You Got Serbed!

You Got Serbed!

35 | Chess Players

Boris Kostic, born on the 24th of February 1887 in Vrsac in what was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was a Serbian Grandmaster and one of the greatest travelers in chess history, traveling the globe in the days before the beginning of commercial aviation! He was undoubtedly an exceptional promoter and ambassador of chess, but this super activity prevented him from achieving better results and realizing his complete capacity as a player. Just during 1915 Boris Kostic traveled around almost all the United Sates and from 1923 throughout 1926 Kostic travelled all over the world, including Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and some South Pacific islands!), the Far East, Africa, India, and Siberia, demonstrating his exceptional skills, generating interest in chess and thus (through chess!) establishing a growing friendship with different citizens around the world.

Boris Kostic learned the game around the age of ten and made rapid progress by spending time in Vienna, the chess capital of the day!

Kostic played formal matches against Frank Marshall, Jackson Showalter, and Paul Leonhardt, and won each of them. At Havana in 1919 nevertheless, this impressive match winning streak had its own Waterloo! as it came to an abrupt end with a 5–0 loss to Capablanca. Capablanca himself considered his own career peaked with this match! However if you want to know what the real playing strength of Boris Kostic was, I would point out that in tournament games Capa could never defeat the tough Serb; five draws in total! Kostic played very well against the Cuban in chess tournaments!

His best tournament results were: 1st Stockholm 1913, 2nd at New York 1918, 2nd at Hastings 1919, 3rd at Budapest 1921, 1st at Trencianske Teplice 1928 and 1st at Ljubljana 1938.

Kostic won the Yugoslav Championship in 1935 jointly with Pirc and alone in 1938. He also represented Yugoslavia in four Chess Olympiads between 1927 and 1937: London 1927, Prague 1931, Warsaw 1935, and Stockholm 1937; and in the 3rd unofficial Chess Olympiad at Munich 1936.

After World War II, Kostic played chess a few times and his last event was a first prize at the Zürich veteran’s tournament of 1962.

It is said that the popular player liked saying to each of his defeated opponents: "You Got Serbed!"

Kostic was awarded the GM title in 1950 and passed away in 1963 in Belgrade at age 76.














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