How Vodovod promoted into first Serbian division

10/23/2009 – Last September the League of Central Serbia took place in Vrnjacka Banja – one of the second divisions of the country, but with twelve GMs and many IMs and FMs (even the fifth and sixth boards have 2300-2400 rated players). The winner qualifies for the highest Serbian division, while the last one was relegated from the group. GM Dejan Bojkov reports.

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Prva Šahovska Liga Srbije Za Muškarce I Žene 2009
First Serbian League For Men And Women 2009

How Vodovod promoted into first Serbian division

By GM Dejan Bojkov, Bulgaria

Twelve teams play each other in a round-robin tournament, each teams has six boards. The system is match points. Just like in football, the winner is awarded three points, draw is equal to one point, while losing means zero.

It appeared that two teams competed for the promotion after powerful starts. Both the Elo favourites Vodovod-Kragujevac and Jelica-Goracici were leading after seven rounds, with only one drawn match each. The former team was impressively effective, winning all its matches by a minimal margin of 3.5-2.5. However, their clash in round eight turned into a total triumph for Vodovod. With relative ease they scored four wins, and managed to save the two remaining bad positions to close the match with an impressive score: 5-1. After that the discouraged team of Jelica switched to a “silver programme”, in which they succeeded easily. In third place was the team of Sloboda-Uzice.

Rk. Team
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
 TB1 
 TB2 
1 Vodovod Kragujevac
 * 
5
4
4
3
3
26
40.0
2 Jelica Goracici
1
 * 
5
3
3
3
24
37.0
3 Sloboda Uzice
1
 * 
3
3
4
5
5
3
21
38.0
4 Sloga Petrovac
2
3
 * 
4
4
3
4
4
3
21
36.5
5 MMM Jagodina
2
 * 
3
3
3
3
4
13
32.5
6 Branicevo VGSK
2
2
3
 * 
3
3
3
13
31.5
7 Jasenica Smederevska
3
3
3
3
3
 * 
3
3
3
3
12
33.0
8 Trepca Kosovska Mitrovica
3
2
3
 * 
2
3
4
12
30.5
9 Metalac Gornji Milanovac
3
2
2
3
3
4
 * 
3
10
31.0
10 Pozega
3
1
3
3
3
3
3
3
 * 
2
4
10
30.5
11 Sabacki SK
1
3
2
4
 * 
4
7
27.0
12 Progres Pirot
3
2
3
3
2
2
 * 
6
28.5


The winners: WinnerVodovod-Kraguevac

Competing for the champions were GMs Dragisa Blagojevic from Montenegro (as a foreigner), Miroslav Tosic, Nenad Ristic (the selector of the national women team), IM Slobo Vratonjic, FM Boroljub Zlatanovic, Dragoljub Lazic and Slavisa Milosevic.


In second place: the team from Jelica-Goracici


Third place for the team of Sloboda-Uzice


IM Radovan Govedarica

One of the most colorful participants is IM Radovan Govedarica. He is always everywhere, knows all the positions, and immediately after someone finishes, he appears to give competent advice of how he should have played. Although he did not do very well in the tournament (he even lost one game due to a phone ring forfeit), he showed his potential in blitz games, obviously enjoying every second of chess.

Chess is a magical word in Serbia. Whenever I pass the boarder, I always say that I am a chess player. This saves me a lot of time and unnecessary baggage searches, since all chess players are highly respected in Serbia. Sometimes I start a chat with the custom officials on the glorious past, with Gliga (Gligorich) and Ljuba (Ljuboevic) being the main heroes. A few years ago, due to the great restriction that the Serbians had, chess was suffering, since almost all the Serbians had to stay at home. This was the period when they were permitted to play in all the leagues, and this decision kept their fighting spirit. Lately, our sport is coming back to respect. Those players who have achieved good results, and won medals from European Competitions and Olympiads, as well as their selectors, receive support from the government – salaries that are quite adequate in the economical situation and give them the chance to live well.


The Spa town of Vrnjacka Banja


The park and one of the baths in Vrnjacka Banja


Sitting in the sunny park

Vrnjacka Banja is the most famous Serbian spa resort. “Banja” is Serbian means bath, but could also mean a spring. There are altogether seven springs of mineral water in the town, warm in their majority. Their healing effect is known from the ancient Romans, who used the springs a very long time ago. Vrnjacka Banja is situated in the foot of the Gosha Mountain, and is an extremely green town, with great clean air.


One of the attractions of the town, and its symbol, is the sparrow Gochko...


... another is the “Bridge of Love”

Its history in short is that the schoolmistress Nada and the officer Relja fell in love with each other, and gave a promise in the dawn of the First World War. However, Relja went to war in Greece, felt in love with a Greek woman, married her, and broke the engagement with Nada. Nada faded away, day after day, and finally died, young and miserable.

Since then the girls have started to write down the names of their beloved on padlocks, in attempt to lock their love forever. These padlocks can be seen nowadays on the Nada’s and Relja’s favourite place – a bridge that is now called “The Bridge of Love.”

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