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Reuben Fine vs Ernst Gruenfeld
"Reuben, Reuben, I've Been Thinking" (game of the day Apr-18-2014)
Amsterdam (1936), Amsterdam NED, rd 3, Oct-??
Queen's Gambit Declined: Vienna Variation (D39)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: No kibitzing here yet? It's a brilliant attacking and sacrificial game by Fine, that refuted an opening that was looked upon as favorable for Black. Previous analyses ended at 12...Nb4 stating that, as White must now lose his Queen, he's lost.
Jun-20-06  ChessDude33: <TheAlchemist> Yea, definately a fine game by Fine (*cough* scuse me). This game really makes me want to try out the black side of this opening in blitz and see if they resign when they lose their queen (*snicker*).

It looks really trappy, but if white makes it through the pitfalls the attack looks great!

Nov-25-09  PeterB: The whole opening is just a big tactical trap! Two years after this game Fine tried it again against Euwe at AVRO but Euwe improved with 12...Rc8! and went on to win!
Apr-18-14  ThumbTack: <PeterB> I noticed that SF4's opening book has 12..Rc8 13.Kb1 Na5 14.Qc2 e5 15.Nxd4 exd4 16.Rxd4 Nc6 17.Rd1 with While holding a slight advantage. But there is no doubt that the Queen sacrifice after 12..Nb4 is an impressive trap.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Pun means....?
Apr-18-14  weary willy:

Interesting wiki article: "The first line of the song, "Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking," was reused in the very popular song at the close of World War I (1919), "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree?)."

Apr-18-14  Ratt Boy: <PeterB: The whole opening is just a big tactical trap! Two years after this game Fine tried it again against Euwe at AVRO but Euwe improved with 12...Rc8! and went on to win!>

Quite a wild game, too: Fine vs Euwe, 1938

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Yes, great game. Fine and Keres were joint winners of AVRO in 1938, making them effectively joint World Champion as Alekhine and Capblanca were pushed aside.

Fine retired about then to do psychoananlysis.

However, it must be said, he played some very fine games!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I'm not sure if it was a fine day when he retired! But he clearly had a fine time playing chess. And he was a fine shrink in a very fine place. And he wrote some fine books. One, the great ending book, had errors, but was still a great work: a fine work in fact. Not to overfine this, Fine was great, fine indeed. Gruenfeld had his great fine moments also.

(But Fine was superfine refined and finely defined: which was fine.)

Gruen was a remarkable man who wrote a book that was something such as: "All (green and) fine on the wooden front." which was later made into a fine film much to the chagrin of the Nasties, who tried to fine Gruen, but he resigned, blaming everything on Fine. It was a fine state of affairs...

Fine he said, was red, not gruen like him. But Fine reclined and analined, declaring all fine. So greene was Gruen and fine was Fine,

Apr-18-14  thegoldenband: works in mysterious ways! I submitted this pun about a week ago -- but for a completely different game:

Kmoch vs Fine, 1936

It's gone from my submission queue, so...?

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A brilliant queen sac by white! Eventually he win with a material ADVANTAGE.
Apr-18-14  Eduardo Bermudez: "But Fine was superfine refined and finely defined: which was fine."
Apr-18-14  YetAnotherAmateur: Yet more proof that I'm not Reuben Fine: I probably would have played 15. Nh7+ to win back the queen and then tried hang onto my queenside pawns. Fine's play is a lot more ... dynamic.
Apr-18-14  RookFile: This game also shows excellent endgame play by Fine, the author of Basic Chess Endings.
Apr-18-14  sombreronegro: The Queen sac came out Fine .The more tactical exchange sac was also impressive. I wonder when he saw that bishop fork? A great asymmetric game with minor pieces against the Queen. Not always easy to coordinate on an open position.
Apr-18-14  Nicocobas: <Richard Taylor> Did he write about psychoanalysis and chess?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Nicocobas> Fine wrote a work--believe it was called <The Psychology of the Chess Player>. Hard to take it seriously in some ways, however, IIRC.

My recollection is of Fine writing that Lasker's adoption of a quiet form of the Exchange Spanish could be explained away in psychological terms, to wit: with the early exchange of queens characteristic of the form Lasker used, he clarified things by getting rid of the women or some such rot. Been a good many years since I read the book, so my recall is hardly perfect.

Apr-19-14  RookFile: Lol, I never knew that. I just had this crazy idea Lasker wanted to win the game.
Apr-19-14  Granny O Doul: Similarly, Fischer's "edge moves" at Reykjavik, namely the Game One pawn grab on h2, his early ...Nh5 in the Benoni game and a Nb5-d6 move in the Game 4 Bc4 Sicilian were all cryptic reminders of his constant threat to run away from the match. Depending on who you read.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Nicocobas: <Richard Taylor> Did he write about psychoanalysis and chess?>

I don't know. I think that the psychological aspects of chess are, however, of vital importance. Nimzovich wrote about this after he won one major international tournament and the way he (if he could) guide his opponents into positions they didn't like. Also he talked of the need to control nerves.

Many writers on chess have talked about this (I missed picking up a book about why players blunder and thus how to minimise this). In this respect Soltis is very good with his books - if I had more time to study chess.

I once used psychology, luck and some good play to win a tournament (or more than one): the first was when I used to play on WCN when I got a bit obsessed with playing ONLY 1 minute games. I entered the daily "Marathon" (there were a lot of players every day) and someone said: "Players players over 2000 or at least 1800 will win this. I forget my rating, but I typed, I will win this. By typing that it put me in a fighting mood and I proceeded to win every game even against 2000+ players. I didn't repeat it as physical fitness (alertness) also comes into chess and I think I was always a bit tired after a few games.

But when I won a B Grade tournament in 2006 (I won two, as well as some Rapid tournaments, and for those my real problem was getting enough sleep before the tournaments, as in those I didn't, I lost games badly)* I said to myself that I would do well, but not to be concerned about losses, and I had a few opening ideas. Then I proceeded to play each game as it came up and I didn't pay any attention to the score table. I kind of put the games from my mind as if I WASNT in a tournament. In the last game I played a young fellow who, three quarters of the game through: stopped me for a chat about taking a draw, weighing up the pros and cons. I took this in my stride. But up till then I had geared myself to play in what I thought was a strategical manner, so I then found ways to attack. Meanwhile I rejected the offer (suddenly, at that stage, I "realised" I could win or might win). I won an exciting game.

In another aspect, one I find hard, psychology is essential: and that is when fortunes turn in the game. I have a book by Yermolinsky who talks about this.

To improve there are the usual study methods but also getting prepared for such reverses of fortune in a game or in a long tournament: so I recall winning a piece with a tactic against a friend of mine, and then when he regained it after an error by me, I was so disconsolate I collapsed and resigned - in what I later found was a drawn or drawable position!

There are also errors made that one undoes. I watched a video of one of the Kasp-Karpov matches and I was impressed with this by Karpov when he moved a piece back from where he had wronly placed it to where he should have, and thus managed to draw:

"And at move x, you played your piece back here to square z: is this possible that the great Karpov can do this even?"

Karpov: "Of course, otherwise you get a-crush." !

Now I recalled that and used it in a game by relocating a piece to a defensive place.

So psychology and the mental state of the player is hugely important as you can see in the latest WC challenge with strange play at times by Kramnik, Svidler, and Aronian. Although added to all this is the problem of fatigue (hence physical fitness and well-being), time management, and a positive psychological outlook. Then there is luck, we all need luck!

*Hence good sleep is needed, so no late night prep. unless it is a certainty!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Lasker did utilise psychology though and he wrote on philosphy (he was also a friend of Einstein, who was really a philosopher-physicist).

His idea was to enter into positions that, while perhaps not "perfect", were irritatingly hard to beat. He especially adopted the exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez (and recall that Fischer used it a few times for what were, in part, psychological reasons, although these morph into "positional reasons" as one can go directly into an ending and "dispute" the doubled pawns versus the 2 Bishops); and against Tarrasch (who was indeed a great player) it worked partly because of the latter's perhaps dogmatic views.

Lasker though had learned from Tarrasch and also from Steinitz and Morphy. His Chess manual is a good read, esp. for those interested in "chess lore".

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: For comparison, see E Gereben vs A D de Groot, 1936, played two months earlier.

Oddly enough, Gereben had recently changed his name from Ernst Grunfeld.

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