Reuben Fine
Number of games in database: 506
Years covered: 1930 to 1986
Overall record: +268 -63 =146 (71.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      29 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
   Capablanca vs Fine, 1931 0-1
   Fine vs W Winter, 1936 1-0
   Fine vs Dake, 1933 1-0
   Fine vs Alekhine, 1938 1-0
   I A Horowitz vs Fine, 1934 0-1
   Fine vs Lasker, 1936 1-0
   Fine vs Flohr, 1938 1-0
   Fine vs Gruenfeld, 1936 1-0
   Reshevsky vs Fine, 1941 1/2-1/2

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

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Lessons From My Games - Fine by TheFocus
   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
   1938 US Championship by crawfb5
   US Open 1940, Dallas by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1939, New York = 40th ACF Congress by Phony Benoni
   1936 US Championship by crawfb5
   Nottingham 1936 by Hesam7
   Semmering/Baden 1937 by suenteus po 147
   US Open 1941, St. Louis by Phony Benoni

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

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Reuben Fine
Search Google for Reuben Fine

(born Oct-11-1914, died Mar-26-1993) 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 against five world champions. Fine had overall plus scores against three of them (Emanuel Lasker, Alexander Alekhine, and Mikhail Botvinnik) and even records against the other two, Jose Raul Capablanca and Max Euwe.

He was an author of note, his most recognized works were: 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. Dake vs Fine 1-035 1930 young mastersB24 Sicilian, Closed
2. F Reinfeld vs Fine 1-055 1930 Rice Club Junior MastersC14 French, Classical
3. F Reinfeld vs Fine  0-134 1930 Marshall Chess Club-ch, PrelimC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
4. Capablanca vs Fine 0-148 1931 New York SimultaneousD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. F Reinfeld vs Fine  1-024 1931 Marshall CC ChampionshipD65 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, Main line
6. Fine vs Dake 0-117 1931 New York, USAE43 Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation
7. Fine vs F Reinfeld  ½-½18 1931 New York State ChampionshipD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
8. Fine vs J Rappaport 1-028 1931 USA Intercollegiate ch -32, USAA00 Uncommon Opening
9. H Steiner vs Fine  1-061 1932 New York, USAD90 Grunfeld
10. Fine vs C F Ellison  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. Alekhine vs Fine ½-½57 1932 PasadenaB02 Alekhine's Defense
14. H Steiner vs Fine  0-165 1932 New York m, USAB03 Alekhine's Defense
15. Fine vs R Levenstein  1-063 1932 Ch Marshall Chess Club, New York (USA)A53 Old Indian
16. Fine vs F Hazard  1-041 1932 Western ChampionshipD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
17. H Steiner vs Fine 0-128 1932 New York m, USAD90 Grunfeld
18. Fine vs A Simonson 1-022 1932 New York Marshall CC ch -33, USAA00 Uncommon Opening
19. Fine vs M C Palmer  1-060 1932 Western ChampionshipD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
20. Dake vs Fine  ½-½31 1932 PasadenaC14 French, Classical
21. H Borochow vs Fine 1-011 1932 Pasadena USA ch, USAB02 Alekhine's Defense
22. Fine vs H Steiner  1-043 1932 Western ChampionshipE41 Nimzo-Indian
23. Fine vs Factor  1-054 1932 MinnepolisE00 Queen's Pawn Game
24. J Harris vs Fine  0-138 1932 Western ChampionshipB32 Sicilian
25. Fine vs H Steiner 0-131 1932 New York m, USAD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
 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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Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Her name is Jane Nigh. She was in an early TV show called Big Town.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gejewe: <RookFile>
These simuls must have been quite a tough job, even for chess-stars like Capablanca and Fine. A few years ago I noticed the following game in the “Wiener Schachzeitung” from a simultaneous with clocks given in Moscow by Rueben Fine. It is an extremely brutal game, difficult to imagine that the player of the black pieces is the grandmasters opponent in a simul ! But Alexander Chistiakov was a strong Soviet master, and two years after this game, he was competing in the final of the 11th USSR championship in 1939 together with Botvinnik and others. His best result was probably winning the Moscow championship in 1950 together with Yuri Averbakh. That is the kind of opposition that Fine and the other guests could expect in a simultaneous display in those days !

