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Reuben Fine
Number of games in database: 518
Years covered: 1930 to 1986
Overall record: +279 -64 =145 (72.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      30 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (32) 
    E33 E37 E43 E23 E40
 Orthodox Defense (30) 
    D51 D55 D63 D50 D52
 Queen's Gambit Declined (25) 
    D37 D30 D06 D35 D31
 Grunfeld (20) 
    D83 D81 D82 D70 D73
 Ruy Lopez (16) 
    C86 C70 C83 C79 C68
 Queen's Pawn Game (13) 
    D02 E00 E10 A40 D05
With the Black pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (31) 
    E33 E34 E43 E22 E45
 Sicilian (22) 
    B45 B84 B50 B40 B29
 French Defense (21) 
    C01 C14 C11 C13 C02
 Ruy Lopez (18) 
    C74 C83 C71 C73 C79
 Queen's Gambit Declined (18) 
    D38 D30 D37 D39
 Orthodox Defense (17) 
    D51 D50 D68 D65 D63
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Fine vs Botvinnik, 1938 1-0
   Fine vs Dake, 1933 1-0
   Fine vs W Winter, 1936 1-0
   I A Horowitz vs Fine, 1934 0-1
   Fine vs Alekhine, 1938 1-0
   Fine vs Lasker, 1936 1-0
   Fine vs Flohr, 1938 1-0
   Fine vs Gruenfeld, 1936 1-0
   Fine vs J Rappaport, 1931 1-0
   Fine vs Alekhine, 1937 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Zandvoort (1936)
   Margate (1937)
   Fine - Steiner (1944)
   Fine - Najdorf (1949)
   Hastings 1936/37 (1936)
   Semmering/Baden (1937)
   Syracuse (1934)
   Amsterdam (1936)
   AVRO (1938)
   US Championship (1936)
   Nottingham (1936)
   Hastings 1937/38 (1937)
   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 1935, Milwaukee = 36th ACF Congress by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1934, Chicago = 35th Western Chess Champ 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
   AVRO 1938 by Benzol
   US Open 1941, St. Louis by Phony Benoni

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. He played on three US Olympiad teams from 1933 to 1937, winning one gold and one silver individual medal, while all three teams finished first ( 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

Last updated: 2016-08-04 14:54:53

 page 1 of 21; games 1-25 of 518  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. F Reinfeld vs Fine  0-134 1930 Marshall Chess Club-ch, PrelimC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
2. Dake vs Fine 1-035 1930 young mastersB24 Sicilian, Closed
3. F Reinfeld vs Fine 1-055 1930 Rice Club Junior MastersC14 French, Classical
4. Fine vs F Reinfeld  ½-½18 1931 New York State ChampionshipD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
5. Fine vs Dake 0-117 1931 New York, USAE43 Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation
6. F Reinfeld vs Fine  1-024 1931 Marshall CC ChampionshipD65 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, Main line
7. Fine vs J Rappaport 1-028 1931 USA Intercollegiate ch -32, USAA00 Uncommon Opening
8. Fine vs A J Fink 1-030 1932 Pasadena (USA)A00 Uncommon Opening
9. G S Barnes vs Fine  0-138 1932 Western ChampionshipD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
10. Fine vs H Steiner  1-038 1932 New York m, USAE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
11. H Steiner vs Fine  1-061 1932 New York, USAD90 Grunfeld
12. Fine vs Kashdan  ½-½40 1932 PasadenaD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. H Steiner vs Fine  0-165 1932 New York m, USAB03 Alekhine's Defense
14. Fine vs R Levenstein  1-063 1932 Ch Marshall Chess Club, New York (USA)A53 Old Indian
15. A Hermann vs Fine 0-118 1932 Western ChampionshipD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
16. H Steiner vs Fine 0-128 1932 New York m, USAD90 Grunfeld
17. Fine vs A Simonson 1-022 1932 New York Marshall CC ch -33, USAA00 Uncommon Opening
18. Fine vs C Elison  1-051 1932 Western ChampionshipD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
19. Factor vs Fine  ½-½49 1932 PasadenaD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
20. H Borochow vs Fine 1-011 1932 Pasadena USA ch, USAB02 Alekhine's Defense
21. Reshevsky vs Fine  ½-½35 1932 Western ChampionshipE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
22. Fine vs Factor  1-054 1932 MinnepolisE00 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Fine vs F Hazard  1-041 1932 Western ChampionshipD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. Fine vs H Steiner 0-131 1932 New York m, USAD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. Fine vs Kevitz 1-032 1932 New York, USAA70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
 page 1 of 21; games 1-25 of 518  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Fine wins | Fine loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 16 OF 16 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Zanzibar> I changed something:

<His games lie strewn in the dust and rubbish, trampled on by laughing conquerors...>

Because I was SO annoyed that I had used the rubbishy word Passersby in the first version. The whole effect was ruined by one word.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <offramp> you are a true artist, crafting each phrase to perfection (or as need perfection as mortals are allowed).
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <zanzibar> Thank you!!
Aug-11-15  Retireborn: <z> The English are very frivolous people on the whole, and I'm afraid we do find awkward names funny.

