GM Svetozar Gligoric (88) presents first music album

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GM Svetozar Gligoric (88) presents first music albumHe was a world class chess player for decades, but at 88 he returned to his first love. Last Tuesday, the legendary Serbian grandmaster Svetozar Gligoric presented in Belgrade his first music album. Serbian and Spanish media report that the album consists of twelve compositions in different genres, like blues, jazz, ballads and rap.

According to S Media, Svetozar Gligoric's first CD is called How I survived the 20th century. At the presentation in Belgrade, on Tuesday, Gligoric said that music was his "first love", adding "I got to know music before I could write or play chess." About eight years ago Gligoric decided to learn about music theory and learn to play piano.

To the question why he started making music, Gligoric humorously explained that "when they grow old, people withdraw into themselves, pessimistic about an empty life, and no one can remember that there's just one life." So he decided to finally return to his first love.

For the Serbian GM the task of music, as one of the arts, is to encourage the joy of the living man and to awaken the emotions. "It's capable of turning you into a good mood." In such a mood, a few years ago Gligoric began to compose music of various genres, from jazz and blues to ballads and even rap.

On the album Gligoric has worked with a number of Serbian artists. He wrote ten of the twelve compositions himself and the majority is in English. "This way people outside Serbia will be able to understand it as well," Gligoric said, according to ABC. The composition Life is all we have is for Gligoric the "central point" of the album. It reflects the underlying philosophy that "our life is our biggest wealth".

Gligoric compared chess to music, saying that both activities are conceived as "an architecture with a number of different elements, pieces and notation that have their own rules and which you have to understand."

As a chess player Svetozar Gligoric was world class. He became Yugoslav chess champion twelve times and represented his country with great success in fifteen Chess Olympiads from 1950 to 1982. He beat World Champions Botvinnik, Smyslov, Petrosian, Tal and Fischer more than once.

A colleague of Gligoric, Russian chess grandmaster Mark Taimanov, shares the love for music. Taimanov (85) is a concert pianist and with his wife, Lyubov Bruk, he formed a piano duo. Some of their recordings were included in the Philips and Steinway series Great Pianists of the 20th Century. The two are of the same generation as Yuri Averbakh from Russia. At 89, he is the oldest living grandmaster.

Jermuk GP

Gligoric playing the piano in Jermuk, Armenia during the FIDE Grand Prix in the summer of 2009 - organizer GM Smbat Lputian listens along | Photo: FIDE



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