Svetozar Gligoric – the players from whom we have learnt

by ChessBase
6/3/2009 – Positions that were mysterious to masters fifty years ago now strike amateurs as obvious. But remember: we have learned by the example of great players, who had to figure things out for themselves. In this week's Playchess lecture Dennis Monokroussos shows us the game Gligoric-Tolush from a Leningrad team tournament in 1957 to illustrate the point. Be there to watch at 9 p.m. ET.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

Svetozar Gligoric (b. 1923) was for many years in the world’s elite – three times a Candidate, for starters – and had he not lost about six years of his life to the ravages of World War II, it’s conceivable that the ultimate crown would have been his. Even so, he was a great player whose contributions to the game’s theory and practise were considerable.

Gligoric at 85 – in February 2008

The game we’ll look at this week, Gligoric-Tolush (from a Leningrad team tournament in 1957), puts both qualities on display. At some moments of this fine game, Gligoric’s play is recognizable to all (or almost all) of us. While attractive and very well calculated, the way he prosecutes the attack in the middle game will have a familiar look to most of us. Maybe we couldn’t have finished the job ourselves, but it will all make good sense. The real trick in this game is the way Gligoric set things up. It doesn’t take all that long, but the way he gets there is a brilliant combination of logic in the opening and non-stereotyped thinking a few moves later. It is here above all that he demonstrates his class as a chess thinker.

Gligoric with the Maric sisters IM Alisa Maric and WGM Mirjana Maric-Stamenkovic

Sound interesting? The details will be filled in tonight – Wednesday night – at 9 p.m. ET (or 3 a.m. CET Thursday morning, for my European viewers) on the Playchess server. To watch, log on at the appropriate time, go to the Broadcasts Room, and either double-click on my handle (“Initiative”) or on Gligoric-Tolush in the Games list. Hope to see you there!

Gligoric with a recognition plaque awarded on his 85th birthday

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).

Monokroussos in Mexico: World Championship 2007

Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

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