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Robert James Fischer vs Reuben Fine
"A Fine Line" (game of the day Apr-03-2018)
New York (USA) (1963), New York, NY USA, Mar-??
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Compromised Defense (C52)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <7...dxc3 ("The Comprimised Defense") is considered rather dubious as white usually gets an advantage with so many extra moves. 8...Qe7 is inferior to 8...Qf6 because a knight can go to d5 and disrupt black's army, also with threats of white playing Re1 if the black bishop moves. e7 is the best square for the knight in this opening, so the king can castle despite Ba3 or any other threats.>

It is rather amazing that after 7 ... dxc3 Black is three Pawns up (!) yet the database results strongly favor White.

Opening Explorer

<I can't help but discount Reshevsky's comments. He always struck me as quite jealous of his rivals--the erstwhile wunderkind forever petulant that he was eventually outdistanced. He made similar grudging comments about Fischer that reek of the faded beauty cattily sniping at the younger, prettier starlet. Certainly there's nothing in the Fine-Reshevsky record that would suggest a reason for arrogance on Sammy's part.>

Agree, yet the all-time greats certainly have private experiences and interactions which may affect their outlook and attitude that mere mortal outsiders would never learn.

<This really does not look like GM vs. GM chess. Black is horribly behind in development with his king uncastled and under assault. None of black's three active pieces support each other in any way or are even defended! Meanwhile white has a bishop on the a1 h8 diagonal and a rook dominating the open E file. (Black does have two extra pawns, which is nice because he can hold them and fidget with them hopelessly while he waits for Bobby to put him out of his misery.) You'd think Fischer got to this position in a simul against a C player, but this is against Reuben Fine! LOL.>

Fine was clearly unhappy that this offhand loss was published in a high profile book like MSMG.

<Fine calls himself "one of the two leading American chess masters of the twentieth century"?! Give me a break. How many U.S. Championships did Fine win, again? Zero. Fine was a fine player (bad pun intended), and probably has a better score against world champions than any other non-world champion (I think +1 against each of Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, and Botvinnik). His tie for first at AVRO 1938 with Keres (but Keres won on tiebreak) ahead of Alekhine, Botvinnik, Capablanca, Reshevsky, Euwe and Flohr was his shining moment, but he barely played chess after that. He declined his invitation to the 1948 World Championship Match-Tournament to study psychiatry. Fine almost invariably finished behind Reshevsky, who won all those U.S. Championships ahead of Fine, and Reshevsky's career was many decades longer.>

"Reuben Fine's decision to quit chess and concentrate on psychology was a loss to both professions"

<the loss is bad enough, why do people keep reubin it in?>

Fisch fry.

<Let's not forget that Reuben Fine had not played serious chess for about 15 years, he had become a psychoanalyst who wrote bad books and entered five, count'em five marriages, all ending in divorce, so he was a little too busy for chess. These were casual games played in Fines' home where he hosted Fischer probably out of chess and professional curiosity more than any thing else, and since Fischer did not know how to do anything except play chess, that is what he did against a hopelessly off-form and out of practice Fine.>

5 marriages and 5 divorces - I did not know that.

<In fact, there's a story about that tournament, that I believe is true. Fine's dropping out came so late that the Soviets were afraid he might change his mind and play after all. When Reshevsky arrived at his hotel to play, one of the Soviet delegation asked him "Who are you?" At least that's what he MEANT to ask. Since his English wasn't so good, he actually asked "HOW are you?" Reshevsky said "Fine", and the guy ran back to tell everyone that Fine had showed up after all.>


<This is without doubt one of the worst chess books ever written .... Reuben Fine, a World Championship contender and the author of some excellent books in the past, has no excuse for such a dog. Offering an analysis of all the games from the Spassky - Fischer match, he also presents a psychological insight into the minds of both protagonists. He fails badly in each of these objectives.>

Jeremy Silman on Fine's book.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Apparently by this time Fine (who had written <Practical Chess Openings> (1948) and edited the sixth edition of <Modern Chess Openings> (1939)) had forgotten everything he once knew about the Evans Gambit. Absolutely suicidal play.
Apr-03-18  dumbgai: Yeah, Fine handles the Evans here like the 1200 rated version of myself did: grabbing pawns until realizing hes getting mated.
Apr-03-18  RookFile: 5 divorces for Reuben Fine? Wow.
Apr-03-18  Granny O Doul: <"Reuben Fine's decision to quit chess and concentrate on psychology was a loss to both professions">

The way I heard it was "a loss for chess and a draw at best for psychology".

