Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Spassky - Larsen Candidates Semifinal Match

Boris Spassky5.5/8(+4 -1 =3)[games]
Bent Larsen2.5/8(+1 -4 =3)[games] Chess Event Description
Spassky - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1968)

The match took place in Malmö in July. Bent Larsen beat Lajos Portisch (5½-4½) in the Larsen - Portisch Candidates Quarterfinal (1968) at Porec, Croatia in May, and Boris Spassky qualified through the Spassky - Geller Candidates Quarterfinal (1968) earlier that year.

Malmö, Sweden, 6-20 July 1968

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Spassky 1 1 1 = 0 = 1 = 5.5 Larsen 0 0 0 = 1 = 0 = 2.5

Spassky went on to win the Spassky - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1968) and the Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Rematch (1969). Larsen went on to the Larsen - Tal 3rd place Candidates Playoff (1969), from which he qualified for the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970).

Original collection: Game Collection: WCC Index (Spassky-Larsen 1968), by User: Hesam7.

 page 1 of 1; 8 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Spassky vs Larsen 1-0391968Spassky - Larsen Candidates SemifinalD14 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
2. Larsen vs Spassky 0-1481968Spassky - Larsen Candidates SemifinalA25 English
3. Spassky vs Larsen 1-0521968Spassky - Larsen Candidates SemifinalB25 Sicilian, Closed
4. Larsen vs Spassky ½-½421968Spassky - Larsen Candidates SemifinalA25 English
5. Spassky vs Larsen 0-1381968Spassky - Larsen Candidates SemifinalC46 Three Knights
6. Larsen vs Spassky ½-½561968Spassky - Larsen Candidates SemifinalA21 English
7. Spassky vs Larsen 1-0481968Spassky - Larsen Candidates SemifinalB25 Sicilian, Closed
8. Larsen vs Spassky ½-½311968Spassky - Larsen Candidates SemifinalD59 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-09-13  Everett: Spassky handled Larsen with seeming ease, winning the first three, then cruising to victory in this short match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: Spassky was unstoppable in this cycle. Only in the WC match against Petrosian he can be said to have had some slight trouble.

In the Candidates he went
3-0 =5 against Geller
4-1 =3 against Larsen
4-1 =5 against Korchnoi

In all these matches he was ahead after game 1 or 2, never to let his opponent catch up.

In this semifinal he played the exchange Slav in game 1, but managed to win anyway. There may be something to the theory that Spassky would play calm lines against Larsen, waiting for him to do something reckless. In any case there is little doubt who was the strongest player here (and for that matter, in the world).

Jun-08-16  Caissanist: From a 1968 interview with Larsen by Ben Crane for Chess Life:

Crane: To what do you attribute your loss to Spassky?

Larsen: The main reason would be the way FIDE President Rogard organized this match. He did this in a way which I can only describe as scandalous. Both players and the organization were very dissatisfied. He did not even do it through the Swedish Chess Federation or the local chess club--it was just a private arrangement. I don't understand why he wanted to organize the match under these very bad economic conditions, with very bad organizers, when he could have had the match in another country under very good economic conditions for the players and their federations. The federations had to pay travel expenses and everything. The first prize in this match was 1000 Swiss francs, or a little more than 200 dollars. Both Spassky and I were very depressed by this. We had a meeting with Rogard the evening before the match started and he made it very clear that he thought the players should not make any money on these FIDE tournaments. If that is the way he wants it, I think he'll very soon see that the FIDE's championship is considered a kind of amateur world championship, and then other sponsors might well get the idea to arrange a professional world championship. As I see it, when there is something like a match between Spassky and me, when Rogard has, so to speak, something to sell, he should not sell it as cheaply as possible. If you consider the fact that the players probably used several months in preparation for the Candidates' tournament (the matches themselves began in April and the last one ended about the end of September), then it looks a little strange that we should have the smallest prizes possible. During that time it may be difficult for the players to make money any other way. Yugoslavia, for instance, was ready to organize the match with prizes that were much better, with all expenses paid for two persons from each side.

Jun-08-16  Everett: Larsen did a good job not answering the question, or rather gave the poor organization and prize funds experienced by <both> players as the reason for his loss.

Not convincing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: :)

It was also too hot in Denver in 1971.

What was the prize money for Denver 1971.

Bill does not mention it here.

(In 1969 Spassky won $1,400 for winning the world title. In 1972 he got $93,000 for losing it!.)

Jun-08-16  Petrosianic: <Not convincing.>

No, not convincing as an excuse, but interesting that the prize funds were low specifically because Folke Rogard wanted them that way. The story we've always been told is that there wasn't much money to be had in chess until the 70's. Maybe there was.

Jun-09-16  Everett: Good point <Petrosianic>. And let me correct myself and say Spassky likely got flight and basic expenses handled by the State. Larsen likely did not. So the Dane may have a point...
Dec-27-18  RookFile: Spassky had a huge plus lifetime over Larsen. I think that if anything, Larsen overperformed in this match compared to what he usually did. It's the old story, guys like Nimzo couldn't touch Capa and Alekhine. Larsen was the modern day Nimzo, but Fischer and Spassky were head and shoulders above him.
Dec-27-18  pazzed paun: I was shocked by Spassky account that until he became a challenger to the world champion he could not count on having enough to eat!

The soviets wanted prizes to be very low
Fischer wanted to earn a living and was called greedy

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bobby was the WRECKING ball on the chess world in the 60's and 70's

Bobby was the REVOLUTION.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Eh? <harrylime> why are you even on this thread? We know the sun shines out of Bobby's long dead arse. Leave it alone now. It'll just get sore if you pick it.
Dec-27-18  Petrosianic: <Dionysius1> No, he doesn't. In fact, Harry once confessed to hating Fischer, when called on the fact that he shouted down every actual discussion about the man.

But when you crave attention but don't know anything about chess or anything else, that you can use to get it honestly, you have to resort to shady means to get the spotlight. We had a guy like that on chessninja, called Chess Fan. His one and only opinion about chess was that Kasparov was the GOAT. Like Harry, the only way he had of getting attention was to say stupid things and let people spank him for it.

I remember one time when I asked as a trivia question, who was Etorre Boiardi. After a couple of hints, it was obvious to absolutely everyone that I was talking about Chef Boyardee. But CF pretended not to know, just so that well-meaning rubes would take him by the hand and try to explain it to him. Bottom Line, I'd pay serious money to see Harrylol and Chess Fan fighting for attention in the same forum. I think CF would win, just because he had a self pity routine that was more effective than Harrylol's mindless giggling.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <Dionysius1: Eh? <harrylime> why are you even on this thread? We know the sun shines out of Bobby's long dead arse. Leave it alone now. It'll just get sore if you pick it.>

why are you asking me this question ??

lol lol

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Because you posted a totally irrelevant comment. Are you lost?
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: So Robert Fischer is irrelevant to Boris Spassky and Bent Larsen ??
Jan-17-19  Saniyat24: Fisher and Spassky were very amicable to each other...I read that Boris had a very friendly vibe even after he lost his crown in Reykjavik as World Champion...and although Fisher did beat Larsen badly (there could be many reasons for that) Larsen was one of the players who did beat Fischer. So Fisher, Spassky and Bent Larsen all three used to play chess and since we are discussing them, they still are relevant today...!
Jan-17-19  RookFile: Larsen was a super endgame player. He certainly prepared his openings. Such a life must have been so frustrating. At times you're better than maybe 3 people in the world, but it's still so far to go to be champ.
Jan-20-19  Saniyat24: same can be said about Bronstein and Korchnoi what <Rookfile> told about Larsen...!
Sep-24-20  Everett: < RookFile: Spassky had a huge plus lifetime over Larsen. I think that if anything, Larsen overperformed in this match compared to what he usually did. It's the old story, guys like Nimzo couldn't touch Capa and Alekhine. Larsen was the modern day Nimzo, but Fischer and Spassky were head and shoulders above him.>

Spassky did not “over perform.” Spassky is a great match player, where Larsen was not.

I suspect part of Spassky’s success, long life, and respected standing in the chess-world and beyond is indicated by just cruising to victory here. He respected his nervous system, and the negative effects of striving like a mad man in every tournament and match game.

Sometimes it’s good to just take it a bit easy, yet still be prepared to turn it on when needed.

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific tournament only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC