Wolfgang Pauly archive

Manuscripts, correspondence and about 3000 original chess diagrams

Acquired from Marian Stere
Acquisition 2002
Date 1915-1934
Signature PAU 1 t/m PAU 36

Wolfgang Pauly was born in 1876 in Dohna, near Dresden and died in 1934 in Bucharest. When he was six years old, he moved with his parents to Rumania. At an early age he showed a remarkable aptitude for mathematics, as well as an interest in astronomy.
He was also fascinated by the game of chess, especially the art of chess problems. A chess problem is a composed chess position with a creative solution. Together with Samuel Loyd (1841-1911) and William Shinkman (1847-1933), Wolfgang Pauly is regarded as one of the top three chess composers of his day. He composed about 2500 chess problems during his lifetime. Meindert Niemeijer, one of the two founders of the Bibliotheca Van der Linde-Niemeijeriana (and himself a chess composer) was highly impressed by Wolfgang Pauly.

He corresponded with Pauly and sought inspiration from him. In 1948 Niemeijer self-published an anthology of Pauly's chess problems. In the introduction, he wrote of the Pauly archive: 'perhaps the collection will turn up again some time, perhaps it is lost for good.'
And this latter prediction is very nearly what happened. In the late 1980s the Rumanian Marian Stere found the archive in the attic of a Bucharest building scheduled for demolition to make way for Ceausescu's cultural palace. In 2001, after years of study, he published a comprehensive biography of Pauly. He then offered the archive for sale on the internet. The Koninklijke Bibliotheek was able to acquire it for its chess collection in 2002.