½46 1952 Aabybro mB54 Sicilian
10. Larsen vs P Ravn 1-035 1952 Herning, mesterklassC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
11. J Sherwin vs Larsen  1-032 1953 Wch U20 final-AE98 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov, 9.Ne1
12. F Scafarelli vs Larsen  1-041 1953 Wch U20 qual-BA15 English
13. F Roessel vs Larsen  0-138 1953 Wch U20 qual-BE41 Nimzo-Indian
14. J Enevoldsen vs Larsen  ½-½37 1953 Copenhagen mC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
15. Larsen vs Ivkov  ½-½24 1953 Wch U20 final-AB58 Sicilian
16. J Enevoldsen vs Larsen  ½-½35 1953 Copenhagen mC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
17. Larsen vs J Enevoldsen ½-½59 1953 Copenhagen mE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
18. J Penrose vs Larsen  ½-½39 1953 Wch U20 qual-BE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
19. Larsen vs M Farre 1-048 1953 Wch U20 qual-BB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
20. C Poulsen vs Larsen 1-026 1953 DEN-chE10 Queen's Pawn Game
21. H Enevoldsen vs Larsen 0-126 1953 Club MatchD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
22. Larsen vs A Nielsen 1-029 1953 Nordic ChampionshipA31 English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation
23. Larsen vs H Heikkila  1-040 1953 Wch U20 qual-BB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
24. Panno vs Larsen 1-083 1953 Wch U20 final-AE18 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3
25. B Petri vs Larsen 0-138 1953 Junior VM,CopenhagenC34 King's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 102; games 1-25 of 2,531  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Larsen wins | Larsen loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 29 OF 29 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-27-14  Owl: I'm looking for a Larsen game where Larsen sac his queen. Its a clean sac I think he was black in the (not for sure). The sac was a decoy sac. He puts his queen on the side of the board.

I look at all these two game collection and couldn't find it

-- Master of Attack--Best Games of Bent Larsen by Ron

-- "Larsen's Selected Games" by Bent Larsen by OBIT

Oct-27-14  Sally Simpson: I don't either of the two books on hand so cannot check if it's in either. Going only by what you say.

Ivkov vs Larsen, 1965

Oct-28-14  Owl: I found surprisingly it was game 93 under the game collection Veliki majstori saha 32 BENT LARSEN by Chessdreamer
I Jelen vs Larsen, 1977

Such a good game it should be on his top ten

Under the game collection:
The Great Powers Of The King: Compiled by Tigranny
It was entitled "Larsen's second immortal"

I went through two game collection and couldn't find it. (The two I mentioned earlier in my post)Thx for the help

Nov-05-14  ALwoodpusher: I'm looking for an odd game (seen published only once-can't remember the book) from Larsen with Black where he played a pawn formation f5-e5-d5-c5 against a Reti kind of white setup. Thx!
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: I think he played it (as Black) against
Pomar <ALwoodpusher>.

And if you like Larsens oddities,you could go through the one vs Jelen that <Owl> has just posted.

Nov-06-14  Chessdreamer: <ALwoodpusher> here you are

Pomar vs. Larsen, Spain 1975:

1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 d5 3.f3 c5 4.e4 e5 5.Bb5+ Bd7 6.Bxd7+ Nxd7 7.Nxd5 cxd4 8.Ne2 fxe4 9.fxe4 Ngf6 10.Bg5 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qc5 12.Nxf6+ Nxf6 13.Ng3 h5 14.Qf3 h4 15.Ne2 Qxc2 16.Qf5 Qxe4 17.Qe6+ Be7 18.Bb4 Nd5 19.Bxe7 Nf4 20.Qc4 Kxe7 0-1

(presently not included in this database).

Nov-06-14  diceman: <Poulsen:

"Don’t take a premature draw. Never."
-- Larsen>

...premature reconciliation.

Nov-13-14  ALwoodpusher: <Chessdreamer> Much obliged! Thx again!
Nov-24-14  pcomanici: Larsen, was a great an exciting chess player. In the 1950's was the world's strongest player that was NON Russian. Late in his career he runs into Fisher who probably was (and is) the strongest player to date. You will miss out on looking at some real great games if you think of Larsen only as "the guy who got swept by Fisher"
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <pcomanici> Much as I admire Larsen's fighting spirit, Reshevsky among others was more consistent and impressive, notwithstanding Larsen's fine result at Moscow 1956. Then we come to Fischer, who qualified from Portoroz for the candidates event, with Larsen being an also-ran. Gligoric was another non-Soviet player who made his mark.
Nov-25-14  Poulsen: Imagination and precision are talents that are often not well representend in the same player.

Larsen was indeed a very imaginative player, but often lacked precision in tense battles. This was a factor - perhaps even a desicive one - in his matches against Spassky in '68 and against Fischer '71.

Both Spassky and Fischer were at their best in these matches, and 'just' had to dismantle Larsens agressive play to win.

