Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Bent Larsen

Number of games in database: 2,569
Years covered: 1948 to 2008
Last FIDE rating: 2415
Highest rating achieved in database: 2660
Overall record: +1138 -562 =785 (61.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 84 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (132) 
    E90 E97 E66 E62 E94
 Sicilian (127) 
    B21 B52 B80 B23 B83
 English (109) 
    A15 A13 A14 A10 A17
 English, 1 c4 c5 (92) 
    A30 A37 A36 A34 A38
 Uncommon Opening (87) 
    A00 B00
 English, 1 c4 e5 (69) 
    A20 A25 A29 A28 A21
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (321) 
    B32 B27 B30 B56 B39
 Queen's Pawn Game (82) 
    E00 A40 A46 A41 A45
 English (74) 
    A10 A15 A17 A14 A16
 Queen's Indian (69) 
    E16 E15 E12 E14 E19
 Nimzo Indian (68) 
    E56 E54 E47 E46 E43
 Caro-Kann (66) 
    B18 B16 B10 B14 B17
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Larsen vs Petrosian, 1966 1-0
   Larsen vs Geller, 1960 1-0
   Fischer vs Larsen, 1970 0-1
   Larsen vs A Matanovic, 1965 1-0
   Taimanov vs Larsen, 1970 0-1
   Petrosian vs Larsen, 1966 0-1
   Larsen vs Portisch, 1964 1-0
   Larsen vs Spassky, 1964 1-0
   Larsen vs Kavalek, 1970 1-0
   Karpov vs Larsen, 1980 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Zagreb-B (1955)
   Mar del Plata (1958)
   Palma de Mallorca (1967)
   Capablanca Memorial (1967)
   Palma de Mallorca (1969)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Manila (1973)
   Hastings 1972/73 (1972)
   Ourense (1975)
   Esbjerg (1978)
   Amsterdam Olympiad Final-B (1954)
   Halle Zonal (1963)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   Wageningen Zonal (1957)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   IGM Bent Larsen by 64rutor
   Best Games (Larsen) by Qindarka
   Veliki majstori saha 32 BENT LARSEN (Marovic) by Chessdreamer
   Move by Move - Larsen (Lakdawala) by Qindarka
   Move by Move - Larsen (Lakdawala) by rpn4
   Move by Move - Larsen (Lakdawala) by rpn4
   Move by Move - Larsen (Lakdawala) by Parmenides1963
   my favourite endgames by obrit
   "Larsen's Selected Games" by Bent Larsen by PrimusPilus
   "Larsen's Selected Games" by Bent Larsen by JoseTigranTalFischer
   "Larsen's Selected Games" by Bent Larsen by OBIT
   "Larsen's Selected Games" by Bent Larsen by brucemubayiwa
   "Larsen's Selected Games" by Bent Larsen by hakkepof
   A01 Larsen Plays the Larsen Quos Mariner by Littlejohn

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Bent Larsen
Search Google for Bent Larsen

(born Mar-04-1935, died Sep-09-2010, 75 years old) Denmark

[what is this?]

Jørgen Bent Larsen was born March 4, 1935 in Denmark. At age 19 he became an International Master, and two years later a grandmaster. He won the Danish Championship six times. He and world champions Vasily Smyslov and Mikhail Tal are the only players ever to win three Interzonals.

Larsen tied for first with Smyslov, Tal, and Boris Spassky at the Amsterdam Interzonal (1964). He advanced to the Candidates' semifinals, where he lost to Tal. He again won the Sousse Interzonal (1967). This time he lost to Spassky in the Candidates' semifinals.

For his tournament achievements during 1967, including first-place finishes in Havana (1967), Winnipeg (1967) (tied with Klaus Darga, just ahead of Spassky and Keres), Sousse Interzonal (1967) and Palma de Mallorca (1967), Larsen received the first Chess Oscar. Other tournament victories were Monte Carlo (1968) and Palma de Mallorca (1969). At USSR vs. Rest of the World (1970), he played top board for the World (ahead of Fischer), scoring 2.5 out of 4, including 1.5 out of 3 against World Champion Spassky.

In 1971, Larsen made the Candidates' semifinals for the third consecutive time. His opponent was Robert James Fischer, who had just whitewashed Mark Taimanov 6-0. To everyone's astonishment, Fischer repeated the feat against Larsen.

After that defeat, Larsen's position in the world rankings gradually slipped back, but he remained a formidable tournament player. He won at Teesside (1972) and Hastings (1972/73). He won the Biel Interzonal (1976) (his third Interzonal win!), but lost the Portisch - Larsen Candidates Quarterfinal (1977) by three points. He won Geneva (1977), Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1979) (by an astonishing three-point margin), and Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1980). He finished second to Garry Kasparov at the Niksic (1983) supertournament. He won Reykjavik (1985) and tied for first at the Nimzowitsch Memorial (1985). He again tied for first at Hastings (1986/87), his last major tournament win. In 1993 he won a match against Deep Blue (Computer) 2.5-1.5.

