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The Titan of the 20th Century

  • GM Gserper
  • | Aug 26, 2012
  • | 12196 views
  • | 47 comments

With the death of the legendary Grandmaster Svetozar Gligorić (1923-2012), the Chess World has lost one of the biggest chess Giants of the last century. I never had an opportunity to meet or even see GM Gligorić but my generation of chess players grew up learning from his games (especially if you played one of his favorite openings, like the King's Indian, the Ruy Lopez or the Nimzo Indian Defense). I could be mistaken, but it seems to me that he was one of those rare people who had no enemies and the title of his famous book "I Play Against Pieces" underlines that, with the following quotation: "I never played against my opponents, I played against their pieces."

During his Candidates match for the World Championship Title against Mikhail Tal this perfect gentleman offered a draw in a promising position only because he knew that Tal really wanted to attend a soccer match that was going to start shortly. It is difficult for me to imagine today's elite Grandmasters acting this way. Nevertheless, on the chessboard GM Svetozar Gligorić was a real killer who had a very nice collection of wins over World Champions. Today I offer you an opportunity to compare your tactical skills to the legendary Gligorić.

So, try to beat a World Champion the way Svetozar Gligorić did:



Black's King is surrounded by White's heavy pieces. Is there any way to avoid the defeat, especially against Mikhail "the Magician" Tal?



It looks like White is slightly better and Vassily Smyslov is about to show his famous positional skills, but...


The opening went horribly wrong for the ex-World Champion...


Finish the attack!



White has the far advanced 'h7' pawn. Can he promote it?

to be continued...

Comments


  • 19 months ago

    ChaudhryKhurram

    great article!

  • 20 months ago

    MisterMB

    Brilliant article, thank you.

  • 20 months ago

    chesstraveler

    A gentleman in the truest sense of the definition. If he had any "enemies" it was because of them...not him.

  • 20 months ago

    JerryFrenchJr

    I really enjoyed going through these puzzles.  Turning a seemingly bad situation into an advantageous one is a great example of this GM's ability.  Thanks for the great write up and posting the puzzles!

  • 20 months ago

    ricserr

    clearly very safe and very clever to demolished the opposition defense

  • 20 months ago

    ClavierCavalier

    Read it on your honeymoon?  What?!?!

  • 20 months ago

    osgon

    gligoric is a great  chess player and a genius

    . He was in my short list of favorite gms. he is brilliant. he would have been a world champion,too.

  • 20 months ago

    mobidi

    He played RIGHT CHESS-permanent activity...

  • 20 months ago

    rsaipasad

    Thanks for the awesome games... and reminding of such a legend.. enjoied the article...

  • 20 months ago

    Peter_Aus

    Excellent games, and great tactics to learn from.

    Just one point I'd like to address. The Game against Bobby Fischer was in 1959 (he was 16 years old!). Since he didn't become World Champion until 1972, perhaps it's a stretch to say that Mr Gligoric had a nice collection of wins over world champions and include this game in this context. To that end, Fischer would have lost even more games when he was 14yo, but to claim you beat a world champion before he was even one.....??

  • 20 months ago

    kovalski7

    Počivaj u miru.

  • 20 months ago

    YUBI-

    He was one of those GMs i've grown up with their games, R.I.P.

  • 20 months ago

    mikenz7

    I knew Gligoric from his book on the Spassky/Fischer match. I read it studied it on my honeymoon!?

  • 20 months ago

    NikolaSRB93

    Počivaj u miru legendo.

  • 20 months ago

    Conseiller

    EltonJ, this "guy" was one of the greatest living chess Grandmasters in the world. There are not many of them left anymore. Hats of for him and the few remaining ones for having been men of iron will and nerves.

  • 20 months ago

    lightsleeper666

    Pokoj mu duši.

  • 20 months ago

    Talzan

    May he RIP.  

  • 20 months ago

    EltonJ

    I liked Garry Kasparov, but I never heard of this guy until today.  Rest in peace, Svetozar Gligorić. 

  • 20 months ago

    kdjohn

    Brilliant

  • 20 months ago

    rounintemblar

    impressived combinations to force wins

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