Lothar Schmid: German chess player (1928 - 2013) | Biography
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Lothar Schmid
German chess player

Lothar Schmid

Lothar Schmid
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German chess player
A.K.A. Lothar Maximilian Schmid, Lothar Maximilian Lorenz Schmid
Was Publisher Chess player
From Germany
Field Business Journalism Sports
Gender male
Birth 10 May 1928, Radebeul, Meissen, Saxony, Germany
Death 18 May 2013, Bamberg, Upper Franconia, Bavaria, Germany (aged 85 years)
Father: Euchar Albrecht Schmid
The details (from wikipedia)


Lothar Maximilian Lorenz Schmid (10 May 1928 – 18 May 2013) was a German chess grandmaster. He was born in Radebeul near Dresden into a family who were the co-owners of the Karl May Press, which published the German Karl May adventure novels.

He was best known as the chief arbiter at several World Chess Championship matches, in particular the 1972 encounter between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky at Reykjavík. He was also an avid collector of chess books and paraphernalia. It was reputed that he owned the largest known private chess library in the world, as well as a renowned collection of chess art, chess boards and chess pieces from around the globe.

Playing career

German championships

In 1941, at the age of 13, Schmid won the Dresden chess championship which marked the beginning of his chess career. In 1943, he took second place in Vienna (German Juniors Championship). In June 1947, he tied for first place with Gerhard Pfeiffer in Wiessenfels (SBZ-ch). In April 1948, he tied for second place in Celle when Carl Ahues won. In September 1948, he tied for fourth place at the full German Chess Championship (12th GER-ch) in Essen. The event was won by Wolfgang Unzicker. In May 1949, he took third place in Bad Pyrmont (13th GER-ch). The event was won by Efim Bogoljubow. In August 1949, he tied for first place in Grossröhrsdorf. In October 1955, he was second behind Klaus Darga in Hoechst (third FRG-ch), having won a qualifying event in Nuernberg the same year. In October 1959, he took second place, behind Unzicker, in Nuernberg (5th FRG-ch).

International tournaments and matches

In 1950, he drew a match with Wade in Bamberg, 4–4. In 1951, he won in Travemünde. In 1951–52, he took third place in Hastings (Svetozar Gligorić won). In 1953, he tied for second place behind Esteban Canal in Venice. In 1954, he won in Zürich and at Bad Kissingen.In 1956, he won in Gothenburg. In 1957, he held the fourth place in Dublin; a zonal qualifier tournament won by Luděk Pachman. In 1961, he tied for fourth place in Zürich. In 1963, he tied for second place in Málaga. In 1964, he won the South African Open, held in "The Wilderness". In 1968 in his home town of Bamberg, he tied for second place with Tigran Petrosian who was the world champion at the time, behind Paul Keres, an outcome described by the Oxford Companion to Chess as Schmid's greatest playing achievement. In 1970, he won the Mar del Plata. In 1971, he finished equal second with two others in Adelaide. In 1979, he tied for third place in Lugano. In 1980, he won the fifth edition of the BBC's The Master Game series, ahead of Viktor Korchnoi and Vlastimil Hort.


Lothar Schmid played for West Germany at eleven Chess Olympiads.

  • In 1950, at second board at the 9th Olympiad in Dubrovnik (+7 −1 =4)
  • In 1952, at second board at the 10th Olympiad in Helsinki (+7 −1 =4)
  • In 1954, at second board at the 11th Olympiad in Amsterdam (+6 −4 =3)
  • In 1956, at second board at the 12th Olympiad in Moscow (+4 −2 =7)
  • In 1958, at third board at the 13th Olympiad in Munich (+6 −3 =4)
  • In 1960, at second board at the 14th Olympiad in Leipzig (+7 −2 =5)
  • In 1962, at third board at the 15th Olympiad in Varna (+4 −2 =2)
  • In 1964, at third board in at the 16th Olympiad Tel Aviv (+7 −2 =5)
  • In 1968, at second board in at the 18th Olympiad Lugano (+6 −0 =6)
  • In 1970, at second board in at the 19th Olympiad Siegen (+7 −1 =4)
  • In 1974, at first board in at the 21st Olympiad Nice (+5 −3 =7)

Team competitions

Schmid in 2008

He won four individual silver medals (1950, 1952, 1968, 1970) and two team bronze medals (1950, 1964).

Representing his national team, he also competed for the Clare Benedict Cup on twelve occasions. He won nine gold, one silver, and two bronze medals in the period 1957–73.

Correspondence Chess

In Correspondence Chess, he won the first German Championship (1950–52), the first Eduard Dyckhoff Memorial (1954–56), and came second with Lucius Endzelins, behind Viacheslav Ragozin, in the second World Correspondence Championship in (1956–59).

International titles

Schmid was awarded the IM (International Master) title in 1951, and the GM (Grandmaster) titles in 1959.


Schmid was awarded the International Arbiter (IA) title in 1975. He was the chief arbiter for the Fischer–Spassky 1972, Karpov–Korchnoi 1978, Kasparov–Karpov 1986 World Championship matches, and for Fischer–Spassky 1992 (the 'Revenge Match').


Among the many rare books he owned was one of only ten copies

that have survived of the first-ever printed chess manual, published in Salamanca in 1497 viz. "Repetition d'Amores y Arte de Ajedrez" (Repetition of Love and the Art of Playing Chess).

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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