Svetozar Gligoric (1923 - 2012)

Svetozar Gligoric (1923 - 2012)

The Planet Greenpawn

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Svetozar Gligoric (1923 - 2012)

Hello Again.

Chess players everywhere was saddened to hear that Svetozar Gligoric
had recently passed away. Those of us of an older generation will feel
that another chapter in our chess childhood has been closed.

There was a time when Gligoric’s name was mentioned in chess clubs
and whose game frequented every chess magazine as often as some
of the great players of today.


(picture from wikipedia)

Gligoric played in over 70 top class international events winning
or sharing first place on 20 occasions. This is an incredible record when
one considers that during Gligoric’s most active period, the late 40’s to
the late 60’s, international chess was dominated by the USSR.
He, along with only a handful of other players, was considered one
of the best non Soviet players of that period.
In the famous 1970 USSR match v The Rest of the World Gligoric played
on board 4 below Larsen, Fischer and Hort.

He Represented Yugoslavia in 14 Olympiads playing on board one
in 13 of them. In the 1958 Munich Olympiad Gligoric won the board
one prize with P.15. W 9. D6 L.0

Svetozar Gligoric

(picture from

A prolific writer his book on the Fischer - Spassky 1972 match is one of the
best books covering this historic event selling more than 200,000 copies.
It was translated into many languages and became one of the best selling
chess books of all time.

RHP member vandervelde was one of the 100’s of chess fans who attended
the funeral.
He tells us the Serbian Prime minister was also there in attendance and sent
me the following picture.

Svetozar Gligoric

Gligoric's friend Aleksandar Matanov delivering an eulogy in the Belgrade City Assembly.
(picture Politika newspaper)

Gligoric was laid to rest in the Novo Groblje Cemetery in Belgrade in a special section
called the ‘Alley of Greats’ a place the Serbian People hold dear and shows the
honour and respect this interestng and great man had from his fellow countrymen.

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Six combinations played by Gligoric for you to solve.

They are in the fairly easy category, I want the lads on here to find
pleasure in Gligoric's games, I don't want to stun them.
(and believe me Gilgoric played some stunning moves in his time.)

Here you can sit beside him and see just what he was seeing and thinking.
And if this inspires you to seek out other Gligoric games for you to study
then my job is done.

The first is a rather simple ego booster to get you into the mood.
In all cases it is Gligoric to move. Solutions at the bottom of the page.

1) Gligoric - Gerusel, Busum 1969

2) Gligoric - Persitz, Hastings 1969

3) Udovcic - Gligoric, Zagreb 1065

4) Gligoric - Rosenstein USA 1963

This one I like. Even if you don’t enjoy doing these tactical puzzles do this one.
It is quite delightful. (and easy, which makes it all the more delightful.)

5) Ree - Gligoric, Wijk aan Zee 1975

Black to play and mate White in 5 moves.

6) Gligoric - Petrosian, Belgrade 1954

Black to play and wrap this up.

Selecting a Gligoric game for this column proved a slight problem.
I wanted something that I could fully understand and write it so the majority
of the readers here could also get something from it.
Gligoric left us many great and instructive games against some of the world’s
best players and recently and quite rightly so, these have been appearing all over
the net.

I have a chosen a less well known game.

Svetozar Gligoric - Slavko Leban, Novi Sad 1965

I 'm pretty sure this has not been noted up before,
it does not appear in Gligoric's book 'I Play Against Pieces.'.
and hopefully it won't go over the heads of the readers on here.

I did not want to take a famous game as it will be hard for me not
to copy other's notes.

I wanted something fresh and relatively unknown so I would have to work at it.
It's my minor tribute to Gligoric pulling this game out of the darkness of a database
and using it to help players (and me) understand the game a bit more.

The Intro:

Slavko sits down as Black opposite this great player whose contributions to
opening theory is legendary.

He makes a decision to avoid main stream openings and drops an Albin Counter
Gambit onto the board. This fighting choice may have been made with a shrug
of the shoulders, I can find no other game where Slavko played this opening.

Sometimes springing a gambit on a stronger player works and I can find no game
where Gligoric had faced this gambit before 1965 so it was worth a bash.

Usually this ploy works if the stronger player adopts a ‘how dare you’ attitude
and tries to wipe the offending weaker player off the board in 15 moves.

No such attitude from Gligoric whose business like play makes this a very poor
advert for the Albin and indeed this method of playing against a stronger player.

Black switches from plan to plan in an effort to try and mix things.
White stays in control throughout and treats us to a nice humorous finish.

80% of the great players games are like this, they play simpe chess.
(well it looks simple, actually recreating play like this is quite hard.)
It's the other 20% that makes the books when infact there is often more
to learn from the 'bread and butter' games these great players produce.

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Before the Gligoric solutions I cannot leave without mentioning
the famous Albin Counter Gambit trap.

Did I say famous? It appears not everyone knows it.

It’s been played over 40 times on RHP with Black winning over 90% of the games.
(yes, incredible as it seems Black has lost twice after winning the piece.)

Mischas as Black has pulled off this stunt no fewer than 7 times.

Schackfredrik and stephenwale have both fallen for it twice with both players
resigning under 10 moves in all four games.

Picking a win at random.

mebr1979 - egotist RHP 2007

Next we see a White win.
The g1 Black Knight gets into the game and Black is hammering White.
Black makes one clumsy move and it’s all over.

ViA - masterfosse RHP 2010

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Solution 1. Gligoric - Gerusel, Busum 1969

Solution 2 Gligoric - Persitz, Hastings 1969

Solution 3. Udovcic - Gligoric, Zagreb 1965

Solution 4. Gligoric - Rosenstein USA 1963

Solution 5. Ree - Gligoric, Wijk aan Zee 1975

Solution 6. Gligoric - Petrosian, Belgrade 1954

The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 148104

I'd pay that thread a visit, it has thrown some intersting facts on
the Gligoric - Persitz, Hastings 1969 position I gave.
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