Skip to comments.Svetozar Gligoric, Who Pioneered Chess Moves, Dies at 89
Posted on 08/18/2012 8:14:38 PM PDT by EveningStar
Svetozar Gligoric, a chess grandmaster who was considered one of the greatest players of the 20th century but who never won the world championship in one instance losing a chance to play for the title by executing a fatally impulsive move in response to critics who found his match boring died on Tuesday in Belgrade, Serbia. He was 89.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I don’t know if you’re into chess or not, but if you are ... :)
I can only play chess at the lower levels. I suck big time. And the sad part is , no matter how much I play, I don’t get no better. I am convinced that you are either born with a brain that can input and execute chess moves or you are not.
Anyone can get good at chess. But unless you are a natural, you won’t improve much by just playing a lot of games. We mere mortals need to study the game. At the beginning, that means studying tactics, tactics, and more tactics. When you get to the point that you are no longer routinely blundering away your pieces through tactical oversights, then get a book on strategy, one on endgames, and one on general opening principles. But until you reach master level, the majority of your study time should be spent on tactics.
I had a lot of chest matches with girls in high school. I’d try the old Svetozar move on them, and they would usually counter with a right hook.
Two books that are likely to improve your game are Larry Evans’ “New Ideas in Chess”, and Horwitz and Reinfeld’s “How to Think Ahead in Chess”.
Larry Evans was Fisher’s second at Rekyvik. Many have said master this book, makes the transition from a beginner to a medium level chess play. You have to learn to think differently, this book will get you there.
The later book proposes always playing the Dragon Variation of the Sicilian defense with the black pieces. Bobby Fisher pretty much permanently slew the Dragon in higher level play, but it works well with less competitive players.
I remember when I was in the Army, I happened to be kibutzing a game between a couple of guys, over in another unit, where I had pulled some duty that night. The winner asked me if I cared to play. I offered to spot him a rook, to make it fair. He seemed offended by my offer, but accepted. I dispatched him easily. He then sent for the local expert. I drew black and settled comfortably into my familar Dragon. Well this kid had read Bobby Fisher’s book. He pried open the king’s rook file and filleted me like flounder. Still, it generally worked against the great mass of patzers and wood pushers.
I met GM Gligoric at a simul in the late 60s. He was very strong in the 50s’ among the top 10, I believe. I have several photos I took from this event. He was a consummate gentleman.
He used to take the measure of Fischer, but seemed clearly outclassed during the few encounters he had with Fischer in two tounaments preceding the 1971 candidates matches which Fischer won with an impressive performance (6-0 vs Taimanov), (6-0 vs Larsen) and (6-2 vs Petrosian).
His book “I Play Against Pieces” chronicles his play against different opening systems—a novel arrangement and highly recommended. His joint coverage of the WCC with Wade also provided must sought after coverage the Fischer-Spassky match. Remember, this preceded the internet and good match coverage was hard to come by.
A great player and one of the last from that generation.
“I am convinced that you are either born with a brain that can input and execute chess moves or you are not.”
Hmmmm. I halfway agree, that in order to get really good, you have to have gone through a very intense training period when you were fairly young, just because the way a young brain absorbs stuff versus the way us cabbageheads absorb stuff. And at a time when it didn’t bother you to blow off so many hours of time. By the time you are 40-50, I definitely believe that internally, 99%+ of people cannot justify the expenditure of time and effort it takes to be really good. I was quite strong when I was young. Now, I just get bored with the game and am definitely weaker. I can’t justify squandering the time.
Upthread, you are advised by another poster to study tactics. While I think you cannot be without that knowledge, I also think you have to study openings, positional chess, and endgames and get a feel for what types of games the top say dozen openings lead to.
The various Reinfeld books are terrific, and as I said, you cannot not know that stuff, traps and burns and swindles, but those books really do not delve too deeply into positional-type, more modern positions. Which are frankly much more dense and generally less fun.
And endgames...are a very rarefied study all in themselves. If you are very good at endgames, you can get by playing “draw” chess and working towards winning endgames. With a few notable exceptions, this was the Russian postwar modus operandi, and they dominated for many years. If all you know is swindles and traps, a good player will practically never allow you to spring them and you will expend energy, position, and material working (in vain) to spring them. Leaving your throat wide open for a good endgame opponent.
“Blueunicorn6 just pawn in game of life.”
I played a lot in high school, early ‘60’s. I still have Reinfeld’s book on queen pawn openings.
Jimmy Baldwin and I used to play at his house after school. I remember he fell into one of the traps discussed in the book. We each shouted “Ha!” after our move, until he discovered he was down a piece.
When did they change chess notation? I couldn’t get into when I tried to take it up again.
I remember playing against the Sicilian for the first time. I lost on a blunder, but it fascinated me so much that I started using it right away, and have ever since.
It wasn’t until years later that someone put a name to it for me - I didn’t know what it was called!
The dragon is my go-to, and yes, against the very skilled, I’m a goner.
Chess is fun, and great exercise for the brain.
Interesting how the great ones; Morphy, Fischer had a large dose of crazy besides. I think it’s a brain-wiring issue, I really do.
Agree with focusing on tactics - it really sharpened my game to the ‘next level’ when I did. (of course, my next level is just wood-pusher, too!)
With the internet, and the ability to play 24/7, there has been a marked increase in skill-level, especially in the young players.
Highly recommended is also Maurice Ashley’s “The Secret To Chess”
Oh, they were changing to algebraic notation when I was a Sr. in HS = 1970-1971. About that time, my interest started to wane and I never really got algebraic “in my head”. Shortly thereafter, anyone using P-K4 was thought of as a luddite. Algebraic is actually much more logical, because in mathematical terms, like it or not, it makes little sense to shift reference points turn-by-turn.
You “have to” learn the openings, the top dozen or so, including the top half-dozen variations, out to maybe 10 moves each. And that is probably 200 openings. Otherwise, someone operating from sheer memory can develop a winning position over you by rote (eg; no brainpower expended) and then you are a tempo or two or a pawn down at minimum. And/or, you’re playing that “look to find a trap/swindle” game. Playing the “look to burn” style down a tempo or so against a good player will lose a great majority of the time. Unless they are deficient on their “burn” tactics.
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