Paul Vaitonis vs. Reuben Fine

The end game Paul Vaitonis and Reuben Fine , Stockholm 1937 ended in a victory for Fine who won in 3 moves.

Can you find the Fine’s solution?

Roll over to see the solution: 1... Re1 2. Rxe1 Rxe1 3. Qxe1 Qg2#

FEN: 4r1k1/5bpp/2p5/3pr3/8/1B3pPq/PPR2P2/2R2QK1 b - - 0 1

About the players

Paul (Povilas) Vaitonis (1911-1983), Lithuanian-Canadian International Chess Master. He won five chess championships for Lithuania and two for Canada.

Reuben FineReuben Fine (1914-1993) American chess Grandmaster and psychologist. Son of Jakob and Bertha Fine, two poor Jews, Reuben Fine began learning chess from an uncle at age of 8. He won 4 gold medals in 3 chess Olympiads. His books on openings, middlegames and endgames are still popular today.

3 Responses

  1. John Tsamis
    John Tsamis at

    A classic “removing the defender” pattern. The Qf1 cannot be moved since she prevents the checkmate on g2. So, she must be “removed” from the f1 square at any cost. This is the basic concept.
    After 1…Re1!!, the Qf1 is also “pinned”! White cannot attack here (eg 2. Rxc6) because he will be checkmated in the next move (2…Qg2 – the “pinned” Q is unable to defend the g2 square). The Bf7 protects the Black King from a possible check.
    So, White is forced to capture the Re1 (2. Rxe1), but then Black repeats the position and the threat by playing 2…Rxe1! White has no other option than 3.Qxe1, but now the “defender is removed” and the checkmate follows 3…Qg2#

    Spectacular and educative, as well!

  2. Paumil Shah
    Paumil Shah at

    1. Qxh7+ Kxh7
    2. Nxf6+ Kh6
    3. Neg4+ Kg5
    4. f4+ Kh4
    5. g3+ Kh3
    6. Be2+Kg2
    7. Rh2+ Kg1
    8. O-O-O#

  3. Hasnain
    Hasnain at

    2. Rc1xe1 Re8xe1
    3. Qf1xe1 Qh3-g2#

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