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Isaac Kashdan
Number of games in database: 503
Years covered: 1924 to 1975

Overall record: +263 -94 =138 (67.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 8 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (47) 
    C86 C71 C78 C79 C75
 Orthodox Defense (25) 
    D52 D61 D63 D60 D51
 Sicilian (23) 
    B60 B58 B40 B74 B32
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (23) 
    C86 C84 C97 C87 C99
 French Defense (20) 
    C11 C17 C13 C18 C10
 Slav (13) 
    D19 D15 D16 D18 D17
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (28) 
    C99 C74 C68 C86 C80
 Orthodox Defense (27) 
    D52 D51 D63 D67 D56
 Nimzo Indian (20) 
    E34 E23 E36 E47 E43
 Slav (16) 
    D10 D15 D13 D19 D18
 Semi-Slav (16) 
    D48 D43 D45 D47 D49
 Queen's Pawn Game (15) 
    D05 A46 A45 D04 A50
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   B Siff vs Kashdan, 1948 0-1
   Kashdan vs Euwe, 1932 1-0
   Kashdan vs H Steiner, 1932 1-0
   Kashdan vs Reshevsky, 1942 1-0
   Kashdan vs Flohr, 1930 1-0
   Kashdan vs Koltanowski, 1932 1-0
   Colle vs Kashdan, 1931 0-1
   B Hoenlinger vs Kashdan, 1930 0-1
   C H Alexander vs Kashdan, 1937 0-1
   Alekhine vs Kashdan, 1931 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Mexico City (1932)
   49th US Open (1948)
   Frankfurt (1930)
   Horowitz - Kashdan Playoff (1938)
   London (1932)
   Syracuse (1934)
   52nd US Open (1951)
   US Championship (1936)
   Bled (1931)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Mieses & Kashdan best games by Gottschalk
   US Open 1938, Boston = 39th ACF Congress by Phony Benoni
   Bled 1931 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Bled 1931 by Benzol
   Bled 1931 international tournament part 2 by cuendillar
   1938 US Championship by crawfb5
   1936 US Championship by crawfb5
   US Open 1934, Chicago = 35th ACF Tournament by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1935, Milwaukee = 36th ACF Congress by Phony Benoni
   Chicago Masters Tournament, 1926 by Phony Benoni
   1932 Pasadena by MissScarlett
   1942 US Championship by crawfb5
   New York International,1931 by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Isaac Kashdan
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(born Nov-19-1905, died Feb-20-1985, 79 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

Isaac Kashdan was born in New York. Awarded the GM title in 1954 and the IA title in 1960 he played on five US Olympiad teams between 1928 and 1937, winning two individual gold, one silver, and two bronze medals on teams that finished first three times and finished second once ( He won the 1929-1930 and the 1931 Manhattan Chess Club championship. He defeated Lajos Steiner (+5, =2, -3) in 1930 and was US Open Champion in 1938 (jointly) and 1947 but never won the Closed Championship. He tied with Samuel Reshevsky in 1942 but lost the subsequent play-off match (+2, =3, -6). In his role as an arbiter he directed the two Piatigorsky Cup tournaments of 1963 and 1966 and later was involved in adminstration in the US Chess Federation.

Kashdan was the most successful international player from the United States in the early 1930s. His successes included 1st place at Berlin 1930, 2nd at Frankfurt 1930 behind Aron Nimzowitsch, 1st at Stockholm, 1930, and =1st at Mexico City 1932 with Alexander Alekhine. He was also the 1st editor of Chess Review but later became a Los Angeles Times columnist.

Kashdan can be seen on an episode of "You Bet Your Life" with Groucho Marx at the Internet Archive

Wikipedia article: Isaac Kashdan

Last updated: 2016-08-04 14:42:23

 page 1 of 21; games 1-25 of 503  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kashdan vs Soos  1-0341924New York-ch Stuyvesant CCA13 English
2. Kupchik vs Kashdan 1-0411924New York Ch Rice CCA15 English
3. Kashdan vs Newberger 1-0281924New York-ch Stuyvesant CCB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
4. O Chajes vs Kashdan  1-0401924New York Ch Rice CCD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
5. Kashdan vs D Bentz 1-0311924USA corrC33 King's Gambit Accepted
6. Kashdan vs Kupchik 1-0461926Rice Progressive CC-chC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
7. Kupchik vs Kashdan 1-0431926Rice Memorial TournamentB03 Alekhine's Defense
8. Kashdan vs Kupchik  ½-½281926Rice MemorialD92 Grunfeld, 5.Bf4
9. Kashdan vs Maroczy  ½-½391926Manhattan CC chD67 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line
10. Kashdan vs S T Sharp 0-1311926Manhattan CC - Franklin CC mC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
11. Kashdan vs Kupchik ½-½961926ChicagoC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
12. Carlos Torre vs Kashdan  ½-½371926ChicagoA46 Queen's Pawn Game
13. Kashdan vs Maroczy 0-1331926ChicagoC00 French Defense
14. Showalter vs Kashdan 0-1571926ChicagoB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
15. Kashdan vs Marshall 0-1371926ChicagoD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. L Isaacs vs Kashdan  0-1611926ChicagoC55 Two Knights Defense
17. Kashdan vs Ed. Lasker  1-0621926ChicagoD49 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
18. C Jaffe vs Kashdan  ½-½631926ChicagoC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
19. Kashdan vs Factor 1-0201926ChicagoC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
20. A J Fink vs Kashdan  ½-½621926ChicagoB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
21. Kashdan vs O Chajes  1-0401926ChicagoA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
22. N Banks vs Kashdan 1-0461926ChicagoA46 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Kupchik vs Kashdan 1-0401927Manhattan Chess Club-chD13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
24. H Steiner vs Kashdan 1-0291927Manhattan Chess Club-chA48 King's Indian
25. Kupchik vs Kashdan  ½-½451928Manhattan Chess Club-chD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 21; games 1-25 of 503  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kashdan wins | Kashdan loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: 33 Olympiad Team:

