Games, analysis and discussion

Larsen's Opening

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Larsen's Opening (1.b3) is an offbeat flank opening that can lead to many different types of positions. Often White can try to make something of a microscopic edge. In the following game, play takes a wilder turn - the position after Black's odd-looking 4th move is often considered the main line of this opening these days:

[Event "Internet"]
[Site "Game Courier"]
[Date "2016.11.?"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Pacey, K"]
[Black "Cetina, C"]
[Result "1-0"]

{Discussion of Larsen's Opening game.} 1.b3 e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.e3 Nf6 {In the past the main line started with 3...d5 4.Bb5 Bd6, when White has a choice between 5.f4 and the safer 5.c4.} 4.Bb5 Bd6 {An idea borrowed from a popular line of the Four Knights Game these days.} 5.Na3 e4 {Unusual, but not bad. Instead 5...Na5 or even 5...a6 are more common.} 6.Nc4 {I think this is White's most consistent move. Instead 6.f4 (6.Ne2 Be5 also is okay for Black) a6 7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.Nc4 0-0 seems fairly balanced.} Be7 7.Bxc6 bxc6 {Here the other recapture is also interesting.} 8.Ne2 0-0 9.0-0 d5 10.Ne5 Bd6 {Also possible is 10...Qe8.} 11.Nxc6 {This leads to interesting play.} Bxh2 12.Kxh2 Qd6 13.Kg1 Qxc6 14.f3 Nh5 15.Nd4 Qg6 16.fxe4 Ng3 {Better was 16...dxe4 17.Nc6 with a messy position. Now White gets the edge.} 17.exd5 Nxf1 {Instead 17...Bg4 seems preferable.} 18.Qxf1 h5 {Now White clearly has a big advantage.} 19.Qf2 a5 20.d3 a4 21.Nc6 Kh7 22.e4 axb3 23.cxb3 Ba6 {It is now clear that Black is losing.} 24.Ne5 Qg5 25.Rc1 f6 26.Nd7 Rfc8 27.Nc5 Bb5 28.a4 Be8 29.Ne6 1-0

Updated 06-29-2021 at 01:19 PM by Kevin Pacey

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Opening analysis and observations