Richard Réti

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Richard Réti (28 May 1889, Pezinok (now Slovakia) – 6 June 1929, Prague) was an Austrian-Hungarian, later Czechoslovakian chess player and chess problemist, he was born in Pezinok which at the time was in hungarian part of Austria-Hungary.

One of the top players in the world during the 1910s and 1920s, he began his career as a fiercely combinative classical player, favouring openings such as the King's Gambit (1. e4 e5 2. f4). However, after the end of the First World War, his playing style underwent a radical change, and he became one of the principal proponents of hypermodernism, along with Aron Nimzowitsch and others. Indeed, with the notable exception of Nimzowitsch's acclaimed book My System, he is considered to be the movement's foremost literary contributor. The Réti Opening (1. Nf3 d5 2. c4), with which he famously defeated the world champion José Raúl Capablanca in New York in 1924 — Capablanca's first defeat for eight years, the only one to Réti, and the first since becoming World Champion — is named after him. He was also a notable composer of endgame studies.

In 1925 Réti set the world record for blindfold chess with twenty-nine games played simultaneously. He won twenty-one of these, drew six and only lost two.

His writings have also become 'classics' in the chess world. New Ideas in Chess (1922) and Masters of the Chessboard (1930) are still studied today.

Réti died on June 6, 1929 in Prague of scarlet fever.

Notable chess games