Bent the Great

One of the most colourful personalities in the chess world ever passed away not long time ago. Bent Larsen, the giant of positional chess, one of the most honest annotators had a profound influence in my chess development. I doubt that I would have made it to the GM title without his book “50 Selected Games”. At first I wanted to annotate some of his games, but then I found this being pointless. The great man has still things to tell us, so why not learn these lessons from his own moves and words:
Larsen,Bent - Gligoric,Svetozar [A05]
Vinkovci Vinkovci (12), 18.10.1970
[Bent Larsen]
1.g3 g6 2.Bg2 Bg7 3.e4 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.0–0 Nf6 6.d3 0–0 7.Re1 d6 8.Nbd2 Rb8 9.a4 There are two more plans that deserve attention here- preparation of the b2-b4 advance or d3-d4. The position of Nc4 has only aestetical value. 9...b6 10.Nc4 Bb7

"I will write about this tournament an article in which there will be only one diagram. Now you will see the most amazing move of tournament, but not a bad one at all!" Petrosian. 11.h4!? A difficult, but profitable decision. [11.e5 was the most natural move, with great danger of exchanges and draw.] 11...Qc7 White's idea is seen in the line: [11...d5 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.h5 with initiative.] 12.Bd2 Rbd8 13.Qc1 d5 14.Bf4 Qc8 15.exd5 Nxd5 16.Bh6 Rfe8 After the game people were suggesting: [16...f6 to which I would have replied- 17.h5] 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.h5 Nf6 19.h6+ Kg8 20.Qf4 Nh5 [20...Qg4 was losing at least a pawn after: 21.Rxe7!; Bad for Black is: 20...Qf5 21.Qxf5 gxf5 22.Ng5!] 21.Qd2 f6?

22.a5! This move is especially unpleasant precisely now, when the black knight on h5 is inactive, and the set-up with e7-e5 and Nc6-d4 is not yet dangerous for White. 22...b5 23.a6 Ba8 24.Na5 e5 25.Qc3 Black underestimated this move. Now White has an advantage in all the lines. 25...Nd4 26.Nb7! Bxb7 27.axb7 Qxb7 28.Nxd4 cxd4 29.Bxb7 dxc3 30.bxc3 Re7 31.Rxa7 Kf8 32.Rb1 f5 33.Rxb5 Nf6 34.Ra8 Rxa8 35.Bxa8 Ng4 36.Rb8+ Kf7 After: [36...Re8 37.Rxe8+ Kxe8 38.Bd5 Nxh6 39.f3!

39...g5 40.Kf2 g4 41.f4 White is winning easily, as the black knight is locked.] 37.Bd5+ Kf6 38.c4 e4! The last try. 39.Rf8+! Ke5 This might seem a bit unexpected, but after: [39...Kg5 the king is too far away from c file, and analyses show easy road to the win: 40.dxe4 fxe4 41.c5 e3 42.fxe3 Rxe3 43.c4!] 40.dxe4 fxe4 41.Bxe4 Nxh6 42.Bd3 Nf7 43.Rg8 Nd6 The sealed move. In my home analyses I found win in all lines: 44.Ra8 Nb7 [44...Rc7 45.Ra5+ Kf6 46.Ra6 Ke7 47.Ra4 Kf6 48.f3 Rc6 49.Kf2 h6 50.c5!

with the following subtlety: 50...Rxc5 (50...Nf7 51.Be4 Rxc5 52.Ra6+) 51.Ra6 Rd5 52.Be4 Rd4 53.c3 and wins.] 45.Ra7 Kd6 46.f3 Nc5 47.Rxe7 Kxe7 48.Kf2 Kf6 49.Ke3 h5 50.Kd4 Ne6+ 51.Kd5 g5 52.Kd6 h4 53.gxh4 gxh4 54.Bf1 Ng5 55.c5 Nf7+ 56.Kd5 Ke7 57.f4 Nh6 58.Bh3

58...Ng8 59.c6 Nf6+ 60.Ke5 Ne8 61.f5 1–0

No comments: