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Bent Larsen vs Lubomir Kavalek
"Cavallier Kavalek" (game of the day Sep-19-2010)
Lugano (1970), Lugano SUI, rd 10, Mar-??
Nimzo-Larsen Attack: English Variation (A01)  ·  1-0



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Given 26 times; par: 48 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-19-10  parisattack: Larsen probably understood the fianchetto better than any modern player...Of course, Duncan Suttles would be right up there, also.
Sep-19-10  rapidcitychess: Larsen understood the positions he played better than anyone that played, though he was of course still a world-class GM outside of the NL and everything. But he played like Capa in those positions, just so coldly clean cut. And when out of his element, he tried to sharpen it up to an explosion, when he played top-class there as well.

Larsen was a great chess player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I video annotated this game:

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: must be the end-or continuation of Larsen's week.
Jul-04-11  rune ohlsson: It´s no doubt that the Bishop sacrifice is correct and that 23. --- d5 is a winning move in the analysis. However, White is the winning part with 19. g4 !
Any objections?
Dec-31-15  Albanius: In the final position, after 33..Rf7
not 34 Qxg8 Rxh7 35 Qxh7+Kf8 36 Qh8+ (or 36 Qxa7 Qxe3) 36.. Ke7 37 Rh1 Ng5, defending,
but simply 34 Rxf7+ Qxf7 35 Qxd6+ and mate next
Jan-05-16  waustad: Kavalek has comments about this game here:
Jan-08-16  whiteshark: <One of the best modern tournament players, Bent Larsen of Denmark, figured out how to clear the second rank for a devastating attack against me 45 years ago in Lugano in 1970 and considered the game to be his best.>

-- Kavalek

Jan-08-16  whiteshark: "Larsen considered our second game in Lugano as one of his best. In his book Studies for Practical Players, published by Russell Enterprises, the outstanding Russian chess composer <Oleg Pervakov> introduced the idea performed by Larsen with these words:

<"During play, situations occur fairly frequently where one side finds its intentions blocked by one of its own pieces or pawns, either occupying a vital square, blocking a line, or introducing some other annoying element into the position. And not infrequently, the speculative removal of such personages from the board alters the assessment of the position completely. Noting this kind of nuance and accurately executing such a liquidation is a sign of the highest kind of mastery."<<>>>

Analyzing the stunning hidden possibilities was as exciting as playing the moves over the board."


Jan-08-16  Virgil A: With the write up, I sense a sac. Time to check the pgn.
Jun-15-17  newzild: Not so easy because ... the solution is too obvious!

I found 25. Ncd5 only after rejecting 25. Qxg7+ and 25. Rxd6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: ell, the first move has to be 26. Ncd5, because it looks like the big bad move to end all big bad moves.

If 26...Ke8, 27. Qxg7 and white is winning
If 26...Nxd5, 27. Qxg3+
27...Kg8 28. Qxg7# or
27...Ke7 28. Nxd5#

Having looked, I missed the defense 26...Rg8 but I think I would have found a win OTB, although with a less fancy variation like 27. Nxe7 followed by Nxg6 or Nd5+ depending on whether Q or K recaptures the N on e7

Jun-15-17  Ariogermano: 27...Kxe7 Black win
Jun-15-17  eblunt: I had 26. ♘b5 ♖g8 27 ♘xd6+ ♔f8 ( or ♕x♘ , ♖x♕ ) 28 Qxg6 ( 28 .. Nxg6 29 Nxg6 mate ) with multiple threats.

26 ♘b5 ... anything else ♕xg7+

I don't see why this isn't clearly winning.

Jun-15-17  gofer: I think this is a queen sac, but not the obvious one (Qxg7+) which doesn't seem to work. Instead we have a far more convoluted sequence where we just leave Qh7 where she is - as bait...

