Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Bent Larsen vs Lajos Portisch
Portisch - Larsen Candidates Quarterfinal (1977), Rotterdam NED, rd 7, Mar-16
Spanish Game: Exchange. Bronstein Variation (C69)  ·  1-0



explore this opening
find similar games 54 more Larsen/Portisch games
sac: 59.Rxd3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: Games that have been used in game collections will have a section at the bottom which shows collections which include it. For more information, see "What are Game Collections?" on our Help Page.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
May-19-04  Hanzo Steel: This is a solid demonstration of the Exchange Variation by Larsen against 5. ... Qd6. Larsen simultaneously disposes of Portisch's double bishop advantage and simplifies into an end game that favors white. This game is from their candidates match, which Portisch won. Portisch had a lot of experience with this opening and was able to draw with the more solid 5. ... f6 in his next game with the black pieces.
Dec-22-13  Poisonpawns: Brilliant! and timely exchange sacrifice by Larsen.One of his great games. I enjoyed how Larsen skillfully avoided the exchange of Rooks for a long time as the opposite colored Bishops would probably lead to a draw. Larsen keeps fighting, and then at the right time gives up the exchange to enter a winning Bishop and pawns vs Rook ending.
Jan-17-15  nummerzwei: What on earth was 23...b5? Afterwards Black has to cope with pawn weaknesses on the queenside and ultimately loses a pawn. With 23...b6 he should be able to safely steer the game to the drawing haven. 'Having to win' can be ruled out as an explanation seeing that Portisch was in the lead by 3-1 and should have been more than happy to draw with Black.
Jan-17-15  Howard: Nummerzwei may be interested to know that in Chess life and Review (as it was called back in those days), Pal Benko covered this match. There was a point in the above game (and it was probably regarding 23...b5, though I don't have that particular issue in front of me right now) where Portisch blundered and Benko made the comment, "Portish returns Larsen's blunder in the previous game but this is taking common courtesy too far."

Yes, I do recall Portish's making at least one big mistake in this game though it's been over 20 years since I looked at it.

Jan-17-15  nummerzwei: Thanks for your reply, Howard. I've just read on the CG match page that around this game Portisch got sick leading to the postponement of several games including this one. This may explain his urge to trade down to a draw as fast as possible with 23...b5?. On the other hand, I don't understand at all why the same report labels this as one of Larsen's best games.
Jan-17-15  Howard: Hmmm....don't recall Portisch's becoming ill, but when I get home (I'm at the library right now.) I'll dig out that 1977 volume of Chess Life & Review, to read up on it. It covered the match very thoroughly, but then the Internet hadn't been invented yet back in those days....

Regarding your comment about this game being "one of Larsen's best games", I, too, would question that. This game was basically decided on Portisch's blunder.

Check out, though, Game 3. Now, that was one of Larsen's better games from that time period---long, slightly boring endgame, but it was also an example of squeezing out a win from a rather miniscule advantage.

Oct-22-15  zanzibar: Indeed, <nummerzwei> identifies Black essentially self-destructing on the Q-side:

(After 23...b5? 24.Re1-c1 bxc4?! 25.Rxc4)

click for larger view

Black has self-destructed the Q-side for what reason?

The eval marks are for GM level of play, but it's clear the c-pawn is blockaded and falls. Very hard to explain give 23...b3 and White has no lsb to exploit weaknesses.

Given 23...b4, Black could make the following attempt to at least battle on the Q-side. It's a bit technical, but worth showing:

24...b4 25.Bxc5 Re2 26.a3 b3 27.Bd4 g6

click for larger view

Black has some compensation for the pawn.

Oct-22-15  zanzibar: Two rounds later the two repeated another Exchange, but this time Portisch played a Gligoric with 5...f6, 6...Bg4:

Larsen vs Portisch, 1977

That game was a draw.

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.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

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 game 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.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
from Various openings by athyn
Game 7
from WCC Index [Portisch-Larsen 1977] by nescio
IGM Bent Larsen
by 64rutor
Game 95
from Veliki majstori saha 32 BENT LARSEN (Marovic) by Chessdreamer
my favourite endgames
by obrit
Game 7 March 16
from Portisch - Larsen Candidates Quarterfinal 1977 by Tabanus
JoseTigranTalFischer's favorite games
by JoseTigranTalFischer
from ruy lopez by Pueribus
Game 9
from My Secrets in the Ruy Lopez (Portisch) by Qindarka
from Chess Informant 23 by Chessdreamer
Game 9
from My Secrets in the Ruy Lopez (Portisch) by skisuitof12
0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 27
by 0ZeR0
from Chess Informant 23 by Chessdreamer by Sergio X Garcia

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC