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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: +1107 -565 =779 (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
   Taimanov vs Larsen, 1970 0-1
   Larsen vs A Matanovic, 1965 1-0
   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)
   Palma de Mallorca (1969)
   Manila (1973)
   Teesside (1972)
   Biel Interzonal (1976)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1979)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1980)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   Las Palmas (1972)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Palma de Mallorca (1971)
   Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
   San Antonio (1972)

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?]
JÝrgen 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. Larsen vs K Blom 1-025 1951 HerningC34 King's Gambit Accepted
4. M Barker vs Larsen  1-038 1951 World Junior ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
5. Larsen vs L Joyner 1-032 1951 Birmingham-jrC30 King's Gambit Declined
6. E Pedersen vs Larsen  0-140 1952 Aabybro mE48 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5
7. Larsen vs E Pedersen  0-159 1952 Aabybro mA13 English
8. Larsen vs E Pedersen  ½-½46 1952 Aabybro mB54 Sicilian
9. Larsen vs P Ravn 1-035 1952 Herning, mesterklassC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
10. E Pedersen vs Larsen  1-058 1952 Aabybro mC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
11. J Enevoldsen vs Larsen  ½-½37 1953 Copenhagen mC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
12. Larsen vs H Heikkila  1-040 1953 Wch U20 qual-BB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
13. Larsen vs Ivkov  ½-½24 1953 Wch U20 final-AB58 Sicilian
14. J Enevoldsen vs Larsen  ½-½35 1953 Copenhagen mC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
15. Larsen vs M Farre 1-048 1953 Wch U20 qual-BB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
16. C Poulsen vs Larsen 1-026 1953 DEN-chE10 Queen's Pawn Game
17. Larsen vs J Herbin 1-028 1953 Wch U20 qual-BC05 French, Tarrasch
18. P Saar vs Larsen 0-138 1953 Junior VM,CopenhagenC34 King's Gambit Accepted
19. Panno vs Larsen 1-083 1953 Wch U20 final-AE18 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3
20. Larsen vs J Enevoldsen  ½-½42 1953 Copenhagen mA08 King's Indian Attack
21. F Roessel vs Larsen  0-138 1953 Wch U20 qual-BE41 Nimzo-Indian
22. K Darga vs Larsen  1-049 1953 Wch U20 qual-BC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
23. V Nielsen vs Larsen 0-140 1953 DEN-chC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
24. Larsen vs J Penrose 1-023 1953 Junior VM, CopenhageC32 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
25. K Darga vs Larsen  1-052 1953 Wch U20 final-AE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
 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
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: ♔ Quote of the Day ♔

< "Many people don't understand the role of a second. Their most important function is to bring their player milk and cheese sandwiches." >


Not sure if "milk and cheese sandwiches" are metaphor or not...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: ♔ Quote of the Day ♔

< "When I was very young, I overprotected all the time, a la Nimzovitch My System. When I didn't know what to do, I would make an overprotection move, because at least I would have a principle: overprotect the e5 pawn or some such thing. However, I overprotect much less nowadays." >


Ah! Time for Larsen to have his quotes better heard.

So, it's a good thing he doesn't overprotect as much, since that overprotection game is just a composition.

Nimzowitsch vs Systemsson, 1927

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < Penguincw: ...Ah! Time for Larsen to have his quotes better heard.>

Indeed! He also is quoted as saying <"The opponent is always very annoying!">, from page 7 of <How to Get Better at Chess> by Evans, Silman and Roberts.

Today's QOTD can be found on page 37 of the same book.

Jan-22-14  Poulsen: "Donít take a premature draw. Never."

-- Larsen

Jan-23-14  SChesshevsky: Larsen used to annotate some games for the USCF magazine back in the mid 70's. Here's his notes to this game

Renato Naranja vs Larsen, 1973

Feb-07-14  Troller: Larsen on Albin's Countergambit:

<"The Romanian master Albin wrote angry letters to chess editors when they did not put his name on this opening, which he had introduced in master practise in Hastings 1895. Luckily it was forgotten that Cavalotti played it in the Italian championship 1881.">

Apr-13-14  Everett: Going over the rounds in the 1979 Interzonal at Riga, Larsen was +5 =5 after 10 rounds for a 7.5/10, but only scored 2.5 over the last seven games, including the disastrous string of three losses in rounds 11-13.

Tal destroyed the field with a 14/17 score, +11 =6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Rookiepawn: There is a game in which Larsen plays White, and he advances the two rook pawns (a and h) up to 6th rank, winning in that characteristic crazy style of his.

I can't recall, but I am pretty sure about that game. Does anybody know it?

Apr-30-14  TheFocus: Larsen once said something about writing a book about the move "h4."
May-14-14  hedgeh0g: <Many people don't understand the role of a second. Their most important function is to bring their player milk and cheese sandwiches.>

Not sure I'd ever ask for a milk and cheese sandwich, let alone pay somebody to make me one...

May-14-14  johnfrasmussen: <There is a game in which Larsen plays White, and he advances the two rook pawns (a and h) up to 6th rank, winning in that characteristic crazy style of his. I can't recall, but I am pretty sure about that game. Does anybody know it?>

It was Larsen-Gligoric, Vinkovci, 1970

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Here you are: Larsen vs Gligoric, 1970
Premium Chessgames Member
  Rookiepawn: <johnfrasmussen> and <whiteshark> many thanks!
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

Premium Chessgames Member
  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:

"Donít 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.

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