|May-15-03|| ||chessgames.com: <DR. MILAN RADOJE VUKCEVICH, age 66, of Shaker Hts., passed away May 10, 2003 at his home. Beloved husband of Michelle (nee Kravcisin); loving father of Ivan (Anne) and Marko; beloved brother of Ivan Sprung (Eja). Preceded in death by his parents, Hristina and Radoje. Milan was an International Chess Grandmaster, Scientist, as well as Author.>|
Many thanks to Honza Cervenka for providing us with over 100 PGN games of this prolific chess problemist, author, and player.
Also see: "The Beauty of Bristol" by Vukcevich http://www.matplus.org.yu/BRISTOL.HTM
|Nov-18-05|| ||soberknight: <Also see: "The Beauty of Bristol" by Vukcevich http://www.matplus.org.yu/BRISTOL.HTM
Excellent article. Highly recommended!
|Nov-18-05|| ||Ivan23: There is no such thing as a "nomination for Nobel award". These are not Oscars. He could have been "in consideriation" but not "nominated".|
|Mar-11-07|| ||Marmot PFL: I have not played in Ohio for many years and had not even heard that Mr. Vukcevich had died. I think he was also the teacher of IM Calvin Blocker for a few years.|
|Mar-11-07|| ||Diocletian: I knew Dr. Vukcevich in the late sixties and early seventies in Cleveland where I was a student and he was a professor at Case Western Reserve University. I often encountered him on the campus or at the Cleveland Chess Club on the smoky fourth floor of the Masonic Temple near East 36th and Euclid. |
In appearance Dr. Vukcevich was tall and dark with a head of thick black hair like Spassky's and the handsome looks of a movie star. He was in every way a first class gentleman with a rare personal elegance and always with time to share with any chess lover, even an average club player like me. He was extremely well liked by all at the chess club and the university where he taught metallurgy and published a weekly chess column in the campus paper. He cheered Fischer on during his rise and triumph, and this period of Fischer inspired chess madness was a great time to know a great player like Vukcevich. He was as accomplished in metallurgy as he was in chess, but was sometimes frustrated that his academic work prevented him from travel to the chess Olympiads and other great events in which he was invited to play against the world's best. I was much saddened a few years ago to learn of his early passing, and I write this comment in admiration of him and to make my own small contribution in honor of his memory and his games.
I played only one game against Vukcevich. It was a Winawer French in a simultaneous exhibition he gave against about thirty-some better than average opponents at the Cleveland Heights Chess Club in about late '71 or early '72. In those days I liked the inferior 5 B-R4 retreat variation of the Winawer which I was determined to somehow bolster for practical play.
Vukcevich beat me of course, as he did everyone, I think, except for one of his chess students, C.B., who obtained a win or draw ( I forget now). Vukcevich was an outstanding gentleman as usual in this contest, allowing me to pass on my move twice as he did several others. Such confidence and sportsmanship he displayed, as was typical for him!
I knew the line of the Winawer that Vukcevich likely would play because I had "inside information" from his student whom I also knew casually in local chess circles, and I was lucky that I was able to lead him into this familiar line which I had studied extensively beforehand.
Vukcevich moved along the inner perimeter of tables arranged in a large square making his initial moves: four games with P-K4 followed by four games opening with P-Q4, and then alternating between these two moves every four tables. Of course I never imagined that I could beat him, but I knew that I was ready to give him a hard fight if only I could lure him into his own favorite line of the French.
I watched him across the square playing his P-K4 and P-Q4 moves and trying to anticipate the opening he would use when he came to my table. With P-Q4 he would probably beat me much more quickly, and I would not be able to show off my "deep opening knowledge" which was pretty much restricted to this single line - Vukcevich's favorite!
As fortune would have it, he played P-K4 at my board and I got to play the Winawer I had hoped for. I couldn't beat him, but I'm proud to say that I scared him! I surprised him with an exchange sacrifice for compensation in the form of a mass of pawns that crossed to his side of the board with knives in their teeth and two commanding bishops right behind them. On two or three moves he was forced to pause for several seconds, resting on hands placed palm down on both sides of the board and leaning forward over the board and glowering darkly for several seconds as he plotted how to stop my attack. I was very proud to slow him down a bit in his race around the exhibition square!
I have analyzed this game to death with Rebel Decade, and perhaps I'll add some annotation and a diagram later; for now I'll just try to accurately copy the moves from my old score sheet. Here is the game (next comment):
|Mar-11-07|| ||Diocletian: cont'd
1 P-K4 P-K3
2 P-Q4 P-Q4
3 N-QB3 B-N5
4 P-K5 P-QB4
5 P-QR3 B-R4
6 P-QN4 PXQP
7 Q-N4 N-K2
8 N-N5 B-B2
9 QxNP R-N1
10 QxRP BxP
11 N-KB3 R-R1
12 Q-Q3 B-N2
13 B-B4 QN-B3
14 N-B7+ K-B1
15 NxR P-K4
16 B-N3 P-K5
17 Q-N3 PxN
18 PxP P-Q6
19 R-Q1 PxP
20 QxP B-B4
21 Q-B5 P-N3
22 Q-Q6 B-B6+
23 K-K2 QxN
24 RxP B-K3
25 R-Q1 K-K1
26 K-Q3 B-B3
27 K-B2 R-R4
28 B-R6 R-Q4??
Well, what can I say? He wore me out and I blundered.
