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Paula Kalmar-Wolf
P Kalmar-Wolf 
Das Interessante Blatt, 24 June 1926,p2  
Number of games in database: 2
Years covered: 1925 to 1931

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(born Apr-11-1880, died Sep-29-1931, 51 years old) Austria

[what is this?]
Paula Kalmar-Wolf (nťe Klein) was born in Agram, Austria-Hungary (today Zagreb, Croatia).(1) Her earlier life is clouded in mystery. She moved to Vienna, but it is not known when.(1) She got married to Kalmar, and gave birth to at least one child.(1) In 1925, she married Heinrich Wolf. (1) She was a modiste by profession and had a small studio in Vienna.(1) Suffering from diabetes, Paula Kalmar-Wolf died in 1931 at the age of 51 in Vienna.(1)

Acquaintance with Chess

Johann SchŲpfleuthner taught Paula Kalmar the rules of chess at the end of 1913, when she was already more than 30 years of age.(1) She went on to study chess with Jean Dufresne 's Kleinem Lehrbuch des Schachspiels, and became a member of the Vienna Amateur Chess Club.(1) Her teachers were Richard Reti and, especially after the First World War, her later husband Wolf. (1)

Chess Career

Already in 1921, Paula Kalmar suggested a Women's tournament in Vienna.(1) In 1922, she shared 2nd place behind Josephine Pohlner in the Vienna Chess Congress Women's tournament.(2) In addition, she won the 1922 Austrian Women's Championship.(3) At the Innsbruck Chess Congress Hauptturnier 1922, Paula Kalmar was the sole female participant and came in 4th.(4) In the Hauptturnier of the 8th Bavarian Chess Congress in 1923, she was again the sole female participant and came in 3rd.(3) She won the Women's tournament of the Austrian Chess Association in 1925 (perhaps 1924/25).(5) In 1926, Kalmar-Wolf won the Austrian Women's Amateur Championship.(6)

Women's World Chess Championship Contender

Kalmar-Wolf finished clear 3rd with 7.0/11 (behind Vera Menchik and Katarina Beskow) at London (1927). She came in 2nd behind Menchik with 5.5/8 at Hamburg (1930), and again 2nd with 4.0/8 at Prague (1931) behind Menchik.(7)


(1) Michael Ehn, Die erste Ųsterreichische Schachmeisterin: Paula Kalmar-Wolf. In Karoline Spalt,

(2) ÷sterreichische Schachrundschau, November/December 1922, issue 10/12, p. 78. Provided in "ANNO / ÷sterreichische Nationalbibliothek"

(3) Neue Wiener Schachzeitung, December 1923, pp. 191-192. Provided in "ANNO / ÷sterreichische Nationalbibliothek"

(4) Paula Kalmar, Die Frau im Schachleben, Neue Wiener Schachzeitung, March 1923, pp. 21-23. Reprinted from Neue Freie Presse, 23 February 1923. Provided in "ANNO / ÷sterreichische Nationalbibliothek"

(5) Wiener Schachzeitung, January 1925, pp. 11-12. Provided in "ANNO / ÷sterreichische Nationalbibliothek"

(6) Wiener Schachzeitung, July 1926, pp. 204-205. Provided in "ANNO / ÷sterreichische Nationalbibliothek"


 page 1 of 1; 2 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Daunke vs P Kalmar-Wolf 0-1361925Women's TtC50 Giuoco Piano
2. T Gerbec vs P Kalmar-Wolf  0-1271931Cup TournamentB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kalmar-Wolf wins | Kalmar-Wolf loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-15-13  Karpova: Paula Kalmar-Wolf suffered from diabetes (<[...] klagte sie √ľber Beschwerden ihrer Zuckerkrankheit [...]>). She was a pupil of Richard Reti and her husband Heinrich Wolf.

Source: Pages 311 to 312 of the 1931 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Oct-06-13  Karpova: Women's tournament in 1926, arranged by the <Verein Wiener Schachfreunde> (Association of Viennese friend of chess) and held in the Cafe Draschepark for the Austrian Amateur Championship:

1. Paula Kalmar-Wolf 8.0
2. Reischer 6.5
3-4. Stern* 6.0
3-4. Harum** 6.0
5. G√ľllich 5.5
6-7. Engel 4.0
6-7. Pohlner 4.0
8-9. Freund 2.5
8-9. Vranovits 2.5
10. Stussig 0.0

* <Frau Hofrat Stern>, i. e. wife of a <Hofrat> (court counsellor)

** <Fräulein Harum>, i. e. not yet married

From pages 204-205 of the July 1926 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Oct-10-13  Karpova: Report on the Women's Tournament of the Austrian Chess Association*

Paula Kalmar** won. It is said that she was celebrated enthusiastically by foreign chess communities whenever she travels to international tournaments. Her games draw almost as much attention as those of masters and she is hailed the "strongest female chessplayer of the continent."

Frau Dr. Bauer***, a newcomer was the big surprise as she came in 2nd and led together with Kalmar until the conclusion of the tournament, when Kalmar's greater experience made itself felt.

The 3rd-4th place was shared by Ms Stern - she seems to have initiated and (at least partly) financed the tournament - and Misses Manzoni - she is still very young (<ihrer großen Jugend>).