Nov-25-14  Poulsen: Follow up: in fact several of Larsens 'best games' are marked by imprecise moves by both players. Unlike the games of Fischer, Korchnoi and Karpov at the height of their career.


Larsen vs Polugaevsky, 1966
Black should (at least) have held white to a draw.

I Jelen vs Larsen, 1977
White should (at least) have held black to a draw.

Larsen vs Kavalek, 1970
Black should properly have won.

Feb-11-15  HeMateMe: Larsen and wife Lizzie, '65


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Chessdreamer: <ALwoodpusher> here you are Pomar vs. Larsen, Spain 1975:

1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 d5 3.f3 c5 4.e4 e5 5.Bb5+ Bd7 6.Bxd7+ Nxd7 7.Nxd5 cxd4 8.Ne2 fxe4 9.fxe4 Ngf6 10.Bg5 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qc5 12.Nxf6+ Nxf6 13.Ng3 h5 14.Qf3 h4 15.Ne2 Qxc2 16.Qf5 Qxe4 17.Qe6+ Be7 18.Bb4 Nd5 19.Bxe7 Nf4 20.Qc4 Kxe7 0-1

(presently not included in this database).>

This is great -- I saw this in a magazine when I was first learning the game and I had given up on ever seeing it again.

Anyone know the event/circumstances?

Feb-12-15  Lt.Surena: perfidious: <pcomanici> Much as I admire Larsen's fighting spirit,

Very funny:-) Larsen complained as to why he was put in the so-called stronger group (with Karpov etc) in the 1973 Interzonals. That's a fighting spirit. LoL !!!

And larsen's trash talks against Smyslov, Petrosian and Bobby. The later two beat Larsen by a better margin of 2 to 1.

Feb-12-15  disasterion: <The main thing is not to be afraid of losing. Why should I be afraid? Although chess is my profession and a very important part of my life, if I lose I know two things: first, it is only a game, and second, by taking the risks I do I will win more than I lose. For some masters losing at chess is almost like dying; for me this is absolutely not so.>

Quoted by Edward Winter:

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <Very funny:-) Larsen complained as to why he was put in the so-called stronger group (with Karpov etc) in the 1973 Interzonals. That's a fighting spirit. LoL !!!>

?!? What does his "fighting spirit" have to do with giving himself the best practical chance of advancing to the next stage?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <disasterion> Wonderful article, thanks for link.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: I have the Alexander book with Larsen's interview, and I agree that it's terrific. For me the most interesting part was in how skeptical he is about the Soviet chess organization--even then, he thought that the Soviet chess federation was doing more to interfere with its players' success than to promote it. In 1972 this seemed incredible--one of the reasons Fischer's victory got so much attention was that he was thought to be only one man going up against the full force of a huge, all-powerful organization. We know now, of course, that not only was Larsen absolutely right about the malaise in the Soviet Chess Federation, but that it was symptomatic of something much bigger.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Why wasn't Fischer vs Larsen, 1970 included in "Larsen's Best Games" from New In Chess?

See for more details about the book. What to me seems Larsen's best game against Bobby isn't included in it. Rather a glaring omission one would think.

Feb-14-15  Olavi: <Benzol> Not so, in Larsen's words it was "too easy."
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As the game score posted by <Chessdreamer> nearly four months ago remains absent from this DB--and it is one I recall from Bellin's work on the Classical Dutch--I have submitted it to CG, so as to honour, in my small way, the eightieth anniversary of the birth of one of the great optimists and fighters our beloved game has known.
Mar-26-15  TheFocus: <He played with enormous energy and great fighting spirit. Offering him a draw was a waste of time. He would decline it politely, but firmly. "No, thank you," he would say and the fight would go on and on and on> - Lubomir Kavalek on Bent Larsen.
Mar-26-15  TheFocus: <A draw may be the beautiful and logical result of fine attacks and parries; and the public ought to appreciate such games, in contrast, of course, to the fear-and-laziness draws> - Bent Larsen.
Apr-08-15  Poulsen: <Lt.Surena><Very funny:-) Larsen complained as to why he was put in the so-called stronger group (with Karpov etc) in the 1973 Interzonals. That's a fighting spirit. LoL !!!>

Not very accurate - yes, he was complaining, but not for himself - but over the fact that there arguable was a significant difference in strenght between Leningrad Interzonal (1973) - and Petropolis Interzonal (1973).

Of the top 10 players on the january 1973 rating list 4 participated in Leningrad - and 2 in Petropolis. Also 3 of the 4 in Leningrad was higher rated and generally considered stronger than the 2 in Petropolis. Remember they were playing for 3 slots in the finals at each tournament.

Larsen did have a point, I think. Despite this he fought hard - and was leading at round 5 I think, but went into a bad period and ended up at 6th place - 2½ points away from a qualifying score. Not bad, but also not good enough.

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