chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Gligoric 
 
Svetozar Gligoric
Number of games in database: 3,144
Years covered: 1939 to 2007
Last FIDE rating: 2447
Highest rating achieved in database: 2600
Overall record: +1130 -447 =1562 (60.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      5 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (378) 
    E54 E43 E41 E55 E42
 King's Indian (181) 
    E92 E97 E94 E91 E80
 Modern Benoni (104) 
    A56 A59 A79 A75 A77
 Grunfeld (102) 
    D86 D85 D87 D88 D94
 Orthodox Defense (91) 
    D55 D58 D63 D52 D68
 Ruy Lopez (85) 
    C97 C96 C64 C99 C82
With the Black pieces:
 King's Indian (318) 
    E64 E97 E66 E60 E75
 Ruy Lopez (315) 
    C93 C95 C92 C97 C69
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (244) 
    C93 C95 C92 C97 C85
 Sicilian (189) 
    B92 B83 B43 B93 B80
 Grunfeld (91) 
    D79 D78 D93 D85 D94
 Queen's Indian (73) 
    E12 E17 E18 E19 E15
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Gligoric vs Fischer, 1961 1/2-1/2
   A Medina Garcia vs Gligoric, 1968 0-1
   Tal vs Gligoric, 1968 0-1
   Gligoric vs Matulovic, 1967 1-0
   Gligoric vs Fischer, 1959 1/2-1/2
   Petrosian vs Gligoric, 1970 0-1
   Gligoric vs Bidev, 1946 1-0
   Najdorf vs Gligoric, 1953 0-1
   Gligoric vs Smyslov, 1947 1/2-1/2
   Z Mestrovic vs Gligoric, 1971 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1959/60 (1959)
   Portoroz Interzonal (1958)
   Zurich (1959)
   Bled (1961)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Moscow (1963)
   Alekhine Memorial (1956)
   San Antonio (1972)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   Palma de Mallorca (1967)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1952)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   I Play Against Pieces by jakaiden
   The Exchange Sacrifice by Benzol
   Havana 1952 by crawfb5

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Svetozar Gligoric
Search Google for Svetozar Gligoric


SVETOZAR GLIGORIC
(born Feb-02-1923, died Aug-14-2012, 89 years old) Yugoslavia (citizen of Serbia)
PRONUNCIATION:
[what is this?]
IM (1950); GM (1951)

Generally considered to be the greatest Yugoslav and Serbian player ever, Svetozar Gligorić (Светозар Глигорић) was born on February 2, 1923 in Belgrade in what was then the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. He passed away in his home city over 89 years later, completing a life in which he was widely regarded as a key figure in the development of chess in his native country.

Preamble

Gligorić developed an interest in chess as a small child watching people play in a local bar. He began playing about three years after his father died, at the age of 11, when he was taught by a boarder in his family home. He frequented the Belgrade Chess Club, whose gates were defended by a guard who turned a blind eye to school-age Gligorić's entry. He was sufficiently interested in pursuing the game to make a chess set with pieces carved from the corks of wine bottles. He became a national master in 1939 at the age of 16 by winning the 1939 Yugoslav Amateur Chess Championship, the year before his mother died. His career was interrupted by the onset of World War II, during which he fought as a partisan against the Nazis, rising to be captain and winning two military awards. After the War, he worked as a journalist and organized tournaments while continuing his development as a chess player that had been interrupted by the War, gaining his Grandmaster title in 1951 thereby becoming one of the earliest of the modern official Grandmasters. In the fifties and sixties, he was amongst the World elite, contesting three Candidates events and forming lifelong friendships with Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian, Mikhail Botvinnik, Miguel Najdorf, Efim Geller, Mikhail Tal and Robert James Fischer, the last during the Candidates Tournament in Portoroz in 1958. In later years he was the chief arbiter in the aborted Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1984), but turned down his appointment by FIDE to that position for the Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1985). During his playing career, he won 24 games against six players who were at one time World Champions, namely Max Euwe (2), Botvinnik (2), Smyslov (6), Tal (2), Petrosian (8) and Fischer (4). These wins include two wins against Petrosian while he was World Champion, one of which was Petrosian's first defeat since winning the title from Botvinnik.

