14 Greatest Chess Players Serbia in History

Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez

Serbia is a country that has produced some of the most talented chess players in the world.

From Grandmasters to International Masters, Serbian chess players have made a name for themselves on the international chess circuit and have consistently ranked among the top chess players in the world.

Notable players include Grandmasters Svetozar Gligoric, Miroslav Milutinovic, and Ljubomir Ljubojevic. These players are considered to be some of the best chess players in Serbia and have achieved significant success both domestically and internationally.

1. Igor Miladinović


Igor Miladinović is a renowned chess player from Serbia. He achieved the title of grandmaster in 2009, making him one of the most successful chess players in the world. Miladinović has had a remarkable career in the game of chess, winning numerous tournaments and competitions.

He is widely regarded as one of the most talented players of his generation, and his accomplishments have made him a household name in Serbia. Miladinović first gained recognition for his impressive performance at the European Youth Chess Championships in 2003.

He went on to win the Serbian Chess Championship in 2008 and 2009, and he also won the Serbian Rapid Chess Championship in 2006.

Miladinović has represented Serbia in a number of international chess tournaments, including the World Chess Olympiad and the FIDE World Chess Championship.

He has also participated in numerous chess-related events, such as simul chess exhibitions, lectures, and training sessions. In addition to his competitive successes, Miladinović has also been involved in several chess-related activities.

He is the author of several books on chess strategy and tactics, and he has also served as a coach for various chess teams. Miladinović’s passion for the game is evident in his commitment to promoting chess throughout the world.

He has been a frequent guest on TV and radio programs, as well as a regular contributor to chess magazines and websites. Igor Miladinović is an accomplished and highly respected chess player.

His accomplishments and dedication to the game have earned him the title of grandmaster, and he continues to inspire aspiring chess players around the world.

2. Ivan Ivanišević


Ivan Ivanišević is an incredibly successful Serbian chess player. He achieved the prestigious FIDE title of Grandmaster in 2000, an impressive feat considering the high level of competition in the world of chess.

Beyond this, Ivanišević has won the Serbian Chess Championship an impressive six times, in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2017, and 2019. He has competed in seven Chess Olympiads to date, representing both FR Yugoslavia and Serbia, three times on the first board.

Ivanišević’s success is an impressive testament to his skill as a chess player. His numerous wins in individual and team tournaments demonstrate his ability to compete at the highest level.

It is clear that Ivanišević is a formidable chess player and his accomplishments serve as an inspiration to aspiring chess players.

3. Robert Markuš

Robert Markuš is a highly accomplished chess player from Serbia. He is a Grandmaster, the highest title in chess, and is a member of the Novi Sad Chess Club. This is the highest rank a chess player can obtain and it is a great honor.

Markuš has achieved many successes over the years. He represented Serbia in the 37th Chess Olympiad, which is an international chess tournament that is held every four years.

This is a major accomplishment, as it requires intense training and preparation, and shows that Markuš is a highly skilled and dedicated chess player. In addition to his success in the Chess Olympiad, Markuš has also achieved numerous other titles and awards.

He has won countless tournaments and has been recognized by many organizations for his achievements. Markuš is a well-respected and admired chess player and his accomplishments prove his dedication to the game.

4. Svetozar Gligorić


Svetozar Gligorić was an accomplished chess grandmaster and musician from Serbia and Yugoslavia. He was a record-breaking chess player, having won the championship of Yugoslavia a staggering twelve times.

His incredible talent and skill have earned him the distinction of being considered the best chess player ever to come from Serbia. In recognition of his unparalleled excellence, in 1958, Gligorić was declared the best athlete of Yugoslavia.

His accomplishments are a testament to his incredible talent and dedication to the game of chess. Gligorić’s legacy lives on today, and he is remembered as one of the all-time greats in the chess world.

5. Borislav Ivkov


Borislav Ivkov was an accomplished chess player from Serbia. He achieved the rank of Grandmaster and was a World Championship Candidate in 1965. Ivkov went on to compete in four more Interzonal tournaments in 1967, 1970, 1973, and 1979.

His successes in the chess world extended beyond tournaments, as he was also named the first World Junior Champion in 1951. In addition, he was a three-time Yugoslav Champion. This makes Ivkov one of the most successful chess players of all time.

His skill and dedication to the game of chess has earned him a place in the history books.