<offramp> I actually have a hardback copy of BCE (a 1972 reprint) in good condition, so his books aren't completely turned to dust yet :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Retireborn: <offramp> I actually have a hardback copy of BCE (a 1972 reprint) in good condition, so his books aren't completely turned to dust yet :)>

I understand, but I specifically mentioned the Eloi bookcase from The Time Machine which Rod Taylor smashes up at 7:55am on Thursday,October 12th <802,701 AD>!. I'm pretty sure one of the books (possibly the first) was BCE.

I'm only joking :-) ... BCE is a tremendous achievement. It hadn't been done before and was the foundation of many subsequent books.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Retireborn: <z> The English are very frivolous people on the whole, and I'm afraid we do find awkward names funny.>

Most English people, at least the English people <I> know, pronounce Cockburn identically to Coburn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It is Coburn to me, same as with the musician Bruce Cockburn, well known Over Here.

My recollection is of Larry Evans noting in his column that Cockburn was being interviewed on one show or another here in the States and the interviewer insisted on pronouncing the surname Cock-burn, despite knowing the correct pronunciation.

Aug-11-15  Retireborn: <offramp> BCE is certainly a monumental work.

My copy has a preface in which he thanks Irving Chernev for use of his excellent library, and his (Fine's) wife for typing the manuscript.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: It's a bit hard to know where to begin, or when to quit...

Now that I know how to properly pronounce Cockburn, does the same rule apply to the Cockrobin of the Lancet article?

I guess it doesn't.

* * * * *

<Retireborn: <z> The English are very frivolous people on the whole, and I'm afraid we do find awkward names funny.>

I once had a particularly English friend, in a purely friendly fashion. Well I remember how she characterized the English to me:

<The English are a war-like people.>

She was not the kind of women with whom I was inclined to lightly disagree on small matters, (or large matters, for that matter).

* * * * *

I shall defer comment on BCE for another time, then.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Reuben Fine.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Here is my problem with Reuben Fine. I have played over a few of his games and I have found them, like Staunton's games, to be really boring.

So he has not invaded my conciousness to any concrete extent, and all I have is nebulous feelings and half-recollections.

I know that he won AVRO in 1938 and I believe that in that tournament he had a remarkable run of success over five consecutive rounds.

But what he did before about 1933 I have no idea. I also think that after 1938 he played 1 more game, a blitz against Fischer which is in 61MG.

I know that he may or may not have been invited to the 1948 World Championship at the Hague.

It is all very vague.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <offramp> This game will pique your interest, I think: Fine vs Botvinnik, 1938.

Fine was indeed invited to play for the title in '48, but declined due to his doctoral studies.

Mar-29-16  Petrosianic: That was the story he gave at the time. He changed it a couple of times after that. In later years he claimed he dropped out because he thought the tournament was fixed. Although if you read his columns in Chess Review at the time, you can see that he supported the format enthusiastically. Dropping out because of necessity is one thing, but had he really dropped out to make some kind of political point, and cost the West a seat in the process (it had been agreed long before that no substitutions would be allowed), he would have been a huge villain.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <The style of the Grandmaster Fine is best described as technically very good, but for the rest, relatively neutral.

The truth is that he handled all sorts of positions well, without showing definite preference for any.

His style was polished, his games streamlined.

After the war Fine virtually withdrew from competitive Chess.>

Max Euwe

From his book: The Middlegame book 2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Euwe is a methodical player who is not at his best in wild and woolly positions, and here, too, he did not pick the most resourceful line."

-Reuben Fine>

Euwe vs Fine, 1938 (kibitz #2)

Mar-29-16  Petrosianic: Fine got lost in several such positions. In addition to that one, the loss to Denker, and the draw with Reshevsky that cost him the 1940 US Championship leap to mind.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <chancho> Had forgotten Euwe's assessment; have not seen my copy of that in a good many years.