Championships and Matches

In 1938, at the age of fifteen, Gligorić won the championship of the Belgrade Chess Club. He came first at the Bulgarian Championship in 1945, but was excluded from claiming the championship because he was not a national. He won the Yugoslav championship in 1947 jointly with Petar Trifunovic, 1948 jointly with Vasja Pirc, outright in 1949, 1950, 1956 and 1957, jointly with Borislav Ivkov in 1958, and outright in 1959, 1960, 1962 and 1966.

He was a regular participant in the World Championship cycle between 1948 and 1973, participating in every Interzonal between 1948 and 1973 inclusive, except for the 1955 Interzonal in Goteborg. He notched up zonal wins at Bad Pyrmont in 1951, Madrid in 1960 (joint), Enschede (Netherlands) in 1963, The Hague in 1966, and Praia da Rocha (Portugal) in 1969 (joint), and his finishes at the Interzonals of 1952, 1958, and 1967 were sufficient to qualify him for the Candidates events that followed. However, he was not as successful in any of the Candidates events, with mediocre results in the 1953 and 1959 Candidates Tournaments and a match loss to Mikhail Tal in the first round of the 1968 Candidates matches. Gligorić recalled how he allowed himself to be distracted from winning the match after he took a one game lead and was easily holding off Tal.* The Interzonal in 1973 was his last attempt at the World Championship.

Gligorić played three hard fought and close exhibition matches. The first was played against Gideon Stahlberg in 1949, with four games played in Belgrade and eight in Split, with Gligorić winning in what was then considered an upset by 6.5-5.5 (+2 -1 =9) - Gligoric - Ståhlberg match (1949). The second match was against Samuel Reshevsky at the Manhattan Chess Club in 1952, and was narrowly won by Reshesvky 5.5-4.5 (+2 -1 =7); this match was played soon after Reshevsky's match with Najdorf. Gligorić played his third match when he was in his late 50s versus world number 18 Ljubomir Ljubojevic in Belgrade in 1979, the result being narrowly in Ljubojevic's favour 4.5-5.5 (+4 -3 =3). Gligoric also played ten training games against Fischer in the lead up to the latter's rematch with Spassky in 1992. Most of the game scores are unavailable, but Gligorić's recollection is that Fischer won at least 3 games, while he won the last.**

Classical Tournaments

In 1947, Gligorić won his first major international event at Warsaw, ahead of Vasily Smyslov and Isaac Boleslavsky, winning by 2 full points with 8/9 (+7 -0 =2). Other victories were at events such as the Ljubjana Liberation Tournament of 1945/46, Mar del Plata 1950 and 1953, 1st Staunton Memorial (London) 1951, Hollywood 1952 (ahead of Oscar Panno), Stockholm 1954, equal 1st (with Samuel Reshevsky) Dallas in 1957, equal 1st with Ludek Pachman at Sarajevo in 1961, equal first with Lajos Portisch in Sarajevo in 1962, Belgrade 1962 and 1964, Tel Aviv 1966, Manila 1968, Lone Pine 1972 and 1979, and Los Angeles 1974. He was a regular competitor at the Hastings tournaments, winning in 1951–52, taking equal first with Bent Larsen in 1956–57, and winning in 1959–60 and 1960–61, and taking equal first in 1962–63 with Alexander Kotov .***

Other notable results include 2nd place at Zurich in 1959, half a point behind Tal, but ahead of Fischer and Paul Keres; 2nd behind Ivkov at both Mar del Plata and Buenos Aires in 1955. There were 18 leading Grandmasters contesting the 4th Alekhine Memorial held in Moscow in 1956; Gligoric came 4th behind Botvinnik, Smyslov and Mark Taimanov, ahead of Najdorf, Paul Keres and David Bronstein, and was the only non-Soviet player to have a plus score against the Soviet GMs. This era in Gligoric's career lead Bronstein to opine that Gligoric was one of the three top players in the world. In 1975 at the age of 52, Gligorić placed equal 2nd with Geller behind Karpov at the Vidmar Memorial ahead of Bent Larsen, Lajos Portisch and Ljubomir Ljubojevic. He played his last tournament in the 2003 Rilton Cup at the age of 80.

Team events

<Olympiads> He represented Yugoslavia in fifteen Olympiads from 1950 to 1982, including 13 stints on board one and played 223 games (+88 −26 =109). In the first post-war Olympiad at Dubrovnik in 1950, Gligorić played first board and led Yugoslavia to win the team gold medal. The Yugoslav team was usually second or third in the world during the 1950s and 1960s, winning a further 6 silver and 5 bronze medals on his watch, and he personally won a gold medal for his top board performance in 1958.

