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Reuben Fine
Number of games in database: 506
Years covered: 1930 to 1986
Overall record: +266 -64 =145 (71.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      31 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (32) 
    E33 E37 E43 E23 E40
 Orthodox Defense (28) 
    D55 D51 D63 D50 D52
 Queen's Gambit Declined (25) 
    D37 D30 D06 D35 D31
 Grunfeld (20) 
    D83 D81 D82 D70 D73
 Ruy Lopez (15) 
    C86 C70 C83 C79 C68
 Queen's Pawn Game (14) 
    D02 E00 E10 A40 D05
With the Black pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (29) 
    E33 E34 E43 E45 E23
 Sicilian (21) 
    B45 B50 B40 B29 B20
 French Defense (19) 
    C01 C14 C11 C13 C02
 Ruy Lopez (18) 
    C74 C83 C71 C73 C79
 Queen's Gambit Declined (18) 
    D38 D30 D37 D39
 Orthodox Defense (18) 
    D51 D50 D68 D65 D63
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Fine vs Botvinnik, 1938 1-0
   Fine vs Dake, 1933 1-0
   Capablanca vs Fine, 1931 0-1
   Fine vs W Winter, 1936 1-0
   Fine vs Alekhine, 1938 1-0
   Fine vs Lasker, 1936 1-0
   I A Horowitz vs Fine, 1934 0-1
   Fine vs Flohr, 1938 1-0
   Fine vs Gruenfeld, 1936 1-0
   Keres vs Fine, 1936 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Zandvoort (1936)
   Margate (1937)
   AVRO (1938)
   Syracuse (1934)
   Hastings 1936/37 (1936)
   Amsterdam (1936)
   Semmering/Baden (1937)
   US Championship (1936)
   Hastings 1937/38 (1937)
   Nottingham (1936)
   Wertheim Memorial (1951)
   Kemeri (1937)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Finesse by Garre
   Match Fine! by amadeus
   Fines - Lessons From My Games by scheidt
   Fine by Morten
   US Open 1934, Chicago = 35th ACF Congress by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1935, Milwaukee = 36th ACF Congress by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1939, New York = 40th ACF Congress by Phony Benoni
   1938 US Championship by crawfb5
   US Open 1940, Dallas by Phony Benoni
   1936 US Championship by crawfb5
   US Open 1941, St. Louis by Phony Benoni
   Semmering/Baden 1937 by suenteus po 147
   Nottingham 1936 by Hesam7
   AVRO 1938 by Benzol

GAMES ANNOTATED BY FINE: [what is this?]
   Fine vs Botvinnik, 1938

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(born Oct-11-1914, died Mar-26-1993, 78 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
Reuben Fine was born in 1914. He grew up in New York City and first learned to play chess at the age of eight. After winning several strong American tournaments as a youth, Fine turned to international competition. In 1937 he tied with Paul Keres for first at Margate, and at the AVRO tournament the next year he again finished tied for first with Keres.

During World War II he was employed by the Navy to calculate where enemy submarines might surface.

After World War II, he was offered an invitation to the World Championship tournament in 1948, but declined to participate. He retired from chess a few years later in order to pursue a career in psychology. In his foreshortened career, Fine played tournament games against five world champions. He had overall plus scores against Emanuel Lasker, Alexander Alekhine, and Mikhail Botvinnik, and even records against Jose Raul Capablanca and Max Euwe.

He was an author of note, his most recognized works being Ideas Behind the Chess Openings and Basic Chess Endings.

