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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chess legend releases music album in Belgrade

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Gligoric playing the piano in Jermuk, Armenia during the FIDE Grand Prix in the summer of 2009 - organizer GM Smbat Lputian listens along. | Photo: FIDE

Hi everyone,

Grandmaster Lubomir Kavalek in his article on The Huffington Post talks about a chess legend who has just released his first music album after his 88th birthday. Can you guess who this chess legend is? Here is an excerpt from the article which you can follow up on the link.

He was one of the world's leading chess players in the 1950s and 1960s and the Yugoslav player of the 20th century. After nearly seven decades playing chess, the legendary grandmaster Svetozar Gligoric turned to music.

Last month, shortly after his 88th birthday, Gligoric presented his first music album in Belgrade. How I survived the 20th century is a collection of twelve compositions, mostly jazz, blues and rap. Gliga or Gligo, as his friends call him, wrote the music and texts and invited some known Serbian musicians to perform with him. The central theme of his work is expressed in the song Life is all we have. Gligoric pointed out the similarity between music and chess: "Each note is like a chess move and from these elements you create your own architecture within known rules."

Music was always Gligoric's passion. He loved it even before he knew how to read or write. He had an enormous collection of musical recordings and sometimes played guitar, but it was only at the age of 80 when he decided to get actively involved a began to take music theory and piano lessons. The album is a remarkable achievement for a man who spent most of his life in chess.

Gligoric won the Yugoslav championship twelve times and belonged among the world's Top Ten for two decades (1950s and 1960s). He played in 15 chess olympiads, mostly on the first board. During his tenure, Yugoslavia won one gold, six silver and five bronze medals. He won five Zonal tournaments and took part in two Candidates tournaments, in Zurich in 1953 and in Yugoslavia in 1959. In 1967 he qualified for the Candidates matches from the Interzonal tournament in Sousse, Tunisia. Gligoric rarely turned down an invitation to an international tournament, circled the globe and amassed an impressive record.

We also found these two nice videos of an interview with GM Gligoric. Enjoy.

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