<National Summit> During the match between Yugoslavia and the USSR held in Leningrad in 1957, Gligoric scored 6/8 (+4 =4), the best result of all the participants. although the USSR won the overall result decisively.

Legacy

Gligorić made far-ranging contributions to the theory and practice of the Nimzo-Indian Defense, the Ruy Lopez, and the King’s Indian Defense, some of which were named after him, including such critical and commonly played opening variations as the Nimzo-Indian Gligorić System (E54): <1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3>:


click for larger view

the Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligorić Variation (C69): <1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. 0-0 f6 6. d4 Bg4>:


click for larger view

the Ruy Lopez Closed Breyer, Gligorić Variation (C95): < 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d6 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 c5>:


click for larger view

and the King’s Indian (Gligorić Variation) (E92): < 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 0-0 6. Be2 e5 7. Be3>:


click for larger view

Publications

Gligorić was a regular columnist for <Chess Review> and <Chess Life> magazines and contributed regularly to the <Chess Informant>. He wrote his autobiography <I Play Against Pieces> and other books such as <Fischer vs Spassky Chess Match of the Century>, one of the biggest selling chess books of all time; <The French Defence>, co-authored with Wolfgang Uhlmann; <King’s Indian Defence, Mar Del Plata Variation>; <The Nimzo-Indian Defence>; <Play the Nimzo-Indian Defence>; <Selected Chess Masterpieces>; <Shall We Play Fischerandom Chess?>; <The Sicilian Defence> co-authored with Vladimir Sokolov; <Svetozar Gligorić’s Chess Career 1945-1970>, also co-authored with Vladimir Sokolov; <The World Chess Championship>, co-authored with Robert Wade; <Le Grande Tournoi International D’echecs, Terre des Hommes, Montreal 1979>; <Najdorf Variation Sicilian Defence>; <Yugoslav Chess Triumphs>; <Interzonen Turnier Portoroz 1958>, co-authored with Aleksandar Matanovic; <Kandidatenturnier fur Schachweltmeisterschaft / Bled - Zagreb - Beograd / 6 September-31 Oktober 1959> (Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship / Bled - Zagreb - Beograd / 6 September-31 October 1959), co-authored with Viacheslav Ragozin; and was one of seven contributors, along with Larry Melvyn Evans, Vlastimil Hort, Portisch, Petrosian, Larsen and Keres, to <How To Open a Chess Game>.

Ratings/Rankings

Gligorić was usually ranked in the top ten players of the world in the 1950s and 1960s. When numerical ratings were first introduced in the early 1970's, Gligorić, though nearly fifty years old, was placed fifteenth, and he remained in the top 100 until 1987 when he was 64.

Other

In 1958, he was declared the best athlete of Yugoslavia. In 1978, he was a candidate for FIDE president in the Congress in Buenos Aires and was eliminated in round one, having just one vote less than Fridrik Olafsson, who become the fourth FIDE president. During the last few years of his life, he turned to music, learning the piano and music theory, and at the age of 88, he recorded a music CD, <Kako Sam Preživeo Dvadeseti Vek> (How I Survived the Twentieth Century), featuring 12 compositions that drew on jazz, ballads and rap.

His philosophy: <"Life - that's all we have.">****

Eulogies:

chessbase.com http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...; by chessdom.com: http://www.chessdom.com/legendary-g... by chessvibes.com http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/s... and by the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/w...; Three-part tribute by Macedonian art historian Kiril Penusliski: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail... and http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp... and http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp...

Gligorić was buried in the <Novom Groblju> (Alley of the Greats) at Belgrade's New Cemetery.

