Dragoljub Velimirovic R.I.P.
He died this past Thursday. Born in Valjevo (Serbia) on May 12,1942 , Velimirovic became known as one of the most brilliant attackers of his (or any!) generation, rivalling the reputations of Alekhine , Tal and Kasparov. Bobby Fischer was immensely impressed with his understanding of the Sicilian Defence and the Benoni, and it is said that the two spent some time together analysing. His theoretical ideas and innovations helped advance our understanding of numerous popular opening variations.
Velimirovic at the 1966 Olympiad in Havana
But Velimirovic was much more that just an attacker. He defeated many of the world’s top grandmasters, representing his country not less than 6 times at the Olympiad and won the national title not less than 3 times.
Over the next week I will numerous examples of his play, especially combinations and tactics. For today I limit myself to the following modest selection. ENJOY
Vrnjacka Banja 1962 One of Velimirovic’s earliest games using the sharp Sozin Attack. Black seems to have weathered White’s attack quite easily and was now looking forward to using his strong centre to push White backwards…unfortunately, the game lasted only 3 more moves!
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
Polanica Zdroj 1964 Velimirovic has sacrificed a pawn to gain the initiative on the Kingside. For the moment, everything seems to be fine for White. But Velimirovic looked deeply into the position and came to a different conclusion…
BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN!
Vrnjacka Banja 1962 Velimirovic ,D—Bradvarevic,A: 22.Be3! Qf8 23.Bc5! h5 24.Qg5 1-0
Polanica Zdroj 1964 Pietrusiak ,B–Velimirovic ,D: 18…Rxf4! 19.gxf4 Nxf2! 20.Rxf2 Qg4+ 21.Kf1 Qg3! 22.Rg2 Bh3 23.Qxd5+ Kh8 24.Qxc5 Not the best, but White is dead in any case. Now i tis mate: Bxg2+ 25.Kg1 Bh3+ 0-1