AVRO 1938, Round 4: Fine keeps the lead

by Klaus Besenthal
6/6/2020 – After another win in the fourth round, this time against former world champion Max Euwe, 24-year-old Reuben Fine from New York (pictured) is still leading the standings table of the AVRO tournament in the Netherlands. Fine has collected 3½ points, and thus has a full-point advantage over World Champion Alexander Alekhine and Paul Keres.

ChessBase 15 - Mega package ChessBase 15 - Mega package

Find the right combination! ChessBase 15 program + new Mega Database 2020 with 8 million games and more than 80,000 master analyses. Plus ChessBase Magazine (DVD + magazine) and CB Premium membership for 1 year!


AVRO 1938 - Round 4

The fourth round was played in Groningen. The city is located in the north-east of the Netherlands, not far from the mouth of the Ems into the North Sea, so the players actually travelled by plane from Rotterdam, where the third round was played.

Alexander Alekhine had to agree to a draw early in his black game against Salo Flohr: after 23 moves, so much material had already been exchanged that the world champion had no chance of winning the game.


Salo Flohr

Salo Flohr effortlessly achieved a draw against World Champion Alekhine 

Reuben Fine had more success with the black pieces than the World Champion. Against Max Euwe, the young American quickly obtained a winning position after the latter had granted him control of the centre:


Max Euwe

Max Euwe was World Champion for a short time (1935-37), but did not put up much resistance in his game against Fine 

There was also a quick draw between José Raúl Capablanca and Mikhail Botvinnik. With his pair of bishops against Capablanca's knight, Botvinnik might have been able to play on a bit longer, but that would have probably not been seriously promising.


Mikhail Botvinnik

Mikhail Botvinnik — the 27-year-old Soviet player might reach the very top in the future  

Paul Keres also achieved a victory, over Samuel Reshevsky. Reshevsky had come out of the opening phase a piece down after he had not handled the starting battle correctly, but at least he had some compensation in the form of two pawns and some initiative. But when the American failed to capture a third pawn, Keres finally got on the road to victory:


Paul Keres

Another promising player — 22-year-old Paul Keres

Results of Round 4

P. Keres 1-0 S. Reshevsky
S. Flohr ½-½ A. Alekhine
M. Euwe 0-1 R. Fine
J.R. Capablanca ½-½ M. Botvinnik

Standings after Round 4





Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register

Denix Denix 6/6/2020 07:20
I had a book by Reuben Fine on the endgame and it was formidable. It made me feel dwarf after learning so many ideas and it was just all about endgame. I was not even able to finish the book and I was already a national champion.