Frederic's mates - How I met Boris Spassky

by Arne Kaehler
10/8/2022 – Boris Spassky was the fourth of the twelve World Chess Champions whom Frederic met. In our new weekly series he tells us how he met and befriended the top players, and the adventures they experienced together. Frederic has written a new book, together with Professor Christian Hesse, with fascinating chess stories from the last 50 years. It appeared (first in German) in October.

Endgames of the World Champions Vol. 2 - from Steinitz to Spassky Endgames of the World Champions Vol. 2 - from Steinitz to Spassky

Enjoy Capablanca's fine technique, Tal's magic, Lasker's fighting spirit, Petrosian's defensive skills, Smyslov's feeling for harmony, and Alekhine's and Spassky's flair for the attack.


Frederic's Mates

Through the years, Frederic Friedel had many encounters with chess players, and he became friends with most of the World Chess Champions. Frederic recounts various anecdotes and stories about the experiences from each of his mates in chronological sequence.

White to move and win

Spassky is great at sneaking through a tough mating net

Boris claimed that Frederic is the bravest man on earth because he picked up a huge locust.

An adventure like this can connect forever.

A well-suited Boris Spassky. Behind him, an infamous news image.

Schachgeschichten - a chess book by Frederic Friedel and Christian Hesse

In tandem with the renowned chess expert Prof. Christian Hesse, he lets us share his encounters with world champions Mikhail Botvinnik, Mikhail Tal, Boris Spassky, Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen.

The initial edition of Schachgeschichten is in German and can be ordered on Amazon Germany. In the book sample ("Blick ins Buch" you can read the foreword by Garry Kasparov, and endorsements by Kramnik, Judit Polgar, Hou Yifan, Helmut Pfleger (with additional blurbs by Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand on the book cover). They essentially confirm that Fred's stories about them are enjoyable, accurate and approved.

Frederic's co-author is Christian Hesse. In his foreword to Schachichten Garry Kasparov writes:

Christian Hesse is an internationally known Professor of Mathematics with a PhD from Harvard. He has thought about the relation between chess and mathematics for decades. It is fascinating how deep the connections between these two human endeavours are... Frederic and Christian are a dream team that has succeeded in writing a chess book like no other. It is full of entertaining and heart-warming stories, on and off the board, and it introduces a new genre of wonderfully entertaining logical chess puzzles.


Arne Kaehler, a creative mind who is passionate about board games in general, was born in Hamburg and learned to play chess at a young age. By teaching chess to youth teams and creating chess-related videos on YouTube, Arne was able to expand this passion and has even created an online course for anyone who wants to learn how to play chess. Arne writes for the English and German news sites, but focuses mainly on content for the ChessBase media channels.


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