Chessical: "Sad news has reached our German chess friends, Master Karl Helling died suddenly in Berlin after suffering a short but severe illness on August 15th. All who knew this lively and friendly person are deeply shocked at his tragic fate in being cut down in the prime of life at the age of 33.
Helling originally trained for the engineering profession, but then turned quickly to chess. By 1926, he won the the German Chess Association's Master title at Perleberg. In 1928, he crowned his previous achievements by his excellent performance in the international tournament marking the anniversary of the Berlin Chess Club. Great hopes were now invested in the young master, but Helling resisted the temptation to devote himself entirely to chess, and joined the editorial staff of the Scherl publishing house, where he took over the Chess, Bingo and Bridge section. He still participated in tournaments then every now and then, but he did not maintain a regular training regime, which prevented him from achieving greater successes. In 1928, and again in 1932, he won the championship of Berlin, which was covered very heavily hard fought.
Helling always played a positive role in Berlin tournaments, and also in the Saxony Chess Federation's events, in which he often took part successfully. In 1930, he was a member of the German team at the the World Chess Federation's Olympiad in Prague.
Helling was one of the first methodical-scientific players who sharply fought his opponent with the weapons of psychology and tactics, weapons of which he was a master. It was not his ambition to find in any position the "best move" (is it possible anyway?), but he was looking to set his opponent problems which he would be unable to solve. Here his knowledge of human nature, his rich imagination and his great ingenuity was of great service to him. With such a style of play material played only a minor role; Helling's gambit openings were feared, and many of them have secured a permanent place in theory.
It is no wonder that this stirred the hearts of chess friends, he would rather be dynamic using bold combination play with constantly its changing vistas, rather than being masterfully strategic yet cautious
With Helling they found in his play a spray of amusing ideas, sparkling play using brilliant combinations and risky adventures.
Such a game is exciting not only for spectators but also for the opponent who has to be prepared at every move for new surprises. An original player, a creative master, an impressive personality - this is the picture of the deceased before us.
German chess will not forget him, in future years the lovers of the royal game will still enjoy the pearls of Helling's chess artistry. Honour his memory!"
Deutsche Schachblätter Nr.17, 1.September 1937, S.257/258