RIP IM Goran Vojinovic 1963-2016

RIP IM Goran Vojinovic 1963-2016


"Oh my bird, oh my dear grey falcon,
How do you feel with your wing torn out?"
"I am feeling with my wing torn out
Like a brother one without the other.

IM Goran Vojinovic died almost two weeks ago of a heart attack. He was my coach, chess idol, and friend. Goran was the father of WGM Jovana Vojinovic and Darja Vojinovic. Jovana was recently married to GM Richard Rapport, while Darja hopes to attend college. 

Goran and I used to have chess lessons over Skype, though at the time the sound quality was terrible. I remember so vividly his voice, ebullient despite that it was probably 4am his time, and the way he'd pronounce my name: "Wukar bahddy, I can hear you so good. I can hear you parfect." 

Goran was born in Belgrade. He was the mountain man from the white city.

I can't tell you what a profound hole Goran has left in me and all the students he taught over the years, not to mention his wonderful daughters.

He died too soon. He was fifty three. 

Goran has had two grandmaster norms for years. He was probably the strongest IM who never quite managed to reach further. 

He died too soon. He never became a grandmaster.

Goran had big dreams for me. He had big dreams for all his students, but he believed them all. He wanted me to be Ohio's first grandmaster. 

He died too soon. I couldn't make him proud.

Here's a picture of us at the 2014 CCL IM norm tournament, which he won. 

I remember I was doing pretty well at that point, and I could've made the norm with a victory against my coach and a good result in the last round. It was not to be. Goran showed me what it means to be an IM. He smoked me, destroyed me in 28 moves. 

I've played grandmasters, IMs, and FMs, and Goran was the only one who I ever feel fundamentally understood the game better than me. He had a beautiful, smooth, positional style. He would never put a piece on a bad square.

He died too soon. He could have given us so much more beautiful chess.

Pocivaj u miru, Goran. Večna slava tebi.

You died too soon.