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Larsen’s Improved Meran: The Great Dane Deigns to Allow Check

  • NM GreenLaser
  • | Feb 12, 2011
  • | 3872 views
  • | 11 comments

Bent Larsen (pictured) was born March 4, 1935 and died September 9, 2010. He was Champion of Denmark six times from 1954-1964. He was a candidate for the world championship in 1965, 1968, 1971, and 1977. He won the interzonal in 1964, 1967, and 1976.

Boris Ivkov plays Larsen in the main game. Ivkov was born November 12, 1933 in Belgrade. He won the first World Junior Championship in 1951. He won the Yugoslav Championship in 1958, 1963, and 1972 (the first two were ties). Ivkov played in the interzonals of 1964, 1967, 1970, 1973, and 1979.

The moves of the Meran Variation of the Semi-Slav Defense as popularized by Rubinstein are: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 a6 (D48). Larsen would omit 8...a6 in favor of 8...Bb7 (D47), which sometimes allows White to play Bb5+. Larsen used this twice in his candidates match with Ivkov, which he won 5.5-2.5. The game continued 9.e4 b4 10.Na4 c5 11.e5 Nd5 12.Nxc5 Bxc5 13.dxc5 a6.

Some things to look for in the notes are pointed out here. Instead of 6.Bd3, Larsen, as White, avoided the main line with Bb3 or Be2. Instead of 12...Bxc5, Larsen used 12...Nxc5 against Uhlmann in 1971. In that game, Larsen permitted Bb5+ and went on to win using pins, even pinning the unpinner. Instead of 13...a6, Larsen played 13...Nxc5, allowing Ivkov (in another cm game) to play 14.Bb5+ for the first time.

Comments


  • 3 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    Orcgrunt, finding the reason for a loss is a great, though basic, thing to do. I hope the notes shed some light on the game. Among the notes are other games Larsen had reason to win, draw, or lose (just one).

  • 3 years ago

    Orcgrunt

    So after three replays I finally understood why white lost, although I'm not a slav player myself. The Great Dane played it well.

  • 3 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    darkschyte asked, "Doesnt 20... Nxf6 wins a piece for black?!?please explain thanks!" Good question!

    jhonloid_bless replied, "20... Nxf6 won't win a piece.. It would be met by 21. Qxe6+ 21... Kh8 22. Bxb2, now black is one piece and one pawn down and in a bad position.. that's why Kasparov prefers 19...Kh8 first so that the black king's position would be secure." Good answer! I know you mean 22.Bxb7. Kasparov suggested Kh8 would give f5 more force.

    Thanks for discussing the game readers.

  • 3 years ago

    jhonloid_bless

    20... Nxf6 won't win a piece.. It would be met by 21. Qxe6+ 21... Kh8 22. Bxb2, now black is one piece and one pawn down and in a bad position.. that's why Kasparov prefers 19...Kh8 first so that the black king's position would be secure.

  • 3 years ago

    darkschyte

    Doesnt 20... Nxf6 wins a piece for black?!?please explain thanks!

  • 3 years ago

    restinpeace

    I love playing that Meran System. Strong and versatile.

  • 3 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    Servietsky, have you considered designing table cloths or wall paper?

  • 3 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    fleiman, yes, Larsen won numerous tournaments and three interzonals in those years. Just one shadow lurked in those wins - Larsen won the Sousse IZ (1967) only after Fischer, who seemed to be easily winning, quit.

  • 3 years ago

    Servietsky

  • 3 years ago

    fleiman

    Larsen was a Great Player. Only Larsen won Internozal Tournament three times.

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