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Vlastimil Hort vs Bent Larsen
Lugano Olympiad Final-A (1968), Lugano SUI, rd 6, Oct-30
Modern Defense: General (A41)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-20-07  zev22407: A srange play by larsen
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Black played a Bg5 Hippopotamus.

A sure-fire way to get a worse position is to push pawns five of the first six opening moves. Black gave himself weak a- and c-pawns, made worse after 8...bxc4? His queenside becomes a liability that affects his central defense. White has developed all four minor pieces and castled at this point. I can just hear Lasker's "Common Sense in Chess" lecturing away. Or, Reuben Fine, anyone?

Moving flank pawns is a slow, committal process best done after all the pieces are in place, and the center is under control. Black has prepared neither in this opening.

I'd much rather go dancing with White's more active position after 14.Rd1 featuring the flexible center pawn duo. Perhaps Black should have played ...d5 a move earlier, but he's still worse.

Then comes the jockeying of center pawns, minor pieces, and where best to place the queens. White is for choice due to his space/mobility plus. In fact, White was free or not to play 22.exd5 w/a superior position. When and where to open the position? Open the line that you will control (or close the line your opponent wants to control). Black's Stonewall structure will crumble under White's crossfire of bishops and rooks.

24...Rxe6! is a nice shot to open the e-file. Black does not accept the rook sacrifice. Acceptance would have provoked 25.NxNd5 which robs the pinned c-pawn, sets a pin along the a2-g8 diagonal, and the knight threatens to capture the queen, as well as Nf4 to pile on the pin. Thus, Black reluctantly says "you can have that e-pawn."

Declining the Rook sacrifice has it's own problems as the forming White battery seizes control of the e-file w/tempo. Black is in hot water.

White takes the ugly c-pawn, offering another rook sacrifice. Black accepts this time 27.Rxc6 RxRc6 but the obvious 28.BxNd5 (1-0) is damaging, threatening the Black rook and Qe7#. If 28...Rc7 to rescue both, then 29.Qe6 again threatens mate. Black resigns rather than give up his queen to stop mate.

The Black army just could not gain it's balance in this game. White's game was a breeze, right through the center.

Play in the center!
Spar w/your minor pieces in the opening, not your flank pawns! Avoid weak pawns!
Seize open lines and form batteries!
Don't capture if the recapture improves the opponent's position. Co-ordinate, Outnumber, Penetrate!
Remember and apply Nimzowitsch's Anatomy of a Rook. Rooks like to eat backward pawns!

"Tactics flow from a superior position." -- Bobby Fischer

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