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Richard Reti
Number of games in database: 668
Years covered: 1907 to 1929

Overall record: +284 -177 =173 (58.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 34 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (44) 
    C86 C68 C84 C77 C64
 English (41) 
    A13 A15 A12 A14 A10
 French Defense (30) 
    C12 C13 C10 C01 C00
 Orthodox Defense (26) 
    D63 D60 D68 D61 D51
 French (23) 
    C12 C13 C10 C00 C11
 Sicilian (18) 
    B40 B56 B83 B29 B41
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (45) 
    C66 C77 C67 C63 C78
 Queen's Pawn Game (31) 
    A46 A50 D00 D05 D02
 French Defense (28) 
    C11 C12 C01 C10 C13
 French (21) 
    C11 C12 C10 C13 C00
 Alekhine's Defense (15) 
    B02 B05 B03
 Caro-Kann (14) 
    B10 B15 B13 B12 B18
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Reti vs Tartakower, 1910 1-0
   Reti vs Bogoljubov, 1924 1-0
   Reti vs Capablanca, 1924 1-0
   Euwe vs Reti, 1920 0-1
   Reti vs Euwe, 1920 1-0
   Reti vs Rubinstein, 1923 1-0
   Alekhine vs Reti, 1922 1/2-1/2
   Reti vs P Romanovsky, 1925 1-0
   Bogoljubov vs Reti, 1923 0-1
   Reti vs Znosko-Borovsky, 1922 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Gothenburg (1920)
   Teplitz-Schönau (1922)
   Maehrisch-Ostrau (1923)
   Vienna (1923)
   Abbazia (1912)
   Karlsbad (1923)
   Bad Pistyan (1922)
   New York (1924)
   Mannheim (1914)
   Baden-bei-Wien (1914)
   Marienbad (1925)
   London (1922)
   Moscow (1925)
   Semmering (1926)
   Baden-Baden (1925)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Veliki majstori saha 16 RETI (Petrovic) by Chessdreamer
   Richard Réti's Best Games by Golombek by suenteus po 147
   Richard Réti's Best Games by Golombek by wormrose
   Richard Réti's Best Games by Golombek by SirIvanhoe
   Move by Move - Reti (Engqvist) by Qindarka
   Rgrrgrr at Fredthebear by fredthebear
   Reti's Best Games of Chess by matey
   Richard Reti @ the 1924 New York International by ruylopez900
   New York 1924 by Benzol
   New York 1924 - Alekhine by vantheanh
   New York 1924 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   june.lorena's favorite games by june.lorena
   Hypermodern Game of Chess (Tartakower) by Qindarka

GAMES ANNOTATED BY RETI: [what is this?]
   Breyer vs J Esser, 1917
   Alekhine vs Fahrni, 1914
   Breyer vs K Havasi, 1918

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Richard Reti
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(born May-28-1889, died Jun-06-1929, 40 years old)
[what is this?]

Richard Réti was born in 1889 in Bösing (now Pezinok, Slovakia) which at the time was in the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary.

Early career

At the age of 12, he had already submitted a chess problem to the chess column in Über Land und Meer run by Hermann von Gottschall. Von Gottschall advised him to continue working on his chess. In 1903, the then 13-year old Réti was introduced to Carl Schlechter who remarked "for his age, this is certainly exceptional".(RR) He went on to fare well at the 2nd Hungarian National tournament in Székesfehérvár, 1907.(Edo) Réti's interest in chess was dampened following some disappointing tournament results, although he won smaller events in Vienna 1909 and the 2nd Trebitsch Memorial in 1910.(Edo) His main interests then became mathematics and, to some extent, physics. He was about to finish his doctorate when World War I broke out. Réti was assigned to clerical work due to his "somewhat weak constitution".(RR)

A turn of life

In 1918, he won the strong Kaschau (Košice) tournament. But he still viewed chess mostly as a hobby. He had planned to finish his doctorate in mathematics at the University of Vienna. He carried his doctoral thesis around in a small booklet, which he lost and never recovered. This drove him near suicide as he later confided to his older brother Rudolph.(RR) At that time, Richard received an invitation to go to the Netherlands as a Chess Master in Residence. He accepted the invitation, and decided to pursue a chess career instead of becoming a scholar. Regarding this decision, Rudolph said, "It haunted him throughout his life, and he never found a definite answer to it."(RR)

Tournament successes

Réti won 1st prize in the strong Gothenburg (1920) tournament. He confirmed his status as one of the top players in the world during the early 20th century by winning Teplitz-Schönau 1922.(TS) He came in 2nd at Maehrisch-Ostrau (1923) and Vienna (1923). Réti also won the Dr. Körner tournament (Hakoah, Vienna) in 1928.(WSZ28).

