Frederic Alois Friedel, born in 1945, studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and in Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. He also joined the American sceptical society CSICOP (now the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry) and investigated/debunked several paranormal claims.
In the early 1980s he did a feature on computer chess and artificial intelligence, making friends with many top chess players in the process. In 1985 he met Garry Kasparov and soon after that co-founded the chess database company ChessBase.
Frederic has been in close contact with many of the world's top chess players, including Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik, Carlsen, Leko, Topalov, Svidler, Short, the Polgar sisters and many others. Today he spends most of his time editing the chess news page ChessBase.com.