Amelung was known as a chess player and a famous chess quiz's author. 1879–1885 he lived in Reval (now Tallinn) and studied the chess history of the Baltics. Between 1888 and 1908 he edited the chess magazineBaltische Schachblätter. In 1898 he established the Baltic Chess Society. Amelung published about 230 endgame studies, making him the first chess historian in the Baltic States.