A chess man came travelling ...

Michael Negele's chess tours
in the 2nd half of 2015 - Part III

The third and final part of Michael’s tours leads us to Bamberg and Amsterdam ...


Chess treasuries of Bamberg (29-30 November)


Helmut Pfleger (with chess pullover) and Bernhard Schmid
next to a big photo of the late Lothar Schmid


Hainstraße 51 in Bamberg is certainly the secret Mecca of all chess collectors, provided they are admitted there, as it was the case with GM Helmut Pfleger and Michael Negele end of last November. Both were kindly received by the Schmid family (Ingrid Schmid as well as Bernhard Schmid and his sister Alexandra Stößel) who did their best to offer the guests an overview of Lothar Schmid's huge collection. Naturally time was all too short to gain an even rough overview - this collection outshone all that Michael had seen before in this respect, particularly concerning the quality of the large runs of periodicals and of original covers. That's the result of an optimization over decades, and many items exist twice or three times - Lothar Schmid has always been crazy about "variations". On the other hand the collection is overwhelming in the very meaning of the word, definitely for the current owners, and maybe has already been before for its "creator".



A view of the main room of the library



... and another view from above


Anyway, a former system is almost not perceptible anymore, and there is an urgent need for action especially on the top floor (attic) which has to be cleared of structural load. In Michael's view it seems impossible to keep the complete collection together. So the core of the collection (items until 1945, with the documents, autographs and photos) could be hopefully included in a public library. Chess graphics, chess sets and other memorabilia in the rooms downstairs should be disposed in order to gain some space for those items, to be cleaned and recorded. A further part of the collection (dated after 1945) could pass into a Lothar Schmid Museum in Bamberg, while most of the duplicates could be auctioned off, efficiently. In any case it is desirable to preserve the collection in Germany, as a cultural chess heritage. Admittedly, it's a Herculean task ...




One corner in the attic
(with a run of the Tidskrift for Schack)



Shelf units filled with tournament and match books



The most valuable treasures in a wall closet
in Lothar Schmid's former study



Chess graphics and paintings


A (very limited) selection of further photos in this gallery.



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