Reuben Fine Biography

Reuben C. Fine (October 11, 1914 – March 26, 1993) was a prominent figure in both the world of chess and psychology. His multifaceted career included achievements as an American chess player, psychologist, university professor, and author of numerous books on chess and psychology. 

Chess Career

Fine was one of the strongest chess players globally from the mid-1930s until his retirement from serious competition in 1951.

He achieved the title of International Grandmaster by FIDE in 1950, a significant recognition during that time. Notably, Fine’s exceptional performance included an equal first place in the 1938 AVRO tournament, which is considered one of the strongest tournaments in chess history. 

He also played tournament games against five world champions, with overall plus scores against Emanuel Lasker and Alexander Alekhine. 

Contributions to Psychology

In addition to his chess prowess, Fine earned a psychology degree from the University of Southern California and made significant contributions to the field of psychology. He authored several books on psychology, showcasing his diverse intellectual pursuits. 


Fine’s contributions to chess and psychology were recognized when he was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 1986, a testament to his enduring impact on the world of chess. 


Several books have been written about Reuben Fine, including “Reuben Fine: A Comprehensive Record of an American Chess Career, 1929-1951” by Aidan Woodger.

In conclusion, Reuben Fine’s legacy as a chess player, psychologist, and author continues to be celebrated, and his impact on both fields remains significant to this day.

See also  Tigran Petrosian Biography

Playing Style

Reuben Fine was known for his quiet positional chess style, characterized by simplifying the position to stymie his opponent’s counterplay and then pouncing on any errors mercilessly. 

His approach appealed to chess connoisseurs due to its accuracy and the many subtle and fine points it involved. 

Fine’s games showcased his ability to apply pressure play against weak central squares, leading to aesthetically impressive and strategically sound moves. 

His famous victory against Botvinnik in the first round of the A.V.R.O. tournament of 1938 is cited as a superb positional achievement. 

Overall, Fine’s playing style was marked by precision, strategic depth, and the ability to capitalize on opponents’ mistakes.