6. Ljubomir Ljubojević


Ljubomir Ljubojević is a highly accomplished chess player from Serbia. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster in 1975, making him one of the first chess players from the region to be awarded the distinction.

His career achievements include winning the Yugoslav Chess Championship twice, in 1977 and 1982. Ljubojević has been a major influence on the Serbian chess scene and is widely regarded as one of the most successful chess players from the region.

After winning the Yugoslav Championship twice, he went on to become a coach and mentor for younger players.

He has also written several books and articles on chess strategy and technique and has helped organize several chess tournaments in Serbia. He is still actively involved in the chess community and continues to offer guidance and support to young players.

He has also been a strong supporter of the Serbia Chess Federation and has been instrumental in promoting chess in the region. Ljubomir Ljubojević is an excellent example of a successful chess player and a great ambassador for the sport.

7. Aleksandar Matanović


Aleksandar Matanović was a highly respected Serbian chess grandmaster. He was an important figure in the world of chess, having achieved a great deal of success throughout his career.

He was the first ever Yugoslav grandmaster and was the first person from his country to win the World Junior Chess Championship in 1960. Matanović also made a significant contribution to the development of chess as a game.

He was the founding editor-in-chief of Chess Informant, a magazine that was launched in 1966 and which since then has published the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings.

This publication is highly regarded among chess players, as it provides important information regarding the various opening moves in the game. It also contains a vast array of annotated games that can be studied by players.

Matanović’s work in the chess world was hugely influential, and he will always be remembered as a great player and editor. He was an important figure in the development of the game, and his legacy in the chess world will be remembered for years to come.

8. Dragoljub Velimirović


Dragoljub Velimirović was a renowned Serbian chess grandmaster. He was born in Valjevo, Serbia in 1947. During his career, Velimirović earned the title of Grandmaster in 1965, becoming one of the youngest players to do so.

He was known for his bold and aggressive style of play, becoming one of the most successful players in the 1970s.

He won the Yugoslav Chess Championship in 1974 and the European Team Championship in 1979. Velimirović was also a renowned chess teacher and mentor to many young players. He wrote several books on chess, focusing on the strategy and philosophy of the game.

He was a strong advocate of the importance of studying chess, believing that players should understand the basic principles of the game before trying to master complex tactics. Velimirović had a profound impact on the chess world, and his legacy remains alive today.

He was inducted into the Serbian Chess Hall of Fame in 2004, and many of his teachings are still used in the modern-day game. He was known for his passion and enthusiasm for the game, and his influence continues to be felt in the chess community.

9. Miodrag Todorcevic

Miodrag Todorčević is a Serbian-French chess master and coach who has had a successful career in chess. He has represented three countries: Yugoslavia/Serbia, France, and Spain.

He achieved great success in Paris, winning the City Chess Championship five times, as well as the French Chess Championship at Dijon in 1975. Todorcevic was also a part of the French team, representing France in the Chess Olympiads in 1972 and 1974.

His accomplishments demonstrate his impressive talent in the game of chess. In addition to his success in France, Todorčević has also achieved great success in other countries. He won the Spanish Chess Championship in 1966, and in 1977 he won the Yugoslavian Chess Championship.

He has also won many international tournaments in different countries, including in Yugoslavia, France, and Spain. Todorčević has become a respected chess coach, offering his expertise to aspiring chess players.

He has given many lectures and seminars on the game of chess and has written several books on the subject.

His expertise has been used to help train some of the top chess players in the world. Todorčević’s accomplishments in the game of chess have been recognized and praised by many in the chess community.

His commitment to the game and his knowledge of its strategies have earned him the respect of his peers and he is seen as a leader in the field. He is a true testament to the power of dedication and hard work in the pursuit of excellence.

10. Dragoljub Čirić


Dragoljub Miladin Čirić was a renowned chess grandmaster from Serbia-Yugoslavia. He began playing chess at the age of seven and quickly rose to the top of the chess scene. He became the first Yugoslavian to earn the title of Grandmaster in 1965.

Over the course of his career, he won several tournaments, including the Yugoslavian National Championship twice and the Yugoslavian Cup twice.

He also competed in several international tournaments, notably achieving a seventh-place finish at the prestigious Interzonal Tournament in Sousse, Tunisia in 1967. Dragoljub Miladin Čirić was an accomplished chess author as well.

He authored two books, “Chess in Yugoslavia” and “Chess in Yugoslavia II”, which gave detailed accounts of the accomplishments of Yugoslavian chess players.

