Volume 16, Number 2, February 1948

Cause for Alarm?

As the world championship tourney, due to begin March 1, drew near, chess fans in the United States felt uneasy about America's chances in the title scramble. From Los Angeles came word that Reuben Fine would not compete. In a telegram to Chess Review, Fine said: "Professional duties make it impossible for me to get away in time to play in the tournament." Those who recalled Fine's brilliant performance when he tied Keres for first place in the AVRO tournament of 1938 felt that the United States' hopes were dimmed.

Speculation regarding the vacancy caused by Fine's withdrawal remained unsatisfied. In the interview, Dr. Max Euwe said: "Following the decision of the FIDE, no replacement is contemplated, but I hope that Najdorf or Stahlberg will be invited." The chess world joined in that hope.

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