Al Horowitz

Al Horowitz books and biography


Al Horowitz

Israel Albert Horowitz (often known as I. A. Horowitz, born November 15, 1907, in Brooklyn, New York; died January 18, 1973) was a Jewish[1] International Master of chess. He was clearly a grandmaster strength player by present day standards, but he never got the title. Although a top level player, he is most remembered today for the books he wrote about chess. An entire generation of chess players learned from the books by Al Horowitz, most of which are still in print today and are still highly recommended for students of the game.

Horowitz was the chess columnist for the New York Times, writing three columns a week for twenty years. He was the owner and editor of Chess Review magazine from 1933 until it was bought out and taken over by the United States Chess Federation in 1969.

Chess Review magazine was founded in 1933 as a partnership between Al Horowitz and Grandmaster Isaac Kashdan. However, Kashdan dropped out after just a few issues and Horowitz became sole owner. Before that, Horowitz had been a securities trader on Wall Street. He had been partners with other chess masters, Maurice Shapiro, Mickey Pauley, Albert Pinkus and Maurice Wertheim. Horowitz dropped out and devoted himself to chess, while the others stayed on Wall Street.

Horowitz was a leading player in the US during the 1930s and 1940s. He was US Open Champion in 1936, 1938 and 1943. In 1941, he lost a match (+0, =13, -3) with Samuel Reshevsky for the U.S. Chess Championship. He played on the US Team in four World Chess Olympiads, 1931, 1935, 1937 and 1950. The US team won the Olympiads in 1931, 1935 and 1937 with overwhelming scores. In the famous USA-USSR Radio Match, Horowitz scored one of the only two wins for the USA by defeating Grandmaster Salo Flohr.

Illustrative Games

a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8
a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7
a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6
a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5
a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4
a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3
a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2
a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1
Horowitz-Flohr, position after Black's 25th move

Horowitz-Flohr, USA-USSR radio match 1945 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.Ne2 Bf5 7.Ng3 Bg6 8.h4 h6 9.h5 Bh7 10.c3 Qb6 11.Bc4 Nd7 12.a4 a5 13.Qf3 e6 14.O-O Bc2 15.Bf4 Bb3 16.Bd3 e5 17.Be3 Bd5 18.Be4 Qb3 19.dxe5 fxe5 20.Rad1 Bxe4 21.Qxe4 Qe6 22.Rd2 Nf6 23.Qf3 Rg8 24.Rfd1 Rg4 25.Nf5 e4 (diagram at left) Black appears to be winning material, since White's attacked queen has no move that continues to defend the knight on f5. 26.Bb6! A powerful shot, leaving Black with no effective way to stop the threatened mate on d8, e.g. 26...Nd5 27.Qxg4; 26...Be7 27.Qxg4! Nxg4 28.Ng7+ Kf8 29.Nxe6+; or 26...Qc8 27.Nd6+ Bxd6 28.Qxf6 Be7 29.Qh8+ Bf8 30.Rd8+ Qxd8 31.Rxd8+ Rxd8 32.Bxd8 Kxd8 33.Qxf8+. Rxg2+ 27.Qxg2 Qxf5 28.Rd8+ Rxd8 29.Rxd8+ Ke7 30.Qg3 Nd7 31.Bc7 Qd5 32.c4 Qg5 33.Qxg5+ hxg5 34.Ra8 Ke6 35.Bxa5 f5 36.Bc3 f4 37.a5 g4 38.b4 f3 39.Bd2 Kf7 40.Ra7 g3 41.Rxb7 1-0


  • How to Win in the Chess Openings, ISBN 0-671-62426-1
  • The Golden Treasury of Chess, ISBN 0-88365-065-7
  • How to Win At Chess (A complete course with 891 diagrams)
  • Chess Openings: Theory and Practice, Fireside Books, 1964 ISBN 0-671-13390-X (hardback) and ISBN 0-671-20553-6 (paperback)
  • All About Chess, Collier Books, 1971
  • Chess for beginners, Fireside Books, 1950, ISBN 0-671-21184-6

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