Al Horowitz

Al Horowitz

(1907-1973)
United States – Inducted 1989

During the 1930s and 1940s, Al Horowitz was widely considered one of the strongest players in the country, taking the U.S. Open Championship three times (1936, 1938 and 1943), and challenging Samuel Reshevsky for the U.S. Championship title in 1941. However, he showed his best form in the Olympiads, playing on the gold-medal teams of 1931, 1935, and 1937, as well in 1950. He also had a role in organizing and participating in several competitions, including the 1945 U.S.-USSR radio match. Though he only officially attained international master status, modern observers consider Horowitz’s skills equal to those of a grandmaster.

In addition to his talent as a player, Horowitz was also a prolific chess writer. From 1933 until 1969, he was owner and editor of Chess Review, which was for many years the leading American chess magazine. He would also pen three columns a week for two decades as the New York Times’ chess columnist. However, he is perhaps best remembered for his numerous books on the instruction and history of chess, many of which—including Chess Openings: Theory and Practice—are still widely used today. Whether as a player, promoter, or writer, Horowitz contributed greatly to the understanding and popularity of American chess during the mid-20th century.