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Bent Larsen vs Rajko Bogdanovic
Sarajevo (1960), Sarajevo YUG, rd 4, Apr-03
Hungarian Opening: Symmetrical Variation (A00)  ·  1-0



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Given 10 times; par: 75 [what's this?]

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sac: 47.dxe6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-13-10  Patriot: I agree with other kibitzer's that this is a tricky Monday. The move 49.Bxc5+ is a common theme to get a passed pawn. But we have to calculate far enough to make sure the pawn is really unstoppable or that we're not losing a bishop for nothing.

After 49.Bxc5+ bxc5 50.a5, the critical line is 50...e4 in an attempt to play ...Be5-e8. 51.Kf4, a necessary move to stop black's plan. As <Once> points out, 51...e3 or 51...Be5+ gets the bishop on e5 where it can stop the a-pawn via ...Bb8. Then there's the king, pawn (and black bishop) endgame.

Unfortunately I didn't calculate the necessary 51.Kf4 line. I rushed through this since it is a "very easy" Monday. In fact, not playing 51.Kf4 not only allows 51...Be5+ to stop the a-pawn but appears to be lost for white! 51.a6? Be5+ 52.Kf2 Bb8 53.Ke3 Ke7 54.Kxe4 Kxe6 and black has a dominant position.

<Once> Thankyou for the story and for pointing out the previous positions that lead to the puzzle position. 45.a4! was indeed a beautiful and insightful move. How many of us would have played 45.Bxf4 instantly without looking further...

Thankyou Mr. Larsen for all of your contributions that many can study for generations to come. RIP!

Sep-13-10  CHESSTTCAMPS: Congrats to <zooter> for being first to point out the 51... Be5+ trick and the winning continuation for white. Thanks to <Once> for illustrating Larsen's foresight in the earlier endgame position.

Agreed - a bit trickier than the usual Monday.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <fusilli> is right about 51...e3!? complicating things. I plugged the game into Fritz 10, and got a few surprises:

<49. Bxc5+!> This wins, but only because Larson saw more subtleties in the endgame than I did.

<49...bxc5 50. a5 e4!?> Now it gets interesting and a little tricky for White.

<51. Kf4!> This is forced as other moves lose.

<51...Ke7?!> With any Black move, White still wins. However, this makes it too easy.

Black missed two good opportunities to complicate things for White, with either 51...e3!? or 51...Be5+!?

If 51...e3!?, White wins only with 52. Kxe3!

(Black turns the tables after 52. a6? e2 53. a7 e1=Q 54. a8=Q+ Ke7 55. Qa7+ Kxe6 56. Qxg7 Qf2+!, when play might continue 57. Kg4 Qe2+ 58. Kh3 Qh5+ 59. Kg2 Qxg5+ 60. Kh1 Qh4+ 61. Kg2 Qe4+ 62. Kh3 g5 63. Qg8+ Ke5 64. Qb8+ Kd4 65. Qa7 Kxc4 )

52...Be5 53. Ke4! is another only winning move in this line, as others draw or lose.

53...Bb8 54. Kd5! also the only winning followup.

54...Ba7 55. Kc6 Ke7 56. Kb7 .

If 51... Be5+!? (the second option for Black to complicate), White wins only with 52. Kxe4! (all other moves lose), when play might continue 52...Bb8 53. Kd5 Ke7 54. Kxc5 Kxe6 55. Kc6 Ba7 56. a6 Ke5 57. Kb7

<52. Kxe4 > 1-0 This, after 51...Ke7?!, made White's win easy. So Black quickly resigned.

P.S. Of course to be fair, it's possible both of these strong GMs saw most of this (e.g. White has to stop the e-file passer and let the Bishop survive a bit longer as he overwhelms him with the advance of the King and his pawn majority) and that 51...Ke7?! at their level of skill was as good a way to lose as any.

Now I don't even give myself credit for having solved the Monday puzzle, even though I found the first few moves. This is because I didn't see the deep winning endgame idea Larsen likely envisioned (51...e3!? 52. Kxe3! Be5 53. Ke4 Bb8 54. Kd5! ) However, it's a win because I learned something new!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A remarkable position! Though black has a bishop,he is helpless to stop a pawn four squares from the finish line! White's bishop sac sets up a blockade of said bishop while opening white's pawn.
Sep-13-10  Sequoia: <LIFE Master AJ: 49.BxP/c5+!, bxc5; 50.Kf3!, and the White RP cannot be stopped. (Maybe a fuzz more difficult than the average Monday puzzle.>

50. Kf3? e4+ 51. Kxe4 Bc3 52. Kd5 Bb4...

<corbinamman: <rotgut>I don't think 51...e3 has to be met with 52.Kxe3. White can let black's pawn queen first and still win with a forced mate: 52. a6 e2 53.a7 e1=Q 54. a8=Q+ Ke7 55. Qa7, and regardless of where the king runs, White's queen has a mate on d7 or f7.>

55. Qa7 Kxe6

<kookoon: Like fusilli said, white wins but not very easy! After 51...e3, white king has to take it and then rush to b7 while black bishop rush to b8. Luckly for white, the pawn on e6 doesn't let the black king go to d7 for block white's king trip.>


Sep-13-10  YouRang: I found the Monday solution to the Friday puzzle.
Sep-13-10  jussu: Easy? I must be old, because I am still wondering what would white do after 51... e3. Resign?
Sep-13-10  jussu: Okay, Kxe3-...-b7. Gee, what things are regarded easy these days.
Sep-13-10  turbo231: Some people are calling this puzzle difficult, maybe. I'm a certified chess dummy and I worked out the position in about a minute.

