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Fred Reinfeld
Number of games in database: 114
Years covered: 1926 to 1942
Overall record: +40 -38 =36 (50.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (11) 
    D55 D51 D50 D63 D62
 Ruy Lopez (7) 
    C83 C68 C86 C97 C78
 Queen's Indian (4) 
    E16 E15 E17
 Semi-Slav (4) 
    D45 D47
 Sicilian (4) 
    B58 B62
 Slav (4) 
    D18 D13 D17
With the Black pieces:
 English (6) 
    A13 A12 A17 A10
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   F Reinfeld vs Reshevsky, 1932 1-0
   F Reinfeld vs S L Thompson, 1927 1-0
   Reshevsky vs F Reinfeld, 1932 0-1
   F Reinfeld vs Alekhine, 1932 1/2-1/2

GAMES ANNOTATED BY REINFELD: [what is this?]
   Tarrasch vs Allies, 1914
   Steinitz vs Lasker, 1895
   A Brinckmann vs Kieninger, 1932

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FRED REINFELD
(born Jan-27-1910, died May-29-1964, 54 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
Fred Reinfeld, born in New York, was an American master best known as a chess writer. He won the New York State Championship twice (Rome 1931 and Syracuse 1933) and played in several national level tournaments, but gradually abandoned play for writing. He tied for 1st with Sidney Norman Bernstein in the Manhattan Chess Club championship in 1942.

He was an editor for Chess Review. His first books from the 1930s were geared toward experienced players, but he soon discovered a knack for writing instructional books and compiling quiz collections that appealed to the novice and sold well enough for him to make a living.

Eventually Reinfeld wrote over 100 books on chess and other topics, though many were repackaged versions of earlier works. However, they helped teach several generations of new players and remain popular today.

Wikipedia article: Fred Reinfeld


 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 114  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Leo Shodlovsky vs F Reinfeld 1-031 1926 Dimock Tournament, 2nd sectionC51 Evans Gambit
2. W Frere vs F Reinfeld  0-162 1926 New YorkC51 Evans Gambit
3. F Reinfeld vs S L Thompson 1-043 1927 North American Championship - corrC29 Vienna Gambit
4. C Jaffe vs F Reinfeld 0-150 1928 New York, NY USAB83 Sicilian
5. M L Hanauer vs F Reinfeld  1-023 1928 Marshall CC ChampionshipE18 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3
6. A S Kussman vs F Reinfeld  0-127 1929 NCF IntercollegiateC45 Scotch Game
7. F Reinfeld vs N Grossman 1-023 1929 NCF IntercollegiateB58 Sicilian
8. F Reinfeld vs R L Bornholz  1-029 1929 Marshall CC vs. Manhattan CCC78 Ruy Lopez
9. F Reinfeld vs J Narraway 1-024 1929 CorrespondenceC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
10. O Tenner vs F Reinfeld  1-033 1929 Metropolitan LeagueC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
11. F Reinfeld vs Marshall 1-042 1929 Dimock TournamentA20 English
12. F Reinfeld vs Fine  0-134 1930 Marshall Chess Club-ch, PrelimC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
13. R Smirka vs F Reinfeld  1-041 1930 Marshall CC ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
14. F Reinfeld vs Fine 1-055 1930 Rice Club Junior MastersC14 French, Classical
15. E Tholfsen vs F Reinfeld  1-074 1930 Marshall CC ChampionshipE10 Queen's Pawn Game
16. F Reinfeld vs Santasiere  1-030 1930 Marshall CC ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
17. F Reinfeld vs A Cass  0-152 1930 Marshall CC ChampionshipB58 Sicilian
18. F Reinfeld vs Fine  1-024 1931 Marshall CC ChampionshipD65 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, Main line
19. F Reinfeld vs T Dunst 1-023 1931 Marshall CC ChampionshipA00 Uncommon Opening
20. F Reinfeld vs T Barron  1-038 1931 New York State ChampionshipD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. N Grossman vs F Reinfeld  0-126 1931 New York State ChampionshipA08 King's Indian Attack
22. Fine vs F Reinfeld  ½-½18 1931 New York State ChampionshipD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
23. F Reinfeld vs Kashdan  ½-½51 1932 Pasadena, CA USAD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
24. F Reinfeld vs Alekhine ½-½36 1932 Pasadena (08)D45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
25. J Araiza Munoz vs F Reinfeld  1-059 1932 PasadenaD05 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 114  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Reinfeld wins | Reinfeld loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-07-12  Petrosianic: Before the 1948 Championship, Reinfeld wrote that Smyslov seemed to be out of his league in comparison with the others.
Jun-07-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Hope Game Collection: USSR Absolute Championship 1941 helps you guys.

