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Bent Larsen vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Oegstgeest (1970), Oegstgeest NED, rd 2, Apr-19
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Korchnoi Line (A28)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-11-05  TalForever: Larsen really harasses Botvinnik's queen with the back rank threats. Quite a lovely game.
Mar-11-05  euripides: <Tal> welcome to the site ! this is indeed a very attractive game. Often in the English White tries a reversed Dragon, here it's a reversed Scheveningen.
Jan-17-06  who: What a gem of a game!
Jan-17-06  Jim Bartle: Strange to see such a classic, principled player as Botvinnik getting pressured by the threat of a back-rank mate.
Jan-10-09  computer chess guy: Why not 39. ♖xa2 ♕xa2 40. b6 and the b pawn looks unstoppable.
Jun-23-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <computer chess guy: Why not 39. xa2 xa2 40. b6 and the b pawn looks unstoppable.> You are right. That would have been decisive.
Jun-23-11  fab4: Yep. Looks like Bent underestimated Blacks' chronic back rank weakness here.. yet ofcourse he still won the game.
Jun-23-11  SimonWebbsTiger: slightly at a tangent, I noticed (when looking in Informator 11 for notes to Petrosian-Hübner match games), that on the 1970 FIDE list, Fischer came in at 2740, Spassky 2690, Petrosian 2640, Smyslov 2620, Tal 2610 and despite his great age Botvinnik was at 2630. Larsen - upon checking now - was 2660.

The ELO list in that Informator was a mere 5 pages long! Needless to say most GMs - and there weren't many - were in the 2500 bracket. Elite was 2600+.

Jun-23-11  SimonWebbsTiger: ps. Korchnoi was 2660 whilst Karpov was at 2540 on that list
Jun-23-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Probably Larsen was in time pressure at move 39, and didn't want to make the decision to trade rooks without having more time to think about it.
Sep-19-13  parisattack: Great game by Larsen; almost a perfect reverse-Scheveningen Sicilian. Botvinnik at the tail-end of his career here, of course.
May-24-15  MarkBuckley: 3. a3 is typical Larsen cunning: Botvinnik is enticed into playing the open Sicilian as white by transposition, something he had avoided, if memory serves, for twenty years.

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