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An Exceptional Player, Writer, and Composer

  • GM Julio_Becerra
  • | Jan 20, 2010

Richard Réti (28 May 1889, Pezinok – 6 June 1929, Prague) was an ethnic Jewish, Austrian-Hungarian, later Czechoslovakian chess player, chess author, and composer of endgame studies. His older brother Rudolph Réti was a noted (musical) composer and pianist.

Reti was a large, heavyset man, like “a good-natured black bear”. He was happy when he played chess. “Looking at the board, he almost always smiles at it, as a gourmet regards his favorite dish.”

After World War I he gained first prize in many tournaments. He drew in match play with Savielly Tartakower (in 1919) and defeated the Dutch player and former World Champion Max Euwe (in 1920). In tournament play he was one of the few to defeat Capablanca. He had his greatest early tournament successes in the period 1918 through 1921, in tournaments in Kaschau (Kassa) 1918, Rotterdam 1919, Amsterdam 1920, Vienna 1920, and Gothenburg 1921. His tournament record would have been better had he played as strongly against weaker players has he did against the giants! For some reason he relaxed when faced with an “easy” game and that cost him many a tournaments point.

A great theorist, he was a pioneer of the modern school and wrote about chess brilliantly. His books Die neuen Ideen im Schachspiel 1922 (Modern Ideas In Chess, 1923) and Die Meister des Schachbretts 1930 (Masters of the Chessboard, 1932) have also become classics in the chess world. Reti himself insisted that the hypermoderns were not trying to change the concept of chess. but were rather exploring new ideas in the hope of uncovering a further extension of Steinitzian principle: a stage between the old classicism and the new dynamism.

As a blindfold player, he broke the world record for number of games in 1925 with twenty-nine games played simultaneously. He won twenty-one of these, drew six, and only lost two.

Réti also composed numerous endgame studies.

Reti sadly passed away unexpectedly a week after turning forty from scarlet feverin Prague. He is buried in Vienna in the Zentralfriedhof cemetery, in Section T1, Group 51, Row 5, and Grave 34.



  • 4 years ago


    Great puzzle, especially the last one!

  • 4 years ago


    really deep thought is needed to come up with the solution!

  • 4 years ago



  • 4 years ago


    wow- i neva knew reti was dat amazing, i huz though he was a guy who liked and invented hypermodern! thx a lot Cool

  • 4 years ago


    Reply for ( Oobia )

    It is zugswang

    1. If you move B to f4, g5 or g7 .it is fork by N e6

    2. If you move B to d2 or c1 , it is fork by Nb3

  • 4 years ago

    GM Julio_Becerra

    When played the macht Reti-Euwe in 1920, Euwe was nineteen years old, no fifteen!

  • 4 years ago


                    Really  one  of  the  best  chessplayer  and  composer ever . 

         But  for  me  exeptional  players  are  :  Morphy , Alechin  , Fischer  , Nezhmetdinov , Tal ,  Kassparov .

                   Great  article  and  examples.

  • 4 years ago


    nice i learned sumthing new;p

  • 4 years ago


    Reti had a clever view of the world and his times. Chess was the canvas to express himself.

  • 4 years ago

    IM dpruess

    Richard Reti contributed a lot to the development of chess. When I was still early in my learning process, I remember reading a book "Modern Ideas in Chess," which was terrific, and helped me understand how the development of chess ideas took place.

    I think the game dpenaranda shows us was the one in which Reti broke Capa's long unbeaten streak (8 years?). A classic of hypermodern chess, which was commented by Julio in a previous article.

    Also, those three endgame compositions are absolute classics. Some of the clearest illustrations of principles:

    - the fastest possible movement for a king

    - zugzwang

    - opposition/flanking

    I have used them often in teaching.

  • 4 years ago


    Amazing puzzles.

  • 4 years ago


  • 4 years ago


    dear oobia.......
    after Kh1..... try to move the bishop in any possible square.
    it ll be fork!!!!!

  • 4 years ago


  • 4 years ago


    Richard Réti was one of the most extraordinary players ever... I always remember a beautiful game drawn with A. Alekhine. Reti played blacks and simply made the most beautiful defense I ever seen, solving many puzzle positions to rich an drawn endgame of study.

    All my respect to his memory...

  • 4 years ago


    Black will lose the bishop by either a knight fork with the king or capture by the f-pawn.

  • 4 years ago


    An excellent article! I love it how you incorporate both puzzles and games into the article which show the players style/genius.

  • 4 years ago


    i don't understand the last puzzle. how can black lose the bishop?

  • 4 years ago


    Nice, but on a minor point Max Euwe was not a former World Champion in 1920, but a (15 years in the) future one!Wink

  • 4 years ago


    the last puzzle is very neat.

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