Rudolf Spielmann was one of the strongest chess players in the world in the first half of the 20th century. After sharing second place in the 1929 Carlsbad tournament with Capablanca, half a point behind Nimzowitsch, he was considered one of the five best in the world. His career spanned four decades and included a large number of tournament and match wins, such as defeating Bogoljubov in ten matches in 1932.
Often known as the Last Romantic of chess with his predilection for the King's Gambit and Viennese opening and his love of sacrifice, he left a rich legacy of ideas and techniques. These combinative and positional master classes are examined here in 213 pieces and fragments, thematically organized in a manner similar to Grigory Bogdanovich's previous volumes on Bogoljubov.
Detailed commentary on games against leading contemporaries is provided. The opponents in this work include five world champions Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Euwe and Botvinnik, as well as Marshall, Janowski, Tarrasch, Tartakower, Nimzowitsch, Reti, Rubinstein, Romanovsky, Bogoljubov and many others. Bogdanovich's comment is richly complemented by that of the stars of the time and, above all, by that of Spielmann himself.
The book also contains a biographical review and is complemented by a large number of photographs and portraits of the tournament. Spielmann's life was ultimately tragic: a lonely death in Sweden at age 59 as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany after the death three years earlier of his sponsor, while several family members failed to escape the Holocaust.
Additional materials in the book include a detailed table of tournaments and matches from his career, as well as a translation of Spielmann's fascinating 1923 article called "On the Deathbed of the King's Gambit".