Milan Velimirović (1952-2013), GM of Chess Composition, GM Solver and International Judge of chess composition and authentic chess problems community guru, has suddenly passed away after short illness. Velimirovic was main author of monumental Encyclopedia of Chess Openings -Themes and Terms, that he concluded just few months before his death. He didn't lived long enough to enjoy the great success of the book that was his lifetime work. He was also a regular problems columnist in Chess Informant. In upcoming Informant 116, problemist Marjan Kovacevic will present best chess compositions from the career of Milan Velimirovic.
Milan was the first international master of chess composition and the first grandmaster solver in Serbia. He was the key solver in many medals won by the Yugoslav national team in World Solving Championships, including the gold one, in 1982.
The big hall of the Serbian Chess Federation seemed too small for official commemorative gathering with so many of Milan's friends, chess players, problemists, colleagues, collaborators…
Among those he spoke about the legacy of Milan were grandmaster Ljubomir Ljubojevic, problemist Marjan Kovacevic and director of Chess Informant FM Josip Asik. At MatPlus problems web site, there is Condolence page with last goodbuy for Milan from his friends and admirers, GM John Nunn, IM Yochanan Afek, problemist Uri Avner and many others.
As a grandmaster of chess composition, Milan aimed the highest goals and the crystal-clear mechanisms, crowned by the complex cyclic change, his Queen of the Themes. No wonder he composed the first 3x3 Lacny #3, and the first, miraculous, Lacny-Tura #3. The later one was composed in one of the periods of Milan’s dissatisfaction with the situation in problems chess, that lasted a whole decade, 1985-1994.
These periods were the reason his grandmaster title in composing came so late, but each comeback brought him a new enthusiasm. The last comeback, in 2007, began with his idea to live the rest of his life from the problem chess activities. Milan left the profession of a programmer and turned to various Mat Plus projects. He even accepted being director of both WCSC and ECSC, and not once. The road was rainy, especially after being a successful programmer, including a good work for IBM at the end of 90-es, but Milan loved chess composition so much.
His spirit lives transparently in the construction of Mat Plus website, created for the pleasure and education of the whole problem chess world. The world he wanted to be much better than it is now. Our condolences go to his sister Vojka and so many chess friends around the world.
Rest in Piece.