* Reuben Fine, 79, one of this country's greatest chess geniuses, a psychologist and the author of many books about chess and psychology, died Friday night at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Medical Center in New York City. The cause was pneumonia that developed after a stroke, said his son, Benjamin.
Like Bobby Fischer a few decades later, Mr. Fine gave up chess at the height of his powers. But at least Mr. Fischer, who retired in 1972 and recently made a comeback in an exhibition match in Yugoslavia, had proved his point by first winning the world championship. When Mr. Fine retired, after a tremendous victory at the AVRO tournament in the Netherlands in 1938, he became the great what-if of the chess world.
He earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Southern California in 1941 and set up a successful practice as a lay analyst.