Good overview by Euwe, though: the impression I had was that Fine was a superb technician, but I did not glean any clearcut preferences, unlike about any other top player of the time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: At his best, Fine was terrific in the opening. Reshevsky was not, but there was something in Reshevsky's nature that made him more of a fighter than Fine. There were definitely some Fine vs. Reshevsky struggles where Fine had Reshevsky on the ropes, but Reshevsky would escape.
Premium Chessgames Member
  luftforlife: On May 29, 2005, Canadian tournament player Neil Sullivan (described by Keith Spraggett in 2012 as "considered a respected and authoritative voice in the Montreal chess community") posted online at <chessbanter> the PGN header and moves for Reuben Fine's March 9, 1937 second-round victory over Ilya Kan at the Moscow International. Fine won this tournament, and while his other tournament victories are hosted here, this win has not yet been uploaded.

Here's a tournament crosstable from Rusbase:

I've gleaned from the <chessbanter> discussion thread that Sullivan may have derived the score from Aidan Woodger's Reuben Fine: A Comprehensive Record of an American Chess Career, 1929-1951 (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. 2004). I do not have this volume, but perhaps another member does, and might be so kind as to verify the score.

Here is the score as Sullivan posted it:

[Event "Moscow"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1937.03.09"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Kan, I."]
[Black "Fine, R."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D02"]
[PlyCount "68"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. d4 Bf5 5. O-O e6 6. c3 Nf6 7. Nbd2 h6 8. a3 a5 9. Qb3 Qc7 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Qb5 Ba7 12. c4 Rd8 13. c5 e5 14. b4 Bd7 15. bxa5 e4 16. Ne1 Nxa5 17. Qb1 Bxc5 18. Nb3 Nxb3 19. Qxb3 Bc6 20. Nc2 O-O 21. Bb2 d4 22. Nb4 Bb5 23. Rfe1 Qb6 24. Bf1 d3 25. e3 Rfe8 26. Rab1 Qe6 27. Qxe6 Rxe6 28. Bxf6 Rxf6 29. Nd5 Rxd5 30. Rxb5 Bxe3 31. Rxd5 Bxf2+ 32. Kg2 Bxe1 33. Rd4 Rf2+ 34. Kg1 d2 0-1.

Here is the link to the <chessbanter> thread:

NICBase has this game from Schaakwereld 1937 with the identical score (though the figurine minimal algebraic notation reproduced there is not disambiguated).

I enjoyed playing through this game, and I hope others do, too. Best to all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  luftforlife: GM Dr. Reuben Fine briefly analyzes his pawn-capture tactics and eventual victory in Kan-Fine Moscow 1937 in his The Middle Game in Chess (New York: David McKay Co. 1952, Tartan softcover reprint, September 1972), at 120.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <luftforlife> I have the book.

It has a price of $2.95. on the cover.

Too bad they are not that cheap today.

Premium Chessgames Member
  luftforlife: <chancho>: Good to hear from you. The Middle Game in Chess I have (I usually buy hardcover, but this was mint and inexpensive), and I find it rewarding and informative. Aidan Woodger's volume has been favorably reviewed, and I look forward to buying a copy at some point. Kind regards.
Mar-30-16  Granny O Doul: Speaking of post-chess career blitz games, Fine also played two vs. Kasparov at the Manhattan Chess Club in '88, I guess. Was about the time of that clock simul GK gave vs. six top juniors at the Russian Tea Room. Fine was rather overmatched, but no one else that night scored any better, except for Dlugy who managed one draw out of four games. This was some time after Max had taken Garry to the limit at the World Blitz up in Canada.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gejewe: <luftforlife>
I have verified the score of I.Kan-R.Fine with the one in Woodger's "Reuben Fine" from 2004, page 145, game 355 and it matches. Just as playing- date and round. Woodger also provides the full tournament table on page 144. The notes to game 260, Alatortsev-Fine where 4..Nf6 was played give : "In the game with Kan I played 4..Bf5 but after 5.0-0 e6 White can reach an attacking position with good prospects by 6.c4!." So in retrospect Fine was not happy about his earlier choice.
Premium Chessgames Member
  luftforlife: <Gejewe>: Thank you very much! Kind regards to you.

For those who might be interested, and who do not have Aidan Woodger's volume, the scores from the Moscow International of Reuben Fine's draws in the fifth round against Vasily Panov on March 13, 1937 and in the seventh round against Vladimir Alatortsev on March 16, 1937 may be found in the same May 29, 2005 <chessbanter> post by Neil Sullivan that I linked above.

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