The Titan of the 20th Century

The Titan of the 20th Century

38 | Tactics

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...
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