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Bent Larsen vs Robert James Fischer
"Bent out of Shape" (game of the day Jun-23-2010)
Monte Carlo (1967), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 5, Mar-28
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Aronin-Taimanov Defense (E97)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-23-10  JohnBoy: <johnl>: it sure looks like <ounos> is trying to trash Fischer without understanding chess very well. Rather amusing and transparent. BTW, does the Toga set-up work on Macs? I loved it on my last computer but have recently migrated.
Jun-23-10  ounos: <JohnBoy>, I find your comment on transparency endlessly amusing, seeing how you swallowed the bait but remained entirely oblivious to the real point. See clue above, and have fun realizing how "transparent" things were to you!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Great game to analyze. Black builds up a winning advantage in such small increments that the loser probably said, "What did I do wrong?"

The only thing I saw that white could have done better was 34 Nd3, below, threatening Nxe5 and likely forcing a knight exchange, with no real advantage thereafter for either side.

click for larger view

Jul-01-10  JohnBoy: <ounos> - pleasure to amuse you. Your chess analysis certainly amused me. So we are even!
Jul-01-10  johnlspouge: Hi, <JohnB>. I replied to you on my chessforum. I am glad we are all amused :)

All the best, <johnl>.

Aug-05-11  Artemi: This game is really Fischer create minute advantages in an equally balance material and like this is rarely seen!!!
Dec-21-11  ewan14: Did Bent Larsen not win the first chess Oscar in 1967 ?

before Spassky's domination

( Larsen won the 1967 interzonal )

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <ounos:>

Are you still around on this site ?

You have perfecly encapsulated the majority of posters on here with your 'perceptive' commentary and 'analysis' ..

I would like to shake your hand.

You know better than the greatest player ever to touch a chess piece, in all it's rich and colourful history..

I bow down to your mastery here on

Dec-21-11  The17thPawn: Is 36.)bxc5 absolutely hopeless? I see that black easily gets 3 pawns and maybe a fourth but I can't see this as immediately lost. I guess blacks e and f pawns could dominate in certain variations but not sure white has to go that route. Well fascinating game all the same.
Dec-21-11  King Death: < The Famous Chess Cat:
In Garry Kasparov's "On My Great Predecessors Volume IV on Fischer" (p.336), Kasparov writes about Larsen getting 1st seat:

...Larsen suddenly declared that he flatly refused to play on board 2: he said that during Bobby's absence he had achieved some great successes and therefore he had the moral right to lead the world team... It would appear that this was all a smoke screen, and in fact he was even very happy that Larsen had demanded board 1. It was one thing to play with the 'peace-loving' Petrosian, to whom Fischer had not lost since Curacao, and to whose style he had adjusted, and quite another with the 'aggressive' Spassky, who was on an upsurge. Bobby was not yet ready for a decisive battle with him...">

It was also the fair thing for Fischer to do. Larsen was right. He'd run up some nice results in the years before this match and Fischer had mostly been out of the scene. I have reservations about Kasparov's views on this and wonder how he'd have reacted if he'd been in either Fischer or Larsen's place. The only thing I'm fairly sure about is that he wouldn't have gone quietly.

Dec-21-11  TheFocus: I have just finished a lot of research on this Match of the Century.

At first, Fischer refused to be a part. The organizers paid for him to come over to look at conditions.

When Larsen was hedging they did the same with him, also inviting his wife. Larsen took second board at first because everyone thought that Fischer would not play.

Then Fischer decided to play. Larsen demanded first board and Fischer surprisingly accepted second board.

Afterwards, he expressed regret at having done so.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: And your point ?
Dec-21-11  TheFocus: <harry> Read the post above mine.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: I thought Larsen wanted and expected first board..

Fischer's mini hibernation contributed to this ..

Dec-21-11  RookFile: Fischer slapped Larsen around for 20 years. If he got some consolation in 1 tournament, good for him.
Dec-21-11  sarah wayne: 34Nd3 Nd7 looks fine.
Dec-22-11  King Death: <RookFile> If you're going to bore us with nonstop Fischer worship at least get your numbers straight. I have a lot of admiration for Fischer's career and games, but Fischer and Larsen first played in 1958 and last in 1971, which is <13> years.
Dec-22-11  King Death: <TheFocus> The organizers would probably have laid down their lives to get both Larsen and Fischer in there. I never knew about the behind the scenes stuff you mentioned but I can't say that it surprises me either.
Dec-22-11  Everett: Perhaps 24.Bb5 was an attempt by Larsen to prevent the exchange of DSBs. I don't know how he can avoid it favorably, and Fischer takes control of the game from there.

It is possible that the one thing that Larsen did not do as well as Fischer, the Soviets in general, and Capablanca and Rubinstein in particular, was connect the opening through to the endgame. Larsen was ridiculously strong in tactics, and of course had a unique and strong understanding of positional chess, but looking over this game I feel he simply may have been too comfortable after 17.Rxc8 and said "I have the two bishops, safe king, etc."

Or not. In any case, Fischer puts on clinic regarding the handling of minor pieces, yet again.

Dec-22-11  King Death: <Everett> Larsen was just like Bogolyubov. He had the fighting spirit to be great and tons of optimism and he always played for a win, but sometimes went outside of the bounds of good judgment, so he'd lose games he shouldn't have to weaker players. They both won a lot more though.
Dec-22-11  Everett: <KingDeath> interesting comparison. I don't know Bogo's chess that well.

In this game, Larsen could have changed course with the interesting 19.Bxc5 bxc5 and seek a bind with b3, Bc4 and Kf2 to keep Black's bishop from getting active on d4. Fischer would likely push c5-c4 before such a bind could take place, but this line would likely be better for White than the one played. I don't think the a-pawn is easily pushed, but White may have a minor advantage here.

Dec-22-11  King Death: <ewan14: Did Bent Larsen not win the first chess Oscar in 1967 ? before Spassky's domination

( Larsen won the 1967 interzonal )>

He did:

Also, Larsen won more than just Sousse in 1967:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: The queen knight sure played a useful role in this game.
Aug-29-12  TheFocus: This is game 57 in Fischer's <My 60 Memorable Games>.
Oct-10-16  Dave12: 38..c5!! (bxc5? b4! followed by bxa3 creates an unstopable passed pawn)
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