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Lothar Schmid

Lothar Schmid
Schmid at Oberhausen in 1961
Full name Lothar Maximilian Lorenz Schmid
Country Germany
Born (1928-05-10)10 May 1928
Radebeul, Dresden, Germany
Died 18 May 2013(2013-05-18) (aged 85)
Bamberg, Germany
Title Grandmaster (1959)
ICCF Grandmaster (1959)
International Arbiter (1975)
FIDE rating Inactive
Peak rating 2550 (January 1971)

Lothar Maximilian Lorenz Schmid (10 May 1928 – 18 May 2013) was a German chess grandmaster. He was born in Radebeul near Dresden[1][2] 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 Reykjavic. 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,[3] as well as a renowned collection of chess art, chess boards and chess pieces from around the globe.


  • Playing career 1
  • Arbiter 2
  • Notable games 3
  • Collector 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Playing career

In 1941, at the age of 15, 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 Luděk Pachman. In October 1959, he took second place, behind Unzicker, in Nuernberg (5th FRG-ch). In 1963, he tied for first place in Malaga. In 1964, he won the South African Open, held in "The Wilderness". In 1964, he tied for fourth place in Zürich. In 1968 in his home town of Bamberg,[3] 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.[3] 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.[4]

Schmid in 2008

He won four individual silver medals (1950, 1952, 1968, 1970) and two team bronze medals (1950, 1964).[4]

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.

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).

Schmid was awarded the IM (International Master) title in 1951, and the GM (Grandmaster) titles in 1959.[1]


Schmid was awarded the International Arbiter (IA) title in 1975.[1] 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').

Notable games

  • Lothar Schmid vs Walter Sahlmann, Essen 1948, 12th GER-ch, Sicilian, Chameleon, B20, 1–0
  • Efim Bogoljubow vs Lothar Schmid, Bad Pyrmont 1949, 13th GER-ch, Scotch Game, Schmid Gambit, C47, 0–1 Desperado piece !
  • Lothar Schmid vs Herman Steiner (USA), Dubrovnik 1950, 9th Olympiad, Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation, B28, 1–0
  • Juan Carlos Gonzales Zamora (CUB) vs Lothar Schmid, Helsinki 1952, 10th Olympiad, English Opening, King's English Variation, Reversed Sicilian, A21, 0–1 Classical ending mastery.
  • Lothar Schmid vs Paul Keres (URS), Tel Aviv 1964, 16th Olympiad, Ruy Lopez, Closed, C92, 1–0 After a long and exhausting battle White broke down Black's resistance.
  • Grantel Gibbs (HKG) vs Lothar Schmid, Lugano 1968, 18th Olympiad, Alekhine's Defense, B02, 0–1 Shortest decisive game of the Olympiad.
  • Lothar Schmid vs Bent Larsen, San Juan 1969, Sicilian, Richter–Rauzer Variation, B60, 1–0
  • Lothar Schmid vs Anton Kinzel (AUT), Siegen 1970, 19th Olympiad, Russian Game, Modern Attack, C43, 1–0 Best game prize winner.


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 in 1497 viz. "Repetition d'Amores y Arte de Ajedrez" (Repetition of Love and the Art of Playing Chess).[5]


  1. ^ a b c  
  2. ^ "Lothar Schmid: 1928–2013".  
  3. ^ a b c  
  4. ^ a b Schmid, Lothar team chess record at
  5. ^ The Telegraph, London, 20 May 2013

External links

  • Lothar Schmid rating card at FIDE
  • Lothar Schmid player profile and games at
  • article about Schmid's chess library
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