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Aleksandar Matanovic
A Matanovic 
Number of games in database: 1,355
Years covered: 1947 to 2007
Last FIDE rating: 2490
Highest rating achieved in database: 2500

Overall record: +377 -187 =790 (57.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (287) 
    B92 B83 B32 B47 B42
 Ruy Lopez (178) 
    C97 C98 C93 C92 C78
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (102) 
    C97 C98 C93 C92 C90
 French Defense (69) 
    C07 C05 C03 C09 C11
 Sicilian Najdorf (60) 
    B92 B91 B96 B94 B90
 Caro-Kann (53) 
    B18 B17 B15 B11 B16
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (133) 
    C95 C93 C97 C69 C85
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (102) 
    C95 C93 C97 C85 C94
 Nimzo Indian (100) 
    E59 E54 E55 E42 E45
 Queen's Indian (71) 
    E17 E19 E12 E15 E14
 English (59) 
    A17 A14 A15 A13 A12
 King's Indian (43) 
    E66 E64 E80 E60 E70
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Bisguier vs A Matanovic, 1961 0-1
   I Aloni vs A Matanovic, 1966 0-1
   Petrosian vs A Matanovic, 1959 1/2-1/2
   A Matanovic vs Tal, 1958 1-0
   Bronstein vs A Matanovic, 1962 1/2-1/2
   A Matanovic vs Uhlmann, 1976 1-0
   Spassky vs A Matanovic, 1964 1/2-1/2
   Bronstein vs A Matanovic, 1964 1/2-1/2
   N Padevsky vs A Matanovic, 1966 0-1
   Fischer vs A Matanovic, 1961 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Klaus Junge Memorial (1955)
   Yugoslav Championship (1969)
   Yugoslav Championship (1951)
   Belgrade (1954)
   Yugoslav Championship (1959)
   Zagreb (1955)
   Bad Pyrmont Zonal (1951)
   Mar del Plata (1961)
   Siegen Olympiad qual-2 (1970)
   Budapest Zonal (1960)
   Belgrade (1952)
   Belgrade (1964)
   Forssa / Helsinki Zonal (1972)
   Yugoslav Championship (1955)
   Portoroz Interzonal (1958)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1968 by WCC Editing Project
   Palma de Mallorca 1966 by Tabanus
   Moscow 1963 by sneaky pete
   Forssa/Helsinki zonal tournament 1972 by Chessdreamer
   Vidmar Memorial by FSR
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1968 by suenteus po 147

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FIDE player card for Aleksandar Matanovic

(born May-23-1930, 92 years old) Yugoslavia (federation/nationality Serbia)

[what is this?]

Aleksandar Matanovic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Awarded the IM title in 1951 and the GM title in 1955, he won the Yugoslav Championship in 1962 (=Dragoljub Minic), 1969 and 1978. A fine positional player he might have achieved more if he hadn't concentrated his efforts into chess literature. Two major works owe much to his editorship, namely the five volume "Encyclopedia Of Chess Openings" and "Chess Informator" founded in 1966. The code(1) "ECO" created by him and Dragutin Sahovic is universal today.

Further Reading:

(1) is a list; pages like Uncommon Opening (A00) allow the user to navigate a series of 500 pages of opening codes for the kibitzer who prefer it to the Opening Explorer view; (2) Wikipedia article: Aleksandar Matanović

Last updated: 2017-02-09 10:00:11

 page 1 of 55; games 1-25 of 1,371  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kostic vs A Matanovic  0-1451947YUG-ch Semifinal EastE91 King's Indian
2. B Milenkovic vs A Matanovic  0-1321947Serbian Youth ChampionshipE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
3. A Matanovic vs Kostic  0-1351948VinkovciB56 Sicilian
4. S Vukovic vs A Matanovic  1-0421949YUG-chE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
5. A Matanovic vs B Milic  1-0601949YUG-chC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
6. Gligoric vs A Matanovic  ½-½251949YUG-chB10 Caro-Kann
7. A Matanovic vs B Tot  0-1401949YUG-chB10 Caro-Kann
8. A Matanovic vs Kostic  ½-½611949YUG-chA06 Reti Opening
9. A Pinkus vs A Matanovic  0-1561950USA - Yugoslavia Radio MatchB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
10. A Matanovic vs A Pinkus  1-0241950USA - Yugoslavia Radio MatchC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
11. B Milic vs A Matanovic  1-0251950BelgradeD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
12. F Henneberke vs A Matanovic  0-1401950NED-YUGE19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
13. A Matanovic vs F Henneberke  ½-½151950NED-YUGB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
14. Vidmar vs A Matanovic  1-0241950BledE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
15. A Matanovic vs Pilnik  0-1551950BledD74 Neo-Grunfeld, Nxd5, 7.O-O
16. B Rabar vs A Matanovic  0-1481950Bled+A22 English
17. Rellstab vs A Matanovic ½-½891950BledB85 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Classical
18. A Matanovic vs Pirc 1-0411950BledB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
19. A Matanovic vs B Milic  ½-½341950BledC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
20. Kostic vs A Matanovic  0-1611950BledB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
21. Tartakower vs A Matanovic  0-1661950BledB10 Caro-Kann
22. Najdorf vs A Matanovic 1-0361950BledE26 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
23. A Matanovic vs Ivkov  ½-½411950BledB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
24. A Matanovic vs Puc  1-0491950BledB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
25. A Matanovic vs Stoltz  1-0401950BledC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
 page 1 of 55; games 1-25 of 1,371  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Matanovic wins | Matanovic loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: I'm not certain, but I believe the following happened to Matanovic. So, the Yugoslav team were on the way to a tournament and they went through Bulgaria. At customs, a Bulgarian officer asked them, where they were heading. Matanovic answered, they were chess players on their way to a tournament.