I used to like the Compromised Defense but then I fell in love with the Incorrect Opening.

Apr-03-18  schnarre: ...An apt pun for this game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: The h4-d8 line was not a fine line for Fine!

Interesting where chess players turn up during WWII

<During World War II, Fine worked for the U.S. Navy, analyzing the probability of German U-boats surfacing at certain points in the Atlantic Ocean. Fine also worked as a translator>

five wives!

<Fine married five times, all but one ending in divorce. He had two biological children and one stepson>

Why bother marrying at all if you're more interested in your work than your marriage?

Considering that Fine was largely retired from chess for ten years before this game was played, it should not have been included in M60MG. It looks like a simul.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: <Rueben Fine's very fine win percentage>

Fischer beating Fine 3-0 is probably the difference between Fischer's 72.3% and Fine's 71.8% ?

Fine had only 65 losses in his career...!

Apr-03-18  Ironmanth: A classic miniature. We all need to memorize this one! Y'all have a great day.
Apr-03-18  eyalbd: I've never understood why this game was included in MSMG, considering it was a blitz and very one sided.

Fischer played many better games in the period of the book.

Apr-03-18  Retireborn: It's called my 60 memorable games, not my 60 best games, though. And Fine was probably a bigger name in Fischer's mind than he is in ours today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: If Fine had won AVRO today, a great many posters here at CG would be tipping him as having a chance to unseat Carlsen this year; as matters stand, for many he scarcely exists outside this game, a notable win from Botvinnik at AVRO and his work on openings. Perhaps a reason for this is that Fine's style, while technically superb, lacked one clear-cut outstanding quality, fine all-rounder that he was.
Apr-03-18  cunctatorg: An "Electrotherapy" according to Bobby!!...
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Can't fault any player for pursuing another professional career choice
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <eyalbd> If you understood Fischer, then you would understand why the game was included.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Blitz & Bullet chess games are not worth the time spent analyzing, period. However, these are no doubt fun, if for no other reason than the comical picture of grown men pounding expensive clocks to the point of breaking

On the other hand, besides being fun, rapid games can provide some value analytically


Apr-03-18  Howard: How this ridiculously lopsided "contest" became GOTD is beyond me.

Retireborn, if you're reading this, what do YOU think. I respect your postings.

Apr-03-18  Retireborn: Howard, I'm just another patzer and my opinions are no more respectable than anybody else's! Although everybody should be perusing my nuggets of wisdom with great care, obviously.

I have never followed GOTD and have no idea what the criteria are. If it had to be Fischer-Fine game I would have selected the lesser-known game which Fine won.

Having said that, I have this Evans in my own collection of annotated games, so can't really criticise anybody for liking it.

Apr-03-18  Howard: Didn't know that there was a "lesser known" game involving FIne and Fischer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I think this one may be the game Retireborn is talking about.

Fine vs Fischer, 1963

Apr-03-18  Retireborn: "Lesser known" = "not in my 60 mg", really. But I think it's an interesting foreshadowing of the problems with the Gruenfeld that Bobby would have against Spassky and Petrosian.

I used to play the Gruenfeld a lot myself. The ideas are beautiful, the results not always.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Grandma Sturleigh: <<HeMateMe> Considering that Fine was largely retired from chess for ten years before this game was played, it should not have been included in M60MG. It looks like a simul.>

Fischer vs O Celle, 1964 (game 50 in 60MG) actually was from a simul.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <jith1207: . . . Fischer beating Fine 3-0 is probably the difference between Fischer's 72.3% and Fine's 71.8% ?>

If you look at the fine print underneath the players' winning percentages, you'll see that <exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.>

Apr-04-18  The Kings Domain: Two eccentric Americans and a memorable miniature. Ably handled by Fischer with this gem. Both sides took some deviations with the Evans and Fischer unsurprisingly had the final say.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Pages 10-13 of this thread started by kingscrusher is really good and informative reading.

It exemplifies the main idea and value of this site.

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