Svetozar Gligorić in 1966
|Full name||Svetozar Gligorić|
|Born||2 February 1923|
Belgrade, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
|Died|| 14 August 2012 89) (aged|
|Peak rating||2600 (July 1971)|
Svetozar Gligorić (Serbian Cyrillic: Светозар Глигорић, 2 February 1923 – 14 August 2012) was a Serbian and Yugoslav chess grandmaster. He won the championship of Yugoslavia a record twelve times, and is considered the best player ever from Serbia. In 1958 he was declared the best athlete of Yugoslavia.
Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe in the southern Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. The sovereign state borders Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest. The country claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia's population is about seven million. Its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the oldest and largest citiеs in Europe.
Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a checkered gameboard with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid. The game is played by millions of people worldwide. Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga some time before the 7th century. Chaturanga is also the likely ancestor of the Eastern strategy games xiangqi, janggi, and shogi. Chess reached Europe by the 9th century, due to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The pieces assumed their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century with the introduction of "Mad Queen Chess"; the modern rules were standardized in the 19th century.
In the 1950s and 1960s Gligorić was one of the top players in the world, and also among the world's most popular, owing to his globe-trotting tournament schedule and a particularly engaging personality, reflected in the title of his autobiography, I Play Against Pieces. (I.e., playing without hostility toward the opponent, or playing differently against different players for "psychological" reasons; playing the board and not the man.)
An autobiography is a self-written account of the life of oneself. The word "autobiography" was first used deprecatingly by William Taylor in 1797 in the English periodical The Monthly Review, when he suggested the word as a hybrid, but condemned it as "pedantic". However, its next recorded use was in its present sense, by Robert Southey in 1809. Despite only being named early in the nineteenth century, first-person autobiographical writing originates in antiquity. Roy Pascal differentiates autobiography from the periodic self-reflective mode of journal or diary writing by noting that "[autobiography] is a review of a life from a particular moment in time, while the diary, however reflective it may be, moves through a series of moments in time". Autobiography thus takes stock of the autobiographer's life from the moment of composition. While biographers generally rely on a wide variety of documents and viewpoints, autobiography may be based entirely on the writer's memory. The memoir form is closely associated with autobiography but it tends, as Pascal claims, to focus less on the self and more on others during the autobiographer's review of his or her life.
Gligorić was born in Belgrade to a poor family. According to his recollections, his first exposure to chess was as a small child watching patrons play in a neighborhood bar. He began to play at the age of eleven, when taught by a boarder taken in by his mother (his father had died by this time). Lacking a chess set, he made one for himself by carving pieces from corks from wine bottles—a story paralleling the formative years of his contemporary, the renowned Estonian grandmaster Paul Keres.
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. The urban area of the City of Belgrade has a population of 1.23 million, while nearly 1.7 million people live within its administrative limits.
A chess set has thirty-two chess pieces in two colours and a chessboard used to play chess. Chess is played by two players, each starting with one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights and eight pawns. Chess equipment often accompanying a chess set are a chess box, chess clock and chess table. Chess sets are made in a wide variety of styles, often for ornamental rather than practical purposes. For tournament play, the Staunton chess set is preferred or required.
Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea with Sweden on the other side, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia (338.6 km). The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,227 km2 (17,462 sq mi), water 2,839 km2 (1,096 sq mi), land area 42,388 km2 (16,366 sq mi), and is influenced by a humid continental climate. The official language of the country, Estonian, is the second most spoken Finnic language.
Gligorić was a good student during his youth, with both academic and athletic successes that famously led to him to be invited to represent his school at a birthday celebration for Prince Peter, who later became King Peter II of Yugoslavia. He later recounted to International Master David Levy (who chronicled his chess career in The Chess of Gligoric) his distress at attending this gala event wearing poor clothing stemming from his family's impoverished condition. His first tournament success came in 1938 when he won the Belgrade Chess Club championship; however, World War II interrupted his chess progress for a time. During the war, Gligorić was a member of a partisan unit. A chance encounter with a chess-playing partisan officer led to his removal from combat.
Peter II was the last King of Yugoslavia, reigning from 1934 to 1945. He was the last reigning member of the Karađorđević dynasty which came to prominence in the early 19th century.
A partisan is a member of an irregular military force formed to oppose control of an area by a foreign power or by an army of occupation by some kind of insurgent activity. The term can apply to the field element of resistance movements, examples of which are the civilians who opposed Nazi German, Fascist Italian and Ustaše Croatian rule in several countries during World War II.
Following World War II, Gligorić worked for several years as a journalist and organizer of chess tournaments. He continued to progress as a player and was awarded the International Master (IM) title in 1950 and the Grandmaster (GM) title in 1951, eventually making the transition to full-time chess professional. He continued active tournament play well into his sixties.
Journalism refers to the production and distribution of reports on recent events. The word journalism applies to the occupation, as well as citizen journalists using methods of gathering information and using literary techniques. Journalistic media include print, television, radio, Internet, and, in the past, newsreels.