Plus Monday and every once in a while Tuesday puzzles are the only puzzles I can solve (sometimes). Although a few months ago I solved 3 out of 4 Sunday puzzles! Plus more Sundays.

Chessgames messed up and the Sunday puzzles were easier than the Monday puzzles! One Sunday puzzle I saw the "move" in about 10 seconds, and worked out the rest of the moves in about 30 seconds.

It's funny how certain puzzles fits a persons eye. I've never solved a Saturday puzzle, not even close. Maybe one Friday puzzle.

I've solved several Wednesday and Thursday puzzles, but not enough about 10% of them.

I don't know why I'm telling everybody this. I know no one cares and is bored. But here it is.

I apologize but I'm gonna bore you even more.

Certified chess dummy in my book.


Monday....... 70%
Tuesday...... 25%
Wednesday.... 5%
Thursday..... 0.05%
Friday....... 0.001% (maybe)
Saturday..... 0%
Sunday....... 0.02%

These results are approximate but who cares. I feel as if I need to take a bath now. I feel dirty, exposed, ashamed and embarrassed. Although I shouldn't be because I've had 2 strokes and I'm on medication for anxiety. I have one foot in the grave and the other one on a banana peel.

I know, I know, too much information but my psychiatrist said I need to open up more. Blame it on him and my medication not me.

Sep-13-10  MaczynskiPratten: Hardest Monday ever. I'd suggest that everyone, like me, assumed it must be simple because it's Monday. But the win is certainly not straightforward after 49 Bxc5+ and, like <gofer>, I eventually opted for 49 a5, which does also seem to win (though I haven't analysed it in great detail).

I think Chessgames misclassified this because 51...Ke7?? is a blunder handing the win to White on a plate. After either 51...e3 or 51...Be5+, there is further play left and I thought Black could erect a defence with Bishop on a7, not quite seeing that Kb7 actually traps the Bishop as pointed out by <rotgut> and <zooter>. But most "solvers" actually seem to have assumed White wins easily and don't seem to have spotted 51..Be5+ or even the very necessary 51 Kf4. So the Monday classification actually belittles the depth of Larsen's winning concept.

Sep-13-10  MaczynskiPratten: Also I agree with <Jamboree> about it being a 4 star problem, especially after looking at his excellent detailed analysis - virtually an endgame study with the subtle tempo gains on either side! Very attractive, but not a Monday puzzle!
Sep-13-10  Patriot: <turbo231> Don't think your posts go unread. :-)

<Some people are calling this puzzle difficult, maybe. I'm a certified chess dummy and I worked out the position in about a minute.>

I saw 49.Bxc5+ bxc5 50.a5 instantly and then looked for ways black could stop the pawn. The only way was 50...e4, but I didn't look carefully enough to see that 51.Kf4 must be played. 51...Be5+! 52.Kxe4 Bb8 53.Kd5 and the endgame is winning for white. If you saw this much in a minute then you're better than you give yourself credit for!

Sep-13-10  VincentL: I, and probably some of the other early posters, saw Bc5+ more or less straight away, and then since it is Monday did not analyze with proper care thereafter. Even after I saw (from another post) that e3 complicates matters, I casually read <Life Master AJ>´s write-up, and agreed that Kf3 must win (it does not win).

Had this been a Thursday or Friday puzzle, I would have been looking for complications, and doubtless would have seen more, if not the whole solution.

<patzer2> gives a good summary of what is involved.

The lesson is not to "jump the gun" with the early week puzzles.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<If 51... Be5+!? ... White wins only with 52. Kxe4! (all other moves lose), when play might continue 52...Bb8 53. Kd5 Ke7 54. Kxc5 Kxe6 55. Kc6 Ba7 56. a6 Ke5 57. Kb7 >>

It looks to me like 51...Be5+ 52.Kxe4 Bb8 53.Kd5 Ke7 and now 54.Kc6 would be faster / simpler (than 54.Kxc5), leaving black's c-pawn on c5, where it hinders the bishop, e.g. 54...Kxe6 55.a6 and Black won't even be able to sacrifice his bishop for the pawn.

P.S. Was this the hardest-ever Monday puzzle or what?! I guess we can make an exception for the late great Larsen.

Sep-13-10  tacticalmonster: This is definitely not a Mon puzzle! It took me nearly 10 min to figure it out:

1) Black threatens Ke7 to capture the pawn

2) White can potentially create an outside passed A pawn if the b6 pawn is not there

3) The e5 pawn make the g7 bishop an awful piece

4) The black king is just outside the square box of the a pawn. If BK go to e7 it can chase after the pawn.

