Claus Spahn

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Claus Spahn (born 15 May 1940 in Bottrop, Germany) is a former TV programme editor of Germany's Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) broadcasting corporation, a presenter, producer and author. He was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2001.


Spahn studied History of theatre, German language and literature, Philosophy, and History of art at the University of Cologne. He received his doctorate ('Dr. Phil.') in 1969 for his dissertation The history of the theatre of the Ruhr region up to 1933. He worked as a TV journalist for the WDR from 1969 to 2005. He produced numerous series, portraits and documentaries in the field of cultural and educational policy.

He became known both nationally and internationally through chess programmes. Between 1983 and 2005, he presented the annual live broadcast Chess of the Grandmasters (Schach der Gro├čmeister), where players including Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik competed for the TV Cup.

It was on his initiative and under his direction that the WDR regularly reported on the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting.Helmut Pfleger. Schach Knockouts.Edition Olms, Band 69. ISBN 9783283004569 (in German)

Series / Films

The series written and produced by Spahn included Keine Angst vorm Fliegen (Don't be afraid to fly) and Der Elternf├╝hrerschein (The driving licence for parents). Together...
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