Fine,R - Chistiakov,A
Moscow , Clocksimul. (6), 1937
1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.0–0 0–0 6.c4 d5 7.Nc3 c6 8.Bf4 Qe8 9.Qc2 Qh5 10.Rab1 Nbd7 11.c5 Ne4 12.b4 g5! [12...Bf6 13.b5 , Reshevsky-Botwinnik , Nottingham 1936 13...Ndxc5 14.Nxe4! fxe4 (14...Nxe4 15.bxc6 bxc6 16.Qxc6) 15.Qxc5 exf3 16.Bxf3 Qe8 17.Rfe1 and e4..] 13.Bc7 Rf6
[13...g4 14.Ne5 Ng5; 13...Bf6]
14.h3 Rh6
[14...g4 15.hxg4 fxg4 16.Nxe4! dxe4 17.Nh4]
[Better 15.Nxe4 fxe4 16.Ne5 Nxe5 17.Bxe5 g4 18.h4]
15...g4 16.hxg4 fxg4 17.Nh4
[17.Nxe4 gxf3 18.Bxf3 Qh2+ –+; 17.Ne5 Qh2+ 18.Kf1 Nxg3+! 19.fxg3 Rf6+ 20.Nf3 gxf3 21.exf3 Rxf3+ –+] 17...Nxf2!!
[17...Nxc3 18.Qxc3 Bxh4 19.gxh4 Qxh4 20.e4! and white has the initiative] 18.Kxf2
[18.Bf4 Bxh4! (18...Rf6 19.Kxf2 Rxf4+ 20.gxf4 Bxh4+) 19.Bxh6 Bxg3] 18...Bxh4 19.gxh4
[19.Rh1 Qf7+ and ..Bg5]
19...Qxh4+ 20.Ke3
[20.Kg1 g3 21.Be5 Qh2+ 22.Kf1 Nxe5 23.dxe5 Bd7 and ..Rf8+; Better 20.Bg3 Rf6+ 21.Bf3 Qg5 (21...Qh5 22.Rh1) 22.Rg1!] 20...e5! 21.dxe5
[21.Kd2 exd4 22.Na4 Ne5! 23.Bxe5 Qg5+ 24.e3 Qxe5 25.exd4 Qf4+! and..Bf5 with a strong attack] 21...d4+!
[21...Qg3+ 22.Bf3 and Rg1..]
22.Kxd4 Qf2+ 23.Kd3
[23.Ke4? Nxc5+ 24.bxc5 Bf5#; 23.Kc4 Nxe5+]
[Better 23...Qxg2]
24.Bxe5 Bf5+ 25.e4
[25.Be4 Rd8+ 26.Bd6 Rdxd6+ 27.cxd6 Rxd6+ 28.Kc4 Be6+ 29.Bd5 cxd5+ 30.Kb3 d4+ 31.Kb2 Rc6!‚; 25.Ne4 Rd8+ 26.Bd6 Qxg2 27.Qc4+ Re6–+] 25...Rd8+ 26.Bd6
[Better 26.Nd5 Rxd5+ 27.Kc3 Qxc2+ 28.Kxc2 Rxe5 29.exf5 Rxf5] 26...Rdxd6+! 27.cxd6 Rxd6+ 28.Nd5 Qg3+!!
[28...Rxd5+ 29.Kc3 Qd4+ 30.Kb3]
[29.Kd4 Rxd5+ and 30.Kc4 b5#; 29.Kc4 cxd5+ 30.Kb5 Bd7+ 31.Ka5 Ra6#; 29.Re3 Rxd5+ 30.Kc4 (30.Ke2 Qxg2+) 30...Qxe3 31.exf5 b5#; 29.Ke2! Qxg2+ 30.Kd1 Rxd5+ 31.Kc1 Qxc2+ 32.Kxc2 Bg6 33.Kc3 Rg5 with a big advantage ] 29...Rxd5+ 30.Kc1
[30.exd5 Qxg2+ 31.Re2 Qxd5+ and ..Bxc2]
30...Qxe1+ 31.Kb2 Qxb4+–+ 32.Ka1 Qd4+ 33.Qb2
[33.Rb2 Qd1+]
33...Qxb2+ 34.Kxb2 Rb5+
35.Kc1 Rxb1+ 36.Kxb1 Bg6 37.Kc2 Kf7 38.Kd3 Ke6 39.Kd4 b6 40.Bf1 c5+ 0–1

This is human analysis, and it was done 75 years ago. It is very probable that the Houdini 3 engine will be able to find improvements, but even as it is, it clearly indicates the brilliance of Chistiakov's play, and the tough job these simul-givers had to face.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I'm Fine. The rest of you need therapy.