He also served as editor-in-chief of the magazine “Chess Review”, which was published in Yugoslavia from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.Dragoljub Miladin Čirić was a gifted and influential chess player.

He was a strong advocate for the promotion of chess in Yugoslavia and served as a mentor to many younger players. His legacy is remembered today as a symbol of excellence and dedication to the game of chess.

11. Maria Manakova

Maria Manakova is a highly accomplished chess player who was born in the Russian city of Kazan. She has achieved the title of Woman Grandmaster and is known for her skill in the game.

Manakova has also been a resident of Serbia for a number of years and has been an important part of the Yugoslav women’s chess team. She has been credited with helping the team reach greater success and recognition in the chess world.

Her contributions have been invaluable to the team, and she has been an important figure in the development of the team’s strategy and tactics. Manakova is a fantastic example of how an individual can make a huge impact in the world of chess.

Her dedication and skill have been a great asset to the Yugoslav women’s chess team and have helped them to excel in the game. She is a role model for aspiring chess players and has demonstrated what is possible when one puts their mind to it.

12. Alexey Sarana


Alexey Vasilyevich Sarana is a highly-accomplished chess grandmaster, who was born in Russia but currently resides in Serbia. He has achieved a great deal of success in his chess career, particularly in the European Individual Chess Championship.

In 2023, Sarana achieved the highest possible honor by winning the European Individual Chess Championship, a prestigious tournament that is held annually in Europe. This victory was a major moment in Sarana’s career and has since become a highlight of his many accomplishments.

Sarana’s win in the tournament was a testament to his skill and dedication to the game. It was also an important milestone for Russian chess, as Sarana is the first Russian-born grandmaster to win the European Individual Chess Championship.

Sarana’s success in the tournament has inspired other Russian-born grandmasters and has put Russia’s chess tradition in the spotlight.

13. Henrijeta Konarkowska-Sokolov

Henryka Konarkowska-Sokolov is a Polish-Serbian chess master. She is a renowned and highly successful chess player who has competed in both national and international tournaments.

Her career has been marked by numerous achievements, including the title of Woman Grandmaster in 2001.

She has also been awarded a bronze medal at the European Women’s Championship in 2002 and has represented Poland at the Olympiad in 2004 and 2006. Konarkowska-Sokolov is known for her tactical and positional play, as well as her ability to outthink her opponents.

She has competed in many prestigious tournaments, including the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, the European Women’s Individual Championship, and the World Women’s Team Championship.

She has also won numerous awards in her home country, including the Grandmaster of the Year title in 1998. Konarkowska-Sokolov is a highly respected figure in the international chess community.

She has been credited with helping to popularize the game in both Poland and Serbia and is a strong advocate for the development of chess-related activities in both countries. Her commitment to the game is evident in her continuous efforts to promote the game and its players.

14. Svetlana Prudnikova


Svetlana Prudnikova is an impressive figure in the world of chess. She is a Russian-Serbian chess player and holds the title of Woman Grandmaster. This is one of the highest titles any female chess player can obtain. Prudnikova has achieved tremendous success in the sport.

She has won the Russian women’s championship twice, in 1992 and 1998. Additionally, she has won the FR Yugoslavia women’s championship twice as well, in 2000 and 2002.

This is an impressive accomplishment, as it demonstrates her ability to succeed in different contexts. Prudnikova’s success is a testament to her dedication and hard work.

She is an example of what a female athlete can achieve when she puts in the effort and strives to reach her goals. Her accomplishments are also inspiring for young chess players in Russia and Serbia who might one day aspire to take the title of Woman Grandmaster.


Serbia is home to some of the best chess players in the world, including Grandmasters Aleksandar Kovacevic, Ivan Ivanisevic, and Jovana Vojinovic. They have all won major tournaments and have achieved impressive rankings in various international competitions.

It is clear that Serbia is a strong contender in the world of chess, and its players are sure to continue to dominate the game for years to come.

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Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez

I am a professional chess player for over 10 years, one of the youngest Grandmasters in the world and amongst the top ranked in the western hemisphere. I have been playing chess since I was a child, and it is something that I have always been passionate about. My passion has taken me to numerous tournaments around the world where I have competed against some of the best players in the world. Through hard work and dedication, I have achieved great success at these tournaments and have become one of the youngest Grandmasters in history. My goal is to continue to improve my game and reach new heights within this sport. LinkedIn