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Friday, May 10, 2019

Edith Keller-Herman, Lady Powerhouse

     Edith Keller-Herrmann (November 17, 1921 – May 12, 2010) was a German WGM. She was married to surgeon Dr. Lutz Herrmann and was the sister of IM Rudolf Keller (1917 – 1993). 
     Her talent was promoted in the 1930s and 1940s by the Greater German Chess Federation. In 1936 there was an international tournament in Dresden in which four German players were pitted against six European masters, including the winner, Alekhine. She visited that tournament and became fascinated with the game. 
     She began studying intensively entered her first tournament in 1939. In August of that year the 17 year old Edith Keller, along with 15 year old Klaus Junge, 14 year old Wolfgang Unzicker and two others, Rudolf Kunath (age 15) and Karl Krbavac (age 17), played in Jugendschachwoche Fürstenwalde near Berlin. 

     In 1942 she had improved to the point that she won the Greater German Women's Championship. In the next German Women's Championship in 1943 she finished in third place, tied for 7th-8th at Bad Krynica (the fourth General Government tournament, won by Josef Lokvenc). 
     After the war, Keller-Hermann was the German Women's Champion in 1947, 1948, 1951, 1952 and 1953, and the Eastern German Women's Champion in 1950, 1952, 1956, 1957 and 1960. 
     She participated in the first women's Candidates Tournament in Moscow in 1949/1950, where she shared 5th to 7th place. In the following years she qualified three times for the candidates’ tournament. 
     In 1953 and 1958 she participated with respectable results in the men's championships of the East Germany. She played at the tournament in Dortmund in 1951, where she tied for 11th–12th, but drew with Efim Bogoljubow and won games against Rossolimo and Stojan Puc. 
     Keller-Hermann also played for East Germany in several Women's Chess Olympiads either at first or second board. 
     Chessmetrics assigns her a high rating of 2436 in 1952. At the time this game was played Chessmetrics lists Rossolimo at 2663, putting him among the top 25 best players in the world, so Keller-Hermann’s win was quite an accomplishment. 

1) O'Kelly 7.5 
2-3) Fuderer and Milic 7.0 
4) Pfeiffer 6.5 
5-6) Puc and Rossolimo 6.0 
7-9) Bogoljubow, Stoltz and Kieninger 5.0 
10) Lange 4.5 
11-12) Keller-Hermann and Grob 3.0 

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