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Bent Larsen
Number of games in database: 2,525
Years covered: 1948 to 2008
Last FIDE rating: 2415
Highest rating achieved in database: 2625
Overall record: +1105 -563 =777 (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 (129) 
    E90 E62 E97 E66 E94
 Sicilian (129) 
    B21 B52 B80 B50 B40
 English (102) 
    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 (67) 
    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 Spassky, 1964 1-0
   Larsen vs A Matanovic, 1965 1-0
   Petrosian vs Larsen, 1966 0-1
   Larsen vs Chandler, 1987 1-0
   Larsen vs Kavalek, 1970 1-0
   Larsen vs J Penrose, 1969 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hoogovens (1961)
   Palma de Mallorca (1967)
   Teesside (1972)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Palma de Mallorca (1969)
   Biel Interzonal (1976)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1980)
   Manila (1973)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1979)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Las Palmas (1972)
   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. Larsen was Danish Champion on six occasions and won the Interzonal three 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), Larsen 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, Larsen made the Candidates' semifinals for the third consecutive time. His opponent was his constant rival, Robert James Fischer. The Fischer - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (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 formidable tournament player, Larsen won major events as late as 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 101; games 1-25 of 2,525  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 L Joyner 1-032 1951 Birmingham-jrC30 King's Gambit Declined
4. M Barker vs Larsen  1-038 1951 World Junior ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
5. Larsen vs K Blom 1-025 1951 HerningC34 King's Gambit Accepted
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 P Ravn 1-035 1952 Herning, mesterklassC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
10. Larsen vs E Pedersen  ½-½46 1952 Aabybro mB54 Sicilian
11. J Sherwin vs Larsen  1-032 1953 Wch U20 final-AE98 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov, 9.Ne1
12. Larsen vs J Sherwin  ½-½45 1953 Wch U20 qual-BE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
13. F Scafarelli vs Larsen  1-041 1953 Wch U20 qual-BA15 English
14. J Enevoldsen vs Larsen  ½-½37 1953 Copenhagen mC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
15. Larsen vs J Penrose 1-023 1953 Junior VM, CopenhageC32 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
16. Larsen vs Ivkov  ½-½24 1953 Wch U20 final-AB58 Sicilian
17. J Enevoldsen vs Larsen  ½-½35 1953 Copenhagen mC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
18. Larsen vs M Farre 1-048 1953 Wch U20 qual-BB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
19. C Poulsen vs Larsen 1-026 1953 DEN-chE10 Queen's Pawn Game
20. Larsen vs H Heikkila  1-040 1953 Wch U20 qual-BB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
21. Panno vs Larsen 1-083 1953 Wch U20 final-AE18 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3
22. Larsen vs J Enevoldsen  ½-½42 1953 Copenhagen mA08 King's Indian Attack
23. K Darga vs Larsen  1-049 1953 Wch U20 qual-BC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
24. V Nielsen vs Larsen 0-140 1953 DEN-chC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
25. Larsen vs J Herbin 1-028 1953 Wch U20 qual-BC05 French, Tarrasch
 page 1 of 101; games 1-25 of 2,525  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
  TheFocus: <You can tell a chessplayer is maturing when he starts changing his openings> - Bent Larsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <For me chess is at the same time a game, a sport, a science and an art. And perhaps even more than that. This is something hard to explain to those who do not play the game well. One must learn to play it correctly to savor its richness> - Bent Larsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <...Nimzovich became then for me more or less the author of the only book which could help me get away from these Euwe books, which, I admit, are very good for the ordinary club player. But once you've reached a certain strength you get the impression that everything that Euwe writes is a lie> - Bent Larsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Lack of patience is probably the most common reason for losing a game, or drawing a game that should have been won> - Bent Larsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <I refused to believe that Black was lost. Looking at the position, I felt there must be a defense, and looking at the previous play, I liked all of Black’s moves! Not trying to find a defense for Black would have meant admitting that something was wrong with my concept of chess strategy> - Bent Larsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Another incredible chess lookalike!

This is English actor John McCallum:, I think he looks a lot like Best Larsen. I'm watching his 1956 film Port of Escape (with the great Bill Kerr) at the moment. During that film he really does look like Larsen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Larsen has a whopping 1,100 wins in the database. Kortschnoi has 1,700. But Karpov has only 969. Kasparov is way down the list. Does any other player have more than 1000 wins?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <offramp> Counting everything? Mikhail Tal
Aug-12-15  Retireborn: <offramp> Tal, also Alekhine, Timman, and Miles.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Keres over 1000 too.
Aug-12-15  Retireborn: <tamar> Knew I'd forgotten someone! The popular, fighting players, there.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Popular,fighting, and exhausted players. A little sad Miles is on the list.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <WannaBe, Retireborn & tamar>, thanks for those! I really should have guessed Alekhine. Tal is not a surprise. But I would never have guessed Keres, Miles and Timman.