Theory and Practice

He worked to found hypermodernism, along with Aron Nimzowitsch and Savielly Tartakower. The Réti Opening (1.♘f3 d5 2.c4) has become a staple of grandmaster play. With this opening system, Réti famously defeated then reigning world champion Capablanca in Reti vs Capablanca, 1924 in New York (1924), the Cuban's first loss in eight years and first as world champion. Réti authored two books, Modern Ideas In Chess (Die neuen Ideen im Schachspiel, 1922) in 1923 and Masters Of The Chess Board (Die Meister des Schachbretts, 1930), published posthumously in 1933.

Study composition

Réti also composed numerous endgame studies, the most famous of which was a 1921 study that illustrated a beautiful method of drawing what may seem to be a hopeless king and pawn ending. White to play and draw:

click for larger view

Réti died from scarlet fever a week after turning forty.


(RR) Rudolph Réti in Edward Winter's "The Réti Brothers",
(Edo) Rod Edwards,
(TS) Game Collection: Teplitz-Schönau 1922
(WSZ28) "Wiener Schachzeitung", March 1928, pages 81-82. Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek"
Wikipedia article: Richard Réti

Last updated: 2018-01-26 23:03:26

 page 1 of 27; games 1-25 of 668  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. L Forgacs vs Reti  1-0431907SzekesfehervarC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
2. Reti vs Z Barasz 1-0611907SzekesfehervarD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
3. Alapin vs Reti 1-0631908ViennaC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
4. Reti vs E Cohn  0-1491908ViennaC49 Four Knights
5. Marshall vs Reti 1-0311908ViennaC49 Four Knights
6. Reti vs Maroczy 0-1541908ViennaB22 Sicilian, Alapin
7. J N Berger vs Reti  1-0261908ViennaD05 Queen's Pawn Game
8. Reti vs Teichmann 0-1341908ViennaC49 Four Knights
9. Schlechter vs Reti 1-0471908ViennaC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
10. Reti vs Duras ½-½311908ViennaB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
11. J Mieses vs Reti 1-0251908ViennaC23 Bishop's Opening
12. Reti vs H Suechting  ½-½171908ViennaB01 Scandinavian
13. Tartakower vs Reti 1-0341908ViennaA30 English, Symmetrical
14. Reti vs Leonhardt ½-½531908ViennaC26 Vienna
15. Swiderski vs Reti 1-0321908ViennaA84 Dutch
16. Reti vs Spielmann 0-1361908ViennaC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
17. Salwe vs Reti 1-0311908ViennaD00 Queen's Pawn Game
18. Von Bardeleben vs Reti 1-0301908ViennaC77 Ruy Lopez
19. Reti vs J Perlis  0-1361908ViennaD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
20. Rubinstein vs Reti 1-0161908ViennaD00 Queen's Pawn Game
21. Reti vs P F Johner  0-1341908ViennaD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Reti vs Lasker 0-1151908Clock simul, 3bC56 Two Knights
23. L Loewy Jr vs Reti ½-½501909Winter Tt 1908/09C45 Scotch Game
24. J Krejcik vs Reti 0-1311909ViennaC26 Vienna
25. Reti vs Meitner 1-0251909Trebitsch tournamentC67 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 27; games 1-25 of 668  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Reti wins | Reti loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 13 OF 14 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: It is sad that Reti died a week after turning 40. Maybe his weak constitution made him more susceptible to the disease than others.

Before modern medicine, the mortality rate was about 20%

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: How appropriate that this battle of titans should end in a draw!
May-28-17  RookFile: I'm going to bring up an unpopular player, namely, Bogoljubov, to show how inappropriate it is to say Nimzo was the stongest never to be champ. Bogoljubov put 16 wins up on the board against Alekhine in his prime, had a match victory against Nimzo, and for a period of 5 years was winning a lot of top events, including the super strong Moscow 1925.

Other players were tougher than Bogo - for example, remember Chigorin, who lost to Steinitz in one of his matches by the narrowest of margins. Also, Reshevsky, who had a mini-match win over Botvinnik, Pillsbury, who was more than competitive against Lasker, and the other players mentioned above. Meanwhile, Nimzo doesn't even show up on the radar screen against such players, especially in match play. Nimzo was a genius at marketing books, and good for him, but in terms of chess strength was was about as a strong as Milan Vidmar.

May-28-17  I Like Fish:

I am getting reti...
for the worst...

May-28-17  Retireborn: My body is Reti.
May-28-17  Nosnibor: <Rookfile> I agree with most of your comments concerning Bogoljubov.What also should be noted is that he beat Reti by 15 games to seven with 4 draws
May-28-17  JimNorCal: Yes, Rookfile's comments are on target.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Just fooling around a bit today and ran into this position:

click for larger view

White moves and draws with a version of the Reti maneuver.

Oct-15-17  Retireborn: <Phony> The white king heads for f7 and then backtracks down the long diagonal, arriving just in time. Very elegant!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Here is another <Reti> study, published 1922 in <Kagan's Neueste Schachnachrichten>:

click for larger view

It's black's turn and white holds the draw

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: The bio should probably also mention Breyer, along with Nimzo and Tartakower, as those who Reti worked with to found hypermodernism.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: C.N. 3510 is a "baker's dozen" of sketches of Reti. But Winter, profound chess historian he is, leads out the sources.

