Digo era, porque em 2006 deixei de ver as suas partidas, até perceber porquê-banido pela FIDE, porque...misérias de que o Xadrez Internacional é fértil. Um "escriba" no Chess Vibes lá explica porquê, e abre um debate interessante sobre se a morte deve apagar certas "filhas-da-putice"da vida , usando a expressão do Pacheco? Será que daqui a uns anos se vai louvar um "Crisan", ou um Georghiu , ou...ou...
A partir daí, Mato Damjanovic, para mim deixou de ser um dos meus de heróis secretos do tabuleiro!
Faleceu um grande jogador de xadrez, pena que...
Retirado do Livro " Yugoslav Chess Triumphs" e em Inglês, um texto sobre este jogador, com o presente à altura como pano de fundo.
“Twenty-four hours playing unofficial games without showing any signs of fatigue — this is what they say about Mato Damjanovic. Practice being his forte, he usually says: I’ve never had enough time to study chess theory", which is characteristic of his enormous hunger for chess as well as of his disclination to sped solitary hours in study.
His success is based exclusively on his experience exclusively on his experience playing at numerous tournaments and the thousands of unofficial games between them, sometimes between two rounds of a tournament.
Mato Damjanovic was born in Djeletovci on March 23rd 1927. His profession is chess journalism. He is one of the few foreign players to win their grandmaster's title in the Soviet Union. This was at a tournament in Soci in 1964. However, his best tournaments were in Zagreb where he lives. He was winner in 1969, and three years later he was second. His tournaments successes include second place in the international tournament in Salgotarjan (Hungary) and the fourth place he shared with grandmaster Stein in Amsterdam 1969. He was a member of the Yugoslav Olympic team in Leipzig 1960.
Playing chess he has travelled all over the world, but it has not changed him; he has remain simple and modest as ever. For example, his greatest and only hobby is collecting all kinds of cigarette lighters. Sometimes he walks for hours from shop to shop looking for some new lighter that is missing in his collection. But none of them stay with him very long; sometimes it simply does not work any more, or Mato loses it somewhere or has to give it as a present to some good friend -— ,”has to" because he could never refuse a friend.
Chess is the most important thing in the world for him, something almost sacred. He is always ready to participate in any tournament, whether in some big city or a remote village. Just as Bora Kostic once did, he also makes a distinction between people who play chess and others who do not.
Understandably, all his attention and interest are devoted to chess players with Mato frequently playing host to some player from foreign parts.
Though according to the medical experts he should be long past his zenith, he continues to play chess very well indeed — one might even. say that he plays better as the years go by.”