Siegfried Hornecker

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Siegfried (Sarah) Hornecker (Heidenheim an der Brenz, * 19.03.1986 -  † 22.03.2024)

Famous chess composer of chess problems and endgame studies. 

In April 2023, Siegfried Hornecker announced his transgender identity and lived the last year of her life under the name Sarah.                                                                                                                                                                                  He/she was an important writer and editor of problem chess columns such as Romanian problem chess magazine "Euxinus Pontus" published by Stelian Lambă from Constantza (03-09-1936 - † 13-06-2018), or "EG, Themes and Tasks "

He also was an International Judge of the FIDE for chess compositions since 2014 and

a renowned expert in endgame studies. 

Cause of death

It has now been announced (27.03.24) that Hornecker died on Saturday 22 March, shortly after his/her 38th birthday, as a result of blood poisoning.

An article by GM Martin Minski 

"Zum Tod von Sarah (Siegfried) Hornecker (19.3.1986 - 22.3.2024)"



Siegfried Hornecker was an “independent gentleman” (by his definition). He lived in Heidenheim an der Brenz, Germany. He later moved to Güstrow and was a member of SG Güstrow/Teterow. Together with his mother Monika Rehbein, he organized a "Die Schwalbe" problem chess meeting there (30.09.2016 to 03.10.2016)

His career as a chess composer

Hornecker was internationally renowned for many years as a successful study composer of chess studies.

Preferences in study composition
He particularly loved tasks with numerous knight underpromotions, or also bishop promotion. He also often mentioned Rolf Richter (Germany, 26.05.1941 - 14.01.1988) and Mikhail Afanasievich Zinar (Ukraine, 09.05.1951 - 04.02.2021) in this context.

S. Hornecker composed more than 268 endgame studies (Status: 29-11-2020). Exact data will be available when the new Harold van der Heijden study database is published.

Co-operation works
He had worked with Ukrainian study composer Sergiy Didukh * 31.05.1976)  and IM Iuri Akobia (Georgia, 20-05-1937 -  05-11-2014) , as well as Grandmaster Martin Minski (Berlin-Friedrichshain, 23.08.1969) . Many of his co- studies can already be described as classics. (E.G.: Moscow tourney 2019:1st prize with the composers: Siegfried Hornecker, Martin Minski, Hauke Reddmann)

Siegfried Hornecker was also very active on the Internet and made valuable contributions to chess studies in chess forums and on his own homepage. Although still so young, he had an enormous knowledge of chess literature and was also a much sought-after adjudicator. 

He also helped German editor from Berlin Michael Roxlau ( * 1957, Heergermühler Weg 52 near Wilhelmsruher See) with the new entries of chess studies in "Die Schwalbe" (German problem chess magazine) and supported him in terms of correctness and originality.

Editor on Chessbase

Siegfried Hornecker enjoyed a great reputation on the website "Chessbase", where he regularly wrote about chess study composers and their works (life and work) called "Study of the Month"


Editor in EG

Siegfried Hornecker also wrote regulary articles to the EG magazine "Themes and Tasks".


His contributions on Mat Plus (Website founded by Milan Velimirović in 2006) were another milestone. His online contributions were always an inspiration for other chess study composers.  Milan Velimirović (he died on † 25 February 2013 in Belgrade) was an important friend of Hornecker's who encouraged him to write a book.

 Blogger since July 2014.

On the website with the title "Chess studies and more" he wrote articles about chess, mathematical puzzles, and also political topics such as the war between Russia and Ukraine. This side is most important, because there Siegfried Hornecker shares opinions on chess studies and other topics.

Further internet activities:

On "Scribd" Siegfried Hornecker uploaded under the pseudonym "Lovuschka" a famous problem chess book with the title: "The Indian Chess Problem" as a pdf file. 

E -Book Weltenfern - A commented selection of some of my works containing 149 originals  

His autobiographical book "Weltenfern" (in English only) can be found on the ARVES website. Siegfried Hornecker wrote: "Dedicated to the memory of Dan Meinking and Milan Velimirović who both encouraged me to write a book!" (Heidenheim, January/February 2013)

Siegfried Hornecker has achieved much as a chess composer and above all as an editor, adjudicator and writer. 

