Steinitz, William

Steinitz, (Wilhelm) William

(1836–1900) chess player; born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Discovering an interest and talent for chess while a student in Vienna, he began to devote his life to the game and by 1866 he was recognized as the world champion. Resident in England from 1862, where he edited a chess column in an English magazine while defending his world championship, he emigrated to America in 1883, where he edited the International Chess Magazine, wrote chess columns, and published a basic text, The Modern Chess Instructor (2 vols. 1889, 1895). His loss of the world championship in 1894 so disturbed him that he spent much of the rest of his life in mental institutions.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.