:)

Jun-07-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Having played through many of Reinfeld's games, I'd put him at moderate IM at best. Certainly not GM--he just didn't have "the spark". His approach tended to be that of a studious connoisseur; in short, a critic rather than an actor.

His strengths were probably opening knowledge and strategy; there aren't a lot of speculative brilliancies. His biggest failing was probably chronic time pressure, coupled with a lack of competitiveness; you get the feeling he would rather be analyzing the game than playing it. There may have been a lack of physical robustness as well. In group pictures, he is the pudgy one amidst a number of lean sharks.

He was just a bit older than most of the 1930s generation (Reshevsky, Fine, Denker, Dake), and his successes came early in that decade, specifically the New York State Championships of 1931 and 1933. Within a couple of years it was clear he was being left behind, and he had all but abandoned competitive chess in his early 30s when most players reach their peaks. At least he had the good sense to realize that, and find a field in which he excelled.

Taken just as a player, he's not that interesting of a subject. But I was part of the Reinfeld generation growing up, and he will always be like a friend to me.

Jun-07-12  Jim Bartle: Phony Benoni: "...in short, a critic rather than an actor."

I've never known you to be so cruel, PB.

Jun-08-12  backrank: <Phony Benoni> Thank you for this excellent characterization of Reinfeld's play!

The reason why I've rated his strength so high is, of course, his overwhelming plus score against Reshevsky (although I would have never gone that far to conclude he was a greater player than Sammy).

The focus of cg.com discussions is mostly on playing strength, but it is easily overlooked that you never become a player's fan because of his strength alone. You like his games, you like the way he is playing, you like his personal style.

What you tell us about Reinfeld is what I had suspected without having played through his games: that he didn't have much of a personal style. And that's perhaps the true reason for his poor reputation as a player.

Jun-08-12  RookFile: Nobody gets 2 wins and 3 draws against Reshevsky without being at least IM strength. Sorry to see that he died so young, only 54.
Jun-08-12  Nosnibor: The game sgainst Balter in New York 1940 was cited by Reinfeld as being his favourite game. Incidentaly his opponent`s correct name was J S Battell and not Balter and the game was opened with 1Nf3 not 1d4 but later transposed into a QGA.I understand that the cause of his death was a viral infection.
Jun-08-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <Phony Benoni: Having played through many of Reinfeld's games, I'd put him at moderate IM at best. Certainly not GM--he just didn't have "the spark". His approach tended to be that of a studious connoisseur; in short, a critic rather than an actor.>

Agree. I think Reinfeld - like me - enjoyed studying the game as much or more than playing it. Too bad more players are not familiar with his earlier, more serious writing on the game. His old 'mimeos' were clearly a labor-of-love. Not to fault his books for newer players - several of those are classics.

Jun-08-12  backrank: <parisattack: I think Reinfeld - like me - enjoyed studying the game as much or more than playing it.>

And like me! My own games are of little interest to anyone (including myself). My main interest in chess lies in studying the masterpieces of the great players.

Jun-08-12  Petrosianic: Reinfeld was one of those rare breed who didn't like this player or that one,he liked the game itself, and couldn't resist sharing his love of it with other people. What differentiated him from the obnoxious relative who bores people to death with their vacation slides, is that Fred shared his love of the game in a way that actually made it <interesting> to people.