* http://www.chessintranslation.com/2...; ** http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...; ***http://www.hastingschess.org.uk/pre...; **** Interview in 2011 with "Masha" Manakova posted posthumously at: http://chesspro.ru/_events/2012/man...; Interview in 2009 during the Jermuk Grand Prix by Smbat Gariginovich Lputian: http://jermuk2009.fide.com/intervie...; Interview in 2010 with Yury Vasiliev: http://www.chessintranslation.com/2... Links to numerous photos on Edward Winter's site: http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Wikipedia article: Svetozar Gligori%C4%87


 page 1 of 126; games 1-25 of 3,144  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. M Rajkovic vs Gligoric  0-133 1939 Zagreb, YugoslaviaA06 Reti Opening
2. L Gabrovsek vs Gligoric  0-128 1939 Zagreb, YugoslaviaD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
3. Gligoric vs B Rabar 1-028 1939 ZagrebE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
4. Gligoric vs Pirc  ½-½23 1945 YUG-chB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
5. Gligoric vs B Kostic  0-157 1945 YUG-chC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
6. Gligoric vs M Radojcic 1-026 1945 YUG-chE33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
7. Gligoric vs O Neikirch  1-048 1945 YUG-chC71 Ruy Lopez
8. Gligoric vs Puc  1-055 1945 LiberationB10 Caro-Kann
9. Gligoric vs M Filipcic  1-062 1945 YUG-chD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
10. M Subaric vs Gligoric  0-140 1945 YUG-chD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
11. Gligoric vs B Kazic 1-035 1945 YUG-chE37 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
12. Puc vs Gligoric 1-038 1945 YUG-chB16 Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation
13. A Preinfalk vs Gligoric  ½-½39 1945 LiberationE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
14. S Vukovic vs Gligoric  ½-½34 1945 YUG-chD41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
15. A Preinfalk vs Gligoric  0-131 1945 YUG-chD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
16. Z Popovic vs Gligoric  ½-½41 1945 YUG-chD90 Grunfeld
17. Gligoric vs B Rabar 1-037 1945 YUG-chD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. B Milic vs Gligoric 0-143 1945 Novi SadD85 Grunfeld
19. Gligoric vs J Fajer  1-047 1945 YUG-chE36 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
20. Gligoric vs M Vidmar Jr 0-142 1945 BelgradeB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
21. Gligoric vs V Tomovic 1-031 1945 YUG-chB76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
22. Gligoric vs B Tot  1-054 1945 YUG-chC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
23. Pachman vs Gligoric ½-½58 1945 LiberationA31 English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation
24. M Vidmar Jr vs Gligoric  0-141 1945 Ljubljana LiberationA34 English, Symmetrical
25. V Popovic vs Gligoric 0-133 1945 YUG-chA08 King's Indian Attack
 page 1 of 126; games 1-25 of 3,144  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Gligoric wins | Gligoric loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 17 OF 17 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-18-12  brankat: A fine tribute indeed!
Oct-27-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a nice interview by Gligoric in which he discusses his music career and fighting in WW2:

http://www.sahovski.co.rs/Gligoric/...

Oct-31-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: The Gligoric Transatlantic Cup takes place Nov. 2 from 12:30 to 3 p.m (not sure about time zone)

University Texas @ Dallas vs. University of Belgrade

Nov-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: The seventh edition of the annual match between the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Belgrade, scheduled for November 2, 2012, has been renamed <The Svetozar Gligoric Transatlantic Cup>.

Bulgarian GM Valentin Yotov (2570), an Arts and Technology major, will play board one for UTD in the online match that pits sixteen students from each school in simultaneous games. The UTD players may observe their opponents in Serbia via a live connection projected on-screen.

According to organizers this match continues to set the standard for international chess competition in an academic setting.

http://www.utdallas.edu/chess/docs/...

Nov-18-12  brankat: Does anyone know how this match ended up? Thank You.
Nov-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: The victory was clinched by the University of Belgrade with the score 9.5 : 6.5, by which they tied the total score of the matches (3:3), including one match which finished in a draw.

http://www.utdallas.edu/chess/chess...

The big transitional cup will stay in Belgrade for another year.

http://www.ecuonline.net/gallery/IM...

Images from Dallas

http://www.utdallas.edu/chess/chess...

http://www.utdallas.edu/chess/chess...

At this moment, UT Dallas team is warming up for the "World Series of College Chess". The ongoing UT Dallas Invitational tournament (November 16-20) is preparation for the team for the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Championship ("World Series of College Chess").

Nov-19-12  brankat: <cro777>

Dallas team actually had "cheerleaders"?

So American :-)

Dec-14-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: rest in peace GM Gligoric..

http://www.chess.co.uk/twic/malcolm...

