How to Play Better Chess, by Fred Reinfeld

Used books stores are some of the best places to wonderful old chess books. I once acquired some from a used book store that said a chess master had basically brought in his whole collection. Incredible.

Recently, I found this wonderful book at a used book store called “How to Play Better Chess” by Fred Reinfeld. As an improving player, I thought this book looked incredibly inviting and well written, so I decided to buy it. It was only after buying it and reading for awhile (and really enjoying it!) that I found out that Fred Reinfeld was an incredibly prolific chess author. Someone later mentioned to me that he was basically the main source of chess texts before Bobby Fischer came along and made the game more mainstream.

Some fun details about Reinfeld:

  • He won the U.S. Intercollegiate championship in 1929
  • He won the New York State Championship twice, in 1931 and 1933
  • He has written over 50 books on chess
  • He was a senior editor of Chess Review
  • He was inducted into the Chess Hall of Fame
  • He was ranked 6th in the U.S. when they first came out with USCF rankings


This post is a breakdown of some of the lessons in this book, along with some of the corresponding pgns. Having read some of this book, I can definitely say you should pick up some others by him. What I also really enjoyed about this book is that it has many examples of games between Masters, and many of those games feature openings that I employ in my own games. What a treat.

How to Play Better Chess, by Fred Reinfeld