The Top Chess Players in the World

Rudolf Spielmann

Rudolf Spielmann
Photo: Wikimedia.
Full name
Rudolf Spielmann
May 5, 1883 - Aug 20, 1942 (age 59)‎
Place of birth
Vienna, Austria


Rudolf Spielmann was an Austrian chess master known for his great attacking skills. He is one of only a few players to defeat world champion Jose Raul Capablanca on multiple occasions, eventually having an even score (+2 -2 =8). In 1935, Spielmann wrote The Art of Sacrifice in Chess, a classic book that continues to be reprinted into the 21st century. 

As you might expect from someone who wrote a book with such a title, Spielmann was a relentless attacking player. He was the only master of his day to play the King’s Gambit opening and won the 1912 Abbazia tournament themed on that opening. He could seemingly whip up a sacrificial mating attack out of nowhere, as in the game below. (See if you can find the mate in two from the final position.)

Sadly, both world wars wreaked havoc on Spielmann’s life. He died tragically in Stockholm during World War II at the age of 59. Spielmann would surely have been named a grandmaster by FIDE had he been alive when the title was created in 1950.

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