Feb-02-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: r.i.p. to maybe the most respected man in chess.
Feb-03-13  chesssalamander: RIP GM Gligoric. An excellent player, theorist, author, musician, and gentleman.
Jun-27-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

<The art of treating the opening stage of the game correctly and without error is basically the art of using time efficiently. >

-- Gligoric

Jul-21-13  brankat: Also, something like:

--If I had been born 40 years later I would have been a millionaire. :-)

Jul-21-13  csmath: One of the best educated, prepared, and intelligent players ever. Always the ultimate gentleman, quiet, and very decent man. Man of very high moral fiber and absolutely rare to find anywhere in the world.
Jul-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <Man of very high moral fiber>

What exactly do you know about his "moral fiber"?!

Jul-21-13  Estoc: <plang> He knows a lot about Sean Connery.
Jul-22-13  brankat: <plang> Aside from being ironic, You are being unfair.

S.Gligoric's entire life, not just his chess career, is a testament to an honest and decent man. I did have a privilege of knowing Gligoric personally for many years, and I can attest to that.

As for <csmath>'s statement, I assume he probably would not have made it unless he had known something about GM Gligoric.

Jul-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Whatever one makes of the last sentence in the post by <csmath>, Gligoric was a thoroughgoing professional and I have never seen a negative word written regarding the man by anyone. Glad to see that <brankat>'s personal reminiscence merely reinforces that.
Aug-09-13  brankat: Thank You <perfidious>!
Dec-15-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: The 2013 Svetozar Gligoric Transatlantic Cup - The University of Texas at Dallas vs. The University of Belgrade

On November 1, the annual battle was again waged in the cities of Dallas and Belgrade for the Svetozar Gligoric Transatlantic Cup. Belgrade won 9-7 (16 boards, game 40/5 second increment) to take match series lead 4.5-3.5 (after 8 matches from 2006 to 2013).

Jan-20-14  brankat: Good show Belgrade!
Feb-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Cemoblanca: I knew that Bobby & Gligo were good friends since the 1958 Interzonal & for this reason I launched a search with Google & I found many other interesting stories, and this I wanted to share with you now:

<In 1968, Mikhail Tal came to Gligorić’s home town of Belgrade to play him in a Candidates Quaterfinal match. Gligorić relates what happened:

I was really unlucky: the tournament hall was across the street from my house. Friends from all over Belgrade would drop in to talk to me, and I couldn’t say no. And then I also made a terrible mistake: during the match I read what the papers were writing. After the first five games I was leading: I’d won one game with black [quite a game!] and made four draws. Tal couldn’t do a thing, and he later told me he was sure he’d lose the match. But on the eve of the 6th game I read a comment by a journalist who declared that he was bored watching us choose the same variations again and again.

And then the game started, and I surprised myself on the 3rd move by deciding that instead of 3. Nc3, which I’d been playing up until then, I’d play Nf3, which I hadn’t even looked at. That spontaneous decision knocked me off balance. I was shocked and couldn’t understand why I’d done it. I lost the game with white. After that the whole atmosphere of the match began to weigh on me and I wanted it to end as soon as possible. I lost another two games – and it was all over.>

Source: http://www.chessintranslation.com/2...

May-24-14  RedShield: <SL: Did you face Petrosian across the board many times?

SG: Yes, we played each other a total of 27 times, with 17 of the games decisive. I won eight of the encounters and Tigran came out on top nine times. Ten of the games were drawn.>

http://jermuk2009.fide.com/intervie...

According to our DB, they played 38 games, with Petrosian leading 11-8, with 19 draws. Nice to know <cg.com> is more complete than Gligoric's memory.

Gligoric goes on to mention a game that he lost to Petrosian with White. Alas, our DB records no such game.

May-25-14  RedShield: Gligoric on Bobby, from a February 1989 interview with Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam:

<Some ten years ago there was a rumour that you were going to play a match against Fischer.

That was true. That was in 1978. I was very friendly with Bobby. I liked him very much and I respected him deeply, not only as a player but also as a person. He was misunderstood by the world and it was very bad that FIDE didn't give him his system of play. He was the first World Champion who could not play according to the system he proposed. What he proposed was quite normal to me. Maybe ten wins was a bit much, but it was the Steinitz system. What he argued and what killed the whole thing was that in case of a nine-nine result the next win would be a matter of chance. So this should not be allowed and in that case the money should be shared and the title should remain with the champion. That was all. That was very fair. Fischer didn't ask for a revenge match at all. And he was accused of wanting too much, too many advantages and so on. That was unjustified. FIDE killed his match with Karpov, in fact the whole chess world did. There are many federations that that are guilty of this. They helped remove Fischer from the scene for ever.