Wikipedia article: Reuben Fine

 page 1 of 21; games 1-25 of 506  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. F Reinfeld vs Fine 1-055 1930 Rice Club Junior MastersC14 French, Classical
2. F Reinfeld vs Fine  0-134 1930 Marshall Chess Club-ch, PrelimC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
3. Dake vs Fine 1-035 1930 young mastersB24 Sicilian, Closed
4. Fine vs Dake 0-117 1931 New York, USAE43 Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation
5. F Reinfeld vs Fine  1-024 1931 Marshall CC ChampionshipD65 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, Main line
6. Fine vs J Rappaport 1-028 1931 USA Intercollegiate ch -32, USAA00 Uncommon Opening
7. Fine vs F Reinfeld  ½-½18 1931 New York State ChampionshipD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
8. Capablanca vs Fine 0-148 1931 New York SimultaneousD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. Fine vs A Simonson 1-022 1932 New York Marshall CC ch -33, USAA00 Uncommon Opening
10. Fine vs C Elison  1-051 1932 Western ChampionshipD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
11. Factor vs Fine  ½-½49 1932 PasadenaD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
12. Reshevsky vs Fine  ½-½35 1932 Western ChampionshipE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
13. H Borochow vs Fine 1-011 1932 Pasadena USA ch, USAB02 Alekhine's Defense
14. Fine vs Factor  1-054 1932 MinnepolisE00 Queen's Pawn Game
15. Fine vs F Hazard  1-041 1932 Western ChampionshipD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. Fine vs H Steiner 0-131 1932 New York m, USAD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
17. Fine vs Kevitz 1-032 1932 New York, USAE10 Queen's Pawn Game
18. Fine vs M C Palmer  1-060 1932 Western ChampionshipD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
19. Dake vs Fine  ½-½31 1932 PasadenaC14 French, Classical
20. Fine vs H Steiner  0-137 1932 New York m, USAA09 Reti Opening
21. Fine vs H Steiner  1-043 1932 Western ChampionshipE41 Nimzo-Indian
22. J Harris vs Fine  0-138 1932 Western ChampionshipB32 Sicilian
23. Fine vs H Steiner  1-037 1932 New York m, USAE41 Nimzo-Indian
24. F Reinfeld vs Fine 0-132 1932 PasadenaE16 Queen's Indian
25. Fine vs H Steiner 0-129 1932 Pasadena (USA)D67 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line
 page 1 of 21; games 1-25 of 506  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Fine wins | Fine loses  

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  Eduardo Bermudez: 1914-2014 Centenary
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  Eduardo Bermudez: http://arbitrajedeajedrez.blogspot....
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  SteinitzLives: Congratulations Dr. Fine! Now a brief poetic ode to your centennial, which you scored a 78 on:

Your chess record was great,
academic achievements too;

I learned much from your chess battles,
but Basic Chess Endings, eww!

Your crushing of Botvinnik at the AVRO,
Gave much pride when it came into view;

Your personal life, was a shambles,
but that's standard chess player for you.

Rot on, Reuben!

Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: 100 years, his legacy lives
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <SteinitzLives> has inspired me ---

He's so fine that Reuben Fine. He's so Fine that Reuben Fine

That Reu-ben Fine

Well, he knew his gambits and he knew his bind

For he know there would come a time

When he would beat an old-er Alekhine

Play to win, play to win, that's Reuben Fine

Play to win, play to win, that's Reuben Fine

No one can catch him, no one can stop that Reu-ben Fine.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: It's disappointing that his parents didn't know he would be a chess grandmasters. They could have named him Akiba Reuben Fine.
Oct-17-14  Rascal Nikov: <Dead and forgotten. O! Poor poor Reuben!> Well, Carlsen finds his approach similar to Fine in a recent interview.
Oct-17-14  TheFocus: At least the culinary world didn't forget him. They named a sandwich after him.
Oct-17-14  diceman: <TheFocus: At least the culinary world didn't forget him. They named a sandwich after him.>

...or the IRS.

...don't pay and they'll impose a "Fine."

Oct-17-14  TheFocus: "How was lunch, dear?"

"Well, the salad was okay, but the Reuben was Fine."

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Carlsen has the impression that what he is doing now is similar to what Reuben Fine was doing in chess:

"I have been reading about the match between Fischer and Karpov that didnít happen. I find a bit of myself in both those players.

Another I could compare myself to is actually an American: Reuben Fine, who was very strong but quit chess early on. I was just reading about him the other day and it didnít strike me before but now it strikes me that what he was doing in chess is similar to what I am doing."

