Svetozar Gligoric, one of the legends of Chess passed away on 14th August 2012.
He was not only one of the top 10 players in the world, but also one of the most popular due to his pleasing and engaging personality. He was born in Belgrade and started chess during his late teenage years. He quickly found success by winning the club championship. After the War, his tournament results progressed and he was awarded the title of Grandmaster in 1951. Thereafter he became a full time chess professional and was an active player well into his sixties.
Apart from his over the board prowess, he was also a writer of great repute. He has authored several popular chess books and regular columns in famous magazines.
I have been lucky to meet him personally at Belgrade about 8 years back. I had gone there for a software project and took the opportunity to meet him at his residence in the suburbs of Belgrade. He lived alone, along with his wife's memories in a nice little cottage. He had stopped chess since it caused too much of tension, but he used to take piano lessons from a tutor who came to his home. I spend several memorable hours with him chatting about his past experiences and he was even kind enough to pose for pictures.
He gifted me a signed copy of the book "Shall we play Fischerandom" which he had authored and by the time i left his home by 6 PM, he had created a deep impression on my mind, which is fresh even to this day, as not only a great chess master, but also as one of the most wonderful people the chess world has seen.