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Paul Felix Schmidt

Full name Paul Felix Schmidt
Country Estonia, Germany, United States
Born August 20, 1916
Narva, Estonia
(then Russian Empire)

Paul Felix Schmidt (20 August [O.S. 7 August] 1916 - 11 August 1984) was an Estonian chess International Master, chess writer, and chemist.


In June 1935, he won, ahead of Paul Keres, at Tallinn. In May 1936, he drew a match against Keres (+3 -3 =1) at Pärnu. In 1936, he won the 8th Estonian Championship at Tallinn. In December 1936, he placed 2nd, behind Keres, at Tallinn. In July 1937, he won Estonia’s first-ever international tournament at Pärnu, ahead of two world title contenders, Salo Flohr and Keres, as well as Gideon Ståhlberg. In 1937, he won at Tallinn (9th EST-ch).

In August 1937, he played for Estonia (2nd board) at the 7th Chess Olympiad in Stockholm (+4 -4 =8). In June 1938, he tied for 8th-10th at Noordwijk. The event was won by Erich Eliskases. In August-September 1939, he played for Estonia (3rd board) at the 8th Chess Olympiad at Buenos Aires (+2 -5 =6). Estonia took 3rd place, behind Germany and Poland.

Schmidt emigrated from Estonia to Germany in the autumn of 1939. In August 1940, he took 2nd, behind Georg Kieninger, at Bad Oeynhausen (7th GER-ch). In August 1941, he tied for 1st with Klaus Junge at Bad Oeynhausen (8th GER-ch). In 1941, he won a play-off match for the German championship against Junge (+3 -0 =1) at Bromberg. In October 1941, he tied for 1st with Alexander Alekhine at Kraków/Warsaw (the 2nd General Government chess tournament). In June 1942, he tied for 3rd-4th with Junge, behind Alekhine and Keres, at Salzburg. In June 1943, he took 3rd, behind Keres and Alekhine, at Salzburg. In August 1943, he took 2nd, behind Josef Lokvenc, at Vienna (10th GER-ch).

After World War II, in May 1946, he tied for 2nd-3rd with Carl Ahues, behind Wilfried Lange, at Hamburg. In May 1947, he took 2nd, behind Efim Bogoljubov at Kassel. In 1949, he tied for 3rd-5th at Heidelberg. The event was won by Wolfgang Unzicker.

In 1949, he published the book Schachmeister denken (Dietmannsriel-Allgau 1949). In 1950, he was awarded the International Master title. In 1951, he earned a PhD in chemistry from Heidelberg University, and moved to Canada, then to the USA, settling in Philadelphia, where he took a job as a professor.

After this, he and his wife Eva moved to Bell Telephone Laboratories, Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he made contributions to electrochemistry and anodic oxidation of silicon, was expert in neutron activation analysis, and published many papers, till his retirement in 1982. He continued playing occasional games of chess, regularly visiting Reuben Fine in New York.

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