Dake, Kashdan and wife, Simonson, Marshall, Fine

Oct-05-13  Karpova: An early success:

Manhattan Chess Club tournament, 1926

1. Kupchik 12.0
2. Kashdan 11.5
3. Horowitz 9.0
4-5. Bornholz 8.5
4-5. Maroczy 8.5
6-8. Pinkus 8.0
6-8. Steiner 8.0
6-8. Tenner 8.0

From page 189 of the June 1926 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Oct-05-13  parisattack: <OhioChessFan: 33 Olympiad Team:

Dake, Kashdan and wife, Simonson, Marshall, Fine>

Great pic, thanks! I wish I was there...then again, maybe not as I'd be a goner by now, too. :)

I've always admired Kashdan's play; I think he had WC potential. But - somewhat like Flohr - his peak years were few. Lahde's book on Kashdan is excellent, BTW.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Odd fact about that 1933 team: it was the only US Men's Olympiad team to date (and probably ever after) on which all members were born in the United states.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: I believe his middle name is Irving.

See (#6364. Stoltz v Kashdan)

Also (#6339. Kashdan)

An autographed item, signed <Irving Kashdan> is shown:

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: A higher res photograph of him from 1957:

Apparently he was quite a ladies man - ha!

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Just one more example of <Isaac Irving Kashdan> follows:

<The Brooklyn Daily Eagle 31 Mar 1932 p28>

<In recognition of what Isaac Irving Kashdan, champion of the Manhattan Chess Club, has performed in behalf of the game through his achievements abroad in the international tournaments against the best that Europe could put forward and as a member of the United States teams which finally brought the Hamilton-Russell trophy to this country, the Empire City Chess Club has decided to arrange an exhibition of simultaneous ply by him at the Hotel Prince George in Manhattan on April 24.>

That's quite a lot of info packed into one sentence... whew!

Yeah, I'd nomination that as top contender in the run-on sentence department.

Feb-25-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: When I was 11 or 12 years old, I played a quick "grandmaster draw" in a California Junior Championship Kashdan was directing, then told him about it. The look he gave me was not approving.

On the other hand, I won the Under-14 prize that year, and made it through at least one chocolate-fueled marathon game to do so ...

Aug-10-15  wrap99: <Cheapo> I too played in events directed by him. I could not believe that a GM from the era of Capablanca and Alekhine was right there, having prior to that time only read of him. Chess's connections to the past is one of its appealing features to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Most chess poetry is rather dull. This poem is that.

Kashdan has sprung up into fame
All of a sudden, as it were.
Scarcely a handful till quite late
Had been familiar with his name.
"Divine afflatus" he has shown
A gift bequeathed him by the gods,
Now far and wide his power is known.

H.T. Bland in <American Chess Bulletin>, January 1931, pg. 12.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Kashdan's stock peaked in the early 1930s. In <The Jewish Criterion>, Vol. 77 No. 08, 2nd January, 1931, Charles Jaffe, 'one of the world's great chess masters', discusses Kashdan, America's greatest star since Paul Murphy [sic], and his prospects for defeating Alekhine. Apparently, Kashdan is already superior to the world champion in the middle game and endgame, and six months of work on the openings should suffice.


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <MissS> Dude, what's up with that linK?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The linking is not to my liking. You'll have to find it yourself: http://digitalcollections.library.c...
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: A little bit of kvetching begins the article on ~ v78 N18 (1931.09.11) p66:

<How Benny Leonard Explains Jewish Sport Depression
Outstanding Jewish Sports Writer

The reviewer of the Jewish sport year must hang his
head because of the definite downfall of Jewish champions in every branch of sport. Harry Conzel and Benny Leonard tell us why Jewish topnotchers in sports are becoming scarcer just now.

A little later the "outstanding" writer finally gets around to Kashdan...

