Serbian chess grandmaster Gligoric dies

Aug. 17, 2012 at 8:06 AM

BELGRADE, Serbia, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Serbian chess grandmaster Svetozar Gligoric died in Belgrade, the World Chess Federation said. He was 89.

The cause of Gligoric's death Tuesday was not reported.

Gligoric was one of the most successful and respected players in the world during the 1950s and '60s, winning dozens of tournaments, The New York Times reported.

He was at one time ranked as the 10th best chess player in the world and remained in the top 100 until 1987 when he was in his 60s, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported.

Gligoric won the Yugoslavian championship a record 12 times and won 12 Chess Olympiad medals, leading his team to gold in 1950, the Times reported.

The Serbian, known for favoring ambitious but risky openings, never won the world championship and at one point lost a chance to play for the title by using an impulsive move because he read that critics thought his matches were boring, the Times said.

Gligoric "created textbook examples of how to handle" his favorite chess positions in David Levy's book "Gligoric's Best Games 1945-1970," former chess world champion Mikhail Tal said.

"Nor does it matter what the class of opposition is when he has such positions," Tal said. "The people who have been on the receiving end in such cases form a picture gallery of the kings of chess."

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