Apr-12-13  Antiochus: In Fine vs H Steiner, 1945, Fine sacrificed a knight for the central control at move 17, winning quicly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: <Conrad93: What is a babe like that doing with a nerd? It shouldn't be possible. Especially if she's a blonde.>

My experience suggests that you'd do well to be less cocksure. Women (even blondes) are individuals, and some of them are indeed attracted by manifest intelligence.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Abdel Irada>: As stated by <kb2ct> here: Kenneth Rogoff

<Certain types of pollution can not be solved by dilution.>

Jun-05-13  SBC: Followers of Fine may find this page worthwhile:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: There seems to be a typo in the URL for Batgirl's article, here is the correct link:
Jun-05-13  RookFile: It's nice, but nobody could touch Capa in speed chess, Fine included.
Jun-19-13  SBC:

Fine only played against Capablanca once in a rapid transit tournament, in 1934, and Capablanca won. Fine was really just starting out in chess and Capablanca was the long established king of speed. When Fine reached his rapid-transit pace in the 1940s, Capablanca was already dead. Fine's results, not just in rapid-transit, but in simultaneous rapid-transit and simultaneous blindfold rapid-transit, between 1942-5 speak for themselves.

Jun-19-13  RookFile: That's fine. I'm not aware of a time from 1914 onwards until his death that <anybody> could touch Capablanca in speed chess. This is where chess being Capa's "mother tongue" was such a huge advantage. It is to Fine's credit that he could even be mentioned as a possibility.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: If Capablanca didn't play any speed chess at all after 1934, I don't know how we can be so sure that he was still the best, especially after 1936 when his tournament results fell off. The best speed chess player in the USA, and probably the world, in the mid-to-late 1930s was Arthur Dake--does anyone know if Capablanca ever played him in a fast game?
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <1933> (December 6th), New York. In a 10-player rapid transit tournament at the Marshall Chess Club, <Capablanca> made a clean score of 9 wins. Results: 1st, Capablanca 9-0; 2nd-4th, <Fine>, Hanauer & Reshevsky 7-2; 5th, Chernev 4-5; 6th Hamermesh 4-5; 7th-9th, Dunst, Hammer & Simon 2-7; 10th, Sack 1-8. (<The New York Times>, December 7th, 1933, page 31.)

<The above tournament was the only report of Capablanca participating in a quick play event after 1930 that could be found. As mentioned above, it is not clear if this was because he played very little rapid chess after this date or if it was simply because his exploits in this sphere were under-reported during this period.>

<Reuben Fine>, in an interview in <Blitz Chess> magazine of July-September, 1992 (Vol. 4, Issue 2), states that <Capablanca> won a blitz tournament in 1931. Here is the portion of the interview that refers to this:

<BC: To your knowledge, when was the first international Blitz event with clocks?

RF: Capa won the first one, in 1931.

BC: How did Capa and Alekhine compare at Blitz?

RF: Capa was 50-100 points better at Blitz, and Alekhine was 50-100 points worse!

<Unfortunately, no reports could be found about this event which, from the description, appears to have been a five-minute tournament.>

In his autobiography <Lessons from My Games> (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1958), <Reuben Fine> recalls that there were weekly rapid transit tournaments at both the Manhattan and Marshall chess clubs during this time (page 18). Contemporary reports give the names of Arthur Dake, Reuben Fine, Milton Hanauer, Martin D. Hago and David Polland as frequent winners of these events. <Fine> himself, discussing the period 1930-2 writes in his book, "At that time arguments still raged about the surprising outcome of the Alekhine-Capablanca match of 1927. Particularly at the Manhattan Chess Club, where <Capablanca> had made his chess home from the earliest days of the century, the Cuban was regarded as a kind of god. I also reflected on the fact that I could already beat Alekhine at quick chess, while <Capablanca,>< the few times that I had played him, beat me mercilessly.>" (Lessons from My Games, page xii).

