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Bent Larsen
Number of games in database: 2,549
Years covered: 1948 to 2008
Last FIDE rating: 2415
Highest rating achieved in database: 2660

Overall record: +1123 -562 =781 (61.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 83 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (131) 
    E90 E97 E62 E66 E94
 Sicilian (124) 
    B21 B52 B80 B90 B83
 English (108) 
    A15 A13 A14 A10 A17
 English, 1 c4 c5 (92) 
    A30 A36 A37 A34 A38
 Uncommon Opening (88) 
    A00 B00
 English, 1 c4 e5 (69) 
    A20 A25 A29 A28 A21
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (316) 
    B32 B27 B30 B56 B39
 Queen's Pawn Game (83) 
    E00 A46 A40 A41 A45
 English (74) 
    A10 A15 A17 A14 A16
 Nimzo Indian (67) 
    E54 E56 E46 E47 E39
 Queen's Indian (67) 
    E16 E15 E12 E14 E19
 Caro-Kann (66) 
    B18 B16 B10 B14 B17
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Larsen vs Petrosian, 1966 1-0
   Larsen vs Geller, 1960 1-0
   Fischer vs Larsen, 1970 0-1
   Larsen vs A Matanovic, 1965 1-0
   Taimanov vs Larsen, 1970 0-1
   Petrosian vs Larsen, 1966 0-1
   Larsen vs Portisch, 1964 1-0
   Larsen vs Kavalek, 1970 1-0
   Larsen vs Spassky, 1964 1-0
   Karpov vs Larsen, 1980 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Mar del Plata (1958)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Palma de Mallorca (1969)
   Manila (1973)
   Palma de Mallorca (1967)
   Esbjerg (1978)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1979)
   Hastings 1972/73 (1972)
   Amsterdam Olympiad Final-B (1954)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   Halle Zonal (1963)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Las Palmas (1977)
   Wageningen Zonal (1957)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   IGM Bent Larsen by 64rutor
   Best Games (Larsen) by Qindarka
   Veliki majstori saha 32 BENT LARSEN (Marovic) by Chessdreamer
   Move by Move - Larsen (Lakdawala) by Qindarka
   Move by Move - Larsen (Lakdawala) by Parmenides1963
   my favourite endgames by obrit
   "Larsen's Selected Games" by Bent Larsen by JoseTigranTalFischer
   "Larsen's Selected Games" by Bent Larsen by hakkepof
   "Larsen's Selected Games" by Bent Larsen by PrimusPilus
   "Larsen's Selected Games" by Bent Larsen by OBIT
   "Larsen's Selected Games" by Bent Larsen by brucemubayiwa
   Larsen Plays the Larsen by willyfly
   Exchange sacs - 3 by Baby Hawk
   Exchange sacs - 3 by obrit

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Bent Larsen
Search Google for Bent Larsen

(born Mar-04-1935, died Sep-09-2010, 75 years old) Denmark

[what is this?]

Jørgen Bent Larsen was born March 4, 1935 in Denmark. At age 19 he became an International Master, and two years later he achieved the grandmaster title. Larsen was Danish Champion on six occasions and won Interzonals three times. After the Amsterdam Interzonal (1964) he advanced to the semifinals of the Candidates, where he lost to Mikhail Tal. He again won the Sousse Interzonal (1967), and made the Candidates' semifinals before losing to Boris Spassky, who went on to win the World Championship the next year.

For his tournament achievements during 1967, including first-place finishes in Havana (1967), Winnipeg (1967), Sousse Interzonal (1967) and Palma de Mallorca (1967), Larsen became the recipient of the inaugural Chess Oscar award. Other tournament victories were Monte Carlo (1968) and Palma de Mallorca (1969). When the USSR vs. Rest of the World (1970) tournament took place, he played top board for the World, scoring 1.5-1.5 against World Champion Spassky.

In 1971, Larsen made the Candidates' semifinals for the third consecutive time. His opponent was his constant rival, Robert James Fischer. The Fischer - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1971) met in Denver and, to general astonishment, Larsen was shut out, losing all six games. After that defeat his position in the world rankings gradually slipped back. He won at Teesside (1972), and achieved another victory at the Biel Interzonal (1976), whereafter in the Candidates appearance at Rotterdam he was defeated by Lajos Portisch. A formidable tournament player, Larsen won major events as late as Geneva (1977), Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1979) and Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1980). Larsen lived his last years in Buenos Aires with his wife, Laura, until his death in 2010. Today the opening move 1. b3, which he occasionally played, is called Larsen's Opening after him (or sometimes the Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack, referring to both Aron Nimzowitsch and Larsen.

