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Svetozar Gligorić 1923-2012

  • SonofPearl
  • on 8/14/12, 11:09 AM.

There was sad news today for the chess world as a legendary Grandmaster, Svetozar Gligoric passed away aged 89. 

Svetozar Gligoric was born in Belgrade in 1923 and at his peak was a contender for the world chess championship, reaching the Candidates in 1953, 1959 and 1968.

Gilgoric was already the champion of Belgrade Chess Club by 1938, but the start of his professional chess career was delayed by the Second World War, during which time he was a member of Marshall Tito's partisan army fighting the Nazis.

Following the war he worked as a journalist and chess organiser while continuing to improve as a player, winning many major chess tournaments and gaining the Grandmaster title in 1953.

11 times a winner of his national championship, Gligoric represented Yugoslavia at 15 Olympiads between 1950 and 1982, leading them to a team gold medal in 1950 in Dubrovnik. He was also a noted openings expert, especially in the King's Indian defence and was a regular columnist in Chess Review and Chess Life magazines.

Svetozar Gligoric was universally well liked: a popular figure among his peers and chess fans alike, and will be sadly missed. RIP.






5457 reads 55 comments
7 votes


  • 23 months ago


    RIP legendary grandmaster.Cry

  • 24 months ago


    I think, that game between R.J. Fischer v Svetozar Gligoric in 1962 was amazing, and i just wondering it will be his Tombstone, RIP Gligoric.

  • 24 months ago


     Quite so! Gligoric made numerous phone calls with  Bobby trying to persuade him to accept the 1992 match against Spassky and return to chess, at least for that one match. He was one of just few people Bobby wanted to talk to at all. In one of interviews at the time , Fischer mentions that he was in big trouble coming out from his hidden shelter in 1978 just in order to support Gligoric`s FIDE Presidency campaign, but at the same time he stressed that he simply had to do it, owing Gligoric so much. 

    You are all more than welcome to join Gligoric Memorial Tournament , as registration started today!


  • 24 months ago


    The comment about the rivalry between Gligoric and Fischer is so misplaced that it is sad... we are here talking about the great man passing away, not about the rivalry that is normal part of the game... and, btw, Gligoric was a big friend of Fischer starting from 1958/9... he was one of very few people who was in contact with Bobby in the 80s and, if I remember well, visited Bobby at the time when very few people knew his whereabouts... this just confirms that many players, including Bobby, liked and trusted Gligoric.

  • 24 months ago


    Why sad?  He had a long (Fischer died 25 years younger) and  successful life that many would envy. Rest in peace

  • 24 months ago


    Wonderful games..... Hilarious the way Tal got boxed into a corner (technical term: enboxification). And why even mention the "rivalry" with Fischer? All top players are rivals one way or another...... R.I.P. Svetozar.

  • 24 months ago



  • 24 months ago


    Rest in peace for Gligoric he was universal player I learned lot of from his games.

  • 24 months ago


  • 24 months ago


    A true gentleman and sportsman... Adieu!

  • 24 months ago


    Very sad. He was always spoken of with respect by his peers. His games in the KID, with both colors, were very exemplary.  RIP, Grandmaster Gligorich.

  • 24 months ago


    May his soul rest in an eternal peace !

  • 24 months ago


    I am sadened by the news. Svetozar Gligoric is not only a good chess player but, also a good man. He is a friend in our country. I remember vividly about a picture of him sitting in a park (in his country) with a magnetic chess set on his lap playing. God bless you. Rest in peace. Thank you for your contributions to chess.

  • 24 months ago


    @ Marin_B47:

    This a tribute to Svetozar Gligoric, not an overview of his rivalry with Fischer.

  • 24 months ago


    Marin_B47 Fisher beat him each time from 1966 so?

    What is the point?

  • 24 months ago


    Games vs Fischer where when Bobby was 16 and 19. Give us some when Fischer was older. Fischer beat him each time from 1966-1970. (Acording to Fritz Chessbase).

  • 24 months ago



  • 24 months ago


    My first memory of a grandmaster named Gligoric was an international tournament in Manila and GM Eugene Torre was playing against him with the White pieces. The game opened as 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 and then Torre continued 4. Be2 ... the annotation said that the last move was in respect and fear of Gligoric's ability.

  • 24 months ago


  • 24 months ago


    Gligoric was opening theory when I was young.His game of the month in what was then Chess Life &Review was he cutting edge theory of he time.I was most impressed by his work on the Pelikan Sicilian titled "In temporary vogue"CL&R 1976.He didnt think the Pelikan,though he called it tricky would last,saying that if black could really create the hole on d5 and live then there would not be a better defence to e4! Well 5 years later he followed up with another Game of the Month amazed by how resilient this defense was! In those days (70s 80s) I would look foward to getting my USCF magazine.That is definitely not the case now. A class act,A world class player I am deeply saddened.

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