Chess: Fine attacking play

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
REUBEN FINE, who died last Friday at the age of 78, was one of the great unfinished chapters of chess history. Like his fellow Americans Paul Morphy and Bobby Fischer, he gave up the game at the height of his powers. Unlike them, however, he had not yet established himself as the best player in the world, and went on to make a success of another profession.

Today's game comes from the AVRO tournament of 1938, in which three world champions, Alekhine, Capablanca and Euwe, fought the best of the younger generation. In sharing first place with Keres, Fine confirmed his position as a major contender for the world title. Then the war came and by the time it was over, psychoanalysis had replaced chess as the major interest in Fine's life.

In this win against Salo Flohr, Fine showed his great skill at creating an attacking position and developing the initiative. In the French Defence, after 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5, play usually continues 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 when the blocked centre pawns lead to a complex struggle. Players of the French like to feel the centre pawns grinding against one another, so Fine developed systems that opened the game. In the first round at AVRO, he beat Botvinnik with the outlandish 5. dxc5]? In this game, he adopted equally unusual tactics. With 11. Na4] and 12. Rc1], he prepared 14. c4] which was the start of the attack.

The end began with 21. Rxd7] sending Black's king into the wide open spaces. After 22. g4 Ne7 23. Qxf7 Black would hardly be able to move a piece, so Flohr played 22 . . . Nh4 hoping for counterplay. It never arrived. After 28. Be4+, Black loses one of his rooks with check, with more disasters to follow soon after.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Fine Black: Flohr ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 e4 e6 15 Rxc4 Qd8 2 d4 d5 16 Qh5 Ne7 3 Nc3 Bb4 17 Rd4 g6 4 e5 c5 18 Qf3 Qc7 5 Bd2 Ne7 19 Nc3 Nf5 6 Nf3 Nf5 20 Nb5 Qb6 7 dxc5 Bxc5 21 Rxd7 Kxd7 8 Bd3 Nh4 22 g4 Nh4 9 0-0 Nc6 23 Qxf7+ Be7 10 Re1 h6 24 Bb4 Rae8 11 Na4 Bf8 25 Bxe7 Rxe7 12 Rc1 Bd7 26 Qf6 a6 13 Nxh4 Qxh4 27 Rd1 axb5 14 c4 dxc4 28 Be4+ 1-0 -----------------------------------------------------------------

Comments