<But America saw one real Jewish champion emerge last year. You
openair fans will shrug your shoulders
when I mention his name. Probably
you will frown and say: "Chess isn't
a sport, anyhow." Perhaps you are
right. But the question of whether or
not chess is a sport is too complicated
to discuss on a hot summer day.
In any case, chess is to be found on
the sports page, and you'll accept it
as a sport—and like it. Now, the boy
who has come through is none other
than I. Kashdan, the New York player
who on his first trip to Europe,
last year, came back with flying colors.
Experts like Charles Jaffe, himself
once a great master, insist that
Kashdan is ripe for a title match with
Dr. Alekhine. Until this year Kashdan
was playing in minor New York
City tournaments, and did not reveal
his real strength until he was confronted
by the best players of Europe.
Now, whenever Frank Marshall,
official champion of the United States,
will give Kashdan the opportunity to
play him for the title, we shall have
a new national champion here. Yes ?
Rather a poor consolation for you
gridiron, boxing and baseball fans—
but chess is the only sport where we
have not only held our own but made
advances and discovered new blood.

It is also rumored that when the
game of ping-pong, or table tennis,
will be given recognized standing in
the world of sport, the Jews will
capture all honors. In this game
which is to tennis what miniature
golf is to real golf it seems, from a
personal investigation, that we have
the best talents. Take it from me—
the time is not far off when pingpong
will be prominently displayed
on your sports page.

The other day I was discussing this
strange downfall of the Jews in
sport with none other than our own
Benny Leonard. "How come," I
asked Benny, who besides being an
artist in the ring is one of the brainiest
sport thinkers in the business,
"that we Jews seem to have reached
our peak in sports some years ago,
and now are on the down grade?"

Said Benny: "Sport is a strange
business when you think of it in racial
or national terms. It goes in
cycles, if you know what I mean.
There was a time when the Negro
dominated the field; one Jack Johnson
acted as the inspiration, and suddenly
colored champions sprang up
in practically every branch of sport.
Then, after a few years, another race
comes to the fore. At the time of
Carpentier, the French had a number
of other champions in boxing, race
and track—you remember Bouin and
Andres ? At another time it was
the Italians who hoarded all the
glory, with Dundee and Mandell in
boxing, and also in soccer. Irish and
Jews have had their day. Now, I
think, the Germans will have their
inning. Just watch what Max
Schmeling's victory over Stribling
will do for the Germans. I shouldn't
be surprised to see the Germans run
away with the Olympic games in
1932. That's how it works—it goes
in cycles. Jews will have another period
of success in sports; it may be
just around the corner, and it may
come in ten years. After all, we had
Lenglen, Abrahams, the Hakoahs and
Benny Friedman almost all at once
That's enough, isn't it?"

I nodded. Maybe this lull in Jewish
sport prowess is a good thing. We
had grown too cocky, perhaps. Besides,
recently we have become more
interested in the body of the average
youth—which makes for a healthier
people, if fewer champions.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: As for Missy's original article, try this:

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Is that strictly legal? And where's the concluding section?
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <MissS> writes...

<Is that strictly legal?>

If a published, pre-1963, non-renewed then yes:

Plus CMU allows the PDF to be freely downloaded.

But copyright law is complicated, and the above should not be construed as legal advice.

<And where's the concluding section?>

I would suggest cleaning off your glasses and giving it another look (if not a read).


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: BTW- can we get a margin call in?

Kashdan's photo looks chintzy⁽¹⁾ with the top margin uneven like that (imo). I know that's how the wiki photo is, but can't we do better?

Either crop it or even it out with photoshop ink-stamp, would be my suggestion.

* * * * *

(1) <chintz (n.) 1719, plural of chint (1610s), from Hindi chint, from Sanskrit chitra-s "clear, bright" (compare cheetah). The plural (the more common form of the word in commercial use) became regarded as singular by late 18c., and for unknown reason shifted -s to -z; perhaps after quartz. Disparaging sense, from the commonness of the fabric, is first recorded 1851 in George Eliot (in chintzy).>

(s->z transistions are z-approved, btw)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <I would suggest cleaning off your glasses and giving it another look>

Yes. I'd just rolled out of bed at an ungodly hour and was on my Ipad Mini.

May-30-16  Marcelo Bruno: Did he have a profession besides his chess career?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The Wikipedia link above notes that Kashdan went into the insurance field to make a living.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Isaac Kashdan!
Nov-19-16  Petrosianic: And many more!
Nov-18-18  Cheapo by the Dozen: He was my tournament director in a California Junior Championship. I was a little bit awestruck. But I did tell him of agreeing to a quick "grandmaster draw". He did not seem to approve. :)

It was perhaps a good strategy in retrospect. That tournament was a bit of an endurance slog, and I did wind up winning the prize for my age group.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diocletian: Happy Birthday, Isaac.
I remember this game Kashdan vs O Tenner, 1934 from my childhood. It appeared as a "chess movie" in one of I.A. Horowitz series of elementary opening books.

click for larger view

You can also see Kashdan on you tube Groucho Marx show, "You bet your life." Someone on this page left a link. somewhere

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