Lothar Schmid

10 May 1928
18 May 2013
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.Lothar Maximilian Lorenz Schmid (10 May 1928 – 18 May 2013) was a German chess grandmaster. He was born in Radebeul near Dresdeninto 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.

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).

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 Göteborg. 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 Malaga. 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.

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