Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Middlegame in Chess by Reuben Fine

 In Fine's opinion, who was the greatest player who ever lived? He was, of course. He also claimed that he knew everything there was to know about endings and it was all in his book, Basic Chess Endings. Fine was a pathetic figure, but at one time he was one of the greatest players in the world.  Born in 1914 was only 23 at the time of his victory at AVRO 1938 and there was a good possibility that he could have become World Champion except World War II intervened. After the war his tournament career was practically over, but he could write about chess.  He died on March 26, 1993 
Fine and Reshevsky

     This 448 page legendary work by Fine was republished by Sam Sloane of Ishi Press last year. It's a completely revised and corrected edition in algebraic notation. NOTE: Do NOT purchase the revision by Burt Hochburg which has just about every mistake you can think of, two or three typos, incorrect moves or diagrams per page and is a disgrace to chess literature. 
     Back to the book...Fine discusses, among other things, the elements of combinations which includes example of how the individual pieces can contribute, pins and discovered attacks, etc. Mating attacks, how to analyze, material advantage and how compensate for a material disadvantage and nine different Pawn structures. Space and mobility where he discusses open files, semi-open files, long diagonals, two Bishops, weak squares, outposts and other positional factors are discussed. Next there are chapters on attacking the castled and uncastled king, the art of defense and how to play balanced and unbalanced positions. He concludes a chapter on how to continue from the opening and finally, with an excellent chapter on the endgame. Positions are taken from a host of games by well-known players but those of Alekhine, Capablanca, Euwe, Fine, Lasker, Nimzovich, Reshevsky and Rubinstein predominate. Worth studying.

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