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Larry Evans vs Bent Larsen
San Antonio (1972), San Antonio, TX USA, rd 2, Nov-20
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Catalan Defense (A14)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: This transposes into a mainline Queen's Indian -- after 11 moves it's actually identical to a position reached in a famous Botvinnik-Bronstein world title game from 1951, also won by Black. Instead of Evans' 12.f4, Botvinnik offered a temporary pawn sac with 12.Rc1. Bronstein allowed his kingside pawns to be shattered but still whipped up a lethal attack.

Opening classification is not an exact science, but these two games belong under the same roof. Reaching a known QID position has more significance than the English/Catalan positions passed en route.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Larsen's comment after 26...♘b4:

"At this point I chose to reject a draw offer! It wasn't an easy decision to make as, although I was happy with my position, my stomach had been playing up for several days. However I felt that my geographical location was such that I couldn't very well be a coward since I was a mere couple of hundred metres from El Alamo where David Crockett had fought so bravely."

"Bent Larsen's Best Games: Fighting Chess with the Great Dane".

Sep-27-18  Granny O Doul: In his own syndicated newspaper column, Larry Evans rebutted Robert Byrne's New York Times columnar description of this game as "a brilliant example of a risky defense deliberately undertaken to fight for victory; an invitation to a guileless attack; a come-on for self-destruction", saying that "Larsen defended from necessity, not choice", adding that Black was on the ropes from the start. He did credit Larsen with showing the utmost ingenuity in defense.
Sep-27-18  SChesshevsky: < Granny > Great comment. Both columnists might've shown the bias that's often in analysis.

Appears Byrne might've been influenced a bit to much by the result and Evans a bit too much by his involvement.

Seems Evans had all the pull with a risky but seemingly sound attack that did force black to defend from necessity. But it also doesn't appear that Larsen was on the ropes.

I'm guessing when whites attack dwindled, maybe around 25. g6+, most or all of any advantage that might have been there began to be overshadowed by the weaknesses left behind. But I don't think it's clearly winning for black either. Wondering if either columnist offered white a winning line prior or a save after that point?

Sep-27-18  Granny O Doul: Evans did offer a line he claimed was winning, or near to, but I'm afraid that didn't stick as well as his words. I don't have my old copy of "Evans on Chess".

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