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Dragoljub Velimirovic
Photo copyright © 2010, Vladimir Jagr. Courtesy of  

Number of games in database: 1,685
Years covered: 1960 to 2010
Last FIDE rating: 2407
Highest rating achieved in database: 2525
Overall record: +649 -435 =601 (56.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (370) 
    B47 B89 B57 B32 B46
 Ruy Lopez (125) 
    C92 C97 C69 C85 C99
 French Defense (87) 
    C18 C11 C13 C10 C02
 Sicilian Taimanov (76) 
    B47 B46 B45 B48
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (67) 
    C92 C97 C85 C99 C96
 King's Pawn Game (59) 
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (268) 
    B32 B39 B31 B22 B77
 Modern Benoni (127) 
    A56 A77 A57 A63 A65
 Old Benoni (77) 
    A43 A44
 Sicilian Dragon (72) 
    B39 B77 B70 B76 B78
 King's Indian (58) 
    E62 E66 E91 E90 E75
 Reti System (52) 
    A04 A05
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Velimirovic vs Ljubojevic, 1972 1-0
   Velimirovic vs Csom, 1974 1-0
   Velimirovic vs J Sofrevski, 1965 1-0
   Velimirovic vs J Fridjonsson, 1974 1-0
   Velimirovic vs V Bukal Sr, 1971 1-0
   Velimirovic vs H Ree, 1994 1-0
   A Planinc vs Velimirovic, 1975 0-1
   Velimirovic vs D Rajkovic, 1971 1-0
   Velimirovic vs R Q M Al-Qazzaz, 1974 1-0
   Velimirovic vs M Pavlovic, 1998 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Yugoslav Championship (1975)
   Vrnjacka Banja (1973)
   Budva Zonal (1981)
   Skopje Solidarnost (1971)
   Liberation Tournament (1976)
   Yugoslav Championship (1981)
   Yugoslav Championship (1984)
   Bela Crkva Open (1983)
   Yugoslav Championship (1988)
   The Hague Zonal (1966)
   Vrnjacka Banja (1991)
   Yugoslav Championship (1995)
   Yugoslav Championship 1966 (1965)
   Vinkovci (1982)
   Parcetic Memorial (1972)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Secret Hero Velimirovic by mneuwirth
   Secret Hero Velimirovic by Gottschalk
   Secret Hero Velimirovic by daveyjones01
   Attacking games by takchess
   Attacking games by dheerajmohan
   Attacking games by dheerajmohan
   Attacking games by Dhamal Goda
   Attacking games by Sharpen Your Tactics
   Göring Gambit games by vasileios
   Amsterdam IBM 1976 by suenteus po 147

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Dragoljub Velimirovic
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(born May-12-1942, died May-22-2014, 72 years old) Yugoslavia (federation/nationality Serbia)
[what is this?]

International Master (1971); Grandmaster (1973); Yugoslav Champion (1970, 1975 and 1997).

Nicknamed "The Boss", (1), and sometimes called the "Yugoslav Tal", Dragoljub Velimirović (Serbian Cyrillic: Драгољуб Велимировић) was a well-liked, innovative and feared attacking tactician. While never a serious threat for the world title, he nevertheless contested three Interzonals and was ranked within the top 100 of the world's players for approximately 20 years from before 1969 through 1989, when he was at his most active. (2)


He was born in Valjevo, in the part of the former Yugoslavia that is now Serbia. He moved to Belgrade in 1960, where he lived until his death. He learned chess when he was seven from his mother Jovanka Velimirovic, who was Yugoslavia's first Women's Champion. (3)


<Junior> Junior Champion of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1958, he was 3rd in the 1959 Yugoslav Youth Championship, half a point behind co-leaders Bruno Parma and Ivan Nemet and then followed up by winning the Yugoslav Youth Championship in 1960 or 1961. (4), (5)

<National and Regional> Velimirović first played in the Yugoslav Championship in 1962 at the age of 20 when he placed =3rd with 8.5/13, a point behind the (eventual) 12-time winner Svetozar Gligoric, a half point behind the runner-up Aleksandar Matanovic and alongside Mato Damjanovic. (6) His next attempt was in the 21-round round-robin event held in Zenica in 1963, where he placed 12th with 10/21. (6) In 1965, he was =4th with 10.5/19 behind the winner Gligoric and the joint runners-up Borislav Ivkov and Bruno Parma. (7) He played in over 20 subsequent Yugoslav championships, the last one being 2003, with his best results being wins in 1970 (jointly with Milan Vukic) and 1975, 2nd in 1981 behind Bozidar Ivanovic, 2nd behind Predrag Nikolic in 1984 and =1st in 1997 when Yugoslavia had become a federal republic. (8) He was also the Balkans Champion in 1972. (9)

