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Isaac Kashdan

KASHDAN, ISAAC (1905–1985), U.S. chess master. Born in New York, Kashdan spent 1929–32 in Europe and established himself there with Salo *Flohr as a likely successor to world champion Alexander Alekhine. Although he was one of the strongest players in the world in the early 1930s, Kashdan could not support his family with his chess career, so he became an insurance agent and administrator to earn a living.

Kashdan was a member of the men's U.S. chess team in the 1928, 1930, 1931, 1933, and 1937 Chess Olympiads. He won three gold and one silver medal and 52 games overall, losing only five. He had many notable achievements in non-Olympic tournaments as well. In 1930 he won first prizes in the tournaments in Berlin, Stockholm, and Gyor. He placed second in New York in 1931, and tied for fourth the same year. In 1932 he tied for second in Pasadena, tied for first prize in Mexico City, and tied for second in Hastings. He tied for first place in the 1942 U.S. Championship but lost the playoff against Samuel *Reshevsky. After the war, Kashdan maintained his ties to chess by organizing and directing tournaments. In 1933, he and Al Horowitz and Fred Reinfeld co-founded the monthly Chess Review, which he edited for a year. In 1969 the magazine merged with Chess Life to become Chess Life and Review. From 1955 to 1982 Kashdan served as editor of the chess column of the Los Angeles Times.

In 1950 he was awarded the IM (International Master) title; in 1954 the GM (Grand Master) title; and in 1960 the IA (International Arbiter) title. Kashdan edited two books: First Piatigorsky Cup (1965) and Second Piatigorsky Cup (1968).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.