Who is Fred Reinfeld?

Fred Reinfeld, born on January 27, 1910, and died on May 29, 1964, was an American writer who wrote on various subjects including chess. Along with writing books on chess, he was also known as one of the top American chess players and a strong chess master as well as chess instructor in the college from the beginning of the 1930s to the beginning of the 1940s.

Early life and education of Fred Reinfeld

Fred was born to the parents of mixed culture as Barnett Reinfeld, his father, was from polish origin whereas Rose Pogrezelsky, his mother was a Romanian woman. Since his birth, Fred lived in the metropolitan area of New York City throughout his life.

In his early teenage, Fred learned chess and played for the team of his high school. In 1926, during his high school days, in Manhattan, he joined Marshall Chess Club and got involved in chess through correspondence.

Later on, he studied accounting during his stay in the College in New York City of New York University and in 1929 won Intercollegiate Championship of the US

In 1932, he married Beatrice, his fiancée and got two children Donald and Judith in 1942 and 1947 respectively.

Writing experience of Fred

For Chess

Being a creative writer, Fred Reinfeld wrote more than 100 books individually as well as in collaboration with other authors.

In late 1932 he started writing about chess. His first book on chess was with Isaac Kashdan, his co-author and player of the Bled master tournament 1931.

In 1933, Fred became the charter writer and in 19647 the senior editor of the Chess Review, a new magazine.

Over half of the books written by him were on different phases of playing chess including winning the opening of a chess game, mid-game, collections of a chess game as well as biographies of various popular chess players from various countries. He wrote The Complete Chess Player as a guide for novel chess players. He also wrote high-quality books for advanced level players by using his writing skills, research ability and knowledge regarding this sport.

In 1996, he was included in the Chess Hall of Nation of the US mainly for his writing abilities.

Writing on non-chess subjects

Along with writing on chess, Fred wrote an edited version of Oliver Twist, a famous work of Charles Dickens in 1948 on a subject other than chess. The subjects he selected to write books other than chess included numismatics, checkers, geology, philately, medicine, history, political science, jurisprudence, and physics. He also won the award of Thomas Alva Edison Foundation for his later books. He also wrote a few books with pen-names, Edward Young and Robert V. Masters.

Playing strength for Competitive chess

Fred was one of the strongest players of chess in the early 1930s to early 1940s but he is known today more for his writings. In 1950, the first rating list published by the Chess Federation of the US, Fred was on 6th ranking out of 2593 players. In March-April 1943, he was ranked 64th beat player in the world by Chessmetrics. But next year he withdrew from competitive chess as he was not included in the Federation’s list for that year.

Highlights of chess tournaments

Fred won Championship of New York State twice in 1931 and 1933.

He stood third in 1932 at the Western Open tournament in Minneapolis.

In the International tournament at Pasadena, he was placed at 7th out of 10.

He scored 4/10 in the qualification tournament held in New York for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1933 and failed to be a part of the team.

In 1934-35 he won the title of Marshall Chess Club.

In 1938, he scored just below the middle at 6/16 however for similar placing his score in 1940 was 7/16.

In 1939, with 8/11 he stood second in the Milton Hanauer championship at Ventnor City.

In 1941, with 6/9 he was again second At Ventnor City.

In 1942 He tied for the title with Sidney Norman Bernstein for the Chess Club Championship at Manhattan.

After 1942 and after the birth of his first son, he withdrew from playing in most of the tournaments.

Consultant professor

Fred also served in the adult education departments of the universities of Columbia and New York as a part-time chess instructor, as a consultant to the Random House College Dictionary and the World Book Encyclopedia as well as the staff in the School of General Education of NYU from the early 1930s to the late 1940s.


Fed Reinfeld died on May 29, 1964, in East Meadow, New York.