In Arnold Denker's book (written with Larry Parr) <The Bobby Fischer I Knew and Other Stories> (San Francisco: Hypermodern Press, 1995), he writes of himself and his contemporaries at the Manhattan Chess Club (Kashdan, Reshevsky, <Fine>, Steiner, Simonson, Dake, & Horowitz): "Unfortunately, <Capablanca> seldom deigned to play with us Young Turks and usually confined his activities to giving Knight odds to Al Link and Charlie Saxon, two of his old Columbia University cronies" (page 5). Another account suggests that, at least when money was at stake, the "Young Turks" were not all too enthusiastic about playing <Capablanca> at speed chess during the those hard economic times:

"By all accounts, <Capablanca> remained supreme in lightning chess to the end. <Reuben Fine>, regarded by many as the outstanding speed player of the 1940s, recalls that <Capablanca> treated his opponents like children in fast games.

The late Arthur Dake, a speed chess phenomenon of the 1930s who was easily besting Alekhine as early as the Prague Olympiad of 1931, recollected an evening when fresh from a 12-0 victory in a speed tournament that included the likes of <Fine>, Reshevsky, Al Horowitz, Arnold Denker and virtually every other top American master, he challenged <Capablanca>. <Capa> had just shown up, fresh from a diplomatic function, and faced down a cocky <Reuben Fine>, who had blurted out that fast chess was for "young men" but who would not play the Cuban for money even when offered odds. Dake wanted to play and expected Horowitz, his closest friend, to back him. Instead, Horowitz grabbed Dake’s sleeve and said, 'No one plays <Capa> at lightning chess. I won’t back you.' ” (Larry Parr, <"The Kings of Chess: José Raul Capablanca">, Chess Canada, 2007-1, page 29. This article had previously appeared on the old World Chess Network website.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Thanks much, <Thefocus>, I was unfamiliar with that anecdote. Of course it is easy to say now that Dake should have gotten his chance, but it was not our money on the line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: The above post of mine is NOT my research. A poster has a webite where he has found all of Capablanca's blitz tournaments.

I apologize to that poster. I am trying to find his handle and the link to his research.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: I believe you are referring to the inactive user User: WilhelmThe2nd . His website on Capablanca's speed chess performances is now defunct, but there is an archived copy at .
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <caissanist> Thanks. he's the one.

Luckily for me, I had copied off all his material.

At least now, I can credit him properly if I use his research again.

Jun-21-13  RookFile: It's all very good. Those guys knew. You didn't play Capa in blitz chess, unless you enjoyed getting slapped around.
Oct-11-13  Penguincw: R.I.P. Rueben, one of the finest players of his era.
Nov-28-13  Penguincw: K Quote of the Day K

< "Discovered check is the dive-bomber of the chessboard." >


I think I heard this quote before.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Poor Reuben Fine. Forgotten now.

His books, once studied, now turn to ash on the shelves.

His games, once held up a models of virtue, are now scorned, ridiculed, mocked.

He is mentioned only as something to avoid, remembered as a negative.

"How lonely lies the city
that once thronged with people!
Once great among the nations,
now she is like a widow!
Once princess among provinces,
she has become a vassal."

Dead and forgotten. O! Poor poor Reuben!

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <penguin:

< "Discovered check is the dive-bomber of the chessboard." >


I think I heard this quote before.>

Well, yeah, you quoted it twice on this page in 2011.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <OhioChessFan: <penguin: < "Discovered check is the dive-bomber of the chessboard." >


I think I heard this quote before.>

Well, yeah, you quoted it twice on this page in 2011.>

Poor Reuben. Even his quotes are mocked mercilessly. Repeated ad nauseam like students quoting <The Eye of Argon> or dimwits shouting at the screen during <Plan 9 From Outer Space>!

Who now knows what are these "dive-bombers" about which he wrote. They have been obsolete, like Fine's ideas, for at least 50 years.

"Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and it has become the habitation of devils, and a jail for every unclean spirit, and a store of every unclean and detestable animal."

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: In his desolate and neglected tomb Reuben Fine waits sleeping.

The lonely house by the graveyard is uninhabited. No soul will live there. The spider pitches her web in the solitude. The nocturnal rat peers from his hole. A curse is on it. It is haunted.

The books, books on openings, books on endings, huge books, all turn to dust on their shelves. No eyes now behold them. Their ideas are mocked.

His games lie strewn in the dust and filth, trampled on by laughing passers-by.

"Babylon has fallen! Babylon has fallen!
All her idols lay scattered on the floor."

The ruined city lies desolate.
The entrance to every house is barred shut.
People in the streets call for wine.
All joy passes away,
and the earth's happiness is banished.
The city is left in ruins.
Its gate is battered to pieces!

Poor, poor Reuben!

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: The House That Fine Built is not so... fine after all.
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