29 RxR BxR
30 QxB Resign
When I resigned, Dr. Vukcevich stayed at my table for a moment, shook my hand and in his Slavic accent said, "That was good game!" For me, that may have been my proudest moment in chess; for Dr. Vukcevich it was a typical moment for a great player and a tremendous sportsman.
|Mar-11-07|| ||fm avari viraf: If one were to write about Dr.Vukcevich this kibitz site is simply not enough! He had all the qualities of a great human being. His colossal achievements in the firmament of Chess as well as in Academic education are simply fantastic & commendable! It is a great loss to the Chess fraternity as well as to World & of course to his beloved family. May God Bless his soul peace in Heaven.|
|Mar-11-08|| ||brankat: An exceptionally talented chess player, Mr.Vukchevich.|
He won a master's title at the age of 16 (no computer help in those days), at the age of 18 tied a match with B.Larsen, an in the Student Olympiad, 1960 scored 11.5/13! But, his commitment to the academic pursuits prevented him from accomplishing much more in the chess arena.
Btw, I'm pretty sure his middle name is RAdoje, not ROdoje.
Happy Birthday Sir!
|Mar-11-08|| ||acirce: I remember him mostly as a fantastic composer. I think he was even more successful in that field - it depends on how you measure such stuff, of course, but in chess as a game he was "only" a very strong player, while in the world of chess problems he's one of the greatest.|
|Mar-11-09|| ||brankat: R.I.P. Mr.Vukcevich.|
|Oct-13-09|| ||parisattack: <Diocletian: I knew Dr. Vukcevich in the late sixties and early seventies in Cleveland where I was a student and he was a professor at Case Western Reserve University. I often encountered him on the campus or at the Cleveland Chess Club on the smoky fourth floor of the Masonic Temple near East 36th and Euclid. >|
I knew him through correspondance and my best friend knew him from Cleveland about the same years. Fascinating gentleman! I have a manuscript on the KID he was writing in the 1990s that he sent to my friend and I for review. I do not think it was ever published?
|Oct-30-09|| ||vonKrolock: cg bio above <" In 1955 he drew a six-game match with future Candidates semifinalist Bent Larsen, the same year he won the Yugoslav Junior Championship."> In 1958 according to some sources, but in E. Winter's online article http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/... Donaldson confirms the date given above 1955, based in a statement of John Rasmussen of Hicksville, New York. Curious, that the date 1958 was given, apparently, by Vukcevich himself in some point...|
|Mar-11-10|| ||BIDMONFA: Dr. Milan Rodoje Vukcevich|
VUKCEVICH, Milan R.
|Mar-11-10|| ||Marmot PFL: It's surprising that Vukcevich had so many games that were either won or lost in under 35 moves.|
|Nov-30-11|| ||waustad: This page has some names I heard all of the time playing in tournaments in Ohio many years ago. Maybe someday I'll play again, though just being a fan is less stressful and allows me to sit on much more comfortable chairs.|
|Mar-11-12|| ||brankat: <A very prolific scientist, he is the only chess grandmaster ever to be considered for a Nobel Prize (chemistry)>!|
R.I.P. GM Vukcevich.
|Jan-19-13|| ||wordfunph: from Chess Life 1998/10..
<A GM title requires 70 published problems in the FIDE albums, while an IM must have only 25; Dr. Vukcevich has over 100.>
rest in peace, Dr. Milan Vukcevich..
|Mar-11-13|| ||TheTamale: What a great story above by <Diocletian>. It is incomprehensible to me that someone can rise to grandmaster strength while gaining renown in an academic field. The level of talent and brainpower must have been enormous, not to mention his capacity for hard work.|
|Mar-11-13|| ||perfidious: <TheTamale: What a great story above by <Diocletian>....>|
Sounds like a true gentleman.
<...It is incomprehensible to me that someone can rise to grandmaster strength while gaining renown in an academic field....>
You aren't the only one.
Then there was Euwe, who somehow managed to combine that OTB level of play with his diverse activities away from the board.
|Mar-11-13|| ||reztap: Vukcevich played first board on our team in the Cleveland Chess League prior to his first place tie at the1969 US Open. Also played first board in 1975 Cleveland Toronto chess match played in Niagara Falls Ny. He had a tremendous ego and bragged about it. All of us chess players liked and respected him.According to my wife he was very good looking. Hmmmmm.
|Mar-28-13|| ||OhioChessFan: <Diocletian> you had him on the ropes for sure. Unfortunate ending to the game. He should have played 19. 0-0-0 at his 19th move, to get the King off e1 due to all kinds of Knight forks from f3. As a result of Rd1, you had this position:|
click for larger view
And then 19...Nd4 is probably winning.
|Feb-22-17|| ||Mike75018: Diocletian, I also knew Dr. Vukcevich in the early 70s while I was a student at CWRU. (I also remember playing in those weekend tournaments at the Masonic Temple.) All of the nice things you said about Dr. Vukcevich are true. He was a fine gentleman and a joy to be around.|