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Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Lesson from Reinfeld

     One of my first chess books was Attack and Counterattack in Chess by Fred Reinfeld published in 1955. It's not a very good book by today's standards; it was one of Reinfelds “potboilers” as they used to be called. It was clearly rushed and there are a lot of mistakes in analysis. It bothered me then and I still find it odd that Reinfeld didn't give the player's names or the tournaments in which any of the games were played. Still while browsing through it recently I did find the games interesting and here is an instructive game under the heading How to Exploit Superior Mobility. We see black struggling to keep control of the center but because he is behind in development and cramped, white is able to dominate the open lines.  
     Like the games in many older books, when analyzing the game with an engine, you find hidden resources and lines that were either ignored or missed by the annotators. Apparently they often did not check the games carefully.  After all, there were only a handful of masters in the whole world and who was going to question them?!  It's a different story these days...armed with an engine we can all snidely point out their omissions.  Seriously, I wish I were as strong as Reinfeld, Horowitz or Kmoch, or a hundred other popular authors back in those days! Also, in many cases I think they just ignored some things because they were trying to make a point and just wanted us to see the forest, not the individual trees.

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