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Reuben Fine vs Samuel Reshevsky
AVRO (1938), The Netherlands, rd 9, Nov-19
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense (C97)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-28-06  Marmot PFL: Reshevsky misses wins on move 43 (Ng5!) and move 52 (f4), then wins anyway when Fine loses on time in a drawn position.
Mar-22-07  technical draw: This is one truly complicated game. Kudos to both players. Too bad Fine lost on time.
Mar-22-07  RookFile: Typical of the uncompromising fight both players brought to the table.
Mar-31-08  Wone Jone: <technical draw> <Too bad Fine lost on time> Apparently it was a case of a time control too far! (The game was played in Arnhem.)
Mar-31-08  Wone Jone: <technical draw> Apparently, it was a time control too far. (The game was played in Arnhem.)
Mar-31-08  technical draw: <Wone Jone> Is that like from "A Bridge too far"? Just stay close to me cause you got things to learn about puns.
May-26-08  Wone Jone: <technical draw> I hope I didn't repeat myself. I hope I didn't repeat myself.
May-26-08  RookFile: I appreciate the reference to "A Bridge Too Far". The Allies learned it's tough to win when you parachute troops on top of German tanks.
May-27-08  Wone Jone: <Rookfile> I thought "A Bridge Too Far" was the movie where Telly Savalas played a serial killer who saved a bunch of Jews from the Holocaust and Liberty Valance had to find Private Ryan. I don't remember any parachutes landing on German tanks.
May-27-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: No, it was the one where National Geographic photographer Clint Eastwood has an affair with housewife Meryl Streep.
May-27-08  RookFile: You forgot to work in references to Rocky Balboa and Bullwinkle.
May-29-08  Wone Jone: <RookFile> Yo! Adrian! Are you talkin' to me?!
May-29-08  RookFile: Well, look at the bright side. The Allies sent ten thousand men into Arnhem, and after the Germans butchered them, came out with almost 2 thousand to continue fighting. That's what Montgomery did when he labelled this operation as 90 percent successful.
May-29-08  Wone Jone: <RookFile> Then I guess the Spartans were 100 percent sucessful at Thermopoleye. <Or however you spell that word!>
May-29-08  Wone Jone: I should have said the Texans at the Alamo in my last post. I know how to spell Alamo. <By the way, did Santa Anna ever find Pee Wee's bike?>
Jul-27-08  sneaky pete: The first 40 moves were played in Arnhem, November 19, but the second session (41.bxa3 .. was the sealed move) were played on November 21 in Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam.

An eyewitness:

6 hours were reserved for 3 adjourned games that Reshevsky had to finish; one with Keres, one with Alekhine, the third with Fine. Against expectations two difficult endgames were drawn within an hour, thus leaving, a half hour pause according to regulations included, three hours for the final of Fine vs Reshevsky.

Fine, convinced that it wouldn't be his turn that day, was having siesta in his hotel when he was summoned by telephone to appear in the tournament hall. He refused. He was threatened with a loss by forfeit, if not disqualification. Fierce argument, with a not uncertain outcome.

Unkempt, unshaven, sleepy and possessed by the devil Fine stormed to the tournament hall and started defending his precarious position against Reshevsky. Alekhine watched, standing, his back turned to Capablanca, seated on an adjacent table.

One should have seen the American rivals Fine and Reshevsky in action to predict what follows. For their first few moves the gents took two hours reflection time together. They each had only a few seconds left to make the last 10 moves until the time control. No more notation, only hammering on clocks and skittling around chess pieces.

Very efective skittling around, especially by Fine. No sooner had he thrown the saving move on the board, when he was told: "You have exceeded the time limit!". Fine, with an eye on the clock: "You have exceeded the time limit!". Both claims were true, but Fine's flag had fallen first. Against the verdict of the attentive tournament director there was no appeal.

Fine, furious: "Why must I always lose always against the worst patzers?". Prompt some strong unfriendly remarks were returned.

On which world champion Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine with spreaded arms bended over his two 20 year younger colleagues, admonishing paternally: "Aber bitte, meine Herrschaften, benehmen Sie sich doch nicht wie Capablanca!". In German; as if he spontaneously was talking to himself, but knowing that the message would be understood by both Fine and Reshevsky as by the haughty Josť Raul Capablanca y Graupera, to whom he was still showing his back.

Jan-17-09  sneaky pete: The eyewitness quoted in the previous post was well known chess journalist Berry Withuis, who died yesterday, January 16, in his home town of Zutphen, at age 88 (born January 20, 1920).
Jan-17-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <sneaky pete> thanks for the story and translation. There is an irony in Alekhine commenting on bad behavior.
Jun-10-09  AnalyzeThis: To think that if Fine had won or even drawn this, he would have won the tournament and may well have played Alekhine....
Jun-10-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Fine made the decision shortly before this tournament to retire from competitive chess and complete his studies. In fact, he thought this may have been one of the reasons he played so well as the "pressure" was off. He tried to get out of this tournament but the organizers would not allow him to.
Jun-10-09  Marmot PFL: Fine played fairly steadily right through the early 50s. If I had $100 for every time some player told me he was quitting chess and didn't I could almost quit working. Another thing is masters who tell you they "never study chess" - complete garbage.
Jun-10-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I was merely quoting what he said before AVRO in 1938. Perhaps "retiring" was too strong a word. I think, at the very least, he de-emphasized chess and gave up trying to become WC.
Jun-10-09  AnalyzeThis: If he had just a draw in this very game, he may well have played Alekhine.
Jun-10-09  Marmot PFL: When and where would he have played Alekhine?
Jun-10-09  AnalyzeThis: Sometime after AVRO. Keres, the winner of the tournament, might have played Alekhine, but for world war 2. With Fine being an American, and winning the tournament with the extra half point, this may have been possible to arrange even with world war 2 going on. Let's say 1939. Alekhine would have been under no obligation to play Fine (according to the statement he made at the beginning of the touranment), but if the financing could have been put together, he might well have gone for it. Alekhine was in a bad way financially.
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