Not in this,, database, but another active and win-a-lot player is Ivan Farago.

Aug-18-15  wrap99: I saw Larsen speaking to Ludek Pachman at Lone Pine in 1978 (or 1979). I remember the very physically impressive-looking Larsen (very tall and broad) saying in German, "Vor oder nach?" (I think that is what he said.)

I would recommend to any chess fan visiting Lone Pine. Too bad it has been over for decades. I shook hands with Petrosian there also. I saw Reshevsky.

Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: <offramp> I suspect there are quite a few players with more, but many are not in this or any other online database. Think about players like Pia Cramling who has been very active for many years, but who has many fewer games here than Carlsen. Many of her games are not online anywhere. A player like Georg Danner is still very active in Austria at 68 but there is near a decade missing from his career in the larger database, chess365. Most of the public games by Korchnoi or Larsen have been preserved.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <wrap99> that's really good! I think Larsen was saying "For or against?" (Fro oder nicht?")

Being a Dane I think German would have been easy for him. And the lingua franca of central Europe (Pachman was a Czech) is and always has been German.

I dunno about chess fans visiting Lone Pine NOW. What is there for chess players?

Have you seen what Linares is like now? The Hotel Hannibal is downtrodden; just a few pictures of chess players on the walls. The staff don't know who the pictures are of... The locals can't remember the tournaments...

Aug-18-15  thegoodanarchist: <offramp: ...

Have you seen what Linares is like now? The Hotel Hannibal is downtrodden; just a few pictures of chess players on the walls. The staff don't know who the pictures are of...>

That is because in 2012 Sacha Baron Cohen replaced the portraits of chess players with portraits of Moe, Larry and Curly Howard.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <... Keres over 1000 too.>

Svetozar Gligoric

Aug-18-15  zoren: <offramp>

That's kind of depressing to hear about Linares.

Aug-18-15  Jim Bartle: <I dunno about chess fans visiting Lone Pine NOW. What is there for chess players?>

It's kinda scenic...

Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: When I visited Denmark in the 70s repeatedly I found English worked well, along with my pitiful Swedish and my better German.
Aug-18-15  wrap99: <offramp> I imagine with Statham's passing, chess is largely forgotten. I interacted with locals there -- I remember vaguely some sort of hostility towards the players (very low level but certainly the ones I met were not in awe of the fact that more than one world champ was there (I think; maybe only one at a time).

I was just a spectator but the locals did not know this -- they reminded me of locals in any of the small CA towns I have visited. Not all of CA is SF or Beverly Hills or La Jolla.

I have never been to Linares.

Doesn't "vor oder nach" mean before or after?

Aug-19-15  Poulsen: <wrap99> Yes, it does - what Larsen meant with that remark or question to Pachman we will properly never now. It is out of its context.

<waustad> in general english will work much better in Denmark than german. For many years english has been taught in at folkeskole ('elementary school') level much more intensively than german and other languages. Some has argued, that children should learn english at the moment they enter the school system in Denmark.

That said many danes has some knowledge of german - and even a few other languages such spanish, italian or french.

Larsen was more or less fluent in several languages - he was a very impressive and intelligent personality - and seemed to have an almost photografic memory.

I once witnessed him commenting a game analysis under way involving two other GM's - and me as spectator. They were discussing, what should be the plan for black in a certain (Pirc- or King Indian like) position, and Larsen passed the table and with a swift glance at the position he said: "Here black should play (this and this) - this has been known since a game between (xx and Matulovic??) in 1957!". And even though the two GM's smiled at Larsens blunt remark, his suggestion was soon investigated at the board.

The game might be Ivkov vs Matulovic, 1957, but I am not certain.

Aug-19-15  wrap99: <Poulsen> If not for the prevalence of amazing abilities outside of chess present among GMs, the game would be of far less interest to me. I have no doubt that Larsen would have had an extraordinary memory - Pachman was supposed to have indeed a photographic one. I think chess should be used more to identify people who might contribute to society rather than an end in itself as it seems to be in many cases.
Nov-04-15  pazzed paun: It seems Larsen's heartburn around Bobby Fischer is that Fischer never took seriously the idea of Larsen as a possible world champion
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