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2. Pope John Paul II

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The second-longest serving Pope in modern history, Karol Josef Wojtyla (as he was known in his youth) was an athlete and actor as well as being an avid chess player.

It is popularly believed that he was a chess enthusiast – an over-the-board player and also a composer of chess problems and puzzles.

While acting as a vicar for university students in Krakow, Poland, he frequently played chess with other students. A story in chess circles states that he had published a chess problem in 1946, but this story was later shown to be a hoax.

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2. Pope John Paul II

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