Larsen lived his last years in Buenos Aires with his wife, Laura, until his death in 2010. The opening move 1. b3, which he played with great success, is named Larsen's Opening. The version with 1.Nf3 and 2.b3 is called the Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack after Aron Nimzowitsch and him.

Chessbase eulogy:

Wikipedia article: Bent Larsen

Last updated: 2023-04-20 14:55:18

 page 1 of 103; games 1-25 of 2,569  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Larsen vs W Lauridsen 1-0241948Holstebro/HerningC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
2. Larsen vs Laursen 1-0521950Holstebro springC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
3. Larsen vs K Blom 1-0251951HerningC34 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Larsen vs B Nyren 0-1181951World Junior ChampionshipB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
5. S Asker vs Larsen  0-1221951World Junior ChampionshipC12 French, McCutcheon
6. Larsen vs E Selzer  1-0331951World Junior ChampionshipB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
7. M Barker vs Larsen 1-0381951World Junior ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
8. Larsen vs R C Cruz  ½-½431951World Junior ChampionshipB54 Sicilian
9. J Walsh vs Larsen  0-1321951World Junior ChampionshipC12 French, McCutcheon
10. Larsen vs Ivkov  0-1321951World Junior ChampionshipB59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
11. F Olafsson vs Larsen  1-0491951World Junior ChampionshipD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Larsen vs L Joyner 1-0321951World Junior ChampionshipC30 King's Gambit Declined
13. B Coosemans vs Larsen  0-1241951World Junior ChampionshipE14 Queen's Indian
14. Larsen vs A Eikrem  1-0271951World Junior ChampionshipB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
15. Larsen vs G Lindgard  1-0371951Junior Christmas TournamentA20 English
16. Larsen vs E Pedersen  ½-½461952Aabybro mB54 Sicilian
17. Larsen vs E Pedersen  0-1591952Aabybro mA13 English
18. E Pedersen vs Larsen  0-1401952Aabybro mE48 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5
19. Larsen vs P Ravn 1-0351952Herning, mesterklassC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
20. E Pedersen vs Larsen 1-0581952Aabybro mC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
21. Larsen vs P Ofstad 1-0171952Junior Christmas TournamentA20 English
22. Larsen vs G Lindgard  1-0411952Junior Christmas TournamentA20 English
23. C Poulsen vs Larsen 1-0261953DEN-chE10 Queen's Pawn Game
24. J Enevoldsen vs Larsen  ½-½371953Copenhagen mC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
25. Larsen vs J Enevoldsen ½-½591953Copenhagen mA04 Reti Opening
 page 1 of 103; games 1-25 of 2,569  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Larsen wins | Larsen loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 33 OF 33 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: The best danish player,before Larsen entered the scene,was IM Enevoldsen,who became a friend of Nimzo.

They now rest neck to neck on the same cemetary.

I had the personal honor to play the former danish champion,Gemzoe,several times.And he told me that he found it easy to draw Nimzo.But beating him was next to impossible.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: <perfidious: <<HMM: so, Nimzo was a Baltic german who emigrated to Denmark?> I believe Ni(e)mzowitsch is derived from nemtsev (pronounced nyemtsev), the Russian word for German. No doubt someone more knowledgeable than I such as <Annie K.> can confirm this.>>

Yes indeed, :) but one thing to remember about these origin-indicative surnames is that they are almost never a sign of <recent> origins.

Think about it: we all have surnames these days, and who is going to drop theirs when they emigrate somewhere, and that in favor of naming the land they just left, to boot?

No, these names came about way back when the people of a given country were just starting to adopt the custom of surnames; there was Joe, the smith, now known as Joe Smith (as opposed to Joe, the tailor, who is now Joe Taylor), oh and that new guy from some other land, who of course is now identified by that particular detail.

So if somebody is called Nimzowitsch, that only indicates that he had a distant ancestor who emigrated from Germany just when the surname fashion started - quite a few generations ago most likely - and almost certainly would have no cultural background from that particular country himself.

Mar-04-18  gars: March is a very rich month for Chess: Larsen, Fischer, Evans, Smejkal, Korchnoi, who else?
Mar-04-18  Ironmanth: My favorite autograph is one from Bent Larsen at the World Open (which he won!) in NYC in 1974. He was analyzing with Julio Kaplan, and graciously tolerated my star struck interruption to grant my request. Happy birthday and RIP Grandmaster. Thanks for so many memorable games.
Mar-04-18  thegoodanarchist: < offramp: Has anyone here read The Stand?>

Yes, I read it. In fact, it is the only Stephen King book I have read.

I don't think King is a great writer.

Mar-04-18  TheFocus: I don't find King to be a great writer, although he did write an excellent book titled "On Writing."
Mar-04-18  sfm: Larsen!!
He was for Denmark what Fischer was for USA - without the difficult stuff. Up there and mixing with the world top and winning a string of GM-tournaments. He famously ran into Fischer in Denver '71, but kept playing after and kept winning tournaments. Somebody once wrote to him "You are not only our strongest player, but also our best chess writer, and it is doubtful that you will ever be surpassed by any one other Danish player". True it was, and it still is. I met him a couple of times, and he was exactly as entertaining and pleasant as in his books.
Jul-26-18  ewan14: As someone said , if it was not for the three Soviets rule - in 1964 it would have been the Russians v Larsen in the Candidates matches

and just as Korchnoi beat world champion Petrosian twice in 1965 , Larsen beat Petrosian twice in 1966

Jul-26-18  Howard: Larsen remarked in his book on his best games (the 60's edition) that if not for that rule, the eight Candidates in 1965 would have been just him and "seven Russians".

