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Fred Reinfeld
Number of games in database: 115
Years covered: 1926 to 1942
Overall record: +40 -39 =36 (50.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

With the White pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (11) 
    D55 D51 D63 D62 D61
 Ruy Lopez (7) 
    C83 C86 C78 C68 C97
 Queen's Indian (4) 
    E16 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
 English, 1 c4 e5 (4) 
    A20 A22 A28 A25
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

   Tarrasch vs Allies, 1914
   Steinitz vs Lasker, 1895
   A Brinckmann vs Kieninger, 1932

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(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 115  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. O Tenner vs F Reinfeld  1-033 1928 Metropolitan LeagueC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
6. M L Hanauer vs F Reinfeld  1-023 1928 Marshall CC ChampionshipE18 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3
7. A S Kussman vs F Reinfeld  0-127 1929 NCF IntercollegiateC45 Scotch Game
8. E Tholfsen vs F Reinfeld  1-029 1929 Dimock TournamentA20 English
9. F Reinfeld vs N Grossman 1-023 1929 NCF IntercollegiateB58 Sicilian
10. F Reinfeld vs R L Bornholz  1-029 1929 Marshall CC vs. Manhattan CCC78 Ruy Lopez
11. F Reinfeld vs J Narraway 1-024 1929 CorrespondenceC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
12. F Reinfeld vs Marshall 1-042 1929 Dimock TournamentA20 English
13. F Reinfeld vs Fine  0-134 1930 Marshall Chess Club-ch, PrelimC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
14. R Smirka vs F Reinfeld  1-041 1930 Marshall CC ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
15. F Reinfeld vs Fine 1-055 1930 Rice Club Junior MastersC14 French, Classical
16. E Tholfsen vs F Reinfeld  1-074 1930 Marshall CC ChampionshipE10 Queen's Pawn Game
17. F Reinfeld vs Santasiere  1-030 1930 Marshall CC ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
18. F Reinfeld vs A Cass  0-152 1930 Marshall CC ChampionshipB58 Sicilian
19. F Reinfeld vs Fine  1-024 1931 Marshall CC ChampionshipD65 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, Main line
20. F Reinfeld vs T Dunst 1-023 1931 Marshall CC ChampionshipA00 Uncommon Opening
21. F Reinfeld vs T Barron  1-038 1931 New York State ChampionshipD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. N Grossman vs F Reinfeld 0-126 1931 New York State ChampionshipA08 King's Indian Attack
23. Fine vs F Reinfeld  ½-½18 1931 New York State ChampionshipD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
24. F Reinfeld vs Kashdan  ½-½51 1932 Pasadena, CA USAD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
25. F Reinfeld vs Alekhine ½-½36 1932 Pasadena (08)D45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 115  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Reinfeld wins | Reinfeld loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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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.
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.
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.

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?

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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Abdel Irada> And now you know why I grew a beard.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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)

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Hmm, I see that I am now slightly older than my near-namesake was when he died suddenly. Hope that doesn't portend anything for me.
Jan-27-15  domradave: Reinfeld's book, THE COMPLETE CHESSPLAYER
is a great place to start.
I just finished his book on Capablanca.
In his book, THE UNKNOWN ALEKHINE, he claims Alekhine was the greater player.
Jan-27-15  RookFile: The guy Reinfeld was writing about was whatever Reinfeld needed him to be. But he taught a lot of us about chess and got us fascinated in the game.
Jan-27-15  pedro99: I used to subscribe to Chess Review. It had good articles by Gligoric on openings and Euwe on endings along with the usual news and games. Everyone else was lapping up Keene & Hartston's analyses in 'Chess' magazine so it gave me a chance to surprise them from time to time.

Reinfeld wrote some good stuff. Along with the 1001 sacs mentioned earlier, I liked his Keres book- not one of his potboiler.s but well researched analysis.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: One of my favourite chess quotations - and one of my favourite quotes of all - was about Fred Reinfeld. I first saw it at ...and it runs thuslywise:

<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.>>

It's those destructive last 13 words that I love!
I mean, don't we all!

May-04-15  thegoodanarchist: < domradave:
In his book, THE UNKNOWN ALEKHINE, he claims Alekhine was the greater player.>

Since most serious chess players consider Capa the better player, the title of the book is apt.

May-04-15  thegoodanarchist: < pedro99:

Reinfeld wrote some good stuff. Along with the 1001 sacs mentioned earlier, I liked his Keres book>

I wish he had written "1001 winning Zwischenzugs".

That would be a great book.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Threats are the very warp and woof of chess. Every game is an unspoken dialogue of threats and counterthreats> - Freddie Reinfeld.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Another book was reprinted - "1,001 Excuses For Why You Lose at Chess" - Fred Reinfeld.

Disclaimer - not a real book.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Don't remember where I read this one:

Confused A20 with B20, dropped queen on move 8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <The pin is mightier than the sword> - Fred Reinfeld.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <But alas! Like many another consummation devoutly to be wished, the actual performance was a disappointing one> (on the long awaited Lasker-Capablanca match in 1921) - Fred Reinfeld.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Short of actual blunders, lack of faith in one's position is the chief cause of defeat. To be sure, it is easy to recommend faith and not so easy to practice it> - Fred Reinfeld.
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: Interesting bio information on Reinfeld here from Bill Wall -

Does anyone have a comprehensive list of his privately published course, tournament and opening books (often referred to as the 'mimeos')?

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: I also have a Reinfeld bio at
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: Excellent work <wwall>. Thx!
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: QOTD: <After we have paid our dutiful respects to such frigid virtues as calculation, foresight, self-control and the like, we always come back to the thought that speculative attack is the lifeblood of chess.>

I don't even bother giving respect to calculation, foresight, and self-control. Speculative attack from the first move to the last! (This philosophy usually gets you to a last move quickly.)

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