Our friendship began when he was fifteen and visited Belgrade after his first and only visit to the Soviet Union together with his sister. I was one of his hosts there and he probably realized that he could trust me. For instance in 1972, when I was in Reykjavik as a radio correspondent, I went to a reception at the American embassy. Everyone was pushing towards Fischer, so I stayed in a corner not to disturb him. When he realized that he came over to me and invited me to play tennis after midnight. Twice I accepted, twice I refused, because I had a journalistic job to do. When he dropped out of chess we remained in contact, and when I came to Lone Pine he would always invite me to visit him in Los Angeles. We began to write to each other and I began to try to persuade him to play chess again. That's how it went. The idea that he would play me in that match wasn't mine at all. I'm twenty years older and secondly it would seem as if I were looking for money or something. He gladly accepted the idea, because he wanted to play someone he trusted. He unexpectedly came to Belgrade for six days. It was shortly before the Olympiad and the congress. I was already a candidate for the presidency of FIDE. It was the only time I accepted, because I had been asked several times before that, and it also happened several times after that. In 1978 I accepted because I had some hope that I could persuade Fischer to play. As president of FIDE I wanted to perform miracles to bring him back. That was my main ambition. But when I flew to Buenos Aires after these six days I had lost the wish to be president, because I no longer believed that he would play. I didn't say this openly, and I still fought for Fischer, but I wasn't sure anymore that he would play even if I were president.>

May-25-14  RedShield: <What had given you that impression?

There were many psychological mistakes, also by the Yugoslavs, although they were very well-intentioned. But he is very sensitive. And some other things happened in Europe. He was on a private visit in Berlin, with a chess player and organizer, who afterwards published an interview with him with photos which had been taken for the family album. Fischer saw this interview on the airplane and was disgusted. The match wasn't cancelled immediately, but he changed his conditions and they were impossible to meet. When he was in Belgrade he gave a statement for Yugoslav television. All out of his own free will, because he was very mindful to me. I promised him that the cameramen would not take any shot of him before he gave the sign. But the moment he entered the hall they started pushing forward. He was very tense and I thought that he might say nothing at all, but instead he gave a very kind, polite and wise statement for the Yugoslav pubic. After this was over the only personal contact he had in Belgrade was with me. He came to our house a few times and we talked about all kinds of things, but I realized it would be tough to get him to play. Even if I were president of FIDE. What I wanted was to turn back the clock of history, which is maybe impossible. I wanted to create a situation similar to the one we had in 1974 and 1975. I wanted to have his match system accepted for a match with Karpov. I wanted that match very much.

In 1977 a booklet was published in which Fischer was portrayed with a beard and long hair. What did he look like when he visited Belgrade in 1978?

He had a beard when he arrived in Belgrade but he shaved it rightaway.

A real beard?

He had a real beard at Belgrade airport when I met him there. He was treated like the chief of a state. I drove up to the plane with a police car, a big Mercedes, and all. I was there alone, but he didn't want to get out of the plane without me. There was no passport control and he was immediately driven to the secret villa where he lived. I was the only one who knew about this villa and I also slept there a few times, because he was alone.

Did you also play chess with him?

Yes, at his request.

Which impression did you get?

He was strong. We played with a clock. It was his wish, I never play chess that way. I only play chess in serious tournaments. I did so when I was young, but not anymore. But he was strong.>

May-25-14  RedShield: <He was on a private visit in Berlin, with a chess player and organizer, who afterwards published an interview with him with photos which had been taken for the family album. Fischer saw this interview on the airplane and was disgusted.>

That player was Alfred Seppelt. Seems he knew Fischer from 1960:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred...

<He was strong.>

I read somewhere that Fischer, having seen this interview, was upset with Gligoric's muted characterisation of his play. But it's interesting that Gligoric felt free to speak quite openly of his friendship with Fischer. Given that he was one of Fischer's second three years later, Bobby was evidently OK with it, too, or, at least, prepared to overlook it.

Jump to page #   (enter # from 1 to 17)
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 17 OF 17 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other users.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.


NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific player and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!


home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2014, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies