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Robert James Fischer vs Bent Larsen
"Petty Larseny" (game of the day Jan-02-2013)
Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, rd 8, Aug-16
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Main Line (B77)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-19-13  parisattack: <RookFile: That was the humorous thing. For about 30 years, players tried every move possible in that position except 9....Bd7, which a 1300 player totally unfamiliar with the opening might play without hesitation.>

It certainly seems to be holding its own with 9. ...Bd7. Both 10. h4, Rc8 and 10. 0-0-0, Rb8 Black is OK. I've just never trusted the static pawn structure black has with the Dragon.

Aug-19-13  Sniffles: The flow of this game is poetic. Black maneuvers to crush the defense right up to 16... Rc7. From there on the dastardly pair on g2 and h2 proceed to tear his defense to shreds. 2 pawns and a rook sacrifice later and blacks entire game is a shambles. It isn't until 21 g5 that black sees the attack. Then at 28...Qb7 black has both rooks and the queen diverted to the defense against a pawn and a bishop.
Sep-04-13  victor antoni: lo partio a larsen .. que bien..
Dec-05-13  Meaux: Great game; I love it when Fischer castles queenside. Larsen was still “bent” on winning.
Feb-25-14  Travis Bickle: So this is the Fischer <harrylime> was talking about! ; P
Feb-25-14  john barleycorn: <parisattack: <RookFile: That was the humorous thing. For about 30 years, players tried every move possible in that position except 9....Bd7, which a 1300 player totally unfamiliar with the opening might play without hesitation.>

It certainly seems to be holding its own with 9. ...Bd7. Both 10. h4, Rc8 and 10. 0-0-0, Rb8 Black is OK. I've just never trusted the static pawn structure black has with the Dragon.>

Fischer credited Korchnoi for the improved version with Bd7 and the Kt manouevre Nb8-c6-e5-c4 which is "standard" today.

Feb-25-14  SChesshevsky: < I've just never trusted the static pawn structure black has with the Dragon.>

Interesting point. I've been a die-hard Dragon player since seeing this game in MSMG's strangely enough. Though I guess it's supposed to theoretically be an active defense it never seemed so OTB.

Looking to juice it up, an early ...a6 seemed to do well, threatening ...b5 and mobilizing on the Qside before White castled. This tended to provoke a White 0-0 which often delivered decent opportunities without weakening much and somewhat blunted White's attack. Much later I noticed this game with a similar theme.

Deep Gandalf vs Rybka, 2006

Stein's ...Qb8 never was that effective for me, though I believe Levy thought it very good at the time. Then I noticed this young guy's Fla game with ...Rab8 and thought it juiced Black's Dragon nicely with a similar Qside push.

S Finegold vs Michael Vilenchuk, 2011

I don't know the latest theory on the Qside advance but it does appear to at least try to liven up Black's play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: How to play against the Sicilian Dragon: Pry open the h-file, sac and mate.
Jan-17-16  bobbyperez: 31.Qh6+! is a faster win.31...Ke7[31...Bg7 32.Qd6#] 32.Qh7+! Bg7[32...Kf8 33.Qf7#]33.Qxg7# checkmate.
Apr-04-16  Howard: Yes, Fischer mentions that in his book.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <SChesshevsky....Stein's ...Qb8 never was that effective for me, though I believe Levy thought it very good at the time....>

Levy may well have come to a different view after getting welcomed to the big leagues on the crushification express in Spassky vs D Levy, 1974.

Apr-05-16  Howard: And that game didn't last 25 moves---despite the fact the Levy had written a recent book on the Dragon !
Aug-07-16  Knighthas1000eyes: Bent outta shape
Sep-17-16  andrea volponi: 22...Axd4-Th6!? Ag7-Df4 e5-Dh4
Sep-02-17  Olsonist: It just seems that after 16. Bb3 that white is about 2 moves ahead. That LSB is a monster for the rest of the game, defending the WK and attacking the BK. It's technique (well, Fischer level technique) after black let's the LSB retreat. And that's what Fischer wrote in MSMG: "He Won't get a second chance to snap off the bishop! Now I felt the game was in the bag if I didn't botch it."
Sep-10-17  Saniyat24: Bent Larsen tried to play like a suicide bomber in an enemy war zone...the other side had too many artilleries...!
Mar-12-18  Mudphudder: Is this the game that inspired Fischer to use the expression "sac, sac, pry open the h-file" when talking about beating the Dragon sicilian?
Mar-14-18  dehanne: Almost none of the analysis Fischer gives in his book can be trusted.
Mar-14-18  Petrosianic: Yeah, that's why nobody ever took that book seriously.
Mar-15-18  Howard: This was the game, by the way, where Fischer indeed used the expression "pry open the h-file" and "sac sac".
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Believe Fischer's comment went:

<sac, sac, mate!>

Jan-16-19  HeadCrunch: Fischer - my all time hero RIP Bobby :)
Feb-16-19  DansChessLounge: For analysis of this game check out the video here --->
Jul-22-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Black could have exchanged bishops on moves 11, 12 or 13, thus preventing Fischer from using his king's bishop with decisive effect.

It's incredible how often players made the same mistake against Fischer.

I have a feeling Lasker would not have allowed him to get away with it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <N.O.F. NAJDORF> I don't think you can fault Black's moves 11, 12 or 13 here. Those are all book moves.

There are games where Black played Bxb3 but still came under a strong attack, like Ivkov vs H Westerinen, 1963.

There are games where Black didn't play Bxb3 and was fine, like J Slizek vs V Sojka, 1968

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