Lothar Schmid 1928-2013

“Lothar Schmid, Chess Referee” ran his recent obituary in the New York Times, referring to his distinction of serving as arbiter in Fischer-Spassky, Karpov-Korchni 1978, and Karpov-Kasparov 1986, while the Daily Telegraph led with his extraordinary collection of chess books, comprising over 50,000 items. He was of course also a very strong player, attaining the grandmaster title in both over-the-board and correspondence chess.

But there is another aspect of his chess career that has been less discussed: he played the French Winawer, and indeed made important theoretical contributions, with both colours. His games seem now to be very far ahead of their time. The latest issue of The New Winawer Report considers three of his most significant Winawer games: Schmid-L. Pedersen, Max Blümich Memorial corr 1948-1951; Paoli-Schmid, Venice 1953; and Schmid-Díez del Corral, Clare Benedict Cup 1963. As is so often the case, even these much-analysed games still have much that has not previously been discovered …

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