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Arnold Denker vs Reuben Fine
USA-ch (1944), New York, NY USA, rd 7, Apr-22
Nimzo-Indian Defense: St. Petersburg Variation (E43)  ·  1-0



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Given 13 times; par: 33 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-09-04  aw1988: <iron maiden> 22. Bxc5 is an illegal move.
Nov-09-04  aw1988: And the rook is on b1, not a1.
Nov-09-04  iron maiden: <aw1988> Sorry about that; of course I meant 22. Bxe8 Qxb1+.
Nov-09-04  aw1988: Ok, hold on a minute. :P
Nov-09-04  aw1988: Well, it looks to me white has a decisive advantage in either case.
Nov-09-04  iron maiden: Yeah, White should still win, but not without a good fight: 22...Qxb1+ 23. Rc1 Qf5.
Nov-13-04  kostich in time: In some ways, a very sad game..Denkers upset of Fine in this game won the US championship for him, and may have been the reason Fine retired from chess. This is a pity, because though Denker was a fine attacking player, he was only a master of the second or third rank, and Fine was a potential world champion
Jan-11-05  Max Lange: is analysis by Kavalek on this famous game
Jan-19-05  LIFE Master AJ: A very good game by my friend, Arnold S. Denker. (I almost cannot believe that he is gone.)
Jan-19-05  aw1988: Yes, a very tragic loss. An extremely nice fellow, who has left us quite a legacy.
Feb-08-05  LIFE Master AJ: <everyone>
I have gotten many e-mails over the news item (on my website) about Denker's passing. Floridians deeply feel this loss ... to know Denker was truly to like him.

I have put together a file of Denker's games. Many of these games are NOT in any database. Quite a few, I entered by hand. (Various sources, like the huge, black, hard-back book on Reshevesky has several Denker-Reshevsky games that were previously unpublished.)

ANYONE who wants this file - sorry, I only do ChessBase format - and sends me an e-mail, I will gladly send it to you. Free, no conditions, no questions asked.

Apr-21-08  Petrosianic: <kostich in time> <In some ways, a very sad game..Denkers upset of Fine in this game won the US championship for him, and may have been the reason Fine retired from chess.>

His inability to beat Reshevsky may have had more to do with it. Fine had already gone up against Reshevsky in three previous US Championships, and fallen short each time. His chance of getting a title shot was almost nil, simply because he wasn't even the top player in his own country.

Fine was a great player, there's no doubt about that. But so much of his reputation is based on one half of one tournament that he didn't even win. He hit an incredibly hot streak in the first 6 rounds of AVRO, and he certainly had the potential to be world champion, but was never an active enough player to have really fulfilled the potential.

The real pity is that this one game virtually decided the tournament. The 1944 championship was so weak that Denker, Fine, Horowitz, Steiner, and maybe Pinkus were the only real contenders. Reshevsky, Kashdan and Santasiere were out.

If Fine had really wanted the US title, he might have challenged Denker to a title match. Denker DID accept a challenge 2 years later, but against the far less deserving Herman Steiner.

<Denker was a fine attacking player>

In more ways than one! (pun intended).

But don't sell Denker short. He was a far more talented player than he gets credit for, and he won a brilliant attacking game here. Fine didn't give him this game, he took it.

Dec-31-08  YoungEd: This week on, there's an "annotated video" of this game. Worth checking out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: <"One moment that I will never forget" wrote Arnold in The Bobby Fischer I Knew "is when ...[Reuben Fine and I]drove home after I won the 1944 U.S. Championship - in large part because of beating Ruby in our individual game. "You know" he said without bitterness, "you've always stood in my way." He was right, and the thought saddened me."> Obituary of Arnold Denker by Larry Parr, in The Bobby Fischer I Knew And Other Stories pp 5-36. Quotation from p23-24
Jul-24-15  Petrosianic: Heard the story, but I can't think of any time other than the 1944 US Championship where Denker specifically stood in Fine's way. The other instances must have been pretty minor.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Petrosianic: Heard the story, but I can't think of any time other than the 1944 US Championship where Denker specifically stood in Fine's way. The other instances must have been pretty minor.>

Perhaps Denker was standing in the road at the time.

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