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Richard Reti

Number of games in database: 748
Years covered: 1907 to 1929
Overall record: +312 -188 =185 (59.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 63 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 English (50) 
    A13 A15 A12 A14 A16
 Ruy Lopez (44) 
    C86 C68 C84 C77 C64
 French Defense (32) 
    C12 C13 C01 C10 C00
 Orthodox Defense (30) 
    D63 D51 D50 D60 D68
 French (24) 
    C12 C13 C10 C00 C11
 Sicilian (24) 
    B40 B83 B32 B56 B29
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (49) 
    C66 C67 C77 C68 C78
 Queen's Pawn Game (35) 
    A46 A50 D00 D02 D05
 French Defense (33) 
    C11 C12 C01 C00 C10
 French (25) 
    C11 C12 C00 C10 C13
 Alekhine's Defense (17) 
    B02 B03 B05
 Caro-Kann (14) 
    B10 B13 B15 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 Rubinstein, 1923 1-0
   Reti vs Euwe, 1920 1-0
   Bogoljubov vs Reti, 1923 0-1
   Alekhine vs Reti, 1922 1/2-1/2
   Reti vs P Romanovsky, 1925 1-0
   Reti vs Yates, 1924 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Gothenburg (1920)
   3rd Argentine National Tournament (1924)
   Kaschau (1918)
   Teplitz-Schönau (1922)
   Vienna (1928)
   Maehrisch-Ostrau (1923)
   Vienna (1923)
   Abbazia (1912)
   Karlsbad (1923)
   New York (1924)
   Bad Pistyan (1922)
   Scheveningen (1923)
   Marienbad (1925)
   Moscow (1925)
   Semmering (1926)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Veliki majstori saha 16 RETI (Petrovic) by Chessdreamer
   "Richard Réti's Best Games" by Golombek by Sergio X Garcia
   Richard Réti's Best Games by Golombek by SirIvanhoe
   Richard Réti's Best Games by Golombek by wormrose
   Richard Réti's Best Games by Golombek by Okavango
   Richard Réti's Best Games by Golombek by suenteus po 147
   2 Rgrrgrr at Fredthebear by fredthebear
   0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 78 by 0ZeR0
   Move by Move - Reti (Engqvist) by Qindarka
   Reti's Best Games of Chess by matey
   New York 1924 - Alekhine by StoppedClock
   New York 1924 by Benzol

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

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Richard Reti
Search Google for Richard Reti

(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 30; games 1-25 of 748  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Reti vs B Steiner  0-1281907SzekesfehervarD25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
2. L Forgacs vs Reti 1-0431907SzekesfehervarC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
3. Reti vs G Exner  1-0721907SzekesfehervarD02 Queen's Pawn Game
4. I Cseh vs Reti  ½-½311907SzekesfehervarD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
5. Reti vs G Kovacs  0-1271907SzekesfehervarD02 Queen's Pawn Game
6. Reti vs E Smogrovics  1-0321907SzekesfehervarD02 Queen's Pawn Game
7. Reti vs Z Barasz 1-0611907SzekesfehervarD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
8. K Demeter vs Reti  0-1791907SzekesfehervarC12 French, McCutcheon
9. Alapin vs Reti 1-0631908ViennaC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
10. Reti vs E Cohn 0-1491908ViennaC49 Four Knights
11. Marshall vs Reti 1-0311908ViennaC49 Four Knights
12. Reti vs Maroczy 0-1541908ViennaB22 Sicilian, Alapin
13. J N Berger vs Reti 1-0261908ViennaD05 Queen's Pawn Game
14. Reti vs Teichmann 0-1341908ViennaC49 Four Knights
15. Schlechter vs Reti 1-0471908ViennaC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
16. Reti vs Duras ½-½311908ViennaB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
17. J Mieses vs Reti 1-0251908ViennaC23 Bishop's Opening
18. Reti vs H Suechting  ½-½171908ViennaB01 Scandinavian
19. Tartakower vs Reti 1-0341908ViennaA30 English, Symmetrical
20. Reti vs P S Leonhardt ½-½531908ViennaC26 Vienna
21. Swiderski vs Reti 1-0321908ViennaA84 Dutch
22. Reti vs Spielmann 0-1361908ViennaC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
23. Salwe vs Reti 1-0311908ViennaD00 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Von Bardeleben vs Reti 1-0301908ViennaC77 Ruy Lopez
25. Reti vs J Perlis  0-1361908ViennaD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
 page 1 of 30; games 1-25 of 748  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 15 OF 15 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-14-18  zanzibar: <RB> thank you very much for that, though it seems Gillam is in the same shape as I am - the sources are rather thin.

I doubt the 1973 Spanish booklet is authoritative - so the main source is TDS. But afaik it didn't have any of the game dates in it, making me wonder how Gillam came up with his schedule, or how I missed it?


Jun-14-18  Retireborn: <z> I was wondering about that myself. It's possible that he got the dates from the Spanish booklet (which was part of a series about Rubinstein, he says) or perhaps from some other Rubinstein book such as the Donaldson/Minev one.

The TfS source he quotes is 1920 pp 4-32.

