Lothar Schmid

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Portrait of Lothar Schmid.jpg
Lothar Schmid (2005)
Surname Lothar Maximilian Schmid
Association GermanyGermany Germany
Born May 10, 1928
Died May 18, 2013
title International Master (1951)
Grand Master (1959)
Best Elo rating 2550 (July 1971 to May 1974)

Lothar Maximilian Schmid (* 10. May 1928 in Radebeul , † 18th May 2013 in Bamberg ) was a German publisher , OTB - and correspondence chess - grandmasters and chess referee of the century .


Having grown up in his father's villa in Alt-Radebeul , Lothar Schmid began studying law in Bamberg after his school days and after the death of his father Euchar Albrecht Schmid took over the management of Karl-May together with his two brothers Joachim Schmid and Roland Schmid in 1951 Publishing house in Bamberg, which he ran with his son Bernhard (* 1962) from 2003 to 2007 after the death of his brothers and the dissolution of the community of heirs. In 2007 he retired from the management.

Chess career

Close chess

At the age of about 13 Lothar Schmid became a member of the Radebeul chess club. Two years later he became City Master of Dresden and Gaumeister of Saxony. In 1943 he finished second at the Reich Championship of the Hitler Youth in Vienna. In 1947 he won the German youth championship and in the same year the championship of the Soviet zone of occupation in the title playoff against Gerhard Pfeiffer . He had to share this first place with Wolfgang Pietzsch after the tournament in Großröhrsdorf in 1949 .

Schmid moved to Bamberg in 1947, took part in the German championship for men for the first time in 1948 and finished fourth. In 1950 he won the " German Chess Cup", which was held for the first time, against Walter Niephaus in the final . For his victory at the tournament in Zurich in 1954 (before Nievergelt and Euwe ) he was subsequently awarded the title of Grand Master in 1959 . He came second in each case in 1955 in Frankfurt-Höchst behind Klaus Darga and in 1959 in Nuremberg behind Wolfgang Unzicker at the German Championships.

As a publisher of Karl May's works , he was never able to dedicate himself to chess as a professional. In 1958, for professional reasons, he had to forego the participation in the interzonal tournament in Yugoslavia.

Lothar Schmid in Oberhausen at the European team championship in chess in 1961

He represented the Federal Republic of Germany at eleven Chess Olympiads between 1950 in Dubrovnik and 1974 in Nice . With the team he came in third place in 1950 and 1964 , and in the individual ranking he achieved the second best result on the second board in 1950, 1952 , 1968 and 1970 . In addition, Schmid took part in the finals of the European team championships in 1957, 1961 , 1965 and 1973, a total of 278 appearances in the national team. With SC 1868 Bamberg he was German team champion in 1966, 1976 and 1977 . In 1979 he won first place in the annual BBC television tournament "The Master Game" ahead of Walter Browne , Viktor Kortschnoi , Vlastimil Hort , Robert Byrne and others. In 1982 he retired from competitive chess at the age of 54.

Before the introduction of the Elo numbers , his best historical Elo number was 2665. This he reached in October 1970.

The structure 1. d2 – d4 c7 – c5 2. d4 – d5 d7 – d6 3. e2 – e4 Ng8 – f6 4. Nb1 – c3 g7 – g6 became known as Schmid-Benoni .

Correspondence chess

Schmid was also known as a strong correspondence chess player: He won the first German championship (played from 1950 to 1952) and the Eduard Dyckhoff memorial tournament, which began in 1954, with the end result of 14 out of 15 (+13 = 2 −0) ahead of players like Albéric O'Kelly de Galway and Berthold Koch . In the second world championship held from 1956 to 1959, he finished in shared 2nd place. In addition to the FIDE grandmaster title, he also held the ICCF correspondence chess grandmaster title .


Lothar Schmid (right) and his team at the 1980 Chess Olympiad
Schmid and Boris Spasski (right), Bonn 2007 in the House of History

He became known to the general public as the referee of the legendary match for the 1972 World Chess Championship in Reykjavík between the Soviet title holder Boris Spasski and his American challenger Bobby Fischer , the so-called Match of the Century . At the time, this competition was hyped up as a battle of the political systems . It is thanks to the careful behavior of Lothar Schmid that the controversial competition could be ended properly despite all the tensions; without his diplomatic skills, he would probably have failed after the second game. When there was a surprise " revenge match " between Fischer and Spasski in Yugoslavia in 1992 , Schmid was again involved as referee.

Schmid was also at the World Cup matches Karpow - Korchnoi (Baguio 1978) and Kasparow - Karpow (London / Leningrad 1986) as a referee, as well as many other top events.

Because of his services as an international chess referee, Lothar Schmid was elected Chess Referee of the Century . The award was given to him in 2005 during the Youth Chess Olympiad in Novi Sad in the presence of the former world champion Anatoly Karpov.

Chess library

Until his death, Schmid owned a collection of over 50,000 chess publications, which was probably the largest in Germany and the most important private collection of chess literature worldwide .



  • Assiac : Another fun chess book. Publisher: Das Schach-Archiv, Hamburg 1974, pp. 198–205 (chapter lovable book lover ).
  • Minze Bij de Weg: 'Lothar Schmid killed by books' It would be a beautiful death. In: New in Chess Magazine , No. 8, Aug 1985, pp. 50-56.
  • Marion Faber: Lothar Schmid. Chess players, collectors, publishers . In: Librarium. Journal of the Swiss Bibliophile Society , 23rd year, issue 1/1980. ( Online version of a special deduction)
  • Angelika Hübscher: Bibliophile portraits: Lothar Schmid. In: Börsenblatt for the German book trade-Frankfurter Ausgabe , No. 31, April 21, 1965, pp. 721–724. ( Online version )
  • Helmut Pfleger (ed.): The best games of German chess grandmasters. Falken Verlag, Niedernhausen 1983, ISBN 3-8068-4121-7 , pp. 154-173.
  • Raj Tischbierek : Lothar Schmid is 70. “I still needed a second life”. In: Schach , 52nd year, 6/1998, pp. 38–50.

Web links

Commons : Lothar Schmid  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. First names according to the official death certificate S675 / 2013 of the Bamberg registry office dated June 6, 2013. Another first name circulating in a single source is not officially documented.
  2. Frank Große: In Memoriam Dr. Paul Tröger (1913–1992) , article at Chessbase, January 12, 2009 (with picture of the winner's cup and the final game).
  3. Willy Iclicki: FIDE Golden book 1924-2002 . Euroadria, Slovenia, 2002, p. 75.
  4. German individual chess championship 1955 in Höchst on TeleSchach (cross table and games)
  5. German individual chess championship 1959 in Nuremberg on TeleSchach (cross table and games)
  6. Lothar Schmid's results at the Chess Olympiads on olimpbase.org (English)
  7. Lothar Schmid's results at European Team Championships on olimpbase.org (English)
  8. Christoph Pragua: Winner in the television tournament: Lothar Schmid . In: Schach-Echo 1979, pp. 343-344.
  9. 2nd ICCF Correspondence Finals
  10. a b c Honors in the field of the German Chess Federation. In: schachbund.de. German Chess Federation V., accessed on May 20, 2013 .