When talking about Karpovs, Kasparovs, Anands, and Carlsen today, one recognizes that most honorable German Grandmasters of the post-World-War-II-era have been long forgotten. One of them is Dr. Paul Tröger, born June 23rd 1913 in Augsburg, is celebrated as a jubilee. Tröger was partially overshadowed by Wolfgang Unziker and Lothar Schmid, but was never to be underestimated and shared enthusiasm for sports, soccer in particular, and was a journalist for many newspapers.
One of these papers, that was founded in 1920 and forced to be laid off in a late WWII stage, is the ‘Kicker’ for which Tröger was one of the founding members. For four years he was in charge ofeditorship until he engaged in circles ofwell-established German chess magazines as an editor.
In 1936 he earned his doctorate in philosophy for his dissertation Newspaper and Life (originally “Zeitung und Leben”) and was considered a strong of creative combinations. Tröger began playing chess at a late age of 15 at the chess club SK Augsburg 1873. Quickly, he gained national recognition, peaking in 1957 at the German Individual Chess Championship in Bad Neuenahr. Despite the time-consuming job as a journalist, this was not his only tournament success. At the Chess Olympics he lined up for Germany twice, in 1958 and 1962 (as team captain even). Though, Unzicker, Schmid, Klaus Darga and later on Helmut Pfleger were ahead.
Many times he surpassed himself in German Major League games and contributed to five championships. Most times he played in Cologne for the SG Porz and in 1988 dropped out at the highest German chess category. Two years later Tröger played his last tournament that he completed on second rank being equal in score with the winner Dr. Rudolf Palme (7. Leutascher Senior Tournament 1990).
Oblivious to many, he called out to the German Individual Chess Cup in 1948/ 49: “Trophy? That smacks of sensation, knock- out, and soccer field!” Soccer always inspired Tröger; he was fascinated by the idea of David fighting Goliath. He had a thought of making chess a popular sport, a thought that was supposed to renew tournament behavior back in the day.
The first cup championship neither required costs of participation nor team membership. The papers Caissa andthe Nürnberg Sports Magazine announced the competitions, sponsored the trophy and travelling expenses for the sixteen final competitors. Tröger was involved in the tournament director back then and crowned Lothar Schmid the winner of over 1,800 participants.
His newspaper columns of the 1930s in German papers will never be forgotten: He showed real enthusiasm for the sport and frankly shared his thoughts with the entire chess community. The development of Major League Chess and the questions whether or not chess can be considered a sport were evergreens in his publications. Also, exchanges of letters with Lothar Schmid, conflict resolution in the old school way, were a public matter to him. His book publications are precious antiquities and popular among collectors. Dr. Paul Tröger passed away on January 20th in 1992.
written by Frank, translated by Birthe