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Wilhelm Steinitz
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Chess Champ
    (May 17, 1836-August 12, 1900)
    Born in Prague, Czech Republic
    First undisputed world chess champion (1886-94)
    Wrote 'The Modern Chess Instructor' (1889)
    Founded 'International Chess Magazine' (1885)
    He handled his winnings badly and was in poverty all his life.
    He allegedly spat on an opponent during a tournament in Paris (1867).
    Eight years after he became champion, he said he had held the title 28 years 'because I was twenty years ahead of my time.'
    He suffered a nervous breakdown, possibly as a result of syphilis, and was committed to an asylum (1896).
    He challenged God to a chess match; when God failed to show, he offered Him a one pawn handicap.
    His emphasis on positional play rather than constantly attacking made him one of the fathers of modern chess.
    He was generous in his praise of great play by even his most bitter enemies.
    Although he had not yet become a US citizen, he insisted on playing in front of an American flag during his first world title match.
    When someone suggested it was time to let younger players have some fame, he quipped, 'I can spare the fame, but not the prize money.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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