Saturday, 11 September 2010

Bent Larsen 1935-2010

Chess legend Bent Larsen passed away on the 9th September 2010, at the age of 75. Larsen was considered the best Danish player of all time, and along with Bobby Fischer, the best 'Western" GM of the 60's and 70's. He was an very successful tournament player, winning 3 Interzonals, and a number of other Super GM events. However at match play he was less successful, always falling short of his dream to challenge for the World Championship title. A champion of less popular openings he had 1.b3 named after him, and shared the name of 1.Nf3 - 2.b3 (The Nimzo-Larsen Attack) with that other great Danish player Aaron Nimzowitsch.
Although he famously disliked playing in teams events (as it ran against his notion of chess as an individual struggle) he did play in 5 Olympiads. Here is a game from the 1968 Olympiad where he downs the Australian player Doug Hamilton.

Hamilton,Douglas Gibson - Larsen,Bent [A43]
Lugano ol (Men) Lugano, 1968

1.e4 e6 2.d4 c5 3.d5 exd5 4.exd5 d6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 Na6 9.Bf4 Nc7 10.a4 b6 11.Bc4 a6 12.Qd3 Re8 13.Rab1 Qd7 14.h3 Qf5 15.Bg3 Qxd3 16.Bxd3 Bb7 17.Bc4 Bf8 18.Rbd1 Bc8 19.Rfe1 Bf5 20.Rd2 Rxe1+ 21.Nxe1 Re8 22.Kf1 Bd7 23.Be2 h6 24.Bf3 b5 25.Re2 b4 26.Ne4 Nxe4 27.Rxe4 Bxa4 28.Ke2 Bb5+ 29.Kd2 Rxe4 30.Bxe4 Bc4 31.Nd3 Bxd5 32.Bf5 Ne6 33.f3 a5 34.b3 g6 35.Bg4 0-1


Anonymous said...

Actually Larsen played in 6 Olympiads, not 5.

Anonymous said...

Larsen also played board 1 for the Rest of the World team in 1970 and showed Bobby Fischer which seat was his.

cheers Garrett.