Jun-14-18  zanzibar: <RB> the specifics of the ref is helpful; I'll have a second look then.
Jun-15-18  sneaky pete: That Spanish booklet (Ricardo Alvarez Cela y Luis Eceizabarrena Gaba, Estocolmo 1919 y Rubinstein-Bogoljubow, 1920, published by Ricardo Aguilera, Madrid, 1973, as part of the Serie Rubinstein of the Torneos Retrospectivos) has no dates or anything else worth menrioning, only the games in that horrible Spanish descriptive notation.
Jun-15-18  Retireborn: <sneaky pete> Heh. I'd love to see just how big your library is!

If the dates aren't in TfS then I can only suppose Gillam has got hold of a local bulletin or schedule.

Jun-15-18  zanzibar: OK, I doublechecked <TfS_1920_0103 p4-32>, and there definitely is only the bracket dates + round numbers given.

That means we don't know how Gillam arrived at his schedule. I suspect he would have cited Swedish newspaper accounts if he had access to such. Or other newspaper accounts, for that matter.

My working theory is that my schedule is the most consistent, at least at the moment(*).

(*) Do we have any Nordic historians who might search their country's newspaper archives?

May-28-19  Pyrandus: GM Réti was Hungarian? Nobody say it...
Feb-03-20  hvhgcfx: That was amazing to read. Thanks for the article. Here you go
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Nice photo:

The caption:

<Chess. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Chess Federation, a chess competition is held in 1923 between Dr. Max Euwe and Richard Reti [1889-1929]. The competition takes place in the Kurhaus in Scheveningen.>

Is that really Euwe?

Apr-15-20  Retireborn: <Stonehenge> Very nice photo, but that is not Euwe. I assume the caption just means that Euwe and Reti were on opposing sides in the 1923 Scheveningen.

I assume the mystery opponent is one of the other (Dutch?) players who were present. They are not playing a competitive game there, I think.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: I wonder what opening that was.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. dxc5 e5 4. Nc3 Bxc5 5. e3 Bb4 6. Qc2 d5 7. Nf3 Nbd7?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Another Reti endgame study

click for larger view

White to play and win.

May-28-20  andrewjsacks: Happy birthday to a genuine artist of the chessboard.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Hi Andrew. Play in any clubs or live events lately? I was walking through uptown Harlem today, 140s, and found an ACTUAL brick and mortar chess/backgammon club. They aren't' extinct! I have to dust off my backgammon probability thinking.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Here are some photos and a brief summary of the Richard Reti Collection at the Library of Congress:

Dec-21-21  Mathematicar: Nice drawing tehnique that omniscient Lasker used against Tarrasch in 1914.
Jun-26-22  lonchaney: Chess composer

Published works list(only 6 here!)

Jul-25-22  Helios727: Did Reti consider himself Hungarian?
Jul-25-22  Retireborn: Probably he thought of himself as Viennese or Austrian. He was born in what is now Slovakia, I think.

More than one poster below mentions that he did not speak Hungarian.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I guess it would help if one knew who his parents were, what language they spoke at home.
Jul-25-22  Olavi:

Seeing that they subscribed to Über Land und Meer, German will have been the language - at least one of them.

Jul-25-22  stone free or die: Reading about <Rudolph Reti> I found a mention of him being reared in Vienna (and also being born in Slovakia).

Don't know if the family spoke Slovak or not; I wonder where one might find evidence one way or the other.

Richard was a polyglot, and there exists a sample of his handwriting in French:

from later in his life.
and in German:


Jul-27-22  Olavi: <Helios727: Did Reti consider himself Hungarian?>

Lest we forget - surely he considered himself Jewish. That's not always very helpful, people did and do have two national/ethnic identities. Even the fact that he wrote his books in German is not necessarily conclusive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gottschalk: Gottschalk: [Event "Buenos Aires (t Mayor"]
[Site "Buenos Aires (t Mayor"]
[Date "1924.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Richard Reti"]
[Black "Luis Belgrano Rawson"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B15"]
[PlyCount "75"]
1. d4 c6 2. e4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Ng3 e5 6. Nf3 exd4 7. Qxd4 Qxd4 8. Nxd4 Bc5 9. Be3 Nd5 10. Ne4 Nxe3 11. Nxc5 Nxf1 12. Rxf1 b6 13. Ne4 O-O 14. O-O-O c5 15. Nb5 Na6 16. Ned6 Be6 17. f4 g6 18. h3 h5 19. Rf2 Kg7 20. f5 gxf5 21. Nxf5+ Kg6 22. Nbd6 Rad8 23. Ne7+ Kg7 24. g4 hxg4 25. hxg4 Nc7 26. Rfd2 Kf6 27. Nc6 Ra8 28. Rf1+ Kg7 29. Nf5+ Kg6 30. Ne5+ Kg5 31. Nd6 f6 32. Ne4+ Kh6 33. Nxf6 Kg7 34. g5 Nd5 35. Rh1 Rh8 36. Nh5+ Kg8 37. Rdh2 Kh7 38. Nf6+ 1-0

La partida haber-se igualado en la apertura, de manera ninguna invalida o prejudica la misma.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gottschalk: Reti versus Belgrano Rawson

The fact of the game having been matched in the opening, in no way invalidates or prejudices it. By the way, the outcome is very good

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