Forgotten Genius: Dragoljub Velimirovic Vol. 2 - Georg Mohr

Auteur / Author: Georg Mohr/Ana Velimirovic
Pagina's / Pages: 380
Uitgever / Publisher: Thinkers Publishing
Jaar / Year: 2024
Type: Hardcover

Two years ago, when we agreed with Tuinkers Publishing House on a series of books under the title "Forgotten Genius", my first two book heroes were immediately decided. The book about Albin Planinc, my Slovenian compatriot, opened the series, which we are now continuing with this book about the Serbian Grandmaster, Drasko Velimirovic, the famous "Gazda (Boss)", a hero who in one way or another shaped the chess career and destiny of all chess players who grew up in the spaces of the former Yugoslavia.

Of course, there is much more to tell about Velimirovic and his career. The "Boss" was respected in the wider world, as you will see in the book, in many places and at many times much more than at home, where beams were thrown under his feet and many obstacles were placed on his way to the top. Serious, principled, honest to the extreme with himself and with others, he endured all this, got angry, jumped, leaped, swallowed the injustices that often left him far behind, returned, rose like a phoenix and climbed again and again to the top, upsetting to the extreme those responsible, especially those who did not like him.

But no one could take away Drasko's career. His games, his tournamentvictories, his theoretica! innovations. His coaching work, and quite some Grandmasters claiming to be his direct successors. They are, or rather, theywish theywere. And his stories, anecdotes, another part of Drasko's chess history that should not be ignored under any circumstances.

I did not know my co-author - Drasko's daughter, Ana - at that time. When I somehow found her and asked her if she had anything in Drasko's estate that I could use in the book, I was shocked and stood there with my mouth open. Ana not only had a wonderful collection of photos, cartoons, and other wonderful ma­ terials, but also kept a collection ofDrasko's games in the drawer. The "Boss" com­ mented on most of them himself, explained this and that in many places, showed us how his attack was born, how the ideas developed in many variations. He de­ scribed to us many adventures and events as if in passing, but some of them he explained with hindsight, as they show the cruel history in their own light, and through the eyes of those who write them.

The decision was simple: I asked Ana if she wanted to write the book with me. She gladly agreed and told me that the book about her father is also her long-cherished wish, a kind of debt to Drasko, who left her such beautiful mem­ ories. Our wonderful journey together began, with the final result that you are reading now. Today, I know that without Ana's help this book would not have ex­ isted. Or rather, if I had decided to write it, it would have been only a pale imita­ tion ofit. So once again, thank you, dear Ana!

I sincerely hope that you, dear readers, will enjoy the wonderful masterpieces you will find in this book. In addition to the authors, some of Drasko's contem­ poraries were also involved in its writing, and they immediately responded with pride and love to the request to keep the memory of the Serbian genius alive. I would like tothank all those who participated in this project. To the Grandmasters who wrote down their own memories of Drasko, which you will find in this book in special "boxes". To the contemporaries, friends, and comrades-in-arms of "Boss" who remember this or that anecdote, this or that event, this or that mem­ ory. I sincerely hope that this book will ensure that we do not forget the Serbian chess autodidact, one of the greatest chess players, theoreticians and coaches the world has ever known.

Almost last, but not least, I would like to thank the contributors (you will find their names in the colophon) who have invested too many hours of their free time in this project. And finally, although perhaps they should be at the top, the mem­ bers of my family who have so patiently endured my escapes to the great chess masters of the world.

Georg Mohr, Maribor, July 2023

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Forgotten Genius: Dragoljub Velimirovic Vol. 2 - Georg Mohr

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