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Bent Larsen vs Tigran V Petrosian
"A Game of Shadows" (game of the day Feb-09-2012)
Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966), Santa Monica, CA USA, rd 7, Jul-27
Sicilian Defense: Accelerated Dragon. Maroczy Bind Breyer Variation (B39)  ·  1-0



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Given 60 times; par: 34 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-09-12  Memethecat: I never like to see my favourite player get beat, but 25Qxg6 was such a stunning & unexpected move, I actually got what felt like a small electrical jolt up my spine. I wonder if Tigran felt something similar. Hats of to Larsen
Feb-09-12  andrewjsacks: <AylerKupp> My friend, I thank you for your efforts. Actually I find CG excellent on almost every score. Still, a mistake should be corrected ASAP, and I suspect that you and I are not the only ones to note the incorrect city mentioned here...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Larsen needed a queen sac just to beat the hardest player to beat in history.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Beautiful game by Larsen. All the endings are just vicious.
Feb-09-12  JustWoodshifting: According to ChessBase, the game is dated July 27, 1966; Round 7 of the 2nd Piatgorsky Cup in Santa Monica.
Feb-09-12  chessking11: I haven't seen anyone point this out, but this is the game used for Sherlock Holmes. Not the exact game per se, but a variation. It runs 25...fxg6 26. Bxe6+ Kh7 27. Rh3+ Bh6 28. Bxh6 Rf5 29. Rxf5 gxf5 30. Bf7 Qb6+ 31. Kh1 Qxb2 32. Bf8#. If you listen in the movie, this is the variation they say.
Mar-12-12  rune ohlsson: With all respect! It looks that 23. --- Ng7 hade completely changed the game. After 24. Rh3 f5 25. Bf3 Kf7 26. Rb5 Ne6 27. Bd5 Rh8 Black has good chances to take a halfpoint.
Jun-26-12  MissesManyMoves: < chessking11: this is the game used for Sherlock Holmes...a variation. It runs 25...fxg6 26. Bxe6+ Kh7 27. Rh3+ Bh6 28. Bxh6 Rf5 29. Rxf5 gxf5 30. Bf7 Qb6+ 31. Kh1 Qxb2 32. Bf8#.>

Right you are. But it turns out that the movie makes quite a mess of this game, having the players inexplicably swap pieces mid game, and omitting two crucial moves late.

When Holmes and Moriarty begin (at 1:44:50 on my DVD), Moriarty is clearly playing White. Five minutes later (1:49:53) Moriarty says "I think you've just lost your most valuable piece," which signals the beginning of the variation with *Black's capture of the White Queen*, 25…fxg6: The two players have switched colors!

Holmes speaks his next move, "Bishop takes Knight, check," (26. Bxe6+, at 1:51:13) and you can see and hear him move the pieces, but after that it's spoken moves only, and unfortunately they (or, more likely, the movie's editor, at 1:52:44) omit both 30...Qb6+ and 31. Kh1, rendering Moriarty's dramatically intoned "QUEEN, takes Knight pawn," (31…Qxb2) impossible.

Jul-05-12  MissesManyMoves: < 26JUN POST: Moriarty says "I think you've just lost your most valuable piece," which signals the beginning of the variation with *Black's capture of the White Queen*, 25…fxg6: The two players have switched colors! >

I missed this earlier, but the color switch occurred far earlier than move 25. When the film shows Holmes and Moriatry beginning play, Moriarty is playing white and Holmes is playing black. The first move of the game correctly has White moving 1.P-K4 (1.e4) but the next position we see on film is Black (Holmes) creating adjacent black pawns on d5 and e5. The color switch has occurred; In this 1966 Larsen-Petrosian game Black never has the d and e pawns abreast on his 4th rank, but White does after his third move.

Jul-05-12  DanielBryant: Does anybody else think it's weird that this game took place in Santa Barbara of all places?
Nov-02-12  Tigranny: Why such a gloomy pun for Larsen's immortal? Just curious.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <DanielBryant> <Does anybody else think it's weird that this game took place in Santa Barbara of all places?>

It's actually Santa Monica not Santa Barbara.

<Tigranny> <Why such a gloomy pun for Larsen's immortal? Just curious.>

Hasn't seen the second Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law "Sherlock Holmes" feature by the sound of things.

That's what we need to play chess, Holmesavision.


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Benzol> Some weeks ago, I sent on a note to the effect that all games from this event were at Santa Monica. Guess it missed that wire basket.
Feb-08-13  Tigranny: I've noticed of recent games of Petrosian I've looked at, he plays kind of passively despite using aggressive openings like in this game and the Najdorf when he lost to Spassky in 1969.
Feb-08-13  RookFile: I'm not sure what the right adjective is. He didn't play classically in this game, that's for sure. Knight to e6, to c7, to a6, to c5, to e6?
Jul-05-13  Llawdogg: Wow! 25 Qxg6! That is a stunning queen sacrifice. Brilliant.
Sep-12-13  Mudphudder: Wow this is the most impressive Bent Larsen game I've ever seen!
Sep-21-13  phil6875: <Albertan> That's an interesting one however in your line Black's 24...Qe6 is not good, here's an improvement,

22...Nd7 23. Bxd7 Qxd7 24. Rf3 f6
25. Rh3 Kf7 26. Qh7+ Ke6 27. Qxg6 Qc6 =

And it's basically equal.

Sep-21-13  phil6875: So, Petrosian had 2 options for his 23rd move after which he would have been OK.

23...Ng7 24. Rh3 f5 25. Bf3 Kf7 26. Rb5 Rh8 27. Bd5+ Ne6 28. Qg5 Qd7 =

23...f5 24. Rh3 Ng7 25. Bf3 Kf7 26. Rb5 Rh8 27. Qxh8 Qxh8 28. Rxh8 Rxh8 29. Rxb7 Ne6 =

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <playground player> wrote "One of the damnedest things about chess is that you can only move one man at a time. For every piece you develop, one or more other pieces remain undeveloped. Every asset thus contains an element of liability. That's what makes chess hard."

But that is what life is all about. Gide wrote in <The Fruits of the Earth> that every choice he made seemed to him a rejection of the other possibilities. He also wrote that all roads lead to God, but that once one focuses only on one path, it leads away from God.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: André Gide. There's a blast from the past.
I spent a month reading him one week.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: André Gide write quite a good tourist guide to Croydon (UK) which is just down the road from where I live.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I don't enjoy philosophical writings, but I read his "Les nourritures terrestres" with great pleasure. It's a very poetical book about some of his travels that could only have been written by a young man. With the years you lose that ability of seeing the world directly and with so much passion, and not in terms of situations. Today I see the world as through a crystal darkly. And, hey, it is one of the books forbidden by the Vatican...
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Soltis gives this as ending with 29.Rg3.

Which score is correct?

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Of course this game was from the second Piatgorsky Cup. (Santa Monica, CA / USA / 1966.)
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