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Reuben Fine vs Hermann Helms
"Take the Helms" (game of the day Jan-27-2009)
Simultan (blind), New York (USA) (1945) (blindfold), New York, NY USA
Spanish Game: Open Variations. Classical Defense (C83)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 40 times; par: 29 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-27-09  drnooo: Hardly crazy. It was the case of a 2800 player or close beating a 2500 player. Fine said for some reason he could see the entire board clearly. What was really crazy was his feat of taking on 4 new york masters at ten seconds a move simultaneously and beating them all, just going down the line , they make a move, he does, wham wham, and none of them winning even a game.
Jan-27-09  drnooo: In the early to late 40s a case could be made that Fine was the best player in the world, including Reshevsky and Keres. He could have played in the 48 championship but declined according to Evans because he did not want to have to deal with the Russians throwing games to each other in case he was winning. For me Keres was still the best, with Fine and Reshevsky close behind. At any rate Fine is one of the most overlooked truly great players at this site.
Jan-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <drnooo: In the early to late 40s a case could be made that Fine was the best player in the world, including Reshevsky and Keres. He could have played in the 48 championship but declined according to Evans because he did not want to have to deal with the Russians throwing games to each other in case he was winning. For me Keres was still the best, with Fine and Reshevsky close behind. At any rate Fine is one of the most overlooked truly great players at this site.>

He didn't go to the 1948 championship because he didn't want to get his @$$ kicked. Look up his postwar games with the Soviets.

The best player in the world in the early to late 1940s was Mikhail Botvinnik, and it wasn't close. Deal with it.

Jan-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Epaulette mate at its finest. Only two attacking pieces in sight cause a pretty mate.
Jan-27-09  TheChessGuy: Also, he got his PhD in psychology from USC at this time, so he wasn't just sitting around. After World War II, he probably just got out of practice and decided not to return to top-level chess. He had some great accomplishments before, like finishing second on tiebreak in AVRO 1938, but I agree with keypusher here. Botvinnik was better by the 1940's.
Jan-27-09  drnooo: Even saying that Botvinnik was better than Keres shows a certain ignorance. That is far from certain: Keres had to worry about losing his head. Stalin was no joke. But go ahead and think as you like. Fine was hardly afraid of Botvinnik. His record shows that. The two players in the group that may have been better than he (Fine) are Reshevsky and Keres. As for the rest he could have more than held his own with enough time to get into form. The real key for any of the super gms is percentage. His 65 is really good. Anyway you go ahead and think that Botvinnik was better, Fine with me. Far as Im concerned Botvinnik got a free ride from the Soviets. Keres was the best of that bunch, Bronstein later, and then maybe even Korchnoi having to play under the cloud he did with Karpov. The KGB was the real champion of world chess for a long time. Some of these guys were playing for their very llives, and it hardly paid to win certain games in something as trivial as chess.
Jan-27-09  freeman8201: Nice info drnooo. I haven't studied Botvinnik games but I'd rather study Keres, Reshevsky (the American?) and Reuben Fine now.
Jan-27-09  blacksburg: <freeman8201> regardless of your opinion about botvinnik, his games are very instructive and worth looking at.
Jan-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheDestruktor: Just to add to the discussion.

Acording to Jeff Sonas's Chessmetrics website, the best player in the late 40s was clearly Botvinnik. Reuben Fine was one of the top contenders, but it is very hard to name him as #1.

http://db.chessmetrics.com/CM2/Summ...

Jan-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <drnooo: Even saying that Botvinnik was better than Keres shows a certain ignorance. >

No. Discussing who is the best chessplayer in the 1940s and not mentioning Botvinnik, on the other hand, is stupid.

That Botvinnik was better than Keres, Reshevsky and Fine in the 1940s rests not just on his head to head superiority over Keres and Reshevsky but on the fact that he outperformed all three of them, as shown in their ratings.

http://db.chessmetrics.com/CM2/Mont...

Botvinnik had two significant advantages over Reshevsky and Fine: he could make a decent living from chess, and living in the Soviet Union he faced far stronger opposition during the war than they did. After the war was over, Fine participated in the team matches between the USA and USSR and discovered that he was no longer in the same class as Boleslavsky and Keres, never mind Botvinnik. Under the circumstances it was prudent for him to decline to participate in the 1948 contest; it would not have enhanced his reputation.

By the way, why did Reshevsky do so badly against Botvinnik in the 1940s? Was he afraid of the KGB too?

Jan-27-09  moi: moi: I don't understand... It was already well known that the pawn e4 is poisoned after 5 0-0. It is impossible to keep it if black tries 7... exd4 then: 8 Re1 d5 9 Kc3!! dxc3
10 Bxd5! and now if 10... Bd7, 12 Rxe4+ followed by Qe2(black is pined everywhere!), and if 10... Bb7: 11 Bxe4! Qxd1
12 Bxc6 ++
Jan-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Even if you throw out all their head to head events (the 1940 Absolute Championship, the 1947 Chigorin Memorial, the 1948 world championship) and ignore certain inconvenient facts (like Keres somehow being permitted to win the 1947 Soviet championship, or Botvinnik getting kicked off the 1952 Soviet olympic team) Keres just wasn't as good as Botvinnik in the 1940s. Keres never had a result like Botvinnik's +14-0=4 win against a strong field in the 1945 Soviet championship.

I think the circumstances of Keres' participation in the 1948 championship were less than ideal, to put it mildly. That aside, though, the idea that everyone in the USSR played with a gun to his head whenever he sat down against Botvinnik is just a fantasy.

Jan-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: clear-cut moves
Jan-27-09  tivrfoa: wow. Fine was a genius (at least based is his biography).
Jan-27-09  WhiteRook48: why not "Not so fine anymore" as the pun?
Jan-27-09  Stream118: If 17...Bf8 18.Ng5 with the idea of Nxh8 and then removing the defending bishop, oomments?
Jan-27-09  tivrfoa: nice <WhiteRook48>! As I'm a foreign, must puns I don't understand, but this I did. =D
Jan-27-09  WhiteRook48: what does "Take the Helms" mean? cause I really have no clue because I'm a kid
Jan-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <WhiteRook48: what does "Take the Helms" mean? cause I really have no clue because I'm a kid>

Back before you were born there were these things called "boats" which floated, believe it or not, on water. These boats were steered with things called "helms". So to "take the helm" came to mean "take command."

Jan-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: The Fine answered the helm.
Jan-29-09  WhiteRook48: how dumb I was to not have known what the Helms were. Course I knew what a boat was...
Mar-07-09  WhiteRook48: very Fine! Steer the helms and get over here! :D
Jun-09-11  Sho: This game is featured in the (mammoth) book _Chess, 5334 Poblems, Combinations, and Games_ by Laszlo Polgar, published by Tess Press, page 857.

(A book every bathroom should have.)

Apr-23-17  clement41: Black had played the opening correctly until 10...Nxd2?! which, at least IMO, is weak because it helps white develop and removes black's strongest piece in this line. Rather, he had a choice between 10.

Nc5, f5, Bf5 maybe or even smthg like 10...0-0 and if 11 Nxe4 de 12 Bxe6 fe 13 Ng5 perhaps 13...Qd5

Apr-23-17  morfishine: I assume Helms was the first "Dean of American Chess" and Koltanowski was his successor since both held the honorary title "The Dean of American Chess" at some time during their overlapping careers

*****

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