Milan Matulović bigraphy, stories - Yugoslav chess player

Milan Matulović : biography

10 June 1935 -

Milan Matulović (born 10 June 1935) is a chess Grandmaster who was the second or third strongest Yugoslav player for much of the 1960s and 1970s behind Svetozar Gligorić and possibly Borislav Ivkov. He was primarily active before 1977, but has remained an occasional tournament competitor as recently as 2006.



Controversy in actions both over and away from the board was nothing new to Matulović. Over the board he was known for playing out hopeless positions long after grandmaster etiquette called for a resignation, allegedly in the hopes of reaching adjournment (suspension of a game for resumption the next day, common in tournament play at the time) so that the news reports would read "Matulović's game is adjourned" rather than "Matulović lost!"Levy's comments on a Matulović loss to Gligorić; Levy, 1972, p. 167Radojcic, Chess Life, September 1970, p. 500

More seriously, in the aftermath of the 1970 Interzonal tournament at Palma de Mallorca, he was accused of "throwing" his game against Mark Taimanov in return for a $400 bribe, thus allowing Taimanov to advance to the Candidates matches,Fox & James, p. 226. Levy, 1975, says the amount was $300. where he was famously defeated by Bobby Fischer 6–0. The accusations centered on Matulović's conduct during the gameIn the tournament book by Wade & Blackstock and the alleged feebleness of his resistance. The score of the notorious Taimanov–Matulović game follows, from which the reader can draw his or her own conclusions:

Taimanov–Matulović, Queen's Gambit Accepted: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bg4 5.Bxc4 e6 6.Nc3 Nbd7 7.h3 Bh5 8.0-0 Bd6 9.e4 e5 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.Be2 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3 Qe7 14.Bf4 Be5 15.Bxe5 Qxe5 16.Qe3 0-0 17.f4 Qe7 18.e5 c6 19.Rfe1 Rfe8 20.Qf3 Qc5+ 21.Qf2 Qxf2+ 22.Kxf2 Nd5 23.Nxd5 cxd5 24.Red1 Red8 25.Rac1 Rd7 26.Ke3 Rad8 27.Kd4 Kf8 28.f5 Ke7 29.Rd3 Re8 30.Rdc3 b6 31.Rc7 Rd8 32.R1c6 Ke8 33.g4 h6 34.h4 Rb8 35.g5 hxg5 36.hxg5 Rb7 37.Rc8+ Rd8 38.Rxd8+ Kxd8 39.Kxd5 a5 40.Rd6+ Ke8 41.Kc6 Re7 42.Rd5 1–0

Perhaps Matulović's most notorious transgression was against István Bilek at the Sousse Interzonal in 1967. According to discussion there, he withdrew 38. Bf3 and replaced it with 38. Kg1. He played a losing move but then took it back after saying "j'adoube" ("I adjust" – spoken before adjusting pieces on their square, see touch-move rule). His opponent complained to the arbiter but the move was allowed to stand. This incident earned Matulović the nickname "J'adoubovic".Hooper and Whyld, p. 252, says "... he played in the Sousse Interzonal in which, after a little cheating (see j'adoube), he came ninth." p. 185 (the "j'adoube" entry) says: "... withdrew a losing move saying "Ich spreche j'doube"; this ruse went unpunished ...".Lombardy & Daniels, p. 104, say "... Matulovich withdrew a move so blatantly that his colleagues nicknamed him "J'aboubovich", is a cherished piece of chess lore."Radojcic, pp. 500-501

"... in the interzonal in Tunisia he even took back one of his moves pretending that this bad move was only yet another j'adoube."Fox & James, pp. 225-26: "...Milan has more than once been caught trying to get away with stuff that would get him thrown off any primary school chess team.  Against Bilek at Sousse in 1967 he, not liking his position, took a move back, saying as he did so "J'adoube".  Bilek's jaw dropped, but the arbiter hadn't seen the outrage and Matulović went on to win.  ... for a while, Matulović was known on the tournament circuit as J'adoubovich."Evans, p. 307, says "...shocked spectators saw ... Matulovic lift a piece and put it back after discovering that moving it would cost him the game.  He stuttered, J'adoube, and moved another piece instead, which is commonly known as cheating.  Bilek squawked, but the referee took no action because he didn't see the incident.  The game was eventually drawn."Saidy & Lessing, p. 24, "In a tournament game between Matulovic and Bilek in 1970, the former moved a piece, then saw that it would entail the loss of the game.  He quickly said "J'adoube" and calmly proceeded to make another move.  The astounded Bilek was too stunned to protest and Matulovic went on to win the game.  The chess masters who witnessed the incident thereafter referred to Matulovic as 'J'adoubovic'."  This reportedly happened several times, including in a game against Bobby Fischer.Brady, Endgame, 2011, p. 95–96 
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