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Isaac Kashdan

Number of games in database: 715
Years covered: 1924 to 1961
Overall record: +360 -108 =177 (69.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 70 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (64) 
    C86 C71 C84 C83 C78
 Sicilian (35) 
    B40 B58 B74 B41 B32
 Orthodox Defense (34) 
    D52 D63 D61 D62 D60
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (34) 
    C86 C84 C97 C99 C87
 French Defense (28) 
    C13 C11 C17 C14 C10
 Slav (20) 
    D15 D18 D16 D19 D17
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (46) 
    C86 C77 C83 C99 C74
 Orthodox Defense (39) 
    D52 D51 D63 D64 D56
 Semi-Slav (25) 
    D48 D43 D45 D46 D47
 Slav (24) 
    D10 D15 D18 D19 D13
 Queen's Pawn Game (24) 
    A46 D05 A45 E00 D04
 Nimzo Indian (24) 
    E34 E23 E36 E47 E32
Repertoire Explorer

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

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   The Hague Olympiad (1928)
   Mexico City (1932)
   Gyor (1930)
   49th US Open (1948)
   Frankfurt (1930)
   Prague Olympiad (1931)
   Stockholm Olympiad (1937)
   United States Championship (1942)
   United States Championship (1946)
   United States Championship (1948)
   Hamburg Olympiad (1930)
   Folkestone Olympiad (1933)
   52nd US Open (1951)
   US Championship (1936)
   Bled (1931)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Isaac Kashdan Life and Games Part 1 by jessicafischerqueen
   Isaac Kashdan Life and Games Part 1 by jessicafischerqueen
   Isaac Kashdan Life and Games: Part 2 by jessicafischerqueen
   Mieses & Kashdan best games by Gottschalk
   Mieses & Kashdan best games by Gottschalk! by fredthebear
   US Open 1938, Boston = 39th ACF Congress by Phony Benoni
   Chess Review 1936 by Phony Benoni
   Bled 1931 by Benzol
   Bled 1931 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Bled 1931 international tournament part 2 by cuendillar
   1938 US Championship by crawfb5
   American Chess Bulletin 1930 by Phony Benoni
   1936 US Championship by crawfb5
   US Open 1935, Milwaukee = 36th ACF Congress by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Isaac Kashdan
Search Google for Isaac Kashdan

(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 International Arbiter 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. He was often called 'der Kleine Capablanca' (German for "The little Capablanca") in Europe because of his ability to extract victories from seemingly even positions. His successes included 1st place at Berlin 1930, 2nd at Frankfurt (1930) behind Aron Nimzowitsch, 1st (by a three-point margin) at Gyor (1930), 1st at Stockholm (1930), and =1st at Mexico City (1932) with Alexander Alekhine. Chessmetrics ranks him the No. 2 player in the world (behind Alekhine) for 20 months in 1932-34.

He was the first editor of Chess Review, and 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: 2023-06-26 09:00:15

 page 1 of 29; games 1-25 of 715  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kashdan vs Newberger 1-0281924New York ch Stuyvesant Chess ClubB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
2. Kashdan vs Soos  1-0341924New York ch Stuyvesant Chess ClubA13 English
3. Kashdan vs D Bentz 1-0311924USA corrC33 King's Gambit Accepted
4. O Chajes vs Kashdan  1-0401924New York Ch Rice Chess ClubD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
5. Kupchik vs Kashdan 1-0411924Rice Progressive Chess Club ch A15 English
6. Kashdan vs R L Bornholz ½-½231925Manhattan CC-chD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
7. O Frink vs Kashdan  1-0301925Metropolitan League MatchD46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
8. I A Horowitz vs Kashdan  0-1361925Manhattan CC-chB03 Alekhine's Defense
9. C E Norwood vs Kashdan 0-1311925Manhattan CC-chB02 Alekhine's Defense
10. Kashdan vs F Bartha  0-1291925Albert Hallgarten prelim-AC66 Ruy Lopez
11. Wintner vs Kashdan 0-1441925Albert Hallgarten prelim-AC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
12. Santasiere vs Kashdan 0-1321925Metropolitan League MatchA45 Queen's Pawn Game
13. Kashdan vs O Tenner  1-0221925Manhattan CC-chB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
14. Kashdan vs R Smirka ½-½801925Albert Hallgarten FinalsA04 Reti Opening
15. Kashdan vs G N Treysman 0-1281925Stuyvesant ChampionshipC13 French
16. Kashdan vs M Schleifer  1-0441925Metropolitan League MatchC66 Ruy Lopez
17. O W Field vs Kashdan  0-1311925Albert Hallgarten prelim-AC74 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
18. A Pinkus vs Kashdan 0-1491925Albert Hallgarten prelim-AC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
19. Kashdan vs C E Norwood  1-0851925Albert Hallgarten prelim-AD16 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
20. Kashdan vs R L Bornholz 1-0561925Albert Hallgarten FinalD66 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line
21. E Berman vs Kashdan  ½-½441925Albert Hallgarten prelim-AD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
22. Kupchik vs Kashdan 1-0431926Rice Progressive MemorialB03 Alekhine's Defense
23. Kashdan vs Kupchik  ½-½281926Rice Progressive MemorialD92 Grunfeld, 5.Bf4
24. Kashdan vs Kupchik 1-0461926Rice Progressive Chess Club chC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
25. C Jaffe vs Kashdan  0-1411926Rice Progressive MemorialA46 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 29; games 1-25 of 715  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kashdan wins | Kashdan loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Is that strictly legal? And where's the concluding section?
Apr-25-16  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).


Apr-25-16  zanzibar: BTW- can we get a margin call in?

Kashdan's photo looks chintzy⁽ยน⁾ 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.
Nov-19-16  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

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diocletian: WHITE TO MOVE
Diagram above is after 20...Qd6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: 21.Bc7
Dec-14-18  Cibator: <FSR: <zdigyigy: Very rare to see such a strong player become a TD.> GM Lothar Schmid was the arbiter for the Fischer-Spassky World Championship match. I believe that Gligoric was the arbiter for their 1992 rematch.>

Add to the above:
1960: Stahlberg (assisted by Golombek)
1966: O'Kelly de Galway and Filip

These are off the top of my head. It's proved surprisingly hard to find out quickly who was arbiter at other WCMs!

Dec-14-18  Olavi: The strongest was perhaps Vidmar in 1948, he was World number 4-6 for some time in the 20', I'd say.
Dec-15-18  Caissanist: Max Euwe was also a TD, though the only tournament that I know he directed was the 1956 Candidates.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: According to Chessmetrics Kashdan was the number 2 player in the world in the early 1930s.
Dec-15-18  Olavi: Yes. That highlights one problem with chessmetrics. Capablanca had dropped entirely due to inactivity, and if you look at Kashdan's results before those 1933 lists, I think it's clear that he wasn't number two. But he was considered a possible challenger.
Dec-15-18  Caissanist: Kashdan's high ranking in the early 1930s is mostly a reflection of the fact that there were virtually no great players born between 1892 and 1911, unless Euwe counts. Most of the top players of the early 1930s had fallen back from the top by the end of that decade, never to returns.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Had never really given that gap much thought, in contradistinction to the oft-mentioned period from 1936-1951 which featured the birth of no top-class player except Fischer (Spassky was born in 1937, it is true, but made his ascent before Tal).

It was only when Botvinnik, Reshevsky, Keres, Flohr and Fine came into their own by 1935 that the old guard began to fade away.

Dec-18-18  Caissanist: If you consider Flohr to be a great player, then I guess you'd have to move the date up from 1911 to 1908. I don't--his best days were already behind him by 1937, when he was only 28, so he seems to be another beneficiary of the lack of strong competition in the early to mid thirties.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Flohr scored some fine results in the early thirties and Alekhine tipped him as a potential challenger in an interview ca 1932 (cf Sergeant). Does this make him great? I rather doubt that also, though possibly Flohr's best result came at Leningrad-Moscow 1939, shortly after having been all but written off as a title contender due to finishing as bottom marker at AVRO.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gottschalk: <fredthebear>
Thank you for mentioning my nickname. I am happy to know that someone has approved a collection that I have organized: time not wasted! Cool, enjoy!
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Stunning but true--Isaac Kashdan once appeared on "Your Bet Your Life," Groucho Marx's TV game show from the 1950s. Groucho actually challenged Kashdan to a game for money.

Groucho quickly backed down.

Jun-10-23  stone free or die: Forget Kashdan, that's Tony Curtis' mother (mama) up there with him!


Nov-05-23  djvanscoy: In Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual, Exercise 2/8 is this position with White to move:

click for larger view

Dvoretsky cites the source as the game I.Horowitz, I.Kashdan, 1928. I don't see this position occurring in the sole 1928 game on this site between Israel Albert Horowitz as White and Kashdan as Black. As far as I can tell, it does not occur in any of the other 24 games between the two on this site. And I don't see a record of any other "I.Horowitz" who played Kashdan in 1928.

Is this a misattribution by Dvoretsky or an omission from this site? Is the full game in which this position occurred available anywhere?

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