Here's an example of how objective Fred could be. He goes to bat for Botvinnik in the May 1948 issue of Chess Review:

<I do not see how Botvinnik's right to the title can possibly be questioned. He played the best chess; achieved a commanding lead; made a plus score against each contestant; lost only one game; was never seriously threatened.

Yet, curiously enough, there have already appeared some unfavorable comments. According to the tenor of these remarks, the play was disappointing, much below Alekhine's standard, etc.

These comments deserve some attention. In the first place, they are generally made by players who have considerable ability but who have never quite reached the first rank. Such players are naturally enough plagued by the eternal question: "What's he got that I haven't got?" They find it difficult to get themselves in an appreciative frame of mind. The rest of us, who have no axe to grind, have no trouble in admiring the great chess of those who are indisputably our betters.

These critics have made much of the fact that mistakes have been made by the contestants. I refuse to be astounded: was there ever a tournament without mistakes?! I have been greatly amused, however, at some of the bad mistakes in analysis which have been made by the selfsame critics when they annotated the games about which they have so disparaging an attitude!

The comparison with Alekhine is hardly fair. Most of us know Alekhine only from two collections of his best games. These games are of course beautiful, but if we study all of Alekhine's games, we are bound to find many blunders and errors of omission and commission.

Then, the point of view is important. The critics of the present tournament do not dwell on the fact that errors are exploited, but merely on the fact that errors are made. But if we adopt the same nagging point of view toward Alekhine's games, we would have to drop our enthusiasm and dwell exclusively on the blunders of the opposition which made Alekhine's beautiful moves possible.

Finally, the critics forget that the level of play has risen considerably in the last three decades. The more evenly that players are matched, the harder it is to win brilliantly, and the more likely it is that victory will be achieved on the basis of one player cracking psychologically, or being tricked in the opening, or making a time pressure mistake, or having to play for a win when the position does not justify it.

For myself I can say that I have enjoyed the games of this tournament immensely. They were unusually full of fight - many of them real slugging matches - and the number of listless draws was few.>

Jun-10-12  backrank: <Petrosianic: Reinfeld was one of those rare breed who didn't like this player or that one,he liked the game itself, and couldn't resist sharing his love of it with other people.>

You've put it down very nicely! And that's exactly what makes old Fred such a likeably fellow.

Aug-06-12  brimarern: Reinfeld's 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations is the standard tactics book of my generation. Other tomes have come along, but using this book will still make you tactically sharp -or as Purdy says about the book, "It will make a new man out of you."
Aug-06-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Combine that with <1001 Ways to Checkmate> and you have a great duo to study.

These two books should be in every chess player's library.

Feb-13-13  SirChrislov: Quote of the Day

<Development is better than riches.>

--- Fred Reinfield

Yes but not clueless development but harmonious development.

<"There is no development without harmony.">

-- Carlos Torre

Once, it was considered a sin in chess to break the 'rules' and fundamental principles (bring out knights before bishops, don't mobilize queen too early, castle quickly, etc.) Today with the computer boom, Chess has been transformed into a stuggle where more concrete considerations are paramount.

Feb-13-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: The Fred books need an upgrade. The diagrams are crappy print quality, there are errors in the answers and they need to go algebraic.
Feb-13-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <HeMateMe> Kids today have it too easy. You need to suffer like we did! Why, we had to use Descriptive Notation all the time! The only time anybody ever learned Algebraic was to satisfy their foreign language requirement!
Feb-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Well, for what it's worth, I prefer the old descriptive annotation. It was a sort of language, and one could remember games by the annotations, or at least fragments of games.

I guess the algebraic change was another metric type change, where the USA and england had to follow what the rest of the world was doing. Algebraic is probably easier for annotators to work with, too.

I prefer reading chess in descriptive language, myself.

