Tuesday, August 21, 2012

So farewell then Svetozar Gligorić

The Serbian chess grandmaster Svetozar Gligorić has died at the age of 89. After fighting with the Partisans in World War II before becoming one of the world's leading players in the 1950s and 1960s.

Just as chess is important to Armenian identity today, having a player who could compete with the leading Soviet grandmasters as an equal mattered a great deal to the new state of Yugoslavia - this in an era when Stalin had said: "I will shake my little finger and there will be no more Tito."

Gligorić also had many battles with the young Bobby Fischer, coming out on top in most of them.

He was the author of the first chess book I ever bought with my own money - Fischer vs Spassky: Chess Match of the Century.

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