Although he was also a chess player with 2020 elo ( SG Güstrow/Teterow) Hornecker will be remembered by posterity as a talented chess editor and chess composer.


On Yet another chess problem database YACPDB there can be found 86 chess problems (orthodox chess problems and chess studies) (Status 2024)

On Germain Chess Problem Database Server 60 chess problems composed by Siegfried Hornecker are shown (Status 2024)

On the Dutch Website for endgame studies: ARVES org. are 23 endgame studies by him selected. (Status 2024)

On the Website Chess composers March 19th: there can be found an articel with other links.

His career as a chessplayer

Siegfried Hornecker and his chess games

On the Internetsite 32 games by Siegfried Hornecker from 1996 - 2003 can be replayed. 

On "The chess games of Siegfried Hornecker" 5 chess games by him can be virtuell replayed (1996 to 2007)

His blitz chess games on Lichess

Siegfried Hornecker  with the pseudonym "Lovuschka"  was active on Lichess until two weeks before his death. He mainly played blitz games (3 m) there. you can replay 451 blitz games played by him. He has been a member of since 20/02/2018.

His videos

On Youtube he had a channel called: "Lovuschka" with 17 videos. He joined YouTube on 11 March 2008 and has been viewed a total of 58,365 times (Status 2024) so far. He has uploaded videos with chess study content to his YouTube channel. For example Ernest Pogosyants, Vladimir Bron and Zinar. He has also published videos of games by Anand, Kramnik and Kasparov.


Siegfried Hornecker about his birth and life in Germany

"I feel like a stranger in a strange land, and it indeed could be because I was born in the wrong country: German by body but Serbian by heart, as a friend assumed it. The coldness of the German mentality is so hard to me, while the warmth of several more mediterranean but also other distant countries is refreshing. Here I am a stranger, but there I am a friend."

Siegfried Hornecker was also interested in mathematical puzzles of all kinds.

Outside of chess, he was intensively involved with near-death experiences, reincarnation and after-Death Communications (ADCs)

See his article ( with Evelyn Elsaesser

Human characteristics

Siegfried Hornecker was always honest, fair and, despite his great knowledge of chess, always very modest and in no way preachy or opinionated.


Article by Martin Minski from the East Berlin district

 One copy

"Obituary: Sarah (Siegfried) Hornecker (March 19, 1986 - March 22, 2024)
by ChessBase 
3/27/2024 – At the beginning of 2017 Siegfried Hornecker, who later wanted to be called Sarah, published his first "Study of the Month" on the ChessBase website, which has appeared regularly ever since. These were knowledgeable and entertaining columns in which Hornecker introduced a wide audience to the world of studies, compositions and problems. However, it has now been announced that Hornecker died on Saturday March 22, shortly after his/her 38th birthday, as a result of sepsis. An obituary by Martin Minski.

Around 2002 I received a bizarre phone call: "This is Siegfried Hornecker." The name sounded familiar to me. I knew that this young gentleman was also interested in chess studies. Before I could think about it much, the other voice said, "I’m handing the phone over to my mother. – Hello, this is Monika Rehbein, Siegfried’s mother. What can I do for you?" I was so perplexed and overwhelmed by this situation that I stammered a few polite phrases and then somehow managed to end the conversation. A little while later it was time to plan the book Wege zu Schachstudien. Gerhard Josten and Gerd Wilhelm Hörning also wanted to list Siegfried Hornecker as the fourth book author. I made it clear to both of them that I would not start a joint book project with such a "weird guy". As a compromise, he was "allowed" to contribute articles to the book without his name being on the title page.

I met Siegfried personally in 2007 during the Schwalbetagung in Forchheim. I still remember the rather lengthy city tour. We were fed numbers and information by the city guide and there were little thigh-smacking jokes every now and then, although I had the impression that the city guide presented the same gags to any group without paying much attention to the origins or composition of the people outside the city. So the city guide reeled off his program until we descended into a kind of grotto. Suddenly she noticed that Siegfried wasn't wearing any shoes but was walking barefoot. This threw this conservative city guide so off guard that I couldn't help but smile.

