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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sol Rubinow

Sol Rubinow, another forgotten US Master, was born in New York City on November 6, 1923 and died on February 22, 1981. It’s difficult to judge just how good Rubinow was because he played back in the days before there was a rating list. Besides that, it’s clear that chess was not his only interest. So, it’s hard to say how good he was, or how good he could have been if it wasn’t for his other interest, bridge, and his job at which he become very prominent.

In 1943, he was intercollegiate chess champion. He earned a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania and moved to Massachusetts in 1951. He later became a professor of biomathematics at Cornell. In 1952, he won the Massachusetts State Championship. He also took part in several U.S. Championships.

In his profession, he was Dr. Rubinow and an authority on biomathematics.

Rubinow died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He was 57 years old and lived in Scarsdale, N.Y. He had been hospitalized for two months following complications resulting from brain surgery.

Since 1964, Rubinow had been professor of biomathematics at the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences. He was noted for research in the kinetics of cells and wrote many papers on cancer research. These dealt with a wide range of subjects including the growth of cell populations and the physical forces acting on a single red cell.

He was also on the editorial boards of several technical journals and the author of ''Introduction to Mathematical Biology,'' published in 1975.

Dr. Rubinow graduated from the City College of New York in 1944 with a degree in physics then earned a master's degree in applied mathematics at Brown University in 1947 and a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in 1951.

Between 1947 and 1964, he held teaching and research positions at Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the Stevens Institute of Technology and the Courant Institute of Medical Science.

Rubinow also reached life master rank in both chess and bridge which in his later years became his preferred recreation in which he captured many tournament wins

Rubinow was a quiet, thoughtful man with the air of a university professor and appearances were not deceptive.

Here is a typical game played against GM Isaac Kashdan. It’s true Kashdan was not the player he was in the 1930’s, but he was still a formidable opponent. In the game, Rubinow’s K sitting on d4 at the 15th move must have presented an inviting target, but it was in fact fairly safe there because there seems to be no clear cut way for Black to attack it.

Kashdan stood pretty good until he apparently misjudged White’s chances and at move 22 blundered by giving up material. Still, it took more than a little technique for White to force the win, but Rubinow was up to the task.

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