The World Chess Champion Series The first official world champion, Wilhelm Steinitz was a towering figure in the chess world in the last quarter of the 19th century. For nearly three decades, he never lost a serious match. His opening invations have resonated for more than a century. For example, for those who do t wish to meet the Ruy Lopez with 3...a6, the Steinitz Defense, 3...d6, may still be one of the best ways to meet the -Spanish Torture.- In the early 1870s, he formulated a positional approach that served as the foundation of modern chess. And his pioneering work on chess theory has been a major, enduring influence since it was postulated. Moreover, if we think of his achievements as a writer, t just as a player, Steinitz was unique. Few authors before or since even come close. And ne of his great successors could match his versatility and output.