But the officer didn't believe them and "invited" Matanovic to play a game with him. How surprised Matanovic turned out to be, when he got checkmated fairly quickly. The officer told them: "You may pass. But save that story about chess players for others."

Apr-18-06  rochade18: similiar things happened to me too, though I am of course not in a national team...
May-23-06  BIDMONFA: Aleksandar Matanovic

MATANOVIC, Aleksandar

May-23-08  brankat: Happy Birthday Aleksandar!
May-23-08  utssb: <TheAlchemist> How could such a story be true? A knowledgeable GM being beaten by some Bulgarian officer?
May-23-08  bravado1: It may be true. Back then, in communism, a lot of sportsmen officially served in the Army or border patrols because it enabled them to have a regular salary and other benefits. This customs officer could be in fact a Bulgarian grandmaster.
May-23-08  Nikita Smirnov: bravado1: It may be true. Back then, in communism, a lot of sportsmen officially served in the Army or border patrols because it enabled them to have a regular salary and other benefits. This customs officer could be in fact a Bulgarian grandmaster.

Yes,you're right.
One such good exmple of a good player joining the army was Leonid Stein.And he also got an officer post if I'm right.

May-26-08  brankat: In East European countries in those days it was mandatory to join the armed forces service. Usually from 1-2 years. Of course there were exceptions. Some top level athletes, for example :-)
May-26-08  Nikita Smirnov: I've also heard that under WW II some great Soviet Sportsmens got wounded or killed.
May-28-08  utssb: <This customs officer could be in fact a Bulgarian grandmaster.>

I would very much doubt that. GMs were not common in that time and surely he would have been recognized. Or he would have recognized one of the players within the group. And if he was a GM that certainly would have presented itself in conversation and no such test would be needed.

Maybe it's possible that some decent club player was underestimated by Matanovic but the story seems unlikely. And surely it was no Master that he played.

Jun-01-08  Nikita Smirnov: <utssb> How can you be so sure?
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: <utssb> Well, I've seen some candidate masters at my club defeat GMs and IMs at blitz a few times. Maybe he was just a specialist (of master strength or thereabout) and Matanovic might not have been so good at it.
Aug-31-08  myschkin: . . .

"Chess Informant no. 100"

Recently, the famous Chess Informant reached a milestone: edition no. 100 was published. Facts, figures and an exclusive interview with 77-year-old editor-in-chief Aleksandar Matanovic.

Forty-two years ago, in the former Yugoslavia, some chess enthousiasts had a few interesting ideas. They wanted to collect the most distinguished chess games from all major events, and publish them. For this, they established a “chess language” - an international code akin to those used in mathematics and music, equally understandable to chessplayers all over the globe. Lastly, they subsitituted traditional opening names with a classification of chess openings based on evaluation of all the available hitherto played games. In 1966, the first volume of Chess Informant was published.

Within a few years, their publication (also called “Informator”) became the one and only chess bible (or should we say: bibles?) for travelling chess professionals, who in those days were known to carry more chess books than clothes in their suitcases, something we can hardly imagine in the digital era.

Exclusive interview with editor-in-chief Aleksandar Matanovic ...

(by chessvibes 4/2008)

Nov-08-08  brankat: <myschkin> Thanks for the link. A very informative interview :-)
Apr-17-10  wordfunph: <myschkin: their publication (also called “Informator”) became the one and only chess bible (or should we say: bibles?) for travelling chess professionals, who in those days were known to carry more chess books than clothes in their suitcases, something we can hardly imagine in the digital era.>


May-23-10  reti: Probably, Matanovic played very weak in order to save his life!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Wow. Aleksandar Matanovic is 81 years old.
May-23-11  bronkenstein: Srećan rodjendan velemajstore , sve najlepše!

Or shall I say , happy birthday :)

May-23-13  brankat: Wishing You a very happy Birthday Aleksandar!
May-23-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Aleksander Matanovic.
Jun-24-16  brankat: Last time I talked to GM Matanovic was in 1977. Hard to believe he's 86! But, then, I was 26, 65 now :-)
Jan-07-17  wrap99: About the official beating him at chess. I have read a similar story where someone claimed to be a mathematician and the official, one himself, asked him to do a Taylor series expansion of a function.
May-23-20  diagonal: The Serbian (Yugoslavian) grandmaster, famous founder and longtime editor-in-chief of the leading chess encyclopedia CHESS INFORMANT, esteemed author, journalist, and radio announcer, turns 90 today: Happy birthday, health and happiness.

In 1955, five players got the grandmaster title: Boris Spassky, then the youngest gm of the world, Oscar Panno, and Miroslav Filip (all automatically by qualifying as a Candidate), as well as Borislav Ivkov and Aleksandar Matanovic.

Aleksandar Matanovic is certainly best known as the chief editor of the legendary Chess Informant which was initiated in 1966 by him, Milivoje Molerovic, and Dragutin Sahovic, based also on previous work by Braslav Rabar who was an important co-inventor and designer of the classification systems for the Chess Informant publications.

Garry Kasparov asserted: "We are all Children of Informant".

Mr Matanovic is inextricably linked with the development of modern (post-war / pre-computer era) chess, compare the post from <myschkin>:

A world language, "chess esperanto" for the game, understandable to everyone, on all continents and to all dialects.

The code ECO, created by Matanovic, Molerovic, Rabar, Sahovic, and some others, is universal today.

Aug-21-22  Natasha Romannoff: happy he is still with us

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