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
- The Basic Principles of Opening Play: Importance of the Center
- What do we Mean by the Center?
- Why is the Center Important?
- Developing at the Opponent’s Expense
- Exploitation of Weaknesses Arising from Lack of Mobility
- The Significance of Pawn Exchanges in the Center
- Removing the Tension in the Pawn Center
- Pivot Points and Outposts
- How Outposts Provoke Exchanges
- How Outposts Provoke Pawn Weaknesses
- Problems of the Middle Game: The Fine Art of Strategical Play
- The Pawn Center as a Liability!
- Hypermodern Bishop vs. Pawn Center
- Maneuvering against a Positional Weakness
- Exploiting a Cramped Position
- The Play against Weak Color Complexes
- Problems of the Middle Game: The Fine Art of Tactical Play
- The Attack against an Exposed King
- Crushing King-side Attack Resulting from Monopoly of the Center; Utility of a Pivot Point
- The Attack on an Open File
- The Attack against a Weakened King-side
- Typical Middle Game Motifs
- Problems of the Middle Game: The Fine Art of Defensive Play
- To Attack or Not to Attack?
- Defense to a Direct King-side Attack
- The Consequences of a Bad Variation: Meeting the Crisis
- Superb Defensive Play: a Peripatetic King
- All’s Well that Ends Well: How to Play Better Endings
- Rook and Pawn Endings
- Bishop vs. Knight Endings