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Boris Spassky vs Bent Larsen
Spassky - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1968), Malmo SWE, rd 3, Jul-09
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation (B25)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-23-03  lordazol: a good shot!
May-12-05  Stefan Lukke: A fantastic game i think when perhaps both players were in their prime.
May-12-05  paladin at large: Thanks <Stefan Lukke> - a very enjoyable game and impressive finish by Spassky. I also like the way he gains space with 17. e5 before recapturing the pawn.
May-24-05  Stefan Lukke: Yes e5 seems calm and subtle - very much like Spassky himself. I have been studying his Closed Sicilian games and i have to say i like the positions that often arise. I will start to use it as another weapon i think.
Nov-07-07  pacelli: Spassky made a living out of the Closed Sicilian back then the same way Kasparov did with the Queens Indian in the late 70s till early 80s.
Aug-13-08  drukenknight: another spassky/larsen closed sicilian 1968, it looks like Larsen is not as sharp tactically as Spassky there are alot of moves you just wonder: why? e.g. what was ...h4? not ...d4? But on the other hand he seems to have outplayed him strategically, I mean blacks K is better protected and look at white's N wandered all the way over on the Q side! who does that look like: Geller's black N gets lost on the q side in the same opening/same player.

But tactically, I dunno, is Larsen not going to play 39...g5? when his N goes back to e7, doesnt he want to mess w/ that B on the g1 diagonal So many questions: it seems like Larsen let him get the B on g1/a7 diagonal when Larsen should have had that earlier or later. 43...f3? Where to begin...?

Jun-01-09  totololo: Spassky was one of the best in KID back then. His closed Sicilians look strangely KID to me. So, he was playing his own trade.....
Jun-10-09  notyetagm: Nice <ARABIAN MATE> to win the game.
Jun-03-10  shenky1: 25..h4 I dont like it
Maybe it was better 25..Rc8
Jun-03-10  Riverbeast: Flawlessly played by Spassky!
Jul-07-13  leka: The closed Sicilian is not that bad opening.I get the best results with closed sicilian against a computer.The black have to be carefully.Efim Geller lost to Spassy The closed Sicilian.Geller put on his piecies TheQueen his Rooks and knights in to the Queen side.And Spassky got an easy victory by sacriced his rook to f6.The white gets king side attacking chances by playing h3 g4-g4 f4 bishop e3 knight e2 Queen d2 and doubling his rooks on f-file or even h-file
Jul-07-13  cunctatorg: I wonder how many Spassky games have been GotD, his victory over Bobby in Siegen Olympiad aside; this is a candidate for sure!

Particularly I like his insight of the possibility to save the two free connected pawns during the transition from the middle game to the endgame!

Jul-07-13  RookFile: Anybody who wants to play the Closed Sicilian starts by looking at Spassky's games with it in the late 1960's.
Jul-07-13  parisattack: Smyslov's Closed Sicilians in the 1940s and 1950s is where I picked it up.

Perhaps those games had an influence on Spassky?

Apr-12-15  A.T PhoneHome: Having your Rook on the seventh rank is so lethal when you combine that with a strong plan.

Here's a good example of that!

May-05-18  Justin796: Is Bent Larsen any good....because he plays like a 1500 player
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Justin796: Is Bent Larsen any good....because he plays like a 1500 player>

Patzer sees patzer play.
Which proves that patzing exists.

Jul-21-18  Ulhumbrus: After 17 e5 White's pawn structure seems torn but Larsen does not manage to take advantage of it
Premium Chessgames Member
  FreeRepublic2: Overall the closed Sicilian scores poorly. However Spassky had a phenomenal score as white, often against the world's best players.

This game is typical for Spassky. Black seems to have a reasonable game throughout, but comes up short. The game evolves positionaly, strategically, and tactically throughout. (That means a lot of hard work for the players.) It's not obvious to me when white gets the edge.

Obviously Spassky had a great feel for the opening. Perhaps he just wanted to get a game of chess, devoid of tons of opening preparation. The game starts as a maneuvering game. The tactics begin around move 25 and continue to the end, move 52. Spassky is just very strong in the middle game!

Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: A good fight. Larsen couldn't find a way to make ..d4 work and as FreeRepublic2 kibitzes, he ultimately came up short. Spassky's finish is excellent.

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