The historic chess match, known as the “Match of the Century” between the Soviet Union and the Rest of the World, took place in 1970. It was an extraordinary team event that captivated the chess world.
The Arpad Elo rating system was employed for the first time to determine seeding and board order, with the exception of Bent Larsen and Robert Fischer. Larsen found it difficult to accept that Fischer’s rating placed him as the top player when considering Fischer’s recent inactivity compared to Larsen’s recent achievements. As the disagreement escalated and posed a threat to the match, multiple negotiations took place. Surprisingly, Fischer eventually decided to unexpectedly move to Board 2, resolving the escalating dispute.
Bent Larsen was a Danish chess grandmaster known for his creative and unconventional approach to chess openings. One of Larsen’s most famous openings was the Larsen’s Opening, also known as the “Bent Larsen Opening” or the “Queen’s Fianchetto Opening.” It starts with 1. b3, aiming to fianchetto the queen’s bishop. Larsen had great success with this opening and used it against many strong players, including World Champions.
In contrast, in the subsequent game, Bent Larsen’s experimental approach proved to be his downfall, leading to an unavoidable defeat. This particular game also showcased Boris Spassky’s exceptional tactical skills and prowess.
Larsen’s contributions to chess were not limited to his playing career. He was an influential chess writer, authoring several books on chess strategy and his own games. His writings and annotations offered valuable insights into his unique thought process and approach to the game.