Born into a noble family in Drohobych, Galicia (then Austria-Hungary). He was the uncle of Stepan Popel, a Ukrainian chess master.
He started his chess career in Vienna, where he took 10th in 1886, took 2nd in 1887 (Glaser Schachgesellschaft), and took 2nd in 1888. In the period between 1889 and 1892, he studied law at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. In 1889, he tied for 3rd-4th (elim.) and tied for 5th-6th at Breslau (the 6th DSB Congress, Hauptturnier B, Emanuel Lasker won). In 1892, he tied for 1-3rd (elim.) and took 7th in Dresden (the 7th DSB-Congress, Hauptturnier A).
In 1895, he won in the Lvov Chess Club championship. In 1896, he tied for 2nd-3rd in Eisenach (the 10th DSB-Congress). He also won in Berlin that same year.
In 1904, he took 3rd in the Lvov City championship, and 3rd in Lvov (Quadrangular). In 1905, he drew a match with Oskar Piotrowski (+3 –3 =3).3 He took 5th at Lvov 1912, and took 2nd, behind Piotrowski, in the Lvov City championship in 1914.
During World War I, in 1915, he took 6th at Vienna. After the war, Popiel was one of the strongest chess players in Lvov, Poland. He participated several times in the Lvov City championship; took 2nd in 1925, tied for 2nd-4th in 1926, and tied for 2nd-3rd in 1927.
He died on 2 May 1941 in General Government, Poland.
Wikipedia article: Ignatz von Popiel