Fred Reinfeld

Fred Reinfeld

(1910-1964)
United States – Inducted 1996

Though a master player in his own right, Fred Reinfeld will certainly be best remembered as the most prolific writer on the game in its history. He won the 1931 and 1933 New York State Championship and was ranked 6th by the USCF in 1950. His career highlights include wins against Samuel Reshevsky, Reuben Fine, Frank Marshall, and Arnold Denker, and a draw against Alexander Alekhine. However, his true passion laid in chess writing. Over three decades he authored more than 100 titles on a range of subjects, including game collections, biographies, and opening, middlegame, and endgame strategy. He was also an extremely active writer outside of chess, authoring dozens of books on numismatics, philately, geology, history, medicine, physics, political science, jurisprudence, astronomy, and checkers.

Most of Reinfeld’s chess books were written for novices, and as such, they introduced thousands to the game over several generations. His clear and engaging writing style made chess interesting and fun for beginner and expert alike. The early part of his writing career saw the appearance of his best work, including Dr. Lasker’s Chess Career in 1935, a collaborative effort with Reuben Fine, and Practical Endgame Play in 1940. As a chess instructor at New York University and Columbia University, Reinfeld personally introduced hundreds of students to the game. His understanding of common mistakes by average players made him a popular teacher both in person and in print, and decades after his death, many of his writings remain standards in the field.