IN MEMORIAM – Aleksandar Matanovic (1930-2023)

One of the greatest Serbian chess players, GM Aleksandar Matanovic, died yesterday in Belgrade, at the age of 93.

Aleksandar Matanovic was born in Belgrade, on May 23rd, 1930. After becoming the Yugoslav Junior Chess Champion in 1948, he joined the Yugoslavian representation in 1950 playing the radio-match against the USA team. Aged 25, Matanovic became the grandmaster in 1955 and won the Yugoslavian National Championship three times (1962, 1969, 1978). He was a member of the Yugoslavian Olympic team from 1954 until 1978, and in 1980 became the captain of the team.

In the era of the Serbian golden chess, Svetozar Gligoric, Bora Ivkov, Milan Matulovic and Aleksandar Matanovic were the backbone of the Yugoslavian chess team which was the second-greatest team in the world after the USSR.

Aleksandar Matanovic had won five silver and four bronze Olympic medals, and clinched five medals for the best individual results at the Olympic games (one gold, three silver and one bronze medal). In the period between 1957-1977, Matanovic won five medals at the European Championships – four silver and one bronze medal.

He finished second in the FIDE Zonal tournament 1967 held in Vrnjacka Banja, and won many Open tournaments held around the world such as Opatija 1953, Hamburg 1955, Beverwijk 1957, Buenos Aires 1961, and Zevenaar 1961.

Aged 36, Aleksandar Matanovic became the author of leading chess encyclopedias and founded Chess Informant where he was the founding editor-in-chief. He was the FIDE Vice President from 1990-1994. In May 2022 became the oldest Grandmaster in the world.