Lothar Schmid – obituaries in the NYT and Telegraph

5/21/2013 – Lothar Schmid, born on May 10th 1928 and heir to an adventure book series, became one of Germany's strongest grandmasters, and the arbiter in important matches, most notably Fischer vs Spassky in Reykjavik 1972. As reported Lothar died on Saturday, shortly after his 85th birthday. Now extensive obituaries are beginning to appear in the international press. Here are the first two.

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Lothar Schmid: 1928–2013

Lothar Maximilian Lorenz Schmid was born on May 10th 1928, heir to the Karl Mai adventure series. He became one of Germany's strongest grandmasters, winner of countless medals at Olympiads and team championships. Internationally he was known as the arbiter in great matches, and a one of the world's leading collectors of chess books. Lothar Schmid died on Saturday at the age of 85. Read our report here.

Click to read the NYT obiturary

Schmid earned his living helping his brothers to run the family’s publishing house, and as a player never reached the pinnacle; but his collection of books ran to many thousands of volumes, and included some great rarities. He owned, for example, one of only ten surviving copies of the first printed book about chess, Luis Lucena’s Repetition of Love and the Art of Playing Chess (Repetición de Amores y Arte de Ajedrez), published in Salamanca in 1497. He also possessed all eight editions of Questo libro e da imparare giocare a scachi, published in Rome in 1512 by the Portuguese apothecary Pedro Damiano (1470-1544). The first bestselling chess manual of the modern game (it ran to eight editions in 50 years), it offered advice on how to play and introduced readers to the “smothered mate” (in which checkmate is delivered by a knight when the opposing king is unable to move because he is completely hemmed in by his own pieces). Damiano suggested that chess was invented by Xerxes the Great, King of Persia from 519 to 465 BC.

Read the full article in The Telegraph


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