<World> Velimirović commenced his participation in the World Championship cycle when he entered (but failed to progress past) the Yugoslav national qualifier for the 1963 Zonals and ended in 1999 when he qualified via the Panormo Zonal in 1998 to play in FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (1999) in Las Vegas. (10) Unfortunately, he was not issued a visa by US authorities to allow him to compete in Las Vegas due to political tensions with Yugoslavia at that time. His best results within the World Championship cycles in which he participated were to qualify for and participate in the Rio de Janeiro Interzonal (1979), (11) the Moscow Interzonal in 1982 (12) and the Szirák Interzonal in 1987. (13)

Classical Tournament Record

<1970s> Velimirović scored 9.5/15 at Vinkovci 1970 placing 5th, a point behind the winner Bent Larsen, and half point behind joint runners up Gligoric, Vlastimil Hort and David Bronstein, but ahead of Tigran V Petrosian, Mark Taimanov and Laszlo Szabo. (14) This result and others such as his 2nd placement at the category 9 Skopje tournament in 1971, behind Lev Polugaevsky and alongside Albin Planinc earned him his International Master title, (15) well after he was within the group that constituted the world's top 100 players. He earned his Grandmaster title when he won the Vrnjacka Spa event at Vrnjacka Banja in 1973, (16). In 1974: he was 3rd at Reykjavik (17). In 1976, he was =4th, a point behind co-leaders Viktor Korchnoi and Anthony Miles and half a point behind 3rd placed Gyula Sax at the category 11 IBM tournament in Amsterdam. (18) He also competed at Novi Sad in 1976 placing 2nd behind Jan Smejkal and ahead of Hort and Gligoric. (19) In 1978, he placed =3rd at Osijek behind Gligoric and Andras Adorjan, (20) and 1st at Albufeira ahead of Ljubomir Ljubojevic. (21) In 1979, he came in 2nd at Smederevska Palanka behind Dusan Rajkovic. (22)

<1980s onward> This decade saw Velimirović continue his exploits and successes on the 64 squares. In 1980, he came 2nd at Borovo behind Milan Matulovic (23) =1st at Zemun alongside Milan Vukic (24); and =3rd at Maribor behind Vladimir Kovacevic and Jonathan Speelman. (25) In 1981, he was =2nd at Banja Luka behind Vitaly Tseshkovsky. (26) In 1982, he placed 3rd at Vinkovci behind Kovacevic and Matulovic and alongside Ivanovic. (27) In 1984, he was =1st alongside Korchnoi and ahead of Mikhail Tal at the powerful tournament in Titograd. (28) In 1985, he won outright at Vrsac and two years later was =1st in that event, winning on tiebreak. (29) His other successes in the 1980s include 1st at the Metz Open in 1988 (30) and =2nd at Zenica in 1989 behind Petar Popovic. (31) In 1994, he won at Niksic (32) and in 2001 he won the Savic Mauzer Memorial tournament in Bijeljina. (33)

Team events

Velimirović played for the Yugoslav national team many times between 1960 and 1990, including in the student and open Olympiads, the Balkaniads, the European Team Championships and in the World Team Championship. He also played for the winning Belgrade team against a Moscow team in 1998. (34)

<Olympiads> In 1964 he played board 4 for the Yugoslavian team at the Student Olympiad held in that year in Cracow in Poland, (35) and helped his team to win the qualifying stage (36) to enable it into the final where it placed 5th. (37) He also played top board for his country in that event in 1967. (38) He represented Yugoslavia at six Olympiads, namely 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986 (when he was also the coach (39)), 1988 and 1990; his tally of medals included a team silver and an individual silver, both of which were won at the 1974 Nice Olympiad. (40)

<National Team> He played for Yugoslavia against the USSR team in 1961 (aged 19) in Belgrade (41), in 1966 (42), and in 1972 at Ohrid, during which he crushed Rafael Vaganian in the first round playing the Benoni Defence, (43) in 1973 (44) and in 1979 in Teslic (45). He also represented Yugoslavia in the match against Hungary held in Pula in 1971. (46)

Velimirović represented Yugoslavia in the Balkaniads (a round robin set of matches between some or all of the Balkans countries) in 1972 (vs Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey Greece), 1974 (vs Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria) and 1978 (vs Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece and Romania), winning 2 team golds and an individual gold, as well as an individual silver and a team and an individual bronze. (47) In the European Team Championship, he won individual silver in 1970 and 1977, team silver in 1973, individual bronze in 1973 and team bronze in 1977, but was shut out in 1980. He won team silver at the World Team Championship in Lucerne 1989. (49)

<European Club Cup> Velimirović briefly played in the ECC, that being in 1996 when his only known game in the event was for the team ŠK Montenegrobanka Podgorica. (50).