Ms Pohlner disappointed and a lack of preparation was probably the cause. Misses Berger was a positive surprise as she was a newcomer.

After the award ceremony, Kalmar gave a Simul against 14 opponents (male and female) and scored 12:2. <Ecce femina!>

* they merely state it was the <heurige> (this years) tournament which may indicate it was played in 1925 ot at least elapsed into it.

** not yet married to Heinrich Wolf

*** probably married to a Dr. and not one herself

From pages 11-12 of the January 1925 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Oct-19-13  Karpova: Paula Kalmar's article <Die Frau im Schachleben> is reprinted on pages 21-23 of the March 1923 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung' (originally from 'Neue Freie Presse' of February 23, 1923).

She lists other strong female chessplayers and here are the Austrian ones:

Josefine Pohlner, Cilly Ausch, Malvine Stern, Marie Engel, Sophie Kohn and Gisela Harum (Kalmar mentions that she is 20 years old). Also strong, but not playing chess in public are Margit von Lieben and her cousin (same name, <gleichen Namens>) and Prager (a painter).

Furthermore, she recounts how she came to chess on page 23:

- Hans Schöpfleuthner brought her attention to chess

- At the end of 1913, she began to learn chess according to Dufresne

- She started to visit the amateur chess club, playing once per week

- In 1915, she began to play 3 times a week and then almost daily. She quickly progressed, yet soon recognized that theoretical studies are necessary to achieve greater playing strength

- She took courses with master Reti* and studied several books in the following years

- In 1920 and 1921, she regularly took courses with Heinrich Wolf. As a teacher, he was among the chess masters for her what Leschetizky is among the piano tutors.

- She notes that she was more than 30 years old when she started with chess

- In August 1922, she followed an invitation from the Bavarian Chess Association to the Innsbruck Chess Congress. As the sole woman in the Main tournament, she reached 4th place. Spielmann remarked, with regards to the quality of her games, that she would be a contender for 1st place in every tournament against the English female chessplayers (known to be the best) and other Viennese masters confirmed it.

* I guess that this was not before WWI had ended and Reti returned to Vienna

Nov-10-13  Karpova: <Wie wir erfahren, findet demn√§chst die Verm√§hlung der Meisterin von √Ėsterreich Paula Kalmar mit Schachmeister Heinrich Wolf statt.> (Announcement of the upcoming wedding of the Austrian Women's Champion Paula Kalmar and the Chessmaster Heinrich Wolf)

From page 332 of the November 1924 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Nov-13-13  Karpova: Paula Kalmar won the Austrian Women's Championship tournament 1924 in Vienna.

From page 348 of the December 1924 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Dec-08-13  Karpova: Simul on July 4, 1923 in the <Arbeiterschachklub> (Workers' Chess Club) in Wels: +8 -1 =5. The Simul lasted 2.5 hours and Geiger was the only one who beat her.

From page 191 of the August 1923 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Dec-08-13  Karpova: The 8th Congress of the Bavarian Chess Federation was held in Nuremberg in 1923. There were 4 tournaments:

1. Championship (winner Schmitt)

2. Main Tournament (winner Mack and Guttenberg)

3. Minor Tournament (winner Dr. Engel after play-off against Reuter)

4. Women's Tournament (winner Helene König)

Paula Kalmar, who had won the Austrian Women's Championship in 1922, was the the only Austrian chessplayer at the Bavarian Congress. She participated in the Main Tournament (the only woman) and came in 3rd!

From pages 191-192 of the August 1923 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Jul-05-14  waustad: Yet another time where a hyphen makes search difficult. As a multiple time candidate for the WWCC we really should be able to find more games. Thanks to <Karpova> for the information and to frau-schach for more discussion and 2 games (in German):
Jul-05-14  waustad: She has a wiki page in English but it is not much more than a stub:
Jul-05-14  waustad: There is apparently some question of her birth date and original name, quoting frau-schach: Sie wurde laut den historischen Meldeunterlagen der Polizeidirektion Wien am 11. April 1880, und nicht im M√§rz 1881, wie f√§lschlicherweise in fast allen Quellen, z.B. auch in der Wikipedia zu lesen ist, in Agram (heute Zagreb) als Paula Klein geboren.

Wann Paula Klein nach Wien gekommen ist und wann sie zu Paula Kalmar wurde, ist nicht bekannt.

Sep-27-14  Karpova: Vienna 1922 Chess Congress, Women's tournament:

1. Pohlner 7.5
2-3. Kalmar 6.5
2-3. Harum 6.5
4. Stern 4.5
5. Engel 4.0
6. G√ľlich 4.0
7. Manzoni 2.0
8. Täubert 1.0
9. Prihoda 0.0

Only Pohlner and Kalmar remained undefeated. Harum lost to Pohlner and drew Kalmar.

Source: '√Ėsterreichische Schachrundschau', November/December 1922, issue 10/12, p. 78

It's notable that Kalmar is called <Frau> (in contrast to <Frl.>), indicating that she was married. So she was born <Paula Klein>, married and became <Paula Kalmar>, married again and became <Paula Kalmar-Wolf>, it seems.

Apr-09-21  BIDMONFA: Paula Kalmar-Wolf


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