To Gligoric with Love – a legend turns 85

2/6/2008 – Svetozar Gligoric, born in Belgrade on February 2, 1923, is the best ever chess player in Serbia and ex-Yugoslavia. He won the national championship eleven times, earned twelve Chess Olympiad medals, six in European championships and was candidate for World Championship title many times. Gligoric was honoured on his 85th birthday with an 85-player Swiss tournament. Illustrated report.

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To Gligoric with Love

Tribute by Josip Asik

The best ever chess player in Serbia and ex-Yugoslavia, GM Svetozar Gligoric turned 85 on February 2nd, 2008. On his birthday there was a big celebration tournament, entitled “To Gligoric with Love”, in the city of Pancevo, near to Belgrade. It was the idea of Milorad Mitrovic, international chess organizer, to make this day very special for Gligoric and all chess players in Serbia. In the rapid chess tournament, the number of invited players was limited to exactly 85, in order to show symbolism of Gligoric’s present age.


Happy birthday, dear Gligo!

The living chess legend was warmly welcomed by many chess lovers who came to show him their gratitude and respect. Svetozar Gligorić (Serbian Cyrillic: Светозар Глигорић) was born in Belgrade on February 2, 1923, and won the Yugoslav championship eleven times. He earned twelve Chess Olympiad medals, starting with Gold in Dubrovnik 1950 and totalling one gold, six silver and five bronze. He won six medals (5 silver, one bronze) in European championships, the last in 1983. During three decades after II World war he was candidate for World Championship title and one of the best players outside the Soviet Union.


Tournament poster “To Gligoric with Love”


First congratulations and presents came from Maric sisters:
IM Alisa Maric and WGM Mirjana Maric-Stamenkovic


The hall was packed, not a single seat left empty


A gift from the Major of Pancevo, Srdjan Mikovic – a beautiful Danube river landscape


Gligoric with the Nedeljkovic chess family

WGM Verica Nedeljkovic was second on World Chess Championship Candidates Tournament in Plovdiv 1959, her husband Srecko, a well known cardiologist, was the trainer of the Yugoslav national team at the Chess Olympiad in Dubrovnik 1950 (Gold medal!), and their son Milos (left), President of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Belgrade University, is a keen chess enthusiast.


Gligoric with a recognition plaque awarded by Pancevo Town


This is from the the Valjevo Chess Club


Birthday songs by a local music orchestra


Before the start of the commemorative tournament

The tournament had exactly 85 players, including 23 GMs, 21 IMs, twelve FMs, four WGMs, one WIM and three WFMs. It was a nine round Swiss at 15 minutes per game. Five players shared first, with Serbia's “number one”, GM Ivan Ivanisevic, taking the trophy.

Place

Seed

Player

Title

Rating

Pts

1

1

Ivanisevic, Ivan

GM

2649

7.0

2

28

Marinkovic, Ivan

IM

2453

7.0

3

5

Kovacevic, Aleksandar

GM

2575

7.0

4

10

Savic, Miodrag R.

GM

2536

7.0

5

27

Zlatic, Mihajlo

IM

2455

7.0

6

6

Perunovic, Milos

GM

2570

6.5

7

9

Vuckovic, Bojan

GM

2556

6.5

8

30

Kojovic, Dragan

FM

2444

6.0

9

8

Popovic, Dusan

GM

2556

6.0

10.

2.

Solak, Dragan

GM

2626

6.0

11

4

Damljanovic, Branko

GM

2582

6.0

12

29

Martinovic, Slobodan

GM

2449

6.0

13

11

Pikula, Dejan

GM

2524

6.0

14

22

Drazic, Sinisa

GM

2489

6.0

15

7

Sedlak, Nikola

GM

2568

6.0

16

12

Pavlovic, Milos

GM

2522

6.0

17

15

Milanovic, Danilo

IM

2510

6.0

18-26th were IM D. Nestorovic, FM Bogosavljevic, GM Cabrilo, GM Rajkovic, IM Pap, IM Brenjo, IM Z.Arsovic, GM Lajthajm, GM Miladinovic with 5.5 points.


Generations: Gligoric and 12-year-young tournament participant Vladimir Lukovic


Nine-year-old talent Filip Stamenkovic, son of WGM Mirjana Maric-
Stamenkovic and nephew of Serbia’s top female player, IM Alisa Maric


IM Zoran Arsovic and FM Budimir Vujacic, behind IM Sasa Velickovic and IM Misa Pap


GMs Branko Damljanovic and Dragan Solak waiting for their opponents


Top seed GM Ivan Ivanisevic plays FM Boban Bogosavljevic – draw


An Italian GM? No, it’s Serbia's current champion GM Milos Perunovic


Best placed women participant: WGM Irina Cheluskina with 5/9


Trophy for the winner: GM Ivan Ivanisevic with organizers from Pancevo Town

All Photos by Josip Asik, Petar Katanic and Nebojsa Baralic

Josip Asik is a FIDE Master and sports editor of Television Politika in Belgrade, as well as chess columnist of newspaper Vecernje Novosti.


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