In Forchheim, Siegfried unselfishly handed me his first, grandiose scheme for an endgame study. I was immediately excited about it. A symmetrical draw swing, which I was later allowed to add a suitable introduction to. A very fruitful collaboration followed with almost 40 study co-productions, 10 of which have so far been included in the FIDE albums.

For the FIDE Album 2013-15, Siegfried stepped in at short notice as replacement Section Director and provided valuable coordination and support. As a judge involved, I experienced a moment of shock with him. Shortly before the results were published, he wanted to raise a miniature of mine from 2.5 to 3 points because he liked it so much. With sweaty hands, I pointed out to him that this change would mean he would remove more than 20 studies with 7.5 points from the already "scandalous" selection of studies, since otherwise only all studies with at least 8 points would be represented in the Album. To my great relief, he left it at the original rating.

We met at irregular intervals at the Schwalbe conferences and at international congresses such as in Ostroda in 2015, in Belgrade in 2016 and in Dresden in 2017. Siegfried was a friendly and interested conversation partner who was able to have many in-depth conversations with the other congress participants thanks to his excellent English. In 2021 we learned about his increasingly dramatic health condition, which was slowly but surely causing him to lose the will to live. I then took the train with Klaus Rubin towards Güstrow, where we met a visibly happy Siegfried (see photo), who spent a beautiful and sunny day with us and his family.

Especially in recent years, Siegfried has been actively involved in popularizing chess studies. As a supporting member of Schwalbe, he supported Michael Roxlau for years in the studies department of this magazine. His autobiographical book Weltenfern (in English only) can be found on the ARVES website. His now legendary articles in EG and on are very well-founded and worthwhile reading. His active participation in discussions in the Matplus forum is notable.

In May 2023, Siegfried sent me a photo in which he was heavily made up. He told me that he wanted to be called Sarah in the future. At first I suspected it was a more joking role play, but it was actually his new identity that he or she had consciously decided on. In 2015, Monika Rehbein published the book Bastis Welt, in which she describes her dealings with the child, who "acts differently and lives in his own world." I think that Ms. Rehbein tried to accept her child, and to love it in the way it is.

I am grateful to Sarah for the fact that my horizons in terms of tolerance towards other, unfamiliar behaviours have also expanded significantly. Sarah never complained about her serious illness. Until the end she was optimistic that things would get better at some point. For her, the onset of sepsis, which ultimately led to death, was perhaps a relief - for the study community it is a great loss. The many little memories of Sarah/Siegfried and her/his great studies will remain with us."

Article is written by GM Martin Minski and was published on 27.03.2024 in Chessbase (Internet). This article contains important key data from Siegfried Hornecker and has therefore been copied.



Individual evidence
  Gerd Wilhelm Hörning; Gerhard Josten; Martin Minski: Paths to chess studies, Neu-Jung Verlag, 2006, p. 246.
  Martin Minski: On the death of Sarah (Siegfried) Hornecker (March 19, 1986–March 22, 2024). ChessBase, March 27, 2024 (
  Schwalbetagung 2016 in Güstrow.
  Martin Minski: On the death of Sarah (Siegfried) Hornecker (March 19, 1986–March 22, 2024). ChessBase, March 27, 2024 (; Name change, on, April 25, 2023 (
  Solution and commentary based on Oleg Pervakov: The Soul of Chess. Part 2. In: EG, No. 173, Vol. 14, July 2008, pp. 175–181, here: p. 180 (
  See King & Tower (; Hanspeter Suwe (13-09-1948) German composer, Chess Composers, September 12, 2012 (
  Martin Minski: Obituary: Sarah (Siegfried) Hornecker (March 19, 1986–March 22, 2024). Chessbase, March 27, 2024 ( The English version is given here because the addendum to the German version is missing.
  Siegfried Hornecker: Valladão's all-promotion study. Study of the Month, December 2019 (; see also Werner Keym: Valladão with all-round transformation for the first time in the study. In: Die Schwalbe, issue 299, October 2019, p. 318.  Source: Wikipedia




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