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Old December 31st 09, 08:05 PM posted to,,,rec.collecting.coins,
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Default Fred Reinfeld (1910-1964)

On Dec 25, 12:27*am, samsloan wrote:
Fred Reinfeld (1910-1964)

Fred Reinfeld was one of the most prolific authors ever. In fact,
Reinfeld may even be the most prolific author of any kind in the
entire history of the world.

Fred Reinfeld wrote so many books that it will probably never be known
how many books he wrote, especially since he not only wrote under his
own name, but he worked as a ghost writer for other famous players and
he had some pseudonyms.

For example, it is believed that the book “Reshevsky on Chess” by
Samuel Reshevsky was actually written by Fred Reinfeld. It is also
believed that books by Frank Marshall were written by Reinfeld.

Of course, the supposed author would never reveal this and Reinfeld
himself could not disclose that Reinfeld actually wrote the book.

It is known that Reinfeld wrote at least 200 books by himself and at
least 81 books in collaboration with other authors. This of course
does not count the books he ghost wrote.

Most of Reinfeld's books were chess books. A little appreciated fact
is that Reinfeld was a strong chess player. His books often mentioned
that he was once New York State Champion. However, a much greater
accomplishment that is rarely mentioned is his result in the great
tournament at Pasadena 1932, a tournament featuring World Chess
Champion Alexander Alekhine at the peak of his powers and almost all
of the top players in America.

Reinfeld drew his individual game with Alekhine and defeated
Reshevsky. Final scores we Alekhine 8.5-2.5, Kashdan 7.5-3.5, Dake,
Steiner and Reshevsky 6-5, Borochow 5.5-5.5, Reinfeld, Bernstein, Fine
and Factor 5-6, Araiza 3.5-7.5, and Fink 3-8.

All of these players were grandmasters on the modern standard, except
for perhaps the bottom two.

When the first USCF rating list came out as of July 31, 1950, Fred
Reinfeld was rated 2593, making him the sixth highest rated player in

That was also Reinfeld's last USCF rating, because by then he was no
longer an active tournament player. He was devoting himself to writing
books about the game.

In addition to writing chess books, Reinfeld also wrote books about
coin collecting, stamp collecting and a variety of other subjects. He
wrote a book about presidential politics, a book about whales and he
even wrote a revised edition of the Charles Dickens classic Oliver

Reinfeld's chess books especially are still studied today. Probably
his best remembered chess book is “The Complete Chess Course” which is
simply a combined reprinting of eight of his previous books. At 692
pages, it is still in print and recommended for players of all levels.

Reinfeld was not without his critics. Cracks about his “Chess Book of
the Week” were common. It was alleged that he simply re-shuffled and
reprinted the same book over and over again. However, it has yet to be
proven that this is true.

Sadly, I never met Fred Reinfeld. I did write him a letter once. As a
kid in Lynchburg Virginia, I was studying one of his books and I came
to one of his “White to Play and Win” puzzles that I could not solve.
Actually, the solution was in the back of the book. However, even
after studying the solution, I could not see it and I thought it was

So, I wrote Reinfeld a letter and told him that I believed that I had
found a mistake in one of his books.

I was amazed when, less than a week later, a reply shot back. Reinfeld
wrote me with a more detailed solution to the problem. Of course, I
had been mistaken. Reinfeld's book had been correct. I just had not
seen the solution down to the end.

I no longer have Reinfeld's letter but I think this happened in 1957
or 1958.

Fred Reinfeld was born on January 27, 1910. He started writing at an
early age. I found an ad by him in Chess Correspondent magazine in the
1930s. He was offering to annotate chess games for a dollar. The
reader could send him any chess game plus one dollar and Reinfeld
would return the game with complete notes to the game. One wonders if
any of those annotated games survive and what they might be worth
today as collectors items.

Fred Reinfeld died on May 29, 1964 in East Meadow, New York. He has
been inducted into the US Chess Hall of Fame.

Sam Sloan
December 24, 2009

We should also not forget his contribution as Dracula's sidekick:
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