Chess Great Bent Larsen Dies

Lubomir Kavalek
International Chess Grandmaster
Posted: September 11, 2010 12:57 AM

Just one day before the world’s top-rated grandmaster Magnus Carlsen of Norway shone in New York, winning the RAW World Chess Challenge, another great Scandinavian chess player quietly left the chess world. The legendary Danish grandmaster and world championship candidate died on September 9 in Buenos Aires at the age of 75.

An optimist by nature, Larsen was one of the most fierce fighters of the last century and one of the few players capable of challenging the Soviets for the world championship title. He came close, participating in seven Candidates matches. But when his chances were the best, he was stopped twice by players who became world champions: by Boris Spassky in 1968 and by Bobby Fischer in 1971. Still, throughout his career, Larsen was considered to be one of the best tournament players in the world. Among his many triumphs were first places at the Interzonal tournaments in Amsterdam in 1964, in Sousse in 1967 and in Biel in 1976.

I was fortunate to witness Larsen’s many victorious drives in tournaments and matches. He was the ultimate chess battler, always interested in wins and first places. Sometimes he reached too far, but it never stopped him from reaching again. He played with enormous energy and great fighting spirit. Offering him a draw was a waste of time. He would decline it politely, but firmly. “No, thank you,” he would say and the fight would go on and on and on.

Larsen strived in both simple and rich positions, did not shy of complications and it was an honor to play against him. He had deep knowledge of the game and was always ready to go where nobody else dared to tread. He created several original opening ideas, often shocking his opponents with risky and unusual moves in the middle game and scoring many points by grinding down players in long endgames.

Here is the full article.

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