Carl Schlechter (March 2, 1874 - December 27, 1918) was a leading Austrian chess master at the turn of the 20th century.
He was born in Vienna. From 1893 onwards he played in over 50 international tournaments, including four wins: Munich in 1900 (shared), Ostend in 1906, Vienna in 1908 (shared) and Hamburg in 1910.
In 1910 he played a match against Emanuel Lasker for the World Chess Championship (in Vienna and Berlin). He needed only a draw in the tenth and last game to win the match, but missed first a win, then a clear draw before losing the game. The match ended tied at 5-5 (+1 -1 =8), and Lasker retained his title.
He also played matches with Siegbert Tarrasch in 1911 (drawn) and Akiba Rubinstein in 1918 (lost).
He died in Budapest of pneumonia and starvation.
Schlechter was a typical example of a gentleman chess player of old, offering courteous draws to opponents who felt unwell. If his opponent arrived late for a game, Schlechter would inconspicuously subtract an equal amount of time from his own clock. He also mentored many of his rivals, including Oldrich Duras.