Aleksandar Matanovic, a renowned Serbian chess grandmaster, passed away at the age of 93 in Belgrade. He was notably recognized for co-founding Chess Informant, a groundbreaking publishing company that transformed the way chess enthusiasts approached and studied the game.
Matanovic’s journey with chess began at a young age, learning the game with clay pieces crafted by his sister. He quickly rose to prominence, becoming his nation’s junior champion by 18 and later achieving the grandmaster title. In 1966, together with fellow grandmaster Aleksandar Bozic and international master Milivoje Molerovic, he established Chess Informant. The company’s mission was to release books detailing recent games played by elite players, often annotated by the players themselves. These publications became a vital resource for chess players worldwide, offering insights into innovative opening sequences and enhancing the overall comprehension of the game. Chess Informant’s influence was so profound that Garry Kasparov, a former world chess champion, once remarked, “We are all children of Informant.” Beyond his contributions to publishing, Matanovic had an illustrious playing career, winning multiple national championships and representing Yugoslavia in several Chess Olympiads.
Aleksandar Matanovic had a storied career with numerous memorable games. Among his most celebrated victories was his win against the world champion Mikhail Tal, a game that showcased his deep understanding and strategic prowess. On the other hand, his loss to Tigran Petrosian, another world champion, was a testament to the high level of competition he faced throughout his career. This particular game was a masterclass in positional play from Petrosian, and while Matanovic put up a valiant fight, he eventually succumbed to Petrosian’s superior tactics. Both these games, among others, have been studied extensively by chess enthusiasts and serve as a testament to Matanovic’s significant impact on the world of chess.
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