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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
   Larsen vs Spassky, 1964 1-0
   Taimanov vs Larsen, 1970 0-1
   Larsen vs A Matanovic, 1965 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)
   Biel Interzonal (1976)
   Teesside (1972)
   Manila (1973)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1979)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1980)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   Las Palmas (1972)
   Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Palma de Mallorca (1971)
   Leningrad Interzonal (1973)

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. Larsen vs K Blom 1-025 1951 HerningC34 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Larsen vs L Joyner 1-032 1951 Birmingham-jrC30 King's Gambit Declined
5. M Barker vs Larsen  1-038 1951 World Junior ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
6. Larsen vs P Ravn 1-035 1952 Herning, mesterklassC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
7. E Pedersen vs Larsen  0-140 1952 Aabybro mE48 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5
8. Larsen vs E Pedersen  ½-½46 1952 Aabybro mB54 Sicilian
9. E Pedersen vs Larsen  1-058 1952 Aabybro mC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
10. Larsen vs E Pedersen  0-159 1952 Aabybro mA13 English
11. Larsen vs M Farre 1-048 1953 Wch U20 qual-BB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
12. J Enevoldsen vs Larsen  ½-½35 1953 Copenhagen mC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
13. Panno vs Larsen 1-083 1953 Wch U20 final-AE18 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3
14. Larsen vs J Sherwin  ½-½45 1953 Wch U20 qual-BE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
15. J Enevoldsen vs Larsen  ½-½37 1953 Copenhagen mC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
16. F Scafarelli vs Larsen  1-041 1953 Wch U20 qual-BA15 English
17. Larsen vs J Enevoldsen ½-½59 1953 Copenhagen mE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
18. Larsen vs D Keller  1-041 1953 Wch U20 final-AB56 Sicilian
19. F Roessel vs Larsen  0-138 1953 Wch U20 qual-BE41 Nimzo-Indian
20. Larsen vs J Enevoldsen 0-155 1953 Copenhagen mD85 Grunfeld
21. Larsen vs F Olafsson 0-138 1953 Wch U20 final-AE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
22. Larsen vs A Nielsen 1-029 1953 Nordic ChampionshipA31 English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation
23. J Sherwin vs Larsen  1-032 1953 Wch U20 final-AE98 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov, 9.Ne1
24. P Saar vs Larsen 0-138 1953 Junior VM,CopenhagenC34 King's Gambit Accepted
25. Larsen vs H Heikkila  1-040 1953 Wch U20 qual-BB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
 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 28 OF 28 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-09-13  Granny O Doul: I remember reading, in "The Complete Chess Addict", I believe, that Larsen's job was to read Tarzan stories to Fischer. It is plausible enough, as one of Fischer's best NYC friends owns to having had to read to him from a book called "Man is the Prey".
Jan-09-13  Granny O Doul: Let me add to that that I had just been reading on the previous page about Larsen's role at the '59 Candidates.
Jan-09-13  ozmikey: <Granny O Doul> Larsen mentions the Tarzan episode in his "article" on Fischer in his own book of best games. Apparently Fischer just wanted something read to him when he was sick and inhaling some unpleasant medicine.

The whole article is well worth reading, very funny in parts (as you would expect from Larsen). Here's a nice bit, about Fischer's early avoidance of alcohol:

"I don't know the reason for this hatred of alcohol, but it's one of those things about which Fischer's views became a bit more flexible as he got was the case with communism, the Caro-Kann and the bishop pair."

Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: happy birthday Bent. R.I.P.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: In 117 games, Larsen scored 58% wins opening with 1.g3 - impressive stuff!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Eduardo Bermudez:
Jul-29-13  Zugzwangovich: Larsen was a great chess fighter, but from what I've read he'd have to take top honors for the worst record at putting his money where his mouth was. Fischer had a poor record at that, too, but he did ultimately back up his biggest claim--that he'd become world champion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <wordfunph: GM Lubosh Kavalek was once told by GM Bent Larsen, "I do not play against the Sicilian Defense because I do know how to win it with black.">

I had to examine it with Opening Reprator, Bent's record facing the Sicilian is very, very respectable!

Not sure why he put himself down with such a comment.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: When Larsen took part in the Candidates' ending in 1978, 1981 and 1984, he may have thought to himself:

<"If I win these Candidates' and become World Champion, how many people will say I am the best player in the world?">


Jan-01-14  Penguincw: K Quote of the Day K

< "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...

Jan-02-14  Penguincw: K Quote of the Day K

< "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: "Don’t 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.

Apr-30-14  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?

Premium Chessgames Member
  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
May-19-14  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

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