<National League> He played in the Yugoslav Cup from 1961 (51) and in the Yugoslav League from 1989 until 2003 inclusive. (52), the Serbia and Montenegro team championship of 2003 and the Serbian Team Championships of 2006 and 2007. He also played in the Greek League in 2000 (53) and 2001 (54).

<Other team events> Velimirović played for the Old Hands against the Snowdrops in the Czech Coal match of November 2010. (55)


In 1981, he was Korchnoi's second in Merano, Italy during the Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1981). (56). He appears (as himself) in a film dated 2010 "Opelo za Bobija Fiser" (Requiem for Bobby Fischer"), a documentary seen through the eyes of Fischer's Serbian friends, chess opponents and acquaintances. (57) Velimirović's last games were played in 2011, where he competed in the Belgrade Cup and Serbian Cup.

Career ratings and rankings

Velimirović was considered to have been in the world's top 100 players since at least 1969 and possibly even before that time, when he was still untitled. He won his International Master title in 1971, the year FIDE first published its official ratings. His rating at that time was 2470 and he was ranked =83rd in the world. He remained in the top 100, apart from three ratings periods in 1981 and 1983, peaking at equal world number #20 in January 1986. His rating also peaked at that time at 2575. (58)


Velimirović's aggressive Velimirović Attack variation is identified by the sequence of moves: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.0-0-0:

click for larger view

Some more theory, especially Black's 8th move options, at

Death and eulogies

Velimirović died on May 22, 2014, at the age of 72 in Belgrade and is survived by his wife, Mirjana Velimirović.

Eulogy by GM Susan Polgar

Eulogy by

Sources, references and footnotes

(1); (2); (3) Wikipedia article: Dragoljub Velimirović; (4); (5) Footnote deleted; (6) (the game count is two games shy of complete in this reference, but they are not missing from the leader-board ); (6); (7); (8) Wikipedia article: Yugoslav Chess Championship and ; and; (9); (10); (11); (12); (13); (14); (15) and; (16) universally cited, although the cross table no longer seems available, eg at, the leading scorer is shown to be Velimirović, but this cannot be ascertained by the game count on that page. Also see; (17); (18); (19) and; (20); (21) Wikipedia article: Dragoljub Velimirović; (22); (23); (24); (25); (26); (27); (28); (29) Wikipedia article: Dragoljub Velimirovi%C4%87; (30); (31); (32); (33); 34 ]; (35); (36); (37); (38); (39) ); (40); (41); (42); (43), the game in question being; (44); (45); (46); (47); (48); (49); (50); (51); (52); (53); (54); (55); (56) .; (57); (58)

