With the sadly premature death of Serbia’s Milan Velimirović the problem world has lost one of its great exponents and promoters. Emerging as one of the most prominent of a group of talented composers based in Belgrade in the late 1960s, he was greatly influenced by Miroslav Stošić, who died in 1975 at the age of 25, and whom Milan regarded as an elder brother. A Grandmaster for both composition and solving, editor of the top class magazines Mat and Mat Plus, the author of a number of important contributions to chess problem literature, director of solving events, and the driving force behind the Mat Plus website, Milan’s enthusiasm for chess composition knew no limits, as those who had the pleasure of meeting him at problem meetings could testify. I was privileged to work with Milan on the collection of problems by Touw Hian Bwee, where his appreciation of chess artistry is evident in his erudite commentary. I urged him to produce his own collection, but his response was that he still had a lot of composing to do. Now that will be a job for others. Like many people he had formal employment (as a computer programmer) which paid the bills, and an abiding passion which lay elsewhere, on the 64 squares. His books, his magazines, and especially his wonderful problems will be his memorial.
1st Prize, B.P. Selo JT, 1977
Mate in 2
Six changes effortlessly achieved in an open setting.
A typically smiling Milan.
Milan with the Touw Hian Bwee book. Taken at Jurmala, 2008.
(Photo: Franziska Iseli)