Gligorić was one of the most successful tournament players of the mid-20th century, with a number of tournament victories to his credit, but was less successful in competing for the World Chess Championship. He was Yugoslav champion in 1947 (joint), 1948 (joint), 1949, 1950, 1956, 1957, 1958 (joint), 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965 and 1971.
The World Chess Championship is played to determine the world champion in chess. Since 2014, the schedule has settled on a two-year cycle with a championship held in every even year. Magnus Carlsen has been world champion since he dethroned Viswanathan Anand in 2013. He then went on to successfully defend his title against Anand in 2014, against Sergey Karjakin in 2016 and against Fabiano Caruana in 2018.
He represented his native Yugoslavia with great success in fifteen Chess Olympiads from 1950 to 1982 (thirteen times on), playing 223 games (+88−26=109). In the first post-war Olympiad, on home soil at Dubrovnik 1950, Gligoric played on first board and led Yugoslavia to a historic result, the team gold medal. The Yugoslav team was usually second or third in the world during the 1950s.
His list of first-place finishes in international chess competitions is one of the longest and includes such events as Mar del Plata 1950, Stockholm 1954, Belgrade 1964, Manila 1968, Lone Pine 1972 and 1979, etc. He was a regular competitor in the series of great tournaments held at Hastings, with wins (or ties for first) in 1951–52, 1956–57, 1959–60, 1960–61 and 1962–63.
His record in world championship qualifying events was mixed. He was a regular competitor in Zonal and Interzonal competitions with several successes, e.g. zonal wins in 1951, 1960 (joint), 1963, 1966, and 1969 (joint) and finishes at the Interzonals of 1952, 1958 and 1967 high enough to qualify him for the final Candidates events the following years. However, he was not as successful in any of the Candidates events, with mediocre results in the 1953 and 1959 Candidates Tournaments and a match loss to Mikhail Tal in the 1968 Candidates match series.
Gligorić had the following record against the world champions he played against: Max Euwe +2−0=5, Mikhail Botvinnik +2−2=6, Vasily Smyslov +6−8=28, Tigran Petrosian +8−11=19, Mikhail Tal +2−10=22, Boris Spassky +0−6=16, Bobby Fischer +4−7=8, Anatoly Karpov +0−4=6 and Garry Kasparov +0−3=0.
On August 14, 2012, Svetozar Gligorić died from a stroke at 89 years of age in Belgrade.Gligorić was buried on August 16, 2012, at 13:30 in the Alley of the Greats at Belgrade's New Cemetery.
Although he compiled a superb tournament record, it is perhaps as an openings theorist and commentator that Gligorić will be best remembered. He made enormous contributions to the theory and practice of the King's Indian Defense, Ruy Lopez and Nimzo-Indian Defense, among others; and, particularly with the King's Indian, translated his theoretical contributions into several spectacular victories with both colours (including the sample game below). Theoretically significant variations in the King's Indian and Ruy Lopez are named for him. His battles with Bobby Fischer in the King's Indian and Sicilian Defense (particularly the Najdorf Variation, a long-time Fischer specialty) often worked out in his favor.
As a commentator, Gligorić was able to take advantage of his fluency in a number of languages and his training as a journalist, to produce lucid, interesting game annotations. He was a regular columnist for Chess Review and Chess Life magazines for many years, his "Game of the Month" column often amounting to a complete tutorial in the opening used in the feature game as well as a set of comprehensive game annotations. He wrote a number of chess books in several languages. One of the most notable was Fischer v Spassky: The Chess Match of the Century, a detailed account of their epic struggle for the world title in Reykjavík in 1972. He also contributed regularly to the Chess Informant semi-annual (more recently, thrice-yearly) compilation of the world's most important chess games.
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One of Gligorić's most famous games was this win against the former world champion Tigran Petrosian at the great "Tournament of Peace" held in Zagreb in 1970. It displays Gligorić's virtuosity on the Black side of the King's Indian and his willingness to play for a sacrificial attack against one of history's greatest defenders. Zagreb 1970 was another Gligorić tournament success, as he tied for second (with Petrosian and others) behind Fischer, at the start of the latter's 1970–71 run of tournament and match victories.
Indeed, Gligorić was the first person to inflict a defeat on Petrosian after he won the world title from Mikhail Botvinnik in 1963.
Boris Vasilievich Spassky is a Russian chess grandmaster. He was the tenth World Chess Champion, holding the title from 1969 to 1972. Spassky played three world championship matches: he lost to Tigran Petrosian in 1966; defeated Petrosian in 1969 to become world champion; then lost to Bobby Fischer in a famous match in 1972.
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The Piatigorsky Cup was a triennial series of double round-robin grandmaster chess tournaments held in the United States in the 1960s. Sponsored by the Piatigorsky Foundation, only two events were held, in 1963 and 1966. The Piatigorsky Cups were the strongest U.S. chess tournaments since New York 1927.
Events in chess in 1969;
The 1969 World Chess Championship was played between Tigran Petrosian and Boris Spassky in Moscow from April 14 to June 17, 1969. Spassky won.
Events in chess in 1970;
Events in chess in 1971;
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