In Memoriam - Svetozar Gligoric
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 21:34
Legendary Grandmaster Svetozar Gligoric passed away in Belgrade at the age of 90 after suffering a stroke, RTS reported.
Gligoric was the best Yugoslav and Serbian chess player, having won a record 12 national championships and 13 medals in Chess Olympiads (2 gold, 6 silver, 5 bronze). From the European championships he won 4 gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze medal.
He was three-times Candidate for the World Championship (1953, 1959 and 1968).
Gligoric was born on 2on February 1923 in Belgrade. He attended elementary school, "King Peter", the first male high school, and Technical school. He started playing chess at the age of 11. he made his first set by carving the caps from wine bottles. He won his first tournament at age of 15, when he won the competition at the Belgrade Chess Club. He earned the master title at the age of 16, but the competitions ceased with the Second World War.
GM Smbat Lputian and Svetozar Gligoric in Jermuk (2009)
In 1975 Gligorić received the prestigious national AVNOJ award. He also received the high Order Bratstva i Jedinstva with golden wreath (Yugoslavia) and Nemanja Medal of the First Order (Serbia). His book about the match of the century between Spassky and Fischer in Reykjavik 1972 was translated from English into several languages, reaching a circulation of several hundred thousand copies.
Serbia's best chess player of all time devoted his final years to studying music. Last winter he published his first music CD entitled "How I survived the 20th century", with 12 compositions of various genres.
Minister of Youth and Sports Alisa Maric sent condolences to the Serbian Chess Federation on the death of Svetozar Gligoric.
"On behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and on my personal behalf, I extend my condolences and deep sorrow over the death of the greatest Serbian chess player of all time, and above all precious and noble man, Grandmaster Svetozar Gligoric. Our Gliga brought the world fame to the Yugoslav and Serbian chess, and was a teacher and role model for the generations of young chess players. It was an honor to know him for decades and learn from him.", Maric wrote.
Prime Minister Ivica Dačić sent a telegram of condolences to the Serbian Chess Federation, saying that "Svetozar Gligoric was a legend, his passing is a great loss for Serbia."
Grandmaster Ljubomir Ljubojevic said:
The death of our Gliga shook me deeply. Gliga was magnificent chess personality and one of my role models. His sensibility for the art, culture and chess, along with the results that he achieved, made our country a chess superpower throughout the decades.
Gligoric's immense love for the music is telling about the broadness and richness of his character.
I am really hoping and believe that he embraced his final moments with that melody that he perfected with such passion.
With the departure of the 20th century giant the chess world remains dismal.
Eternel glory for our dear Gliga.