Chessbase eulogy:

Wikipedia article: Bent Larsen

Last updated: 2021-01-20 04:45:45

 page 1 of 103; games 1-25 of 2,556  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Larsen vs W Lauridsen 1-0241948Holstebro/HerningC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
2. Larsen vs Laursen 1-0521950Holstebro springC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
3. Larsen vs K Blom 1-0251951HerningC34 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Larsen vs B Nyren  0-1181951World Junior ChampionshipB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
5. S Asker vs Larsen  0-1221951World Junior ChampionshipC12 French, McCutcheon
6. Larsen vs E Selzer  1-0331951World Junior ChampionshipB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
7. M Barker vs Larsen  1-0381951World Junior ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
8. Larsen vs R C Cruz  ½-½431951World Junior ChampionshipB54 Sicilian
9. J Walsh vs Larsen  0-1321951World Junior ChampionshipC12 French, McCutcheon
10. Larsen vs Ivkov  0-1321951World Junior ChampionshipB59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
11. F Olafsson vs Larsen  1-0491951World Junior ChampionshipD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Larsen vs L Joyner 1-0321951World Junior ChampionshipC30 King's Gambit Declined
13. B Coosemans vs Larsen  0-1241951World Junior ChampionshipE14 Queen's Indian
14. Larsen vs A Eikrem  1-0271951World Junior ChampionshipB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
15. Larsen vs Gaute Lindgard  1-0371951Junior Christmas TournamentA20 English
16. Larsen vs P Ravn 1-0351952Herning, mesterklassC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
17. Larsen vs E Pedersen  ½-½461952Aabybro mB54 Sicilian
18. E Pedersen vs Larsen 1-0581952Aabybro mC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
19. E Pedersen vs Larsen  0-1401952Aabybro mE48 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5
20. Larsen vs E Pedersen  0-1591952Aabybro mA13 English
21. Larsen vs Gaute Lindgard 1-0411952Junior Christmas TournamentA20 English
22. Larsen vs P Ofstad  1-0171952Junior Christmas TournamentA20 English
23. E V Nielsen vs Larsen 0-1401953DEN-chC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
24. C Poulsen vs Larsen 1-0261953DEN-chE10 Queen's Pawn Game
25. J Enevoldsen vs Larsen  ½-½371953Copenhagen mC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
 page 1 of 103; games 1-25 of 2,556  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Larsen wins | Larsen loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 33 OF 33 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Fun fact: Larsen was born just 12 days before Aron Nimzowitsch died in Copenhagen. (Well, not a fun fact for Nimzowitsch.) The two of them are undoubtedly Denmark's two greatest players (Nimzowitsch was born in Latvia but lived in Copenhagen for most of his life) and are "co-authors" of the Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: so, Nimzo was a Baltic german who emigrated to Denmark?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <HMM: so, Nimzo was a Baltic german who emigrated to Denmark?>

I believe Ni(e)mzowitsch is derived from nemtsev (pronounced nyemtsev), the Russian word for German. No doubt someone more knowledgeable than I such as <Annie K.> can confirm this.

It is thought that Nimzo left Latvia after WWI to escape the anti-Semitism which may well have come his way had he stayed, even in the newly free Republic of Latvia.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: "During the 1917 Russian Revolution, Nimzowitsch was in the Baltic war zone. He escaped being drafted into one of the armies by feigning madness, insisting that a fly was on his head. He then escaped to Berlin, and gave his first name as Arnold, possibly to avoid anti-Semitic persecution.

Nimzowitsch eventually moved to Copenhagen in 1922, which coincided with his rise to the world chess elite, where he lived for the rest of his life in one small rented room. In Copenhagen, he twice won the Nordic Chess Championship, in 1924 and 1934. He obtained Danish citizenship and lived in Denmark until his death in 1935."

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: you can't blame anyone for wanting to escape the Red/White terror in Russia of the 1920s. It made the blood letting of the French Revolution look like a spring picnic, by comparison.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: The best danish player,before Larsen entered the scene,was IM Enevoldsen,who became a friend of Nimzo.

They now rest neck to neck on the same cemetary.

I had the personal honor to play the former danish champion,Gemzoe,several times.And he told me that he found it easy to draw Nimzo.But beating him was next to impossible.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: <perfidious: <<HMM: so, Nimzo was a Baltic german who emigrated to Denmark?> I believe Ni(e)mzowitsch is derived from nemtsev (pronounced nyemtsev), the Russian word for German. No doubt someone more knowledgeable than I such as <Annie K.> can confirm this.>>

Yes indeed, :) but one thing to remember about these origin-indicative surnames is that they are almost never a sign of <recent> origins.

Think about it: we all have surnames these days, and who is going to drop theirs when they emigrate somewhere, and that in favor of naming the land they just left, to boot?

No, these names came about way back when the people of a given country were just starting to adopt the custom of surnames; there was Joe, the smith, now known as Joe Smith (as opposed to Joe, the tailor, who is now Joe Taylor), oh and that new guy from some other land, who of course is now identified by that particular detail.

So if somebody is called Nimzowitsch, that only indicates that he had a distant ancestor who emigrated from Germany just when the surname fashion started - quite a few generations ago most likely - and almost certainly would have no cultural background from that particular country himself.

