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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sad News...

I just found out Danish GM Bent Larsen passed away at age 75 on Thursday, Sept. 9th. For those that don't know, Larsen was one of the truly great players of his era. Chessbase has an article on him HERE and William Winter has one HERE. Sad news, indeed.

Interesting Larsen quotes:
If I were put back in the early 1920s, it would be easy, very easy, to be world champion. There would be many draws, but in enough of the games I would get opponents into positions they didn’t understand. Most people find this arrogant – but now we know so much more. If we take positions they understand, we are not better; but we know more types of position. It is a matter of selecting the right openings. Of course, the 1920s was a period of breakthrough in ideas; it would be much easier still if you went back to the early 1900s. The first real uncertainty is with Alekhine; he didn’t want to play the new openings – he didn’t like them – but he worked hard at them and he developed. Alekhine was not basically creative – he was a practical player, but he learnt from others. Not Capablanca – he had difficulty with the new openings in his later years.’
Larsen was also asked whether he had ‘any advice to aspiring masters’. His reply: ‘I think most of them study too much opening theory, and they should study more games by masters with annotations by masters.’

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