Oct-17-14  Petrosianic: Similar in what way?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: That does seem an odd comparison to make; for Carlsen, even if he were never to play again, has far outstripped Fine by any measure.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: According to Kasparov, this is the take-away fact you need to know about the man:

<Reuben Fine played 25 games with five world champions and had a score of +3; which is amazing. +1 against Botvinnik, +1 against Alekhine, +1 against Lasker (only one game), and even score with Euwe and Capablanca. This is something that makes it more exciting for the audience because there is a fact. Thereís something they can rely on.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Though Fine is easy to poke fun at, (isn't everyone?) had he stayed with chess (yes, yes, speculation is free), he would no doubt have won the U.S. Championship several more times, and maybe brought Reshevsky's rep down a notch or two.

I am pretty sure Fine received consideration for invitation, and may have even been invited to play at the World Ch. tourney at The Hague in 1948, but he had made his decision a couple of years earlier to do the psychoanalyst thing.

Sure, Fine could have been at least a challenger for the World Ch., at some point had he seriously stayed with chess, if not achieving even more, but we will never know.

He was awesome in the 1930's that's for sure.

Middlemarch-like in length and in-digestibility, as Basic Chess Endings was and is, it was a pioneering work that no one else had even tried. I have to give Reuben credit for daring to take on such a daunting task. I kind of think Keres book: Practical Chess Endings was one of the healthier early offspring of Fine's flawed but creditable magnum opus.

I would love to know what kind of conversations he had with Fischer in 1963 when Fischer played Fine in some casual games at Fine's home.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <SteinitzLives> Fine never won the US championship.

I'll assume you meant the US Open.

He won that title 7 times.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Fine was indeed invited to play in The Hague/Moscow, but declined due to his doctoral studies.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Or so one version goes, anyway.....
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> As you probably know, Fine gave various and conflicting rationales for his decision not to play. For some reason the link isn't displaying right, but if you Google this - Edward Winter Reuben Fine 1948 - it is the first hit. Or go to footnote 7 of
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR> I had read more than one comment emanating from Fine as to his reason for not participating, but never realised he had come up with quite so many rationalisations, if you will.
Oct-19-14  drnooo: Who can really say how Fine would have fared had he played. Not I, for sure. Not many have a whopping 71 per cent against some of the best players of his era. As Casey Stengal says, "You can look it up."

However, just for fun let's say the match would have been held in New York. A stones throw from his apt. Then what.

My hunch is he would have said yes.
Notice the distance and otherness of
Russia did not matter to Reshevsky.
Probably it was no single factor that
kept him from playing, though what's most interesting for me is that Fine had nothing much to say in 48, just a kind of whimpering dissembling.

At least Reshevsky DID play, to his credit, but hardly to rest the notion that the Russians could cheat their way to the top. He was beaten and Fine certainly would have had his work cut out for him in that kind of stress and strain. The Russians had kind of a take you pick, any one of us can carry on the glory of Motherland, were not under the daily relentless push to beat the others whereas the American interloper had to pound away game after each game with them.

Lurking also was the distinct possibility that were Fine going to start edging ahead then Keres or Smyslov could start throwing the games, which some say was exactly what happened.

In the end that's likely what brought about Fine's run, a tremendous run, when it was only too clear that at least for another decade Russia would hold the reins on the championship by hook or crook. Told himself, I've done all I can, proved that I was ONE of the best if not THE best and this is as far as that road leads.

In the end we'll never really know how good he was. My own bet, in a match with all the mobsters away from the ring, Keres would have taken him, not easily, but taken him nonetheless. Other than Keres, I wouldn't rate anyone else above him.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Fine was very strong, there's no denying that - although he somehow never won a U.S. Championship. He played in one tournament in 1948, and it was the best result of his life. He won with 8/9, while Euwe could barely muster a plus score.
Oct-19-14  RookFile: Amazing seeing Bisguier's name in that tournament. He is living history.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR: Fine was very strong, there's no denying that - although he somehow never won a U.S. Championship.>

True, despite not having to face Reshevsky, his bete noire in those events, in 1944. Arnold Denker defeated him that year in a memorable miniature.

Mar-24-15  TheFocus: <Combinations have always been the most intriguing aspect of Chess. The masters look for them, the public applauds them, the critics praise them. It is because combinations are possible that chess is more than a lifeless mathematical exercise. They are the poetry of the game; they are to chess what melody is to music. They represent the triumph of mind over matter> - Rueben Fine.
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