Last updated: 2022-12-21 16:05:52

 page 1 of 68; games 1-25 of 1,685  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Velimirovic vs V Kovacevic  1-0401960Yugoslav Championship (Juniors)C90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
2. L Tancev vs Velimirovic  1-0561960Yugoslav Championship (Juniors)E95 King's Indian, Orthodox, 7...Nbd7, 8.Re1
3. Velimirovic vs B Nedeljkovic  1-0311960Yugoslav Championship (Juniors)E67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
4. I Nemet vs Velimirovic  0-1421960Yugoslav Championship (Juniors)B67 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 8...Bd7
5. S Kosanski vs Velimirovic  0-1141960Yugoslav Championship (Juniors)C46 Three Knights
6. Velimirovic vs D Perencevic  1-0261960Yugoslav Championship (Juniors)A16 English
7. B Barbulovic vs Velimirovic  ½-½421961YUG-Cup ttB32 Sicilian
8. I Kindij vs Velimirovic 0-1421961YUG-Cup ttA57 Benko Gambit
9. Brons vs Velimirovic  0-1291961YUG-Cup ttB32 Sicilian
10. M Milicevic vs Velimirovic 0-1371961YUG-Cup ttA57 Benko Gambit
11. Velimirovic vs M Ankerst  1-0411961YUG-Cup ttE25 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
12. U Vaskans vs Velimirovic  0-1411961YUG-URSB32 Sicilian
13. Velimirovic vs O Pavlenko  0-1391961YUG-URSD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
14. Velimirovic vs A Shmit  0-1301961YUG-URSB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
15. Velimirovic vs A Lukic 1-0421962Yugoslav Championship 1963C47 Four Knights
16. N Karaklajic vs Velimirovic  ½-½511962Yugoslav Championship 1963B36 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto
17. Pirc vs Velimirovic 0-1421962Yugoslav Championship 1963B06 Robatsch
18. Velimirovic vs E Bukic  ½-½381962Yugoslav Championship 1963B46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
19. Velimirovic vs A Bradvarevic 1-0241962Yugoslav Championship 1963B89 Sicilian
20. Gligoric vs Velimirovic ½-½441962Yugoslav Championship 1963A56 Benoni Defense
21. Velimirovic vs A Matanovic  ½-½511962Yugoslav Championship 1963B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
22. Velimirovic vs I Nemet  ½-½331962Yugoslav Championship 1963B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
23. D Minic vs Velimirovic ½-½441962Yugoslav Championship 1963B98 Sicilian, Najdorf
24. M Damjanovic vs Velimirovic ½-½651962Yugoslav Championship 1963A07 King's Indian Attack
25. Velimirovic vs M Bertok  1-0531962Yugoslav Championship 1963B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
 page 1 of 68; games 1-25 of 1,685  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Velimirovic wins | Velimirovic loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-10-12  brankat: <qqdos> I have not heard of the above corresp. game, but I think user: <bronkenstein> may know something about this, although he has not kibitzed in a few weeks now.
Apr-12-12  qqdos: <brankat> many thanks. Tim Harding, a co-author of the 1974 Sozin book and correspondence chess expert, cannot remember where he saw the reference but thinks it might have been in the Teorijski Bliten magazine. He can find no postal games by Drasko but there was an R. Velimirovic playing correspondence chess. It would be a remarkable co-incidence if another Velimirovic pre-dated Drasko with his trade-mark Attack. Intriguing! If anyone with access or back-numbers can shed light, that would be welcome.
May-12-12  Eastfrisian: Happy 70. Birthday, GM Velimirovic.
May-12-13  brankat: Best wishes for your Birthday, Drasko!
May-23-14  Gejewe: In the early 1970ties, when I was a young teenager myself, the fearless Velimirovic was my chess hero. Unfortunately, Chess informant twittered the following message earlier today : " Chess Informant @chessinformant
Sad news. Legendary Serbian GM Dragoljub Velimirovic passed away at age of 72. about 3 hours ago"
After Planinc, the other hero of Yuguslav chess in my youth is gone...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: RIP GM Velimirovic.
May-23-14  whiteshark: Really sad news. RIP GM Velimirovic
May-23-14  Dragi: RIP Dragoljub
May-23-14  The Last Straw: RIP GM Velimirovic. How sad.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: Draško passed away, but his games will live on, he produced many brilliant ones.
May-23-14  andrewjsacks: Today we say goodbye and thank you to a fine and inventive player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Susan Polgar: Just published this earlier today:
May-24-14  Eastfrisian: RIP Master Dragoljub.
May-24-14  Lovuschka: Another great Serbian Velimirović has passed at a young age (only 72 years). RIP, GM Dragoljub!
May-24-14  wordfunph: rest in peace, GM Velimirovic..
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: The photo of Velimirovic (RIP) here is superb. He contemplates the board with a wry smile, as though the position is an old friend.

And it probably is.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: <Susan Polgar>

He died on the 22nd not on the 23rd.

May-26-14  Parelius: Rest in peace Velimeister Velimirovic, you will allways be remembered
May-27-14  parisattack: Another of the 'Old Guard' from the post-War Golden Era of chess passes.

I made it a point in those days to play over his games whenever I saw one published. One knew it would be a thrilling game and worthy of study. Who of that era can ever forget the excitement of the burn-the-bridges Velimirovic Attack in the Sicilian?


May-12-15  Nosnibor: He played Gligoric 22 times losing two and drawing 20 but he seems to have been unlucky with the fact that of those games he only had the white pieces seven times.It would appear that Gligoric was the "boss" when the met over the board.R.I.P. GM Velimirovic.
Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: Like most of the GMs always remembered for his hard work in chess.
Aug-04-16  brankat: Velimirovic was also Gligoric's second during the 1967 Interzonal, and 1968 Candidates tournament. I think he was also helping Korchnoi in 1981 match against Karpov.
May-12-18  cunctatorg: A truly fine Grandmaster who was playing beautiful, tasty attacking chess!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: Too bad GM Velimirovic & Fischer never got to tangle in The Sicilian!
May-12-18  SChesshevsky: No sac-sac-mate against the dragon here.

Would this have worked against Fischer? Maybe not, but it did against Fischer's friend.

Zuckerman vs Velimirovic, 1973

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