Svetozar Gligoric – and appreciation by Boris Kutin

The greatest Serbian (Yugoslav) chess player ever, GM Svetozar Gligoric was born on 2nd February 1923 in Belgrade. In 1938 at the age of fifteen, he won the championship of Belgrade Chess Club, one of the strongest in Yugoslavia. He become a master the following year, but World War II temporary stopped his chess development as The greatest Serbian (Yugoslav) player ever GM Svetozar Gligoric was born on February 2 1923 in Belgrade. In 1938 at age fifteen he won the championship of Belgrade Chess Club, one of the strongest in Yugoslavia. He become a master the following year, but World War II temporary stopped his chess development. The greatest Serbian (Yugoslav) player ever GM Svetozar Gligoric was born on February 2 1923 in Belgrade. In 1938 at age fifteen he won the championship of Belgrade Chess Club, one of the strongest in Yugoslavia. He become a master the following year, but World War II temporary his chess development as he became a partisan in the fight against German occupation.

In 1947 in Warsaw he won his first international tournament ahead of future World Champion Vasily Smyslov. In 1951 he was awarded the GM title. In his very long career (his last tournament was Rilton Cup in 2003), he was three times Candidate for the World Championship and 12 times (an absolute record) Yugoslav Champion. He played for Yugoslavia in15 Olympiads (13 times on board one), leading his team in Dubrovnik 1950 when Yugoslavia won gold medal. In his rich collection are 6 silver and 5 bronze Olympiad medals. In 1958 he made the top score on board one.

For many years (before the Elo system) he was among the top ten players of the world. He was very well known and respected as a perfect gentleman with style, grace and class and very popular in Yugoslavia, where he was awarded the sportsman of the year title, as well as abroad. In 1978, he was a candidate for FIDE president in the Congress in Buenos Aires. In the most dramatic voting, he was eliminted in round one, having just one vote less than Fridrik Olafsson, who become the fourth FIDE president.

He wrote many chess books. The most popular, translated into many languages is ‘I Play Against Pieces’.

Svetozar Gligoric was awarded with many very high awards in Yugoslavia and Serbia.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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