Mar-04-18  gars: March is a very rich month for Chess: Larsen, Fischer, Evans, Smejkal, Korchnoi, who else?
Mar-04-18  Ironmanth: My favorite autograph is one from Bent Larsen at the World Open (which he won!) in NYC in 1974. He was analyzing with Julio Kaplan, and graciously tolerated my star struck interruption to grant my request. Happy birthday and RIP Grandmaster. Thanks for so many memorable games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < offramp: Has anyone here read The Stand?>

Yes, I read it. In fact, it is the only Stephen King book I have read.

I don't think King is a great writer.

Mar-04-18  TheFocus: I don't find King to be a great writer, although he did write an excellent book titled "On Writing."
Mar-04-18  sfm: Larsen!!
He was for Denmark what Fischer was for USA - without the difficult stuff. Up there and mixing with the world top and winning a string of GM-tournaments. He famously ran into Fischer in Denver '71, but kept playing after and kept winning tournaments. Somebody once wrote to him "You are not only our strongest player, but also our best chess writer, and it is doubtful that you will ever be surpassed by any one other Danish player". True it was, and it still is. I met him a couple of times, and he was exactly as entertaining and pleasant as in his books.
Jul-26-18  ewan14: As someone said , if it was not for the three Soviets rule - in 1964 it would have been the Russians v Larsen in the Candidates matches

and just as Korchnoi beat world champion Petrosian twice in 1965 , Larsen beat Petrosian twice in 1966

Jul-26-18  Howard: Larsen remarked in his book on his best games (the 60's edition) that if not for that rule, the eight Candidates in 1965 would have been just him and "seven Russians".

On the other hand, Kasparov was a bit disparaging of that comment in his MGP, stating that Larsen probably wouldn't have advanced very far in the Candidates that year.

Jul-26-18  ewan14: I did not realise it was Larsen himself !

Depends which Soviets he played , he ran Tal close and , I think , beat Geller in the 3rd place play off

Dec-23-18  Jean Defuse: ...

This is Bent <Larsen's earliest recorded game>, played on 16th October 1947 when he was 12 years old. He was playing before dinner against his father and the reason for the rather abrupt end is that dinner was getting cold!

[Event "Holstebro"]
[Date "1947.10.16"]
[White "Larsen, Niels K"]
[Black "Larsen, Bent"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B06"]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. d5 Bg7 4. c4 Nf6 5. f3 e5 6. Qa4+ Bd7 7. Qb4 Nxe4 8. fxe4 Qh4+ 9. g3 Qxe4+ 10. Ne2 Qxh1 11. Qxb7 Bh3 12. Nd2 O-O 13. Qxa8 Nd7 14. Qxa7 Nc5 15. Qa3 e4 16. Nf4 Bxf1 17. Nxf1 Re8 18. Be3 Bh6 19. O-O-O Bxf4 20. gxf4 Nd3+ 21. Kc2 Qg2+ 22. Nd2 Rb8 23. b3 Qxh2 24. Kc3 Nxf4 25. Nxe4 Nh5 26. Qb2 Qe5+ 27. Kc2 Qxe4+ 28. Rd3 f5 29. Qd4 Qxd4 30. Rxd4 0-1


Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <Larsen's earliest recorded game>

As you are probably aware, there is a correspondence game begun June 4th the same year but that game ended October 21st. This is the first game in Jan Løfberg's book ( and we can probably rest assured that if there were any earlier recorded games, then Løfberg would have found them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy Birthday, Bent Larsen.
Dec-13-19  mckmac: < ”Preparing for a game with Larsen is a matter which is either too complicated, or too simple. The Dane’s repertoire contains practically all opening systems, and one’s chances of guessing the variation are no better than in a lottery. Therefore at home it was decided to begin the game with the advance of the king’s pawn. At that the preparation came to an end…” >

-Mikhail Tal, writing of his pre-game preparation for the great Bent Larsen in the 1979 Montreal tournament.

Apr-30-20  wordfunph: "I never had a trainer, and for all that I have achieved, I have myself to thank."

- Bent Larsen

Source: New In Chess Magazine 2020 01

Jun-20-20  Uhtred: Some other notable chess players born in March are : Tarrasch, Maroczy, Smyslov, Geller, Seirawan, Tukmakov,Ivanchuk, Topalov, Navara, Artemiev.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bent Larsen is a great great chess player.

Bobby so respected him .

Nov-08-20  The Rocket: The most underrated player of all time. His best games had no flaws, his worst you could throw in the bin. Very precise calculator at his best. I don't know why he was so consistent, maybe his understanding lagged behind a bit and on his off days when the calculations were more sluggish, he might have played a bit too much on instinct.. When you see his best games, you wonder how he could have play a positionally dubious game...

Not only did Larsen he defeat a prime Fischer as black, he also beat a prime Anatoly Karpov, multiple times.

Unfortunately best remembered for 0-6 against Fischer. A result that is still hard to believe could happen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Larsen consistently took a lot of risks playing double-edged, interesting games.

With that style inconsistency is to be expected.

Nov-08-20  The Rocket: Ones understanding of chess aid in determining whether a risky move is justifiable or not.

Which is why Kasparov played very risky yet only lost once or twice a year on average.

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