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Bent Larsen vs Robert James Fischer
Exhibition game (1962) (exhibition), Copenhagen DEN, Mar-09
Bird Opening: General (A02)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-14-03  Samuel Maverick: Here is an interesting Bird's Opening game between two top players.
Mar-20-06  DutchDunce: Beautiful ending position with all three pawns still at their starting gates, ready to speed their way to the finish line. Wonder if Fischer did that intentionally to leave a nice little welt on Larsen's memory.
Mar-21-06  Monoceros: This is really bad. You've got to admire both Fischer's and Larsen's aggressiveness, but some of Larsen's moves have me shaking my head (7. Qa4+? 20. Bc4? 22. Nxc4, giving away his only Bishop for no reason that I can see? But then I see little.) I'd love to know the context of this game, where Larsen throws pawns and then pieces away like he's totally insane. My wild guess was that Larsen was in a losing streak and was just a little desperate.
Mar-21-06  zev22407: This game was arenged by the Denish t.v.
Mar-21-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: As <zev> says, this was an exhibition game, and both players were perhaps a little more loose than they otherwise would have been. 4 Nbd2 looks like it may be inaccurate, but 4 e3 is awfully uninspiring for television. I don't see the problem with 7 Qa4+; Black's knight is threatening c3, e3 and f4! As the game goes, there follows a long series of forcing moves. After 13 Bh6 Black is a pawn up but can't castle and is behind in development. Bg7 and Bxf6 doesn't look like a promising maneuver to me -- I would look for an improvement there if I were White. Larsen sheds another pawn with 19 e4 because he needs to get his bishop into the game and doesn't want to allow ...Qd5. Unfortunately after ...b5 he's just a move behind -- if only the knight wasn't in the way on f2! (But where else would you have put it after Fischer's 17...f5!, with Qh4+ looming?) The bishop sac with 22 Nxe4 is surely unsound but White is just getting throttled after 22 Be2 Be6. Instead he gets to attack for a while after giving up the bishop -- again, much better television. Fischer's position looks uncomfortable right up to the end, but he always has defensive resources.

It's an interesting philosophical as well as tactical struggle -- Larsen's optimism against Fischer's materialism. I suspect Larsen got a little careless in the opening, realized he was in trouble as early as move six, and decided to play for excitement over soundness.

Larsen was not nearly as strong as Fischer in 1962. But before their Denver match, their lifetime score (omitting this game) was three wins for Fischer, two wins for Larsen and one draw.

It would be interesting to see Soltis' annotations for this game.

Mar-21-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: "How many times must I tell you, Bobby--fianchetto the <bishops> and put the <rooks> on open files!"
Jun-23-10  ckeckmate: Omitting this game the score was 4-2 for Fischer before their Denver match.
Sep-19-10  Petrosianic: No, only 3-2. One of the four you're counting was a blitz game.
Sep-19-10  Atking: In this database they played 14 games each other. Without the 6 games Fischer won in Denver, there is 8 games, without the blitz and this exhibition game Fischer won, 6 games with one draw 2 wins for Larsen.
Sep-19-10  fab4: Larsen beat Fischer once in the 60's at Santa Monica. All the decisive games between them (minus the blitz) after 1960, upto their Denver match ,resulted in victories for black, (5), and none for white.The Zurich game in '59 went 92 moves lol..proof Fischer did'nt rate Bent back then. I think obviously by the mid 60's he definitely did respect and rate Bent.
Nov-26-10  jerseybob: Keypusher: "4. Ndb2 looks like it may be inaccurate, but 4.e3 is awfully uninspiring for television". First part correct, second part irrelevant. There's nothing more inspiring than the BEST move. (which, by the way is 4.c3!). I think Larsen totally overlooked Fischer's 6..Nd5!, which is super-strong in every variation. I wonder if he found it OTB, or knew it beforehand.
Aug-29-11  Truthpirate: We don have the great Fischer to ask him that question anymore Jerseybob, but lets think that he found 6...Nd5! on the board, at the very moment he faced that position against Larsen.
Aug-29-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Wasn't 4...d4 the innovation? Moving the same piece twice in the opening, and still coming out ahead in a couple of moves!
Aug-29-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Joshka: Wasn't 4...d4 the innovation? Moving the same piece twice in the opening, and still coming out ahead in a couple of moves!>

Fischer seemed to go for a hole on e3
in the birds.

N Hurttlen vs Fischer, 1957

Doesn’t really hurt when white moves the pawn in the Benoni or Kings Indian.

Oct-30-11  sethoflagos: <Jerseybob:I think Larsen totally overlooked Fischer's 6..Nd5!, which is super-strong in every variation.>

Including say, 7.Ne4?

Or did Fischer just trade d-pawn for b-pawn and an out-of-position knight?

Jan-03-13  jerseybob: sethoflagos: Don't see an immediate refutation to 7.Ne4, but 7..Bg7 piles on the pressure and black's game is just more organically sound than white's.
May-02-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <jerseybob: sethoflagos: Don't see an immediate refutation to 7.Ne4, but 7..Bg7 piles on the pressure and black's game is just more organically sound than white's.>

I would certainly be happy to be Black in that line. Shredder comes up with the very unexpected 7.e4!?. 7...Nxc3?? 8.Qc2 Nb5 9.Qb2 loses, and 7....Ne3 8.Qb3 strikes the engine as more or less equal.

By the way, jerseybob, why is 4.c3 the best move? Does Soltis say it is? Shredder does not agree.

May-23-13  jerseybob: keypusher: Sorry if I sounded overly-dogmatic when I recommended 4.c3, but here's my reasoning: this is shaping up as a Leningrad reversed, an opening that for back often features the move c6. And there are other non-Leningrad brands of Dutch which feature the d6/c6 pair and shoot for an eventual advance of the e-pawn. In this game, whether or not white decides to fianchetto, c3 impedes the move d4. Of course(back to the Leningrad) c6 isn't black's only strategy; he can play Nc6, and after d5, Ne5 allowing the knight exchange. Larsen could've transposed into that line with 5.Ne4. Is that what Shredder recommends?
Sep-07-14  Ke2: <Phony Benoni: "How many times must I tell you, Bobby--fianchetto the <bishops> and put the <rooks> on open files!"> :))
May-16-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Very offbeat, interesting game.
Oct-30-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: There is an interesting contextual article about this game here:

https://en.chessbase.com/post/a-gam...

Nov-15-21  Justin796: People clapped during the 2016 chess championship when the Sicilian defense was finally played instead of the boring ruy Lopez(between Magnus and Sergei). Many thanks to Larsen for making chess somewhat more of a spectator sport and undertaking the Bird.
Nov-15-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman:


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The old fianchetto the rook trick!

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