5) White has kingside space advantage but no possiblity of breakthrough for the WK

Candidate: 49 a5, 49 Bxc5+ and 49 Kf3

a) 49 a5 bxa5 50 Bxc5+ Ke8 51 Bd6 Bf8! 52 Bxe5 Ke7=

b) 49 Bxc5+ bxc5 50 a5 e4 51 Kf4 e3! 52 Kxe3

(52 a6?? e2 53 a7 e1=Q 54 a8=Q+ Ke7 )

Be5 53 a6 Bb8 54 Ke4 Ke7 55 Kd5 Ba7 56 Kc6! Kxe6 57 Kb7

c) 49 Kf3 Ke7 50 Bxc5+ Kxe6! 51 Bxb6 Kf5 with counterplay for Black

Sep-13-10  tacticalmonster: Ouch! There was a gripping hole in my analysis in the variation b)

After 57 Kb7 Black can play 57...Kd7! 58 Kxa7 Kc7 draw!

White has to play very precisely:

b) 51...e3! 52 Kxe3 Be5 53 Ke4! (the only move to force a win) Bb8 54 Kd5 Ke7 55 Kc6 Kxe6 56 Kb7 Ba7 57 Kxa7 Kd7 58 Kb7

The difference is that the a pawn is still on a5 saving a key tempo. This extra tempo allows White king to move back to the b-file safely escorting the a-pawn to promotion.

Sep-13-10  wals: One up.

Analysis : Rybka 4 x 64:

Black's first major error:

depth 25: 10 min:

1. (0.26): 35...Nf4+ 36.Bxf4 exf4 37.Nd5 Be5 38.Kf3 Kg7 39.Ra2 Rd8 40.Rh2[] Bd7 41.Nxf4 Bc8 42.Bc2 Rf8 43.Rh4 Bd7 44.Bd1 Kf7 45.Ke3 Kg7 46.a4 Bd4+ 47.Kf3 Kf7 48.Kg2 Kg7 49.Kg3

2. (0.60): 35...Bf8 36.Nb5 Rd7 37.Bg4 Rf7 38.Rf2 Kg7 39.Rxf7+ Kxf7 40.Nxa7 Bd7 41.Kf1 Be7 42.Nb5 Bc6 43.Bxe6+ Kxe6 44.Ke1 Bd7 45.Kd2 Bd8 46.Kc3 Be7 47.a4 Bd6 48.Bd2 Be8 49.Kb3


depth 23: 10 min:

1. (1.88): 38...Bc6 39.Nd5[] Bf8 40.Bxd4 cxd4 41.a4[] Bxd5 42.cxd5 Be7 43.Be6+

2. (1.99): 38...Kh8 39.Nd5 Bxd5 40.cxd5 Rd8 41.Rf7 Ra8 42.Rb7 Bf8 43.a4 Nc2 44.Bf2 Bd6 45.Be2 Kg8 46.Rd7 Bf8 47.Kg4 a6 48.Rb7 b5 49.axb5 axb5 50.Rxb5 Nd4 51.Rb2 Nxe2 52.Rxe2 Ra3 53.Re3 Bd6



Better, if a lost cause.

depth 20: 10 min:

1. (4.39): 45...Bf8 46.Bxf4[] exf4+ 47.Kxf4 Rd8 48.Be6+ Kh8

2. (4.57): 45...Bh8 46.Rf1 Nxd3 47.a5 bxa5 48.Be6+[] Kh7 49.Kf3[] Ra6 50.Ke4[] Nf4 51.Rh1+ Kg7 52.Kxe5[] Nxe6 53.dxe6[] Kg8+ 54.Kd5[]

and surrended move 52, outclassed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: not difficult to find the first move, but you still have to convince yourself after 49 ... Bxc5 50 a5 e4 51 Kf4 e3 52 Kxe3 Be5 is still winning easily. More testing than most Mondays, but the Great Dane never made things easy for his opponents
Sep-13-10  chesstoplay: < turbo231 >

You are still writing wonderful posts -- fun and funny!!

Sep-13-10  turbo231: I take everything back this is difficult puzzle. I can see point Bxc5 is very easy but after that it get's very complicated. I though I had it all worked out but playing against the computer showed me how wrong I was.
Sep-13-10  ZUGZWANG67: This is a BOSC endgame. A tactic at c5 renders the material equality quite irrelevant: 49.Bxc5+ (49...bxc5 50.a5). Then W can stop the black e-pawn while the same won't be achieved by B regarding the a-pawn: the BB is very bad.
Sep-13-10  turbo231: <chesstoplay: < turbo231 >

You are still writing wonderful posts -- fun and funny!!>


Sep-13-10  ZUGZWANG67: The key point to the win was to recongnize the importance of the e5 square after 50...e4. Thus in my previous post I suggested: < Then W can stop the black e-pawn while the same won't be achieved by B regarding the a-pawn: the BB is very bad.> It is clear now that this was not the point.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Ah, even more clever. After 51 ... e3 52 Kxe3 is unnecessary. Instead 52 a6. If e2 then 53 a7 e1=Q 54 a8=Q+ and # soon follows.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: This should have been the Monday puzzle!

Balanel vs Larsen, 1956

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