Feb-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: People like what they're used to. But from being a chess journalist in the days before ChessBase and the like, when all material had to be typed, I can assure you that algebraic is a hundred times easier to work with. Less shifting needed, and it saves space over the long haul.
Feb-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Phony Benoni> Chess has never been a lucrative activity in the United States, and particularly not in the Great Depression, when Reinfeld was coming of age as a chessplayer and as a man. He probably realized he could make a decent living as a writer, but could barely survive as a player.
Feb-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Reinfeld: .....In the first place, (these disparaging remarks) are generally made by players who have considerable ability but who have never quite reached the first rank....>

The man had second sight-he knew there would be countless posters in a computer age, who would criticise the greatest players at the drop of a hat, all with a maddeningly superior air.

Take those engines away and-voila-many of the critics vanish into thin air.

<....Finally, the critics forget that the level of play has risen considerably in the last three decades. The more evenly that players are matched, the harder it is to win brilliantly, and the more likely it is that victory will be achieved on the basis of one player cracking psychologically, or being tricked in the opening, or making a time pressure mistake, or having to play for a win when the position does not justify it....>

This snippet should be required reading for those who maunder on ad infinitum on the topic of all the draws in top-level play. This tendency has, if anything, become more pronounced and is simple evolution.

Feb-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Speaking of the second sight of Fred Reinfeld:


click for larger view

This position comes from the game Turoverov--Arzumanyan, USSR correspondence, 1975, and was quoted by Edmar Mednis in "Player's Chess Annual", #6. The game continued: <41.c5 Bxb5 42.cxd6? Bxf1! 43.d7>, reaching this position:


click for larger view

And the finish was <43...Nc5! 44.d8Q Nd3+ 45.Kxf1 Ng3#>

Very pretty. Now you're probably asking yourself, where did the pawn on h7 in the second diagram come from? Perhaps you are even suspecting that I am not a FEN master.

Well, Fred Reinfeld put it there. He used the second diagram in his book, "The Way to Better Chess", published in 1958--<17 years before the Tureverov--Arzumanyan game>.

There's no doubt about it. Reinfeld was psychic.

Mar-10-13  backrank: Last night I had a dream: Reinfeld had in fact published a book of his own best games, but they were faked. All the games in the book turned out having in fact been played by some unknown German player called Sternheim or Stelkheim (someone told me the name in my dream, but I didn't get it clearly enough). Reinfeld had been accused of plagiarism, but he had disappeared and the police were after him. I was assisting the police while they were making investigations in empty 2nd hand book stores, turning over some tattered and yellowed pages of rare Reinfeld books ...

Why am I dreaming such junk?

Mar-10-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: <Why am I dreaming such junk?>

Would you rather have the one I had two days ago?

I walked into our bedroom at night and tried to switch on the light, but apparently the bulb was burnt out because nothing happened.

I thought I saw a hint of movement in the corner next to the head of the bed. Peering into the deep shadows in that corner, I saw a something on the floor, no bigger than my head.

In fact, I think a head is exactly what it was.

Then it muttered, in a voice like half-congealed grease, "Do bloody razors make good eating?"

Thankfully I awoke then.

Mar-10-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Abdel Irada> And now you know why I grew a beard.
Nov-09-14  MissScarlett: <C.N. 644 cited the view of Irving Chernev, in a letter to us dated 19 January 1977: I thought I was the only one who saw that <The Human Side of Chess> was written with venom. But then, Reinfeld hated impartially! He hated Morphy, Alekhine and Capablanca most of all. He hated all chessplayers except those who bought his books. Those he despised!'

On page 127 of <America's Chess Heritage>, Walter Korn reported that in 1950 he had questioned Reinfeld about the contrasting quality of his early and later writing. Reinfeld replied:' In those days I played and wrote seriously - and got nothing for it. When I pour out the mass-produced trash, the royalties come rolling in.'> (Edward Winter, <Chess Explorations>, p.265)

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