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Robert James Fischer vs Bent Larsen
"Petty Larseny" (game of the day Jan-02-2013)
Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, rd 8, Aug-16
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Main Line (B77)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-10-17  Saniyat24: Bent Larsen tried to play like a suicide bomber in an enemy war zone...the other side had too many artilleries...!
Mar-12-18  Mudphudder: Is this the game that inspired Fischer to use the expression "sac, sac, pry open the h-file" when talking about beating the Dragon sicilian?
Mar-14-18  dehanne: Almost none of the analysis Fischer gives in his book can be trusted.
Mar-14-18  Petrosianic: Yeah, that's why nobody ever took that book seriously.
Mar-15-18  Howard: This was the game, by the way, where Fischer indeed used the expression "pry open the h-file" and "sac sac".
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Believe Fischer's comment went:

<sac, sac, mate!>

Jan-16-19  HeadCrunch: Fischer - my all time hero RIP Bobby :)
Feb-16-19  DansChessLounge: For analysis of this game check out the video here --->
Jul-22-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Black could have exchanged bishops on moves 11, 12 or 13, thus preventing Fischer from using his king's bishop with decisive effect.

It's incredible how often players made the same mistake against Fischer.

I have a feeling Lasker would not have allowed him to get away with it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <N.O.F. NAJDORF> I don't think you can fault Black's moves 11, 12 or 13 here. Those are all book moves.

There are games where Black played Bxb3 but still came under a strong attack, like Ivkov vs H Westerinen, 1963.

There are games where Black didn't play Bxb3 and was fine, like J Slizek vs V Sojka, 1968

Jul-07-20  dangerousidea: This is from the Stockfish notes:

better is 16...Nd7 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.h4 h6 19.g4 Ne5 20.f4 Nc4 21.Qd3 = +0.39 (21 ply)

So he had at least an improvement after 15...Rac8. However, Nxd5 would have still be preferable on 15.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<dehanne: Almost none of the analysis Fischer gives in his book can be trusted.>>

Garbage. Says you with ya faithfull engine .

Jul-08-20  Petrosianic: <harrylol>: <Garbage. Says you with ya faithfull engine .>

If he's using an engine, and you've never played a rated game in your life, you've just explained why he's probably right and you're probably wrong. Good work.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<Petrosianic: <harrylol>: <Garbage. Says you with ya faithfull engine .> If he's using an engine, and you've never played a rated game in your life, you've just explained why he's probably right and you're probably wrong. Good work.>>

He's wrong.

And you are a bore


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Hazz>, knock this foooker oooot....

We claim his NM title isn't worth the paper its written on....we throw down the gauntlet and challenge him to fight for your <> crown...we predict he will now vacate this page...we hope to be proved wrong...

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<MissScarlett: <Hazz>, knock this foooker oooot.... We claim his NM title isn't worth the paper its written on....we throw down the gauntlet and challenge him to fight for your <> crown...we predict he will now vacate this page...we hope to be proved wrong...>>

Gotta say could be a she ... We just do not know ...

What we do know , by putin our Sherlock hatz on ,is that USER <<Petrosianic>> is a mega fan of the great Tigran, and as maybe a matter of course , is NOT a fan of ower Bobby.

Jul-08-20  Petrosianic: <harrylime: He's wrong.

And you are a bore


Duh, you silly. If he using engine, he right. And you more boring than me, silly person. Ha ha lol!

Jul-10-20  dangerousidea: The engine is not infallible, not at 21 ply. I am not implying that. Nd7 trades off the bishops, but also threatens to take out the bishop on b3 that does so much damage. Black can answer h4 with h6. Now if Larsen was refusing to take the bishop when it was on d5 because he was playing to win, it is unlikely he'd send his knight after it with Nd7. Still, Fischer claims inevitable victory after Rac8, and I don't think that is right.

This is by no means an attempt to gainsay Fischer's accomplishment here. Of course the other really interesting issue concerns 22...Bxd4, involving Kasparov's correction of the MSMG analysis.

It is natural to think that the result of a well-played chess game was inevitable sooner than it was, and this is where engines can actually help us think critically about chess. Annotators often overlook opportunities for the loser to avoid defeat. This includes both the winner of the game, and people who admire the winner's play. Look at the analysis of, for example, Capablanca-Tartakower New York 1924 as another example of this. But great players can be better appreciated if we are objective about their games.

Jul-10-20  dangerousidea: But if you want to claim that White was really winning after Nd7, I would be more than happy to look at some analysis.
Jul-10-20  Petrosianic: <dangerousidea> Forget Nd7. White is winning after 15...Rac8. It's insane for Black to allow White to keep the two Bishops. One of Larsen's big flaws was that he never seemed to grasp that a draw was better than a loss. Fischer absolutely understood that.
Jul-11-20  Petrosianic: But you see, if Black does play the obviously correct move, the game is already almost a draw.

