|Chess Kit » Training » Classic Games » Larsen vs Spassky
Here is another CLASSIC, this time played between Larsen and past World
Champion Spassky. The game was played in 1970 in Belgrade. Don't blink, you may
miss the action!
Larsen was famous for his unusual openings. !.b3 is not a bad opening. He plans
to 'fianchetto' his bishop - that is play 2.Bb2 next. The only drawback is it
let's Black take a free hand in the centre.
1...e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nf3 e4
Spassky spotted a chance to grab some space and took it. He wasn't the World
Champion for nothing.
5.Nd4 Bc5 6.Nxc6 dxc6
Black has doubled pawn but there are a few things in exchange. For example,
1. An open diagonal for his bishop on c8.
2. An open d-file for the queen (and later the rooks)
7.e3 Bf5 8.Qc2 Qe7 9.Be2 0-0-0 10.f4
A mistake. White weakens his kingside. The f2 square is especially weak as we
shall see later.
Good move. Black is hoping for the trap 11.h3? when 11...Qh4+ and White has
a choice two moves:
1. 12.Kf1 Qf2 mate!
1. 12.Kd1 Nf2 big fork!
Black has prepared sacrifice.
The White king is looking weaker each move. White doesn't want to exchange
rooks with 14.Rxh8 since his king will then have NO defenders.
WHAT THE? Has Black gone completely crazy?
GO pawn, GO pawn. No we find the point behind Black sacrifice. He has passed
ready to queen and a dangerous attack on the king using the h4 to e1 diagonal.
Huh? Well, if 16.Rg1 then 16...Qh4+ 17.Kd1 Qh1 18.Rh1 gxh1=Q+ 19.Bf1 Qxf1++
16...Qh4+ 17.Kd1 gxf1=Q 0-1
White knew it was all over and resigned!
After 18.Bxf1 Bxg4+ 19.Be2 Kc1 20.Qd1 Qxd1 21...Qh1++ Mate
You don't often see such short games between two great players.