Lothar Schmid

Lothar Schmid was born in Radebeul, a small town northwest of Dresden, on May 10, 1928.

In 1941, at the age of 13, Schmid won the Dresden Chess Championship.

In 1943, Schmid took 2nd place in the German Juniors Championship, held in Vienna.

In 1947, Schmid left the Soviet occupation zone in Germany and settled in Bamberg.

In September 1948, he tied for 4th-5th in the 12th German championship, held in Essen.

In May 1949, he took 3rd place in the 13th German championship, held in Bad Pymont.

In the early 1950s, Schmid started collecting chess books and bought several private libraries of chess books.  Over the years, he bought over 50 library collections, including the chess library of Siegbert Tarrasch.

In 1950-52, he won the first German Correspondence Chess Championship.

In 1951, Schmid was awarded the International Master (IM) title.

In 1951-52, Schmid took 3rd, behind Gligoric and Yanofsky, at the 27th Christmas tournament at Hastings.

In 1953, Schmid took 2nd-3rd at an international tournament in Venice.

In 1956-59, he took 2nd-3rd in the second World Correspondence Chess Championship, won by Viacheslav Ragozin.

In the 1950s, when Bobby Fischer visited Germany, he stayed with Lothar Schmid in his family home in Bamberg and was absorbed in Schmid’s large chess library.  Schmid took the underage Fischer to a casino, telling the casino managers that Fischer was his nephew.  Fischer was not a big risk taker when it came to gambling.

In 1959, Schmid was awarded the Grandmaster title in over-the-board chess and correspondence chess.

In 1964, he won the South African Open.

In 1968, he tied for 2nd-3rd with world champion Tigran Petrosian at Bamberg, won by Paul Keres.

Schmid played for West Germany in 11 Chess Olympiads from 1950 to 1974.  He won the individual silver medal in 1950, 1952, 1968, and 1970.

In 1971, Schmid was the chief arbiter of the Fischer-Petrosian candidates match in Buenos Aires.

In 1972, Schmid was the chief arbiter in the Fischer-Spasssky world championship match in Reykjavik, Iceland.

In 1975, Schmid was awarded the International Arbiter title.

In 1978, Schmid was the arbiter in the Karpov-Korchnoi world championship match in Baguio, Philippines.  He was later replaced by Czech grandmaster Miroslav Filip.  Schmid left before the end of the match because he felt he had been deprived of any real authority by FIDE president Campomanes.

In 1986, Schmid was the arbiter in the Kasparov-Karpov world championship match, held in London and Leningrad.

In 1992, Schmid was the arbiter in the Fischer-Spassky revenge match in Yugoslavia.

Lothar Schmid died on May 18, 2013 at the age of 85 in Bamberg, Germany.

Schmid owned the largest private chess library in the world.  He had over 50,000 chess books in his library.  The chess books were housed in seven rooms on the top two floors of his house in Bamberg, Germany. 

The Schmid family owned Karl May Verlag, a publishing company.  Karl May was a writer of adventure novels and westerns.  Karl May was, after Goethe, Germany’s best-selling author.

Lothar Schmid studied and was trained in law.


SchmidSahlmann, Essen, Germany 1948

1.e4 c5 2.Ne2 Nc6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nbc3 g6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 d6 7.f3 Qb6 8.Be3 Qxb2? 9.Na4 Qa3 10.Bc1  1-0