15...Nxd5 16. Bxg7 Nc3+ 17. Bxc3 18. Qxc3 Qxc3 19. bxc3, and they could almost agree the draw here.

click for larger view

Fischer didn't like draws either, but he never played bad moves to make the game less drawish.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Just 6 moves into replaying this game and I have written a note after move 6 to remind myself to check C.G. to see if it still loses. :)

Fischer wrote:

click for larger view

'6...Ng4 still loses to 7Bb5+'

and even in 2012 it was still losing. Sahiti P Lakshmi vs P Lewicki, 2012

It's also the first time I saw the note ''pry open the h-file, sac, sac...mate' it's now a chess writer's cliché. (after move move 16 Bb3)

Apr-18-22  pazzed paun: Larsen?
Never stood a chance against
Larsen a braggart and a bore with a negative score against every world champion he played
Apr-18-22  RookFile: If Fischer had the black pieces himself he would have played 15...Nxd5 as fast as humanly possible.
Aug-15-23  rwbean: In 2006, computers found a better winning move in Fischer vs Gligoric, 1959 ... 23. ♖xh5!! ... so Fischer's instincts on the "patented" sacrifice were wrong there. Were they wrong in this game as well?!

The "My 60 Memorable Games" notes (1969) in algebraic.

First, Fischer says "15... Rac8?" is "The losing move."


"No better is 22... ♗xd4 23. ♕xd4 gxh5 24. g6 ♕e5 (if 24... e6 25. ♕xd6) 25. gxf7+" etc

In this book line Black has 24... ♖c4 and it seems to draw.

Just give the exchange sac straight back!

25. ♕d2/♕e3 fxg6 26. ♕h6 ♔f7 27. ♕h7+ ♔f6 28. f4 ♕e8 29. ♖e1 e6 30. ♗xc4 ♖xc4 31. b3 ♖c5 ...

then, 32. ♖f1 ♕f7 33. e5+ ♔e7 34. exd6+ ♔e8 35. d7+ ♕xd7 36. ♕xg6+ ♔d8 ... I can't see that either side is winning that.

_Instead_ there's a rather complicated alternative that Fischer does not give ... 23. ♖h6 ...

22... ♗xd4 23. ♖h6 ♗g7 24. ♕f4

now there are two alternatives and White has no clear win in either:

(a) 24 ... ♖c4 25. ♗xc4 ♖xc4

(a1) 26. ♖h7 ♕c5 27. ♕h2 ♕xg5 28. b3 ♖c3 29. f4 ♕g3 30. e5 a4 31. ♕xg3 ♖xg3 32. exd6 exd6 33. ♖h2 axb3 34. cxb3 ... can White actually win that endgame, though?

(a2) 26. ♖h4 a4 27. ♕h2/♖dh1 b3 28. cxb3 axb3 29. ♖dh1/♕h2 f5 30. gxf6 ♖a4 31. ♕d2 ♗xf6 32. ♖g4 bxa2+ 33. ♔a1 ♔f7 34. ♖g2 ♖b4 ... can White win that? It seems like Black has a good chance of a fortress.

(b) 24... e5 25. ♕h4 a4 26. ♖xg6 axb3 27. ♖xg7+ ♔f8 ...

after 65 ply, eval is +0.88 in Stockfish dev-20230806-nogit ... with a huge PV

28.Rh1 Qc4 29.Rg8+ Ke7 30.g6+ Ke6 31.Qg4+ Ke7 32.Qg5+ Kd7 33.Rxc8 Rxc8 34.cxb3 Qd3+ 35.Ka1 Qxf3

... 36.Rg1 Qf4 37.Qf5+ Qxf5 38.exf5 fxg6 39.fxg6 Ke7 (this doesn't look particularly winnable for White!)

... 40.Kb1 e4 41.a4 Kf8 42.Rc1 Re8 43.Rc7 e3 44.Rf7+ Kg8 45.Rf1 e2 46.Re1 Kg7 47.Kc2 Re3 48.a5 Kxg6 49.a6 Kf6 50.a7 Re8 51.Ra1 Ra8 52.Kd2 Ke5 53.Kxe2 Ke4 54.Ra6 Kd4 55.Rxd6+ Kc5 56.Ra6 Kb5 57.Ra1 Kc5 58.Ke3 Re8+ 59.Kf4 Rf8+ 60.Ke5 Re8+ 61.Kf5 Ra8 62.Ke6 Kc6 63.Ra4 Re8+ 64.Kf6 Ra8 65.Ke7 Kc7 66.Ke6 Kc6 67.Ra1 Re8+ 68.Kf5 Ra8 69.Ke4 Kc5 70.Ra2 Re8+ 71.Kf5 Ra8 72.Ke6 Kc6 73.Ke5 Kc5 74.Ra4 Re8+ 75.Kf6 (7005.51)

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