Can one do better? How about it Missy?


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Oh, and <RB> = <RR>, despite the caissars.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: How about this gorgeous photo?

I tried to setup the board, but this effort is probably way off:

click for larger view


Feb-23-18  Retireborn: Got to the end of Gillam's 1918 booklet today. From the various annotations, one gets the impression that Reti frequently got into time trouble, and was also somewhat prone to making speculative, not entirely-sound sacrifices.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <zanzibar> You have two Black light-squared Bishops. I enlarged the photo, and I think it should be this:

click for larger view

It looks to me like the White Knight and three Pawns in the foreground are captured pieces, so the Pawn is not on a4.

My question is: what game is this? It would be nice to find out.

Feb-23-18  Retireborn: <TheFocus> The caption of the photo gives Buenos Aires 1924, but I haven't been able to match the position to any of his known games from there. I suspect it might be a simul game (the photo has a sentence about simuls at the bottom.)

Whilst googling I did find this page with some nice pictures and anecdotes:-


It's news to me that his middle name was Selig. Hooper & Whyld don't mention that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Retireborn> some rather amusing caricatures in that link you posted!

* * * * *

I found this tidbit about Marshall's first impressions of Réti:

<My young opponent in this game, Richard Reti, later became an active proponent of the new theory of flank development. A Czech who lived a Bohemian existence, Reti was lame, spoke with a high-pitched voice, was a prolific writer of chess books and columns.>

Marshall's Best Games of Chess - p27

Marshall goes on to say that Reti, still in his teens for Vienna (1908), was completely outclassed, drawing 3 games and losing all the others. But, Marshall continues, having gained valuable experience, Reti went on "to achieve the fame which was to be his in later years".

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Are Réti's <Mährischer Ostrau Morgenzeitung und Handelsblatt> columns available online anywhere?

I mean, besides his famous Dec 4, 1921 column.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: I'm pretty sure that the bio above is wrong in stating that Réti was encouraged as a young boy to take up chess by H. Gottschall.

This is an easy mistake to make, assuming it was a mistake, because no less an authority than Edward Winter conveys this information:

<One day in the midst of this summer tranquillity a letter arrived addressed to Richard from Über Land und Meer, a then popular illustrated weekly in nineteenth-century style, to which we subscribed and in which a man named Gottschall ran a little chess column. Rather puzzled by the correspondence between the magazine and the 12-year-old boy, we learned that non-talkative Richard – of course in utmost secrecy – had submitted a chess problem to Mr Gottschall. Here was the answer:

“Your problem is gratefully accepted and will be published in one of our next columns. And I wish to add that if it is really true that you are only 12 years of age, as you wrote, and nobody helped you with the problem, let me congratulate you wholeheartedly. This is quite an exceptional achievement, which should encourage you to continue your work in chess with all seriousness. Personal greetings, Gottschall.”

Such praise from an acknowledged expert impressed Father and Mother very much, but their natural parental pride was somewhat overshadowed by a feeling that their two sons, each of whom spent most of his time at the keyboard or chessboard respectively, might perhaps be lured into careers of an uncertain future.>

If I might level a criticism of the master - Winter entirely omits any refs for all the facts in his piece on the Réti brothers. He doesn't even list his sources at the end of the article, making his work less reliable for checking than Soltis.

That aside - he's the point. The writer for the <Über Land und Meer> is almost certainly E. Schallopp and *not* H. v. Gottschall.

Unfortunately, I wanted to find the original problem submitted by Réti, but was unable to find that volume online.

A ref to Réti's problem, as well as a viewable take on it, is available from here:

where, once again, Gottschall is credited as columnist (1903/04).

Not being able to find the right volume, I can't say definitely it wasn't Gottschall. But I want to see the original article. And until I do, I have examples of <Über Land und Meer> before/after - with E. Schallopp as credited author: (1902) (1908)

I can get v90 (1903), it's the same (so I think the Réti problem is from 1904(?)).

I believe the mistake (if indeed there was one) can be partially credited to the difficulty of reading Gothic font. And once made, being just copied from source to source.

More investigation is needed, and the original article scan should be made public.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Réti – Murderous robber?! Ce n’est pas possible!>

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: The Gottschall/Schallopp dilemma is solved...

Am I too hard on Winter? Given his demand for rigor from others, I think not, at least, presently.

Mar-07-18  Retireborn: <z> Impressive research work on your part.

Re: the "quienes" link, I did see some interesting tidbits; that Reti spoke no Hungarian, and that Tarrasch tried to get him relegated to the B-tournament at Gothenburg 1920, for example.

Still, what interested me most was the pictures of his wife Rogneda. I have seen her described (by Golombek? Chernev? not sure) as "a great Russian beauty"; it's nice to see that this was not mere politesse.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Thanks <RB>, I thought it interesting to consult the original source and give the proper credit.

It's also interesting to think about how the story came to be propagated.

* * * * *

A little more about Rogneda can be found here (scroll down) (ru)

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: And also here: (ru)

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