On the other hand, Kasparov was a bit disparaging of that comment in his MGP, stating that Larsen probably wouldn't have advanced very far in the Candidates that year.

Jul-26-18  ewan14: I did not realise it was Larsen himself !

Depends which Soviets he played , he ran Tal close and , I think , beat Geller in the 3rd place play off

Dec-23-18  Jean Defuse: ...

This is Bent <Larsen's earliest recorded game>, played on 16th October 1947 when he was 12 years old. He was playing before dinner against his father and the reason for the rather abrupt end is that dinner was getting cold!

[Event "Holstebro"]
[Date "1947.10.16"]
[White "Larsen, Niels K"]
[Black "Larsen, Bent"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B06"]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. d5 Bg7 4. c4 Nf6 5. f3 e5 6. Qa4+ Bd7 7. Qb4 Nxe4 8. fxe4 Qh4+ 9. g3 Qxe4+ 10. Ne2 Qxh1 11. Qxb7 Bh3 12. Nd2 O-O 13. Qxa8 Nd7 14. Qxa7 Nc5 15. Qa3 e4 16. Nf4 Bxf1 17. Nxf1 Re8 18. Be3 Bh6 19. O-O-O Bxf4 20. gxf4 Nd3+ 21. Kc2 Qg2+ 22. Nd2 Rb8 23. b3 Qxh2 24. Kc3 Nxf4 25. Nxe4 Nh5 26. Qb2 Qe5+ 27. Kc2 Qxe4+ 28. Rd3 f5 29. Qd4 Qxd4 30. Rxd4 0-1


Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <Larsen's earliest recorded game>

As you are probably aware, there is a correspondence game begun June 4th the same year but that game ended October 21st. This is the first game in Jan Løfberg's book ( and we can probably rest assured that if there were any earlier recorded games, then Løfberg would have found them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy Birthday, Bent Larsen.
Dec-13-19  mckmac: < ”Preparing for a game with Larsen is a matter which is either too complicated, or too simple. The Dane’s repertoire contains practically all opening systems, and one’s chances of guessing the variation are no better than in a lottery. Therefore at home it was decided to begin the game with the advance of the king’s pawn. At that the preparation came to an end…” >

-Mikhail Tal, writing of his pre-game preparation for the great Bent Larsen in the 1979 Montreal tournament.

Apr-30-20  wordfunph: "I never had a trainer, and for all that I have achieved, I have myself to thank."

- Bent Larsen

Source: New In Chess Magazine 2020 01

Jun-20-20  Uhtred: Some other notable chess players born in March are : Tarrasch, Maroczy, Smyslov, Geller, Seirawan, Tukmakov,Ivanchuk, Topalov, Navara, Artemiev.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bent Larsen is a great great chess player.

Bobby so respected him .

Nov-08-20  The Rocket: The most underrated player of all time. His best games had no flaws, his worst you could throw in the bin. Very precise calculator at his best. I don't know why he was so consistent, maybe his understanding lagged behind a bit and on his off days when the calculations were more sluggish, he might have played a bit too much on instinct.. When you see his best games, you wonder how he could have play a positionally dubious game...

Not only did Larsen he defeat a prime Fischer as black, he also beat a prime Anatoly Karpov, multiple times.

Unfortunately best remembered for 0-6 against Fischer. A result that is still hard to believe could happen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Larsen consistently took a lot of risks playing double-edged, interesting games.

With that style inconsistency is to be expected.

Nov-08-20  The Rocket: Ones understanding of chess aid in determining whether a risky move is justifiable or not.

Which is why Kasparov played very risky yet only lost once or twice a year on average.

May-21-23  WhiteRook48: one of the (imo) funnier stories involving Larsen was when Ken Smith (of Smith-Morra Gambit fame) in a tournament played the Smith-Morra in nearly every game as white where he had the possibility (and lost in the majority of the occasions that he employed it),

and when in another game an opponent played 1...e5 to Smith's 1. e4, Larsen annotated it as 1...e5? <"stronger was 1...c5, winning a pawn!">

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Reading Larsen's annotations was always of interest, but that comment in the tournament book was downright hilarious.
May-22-23  areknames: Haha, Larsen was just the best! My favourite commentator and, of course, a legend of the game.
Aug-04-23  Caissanist: That tournament must have been San Antonio 1972, the only time they played each other (at least in this database). Smith scored 0-3 with the Smith-Morra gambit in that tournament.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It was, yes; here is the game: K Smith vs M Campos Lopez, 1972.
Jump to page #   (enter # from 1 to 33)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 33 OF 33 ·  Later Kibitzing>

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 player 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 page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!
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