<26 Ncd5 ...>

26 ... Rg8
27 Nxe7 Kxe7 (Qxe7 18 Qxg6+ Ke8 19 Ne6+ )
28 Bxg7

26 ... Nxe5
27 Qxg7+ Ke8
28 Qxe6+ Qf7
29 Qxf7+ Kxf7 (Rxf7 30 Rxe5 )
30 Rh7+ Kg8
31 Rh8+ Kf7
32 Rxf8+ Rxf8
33 Rxe5 )

<26 ... Ne5>

<27 Nxe7! Rh8>

<28 Nexg6! Rxh7>

<29 Nxe5+! ...>

click for larger view

Now this crazy combination seems a little unlikely, but it looks possible and is a lot more fun than the garbage above... ...when the dust settles I think white ends up a N+B v R up and moving into a won endgame...

click for larger view


Doh! I missed <27 ... Rb8> completely...

Jun-15-17  malt: I had 26.Ncd5 Rg8 27.Nf6 Qb7 (27...Rh8 28.Q:g7+ K:g7 29.N:d7+ Kf7 30.R:h8 R:d7)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: <eblunt: I had 26. ♘b5 ♖g8 27 ♘xd6+ ♔f8 ( or ♕x♘ , ♖x♕ )>

27...Qxd6 28.Rxd6 Rxd6

R+N+P vs Q doesn't look too bad for black.

Jun-15-17  Marmot PFL: Larsen likes queen sacs so i looked at 26 Qxg7+ but quickly discarded that. 26 Ncd5 has to be good though, brings N and Bb2 into action and attacks the knight that defends g6.
Jun-15-17  ventricule: One should also analyze the reply 26. ... Ne5.

One option is 27. Nxe7 Qxe7 28. Nxg6! Qf6, where white wins the exchange but the position is still messy. Even more so if black replies with 27. ... Rb8! where the threat of the rook sac of b2 makes things very unclear.

More clear-cut is 27. Bxe5 dxe5 28. Nxe7 Qb7+ 29. Kc1 where white will stay a piece ahead.

Jun-15-17  mel gibson: The computer agrees with the first move but sees a different line:

Ncd5 (26. Ncd5 (♘c3-d5 ♘f3-e5 ♗b2xe5 d6xe5 ♘d5xe7 ♕d7-b7+ ♔b1-c1 ♕b7-a6 ♕h7xg6+ ♕a6xg6 ♘f4xg6 ♖d8xd1+ ♖h1xd1 ♖f8-e8 ♖d1-g1 f5-f4 e3xf4 e5xf4 ♖g1-g4 ♗g7-f6 ♖g4xf4 ♔f7-g7 ♖f4-g4 ♔g7-f7 ♘e7-d5 ♖e8-g8 ♘d5-f4 ♖g8-e8 ♔c1-d2 a7-a5 ♘f4-d3) +3.26/19 169)

score for white +3.26 depth 19

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <hedgeh0g: I think it's a little erroneous to suggest that this game isn't one of Larsen's best simply because his opponent didn't play the best continuation. How many brilliancies would we see if our opponents never made mistakes?>

Keene's point isn't that Larsen's opponent made a mistake; it's that if Kavalek had made the right move Larsen would have been lost or near-lost early on. That does affect the determination whether the game is one of Larsen's best, right?

<aragorn69: Kavalek himself analyses this game as a 70th birthday homage to Larsen :

Nice homage, but it's hard not to notice that Kavalek spends more time analyzing "the one that got away" -- Black's chance at the 19....Bxc4 sacrifice -- than any of Larsen's brilliant moves later in the game.

Jun-15-17  wtpy: I missed Rb8 as defense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: In the line of <mel gibson>, after 26 Ncd5 Ne5 27 Bxe5 dxe5 28 Nxe7, here is the position.

click for larger view

I found it an interesting exercise to see why the defense 29...Qb7+ 30 Kc1 Qa6 is much better than 29...Qxe7.

Jun-15-17  malt: 26.Ncd5 Ne5 White could play 27.N:e7 Q:e7 28.N:g6 Qf6 29.B:e5 Rb8+ (29...de5 30.N:f8) 30.Kc2 Q:g6 31.Q:g6 K:g6 32.Rdg1+ Kf7 33.R:g7+
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I know this game.
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