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Reuben Fine vs Miguel Najdorf
New York (1948/49), New York, NY USA, rd 7, Dec-30
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Zagreb (Fianchetto) Variation (B91)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-07-02  bishop: Fine first cuts off all counterplay (the black rook is not allowed in the white camp) then he proceeds to eat up black's pawns.So in the end blacks ..d5 does not turn out well.
Feb-20-04  Whitehat1963: No exit.
Nov-15-06  Ryan Razo: This only shows how important attacking initiative and cooperation between pieces are. Fine game from Fine.
Aug-31-09  sleepkid: Has to be opening preparation by Fine. Fine was renowned for being a Queen's Pawn player (the AVRO tournament of 1938 being a noted exception - see his loss to Keres there), and almost never played King's Pawn openings. Here he obviously had prepared a variation against Najdorf's Sicilian, and threw down the gauntlet by playing P-K4.

(As a side note: All of Fine's other games with white from this same tournament are Queen's Pawn openings.)

Jul-26-10  drnooo: Quite a record for boty guys: it makes you wonder who was better, also makes you wonder how Fine would have fared in the 48 worlds championship. He always did allright against Botvinnik. Behind Fischer Fine has to be the second best chess player ever from the States, flat out no contest.
Jan-28-11  ozmikey: A classic game. You couldn't get a much simpler or more compelling demonstration of the power of 2Bs versus B+N. 13...d5?! "smells" all wrong to me - loosening all of the pressure against e4. Even after the more logical 17...Bxe3 18. Qxe3 Black can't take on c2, because of 19. Rac1 Qxb2 20. Na5! winning a piece.

FWIW, I reckon both of these guys would have given Botvinnik a fair shake had they competed in 1948.

Feb-12-14  Eduardo Bermudez: Fine !!
Aug-04-15  zanzibar: <

By Frederick R. ChevalierPrepared for The Christian Science Monitor; Feb 26, 1949; pg. 12

Crucial Game

This game, from the NY International Tourney, really determined the tournament winner. Fine was trailing Najdorf by a draw, but by winning this game seized the lead and held on to it.


After 14...Bc5
(a) In his Chess Review analysis, Fine questions this move and suggests 14....Kt-K5 (14...Ne4) >

Aug-04-15  zanzibar: There are some very interesting variations in the opening that didn't get played, e.g.

(A) 9...b4!? 10.Nd5!

(B) 10.Nxe6! fxe6

Fine's 10.a3 isn't really necessary, and wastes a tempo on the flank that could be used in the center. Ditto for 12.h3.

Of course, I'm a little over my head here... still, my play through doesn't indicate 14...Bc5 is that terrible, even if 14...Ne4 is slightly preferred.

Aug-04-15  zanzibar:

click for larger view

The losing move is 17...Qxc2 when 17...Bxe3 is demanded. The Black Q+B are both needed to defend e4 until f5 can be played.

Aug-05-15  zanzibar: Just to be clear - it's not to save the pawn as a pawn, but rather to hold the position and give Black's pieces good play.

Ironically, grabbing the c-pawn opens the file for White, rather than Black. As the continuation shows, the queens go off and Black's lsb becomes rather horrible.

Jan-19-16  Aaron Wang: 14... Ne4 is a fabulous move

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