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Gligoric, Svetozar

  • Last updated on 8/20/07, 5:42 AM.

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Svetozar Gligoric. born Feb 2, 1923, is a Serbian (Yugoslav) Grandmaster (1951).  He learned the game of chess at age 11, taught by a boarder taken in by his mother.   In 1938, at the age of 15, he won the Belgrade Chess Club championship.  At the age of 16, he was a master.  During World War II he saw action as a partisan against the Nazis.  In 1957, he was part of a 11-member Yugoslav chess team that gave the first U.S. coast-to-coast tour of a great European chess team.  In 1959 he became Yugoslavia's Sportsman of the Year, the first chess player in Yugoslavia to be so honored.  He is also considered one of Yugoslavia's best war heroes and the best soccer-playing Grandmaster.  He was once rated the strongest European chess player outside the Soviet Union.  He was a candidate for the World Championship three times.  He was won the Yugoslav championship a record 12 times (1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, and 1971).  His nickname is Gliga.  In 1980, Gligoric was attacked in his sleep by masked burglars, who tied him up and took money, jewelry, and chess trophies.  His peak Elo rating was 2490.  His current Elo rating is 2447.

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