Grandmaster Jergus Pechac is the recipient of the Gligoric Trophy 2021 in recognition of his exemplary behaviour and fair play spirit. The decision was made by the special Award Commission chaired by Mahir Mamedov, Judit Polgar, and Eugene Torre.
The 21-year-old Slovak GM made the headlines last year when, in the second round of the European Qualification Tournament, which was played under a hybrid format, his opponent Boris Gelfand blundered a full queen due to a mouse slip. This event was a qualifier for the World Cup in Sochi, and despite the high stakes at play, Pechac graciously offered a draw to his opponent, not taking advantage of Gelfand’s unfortunate mistake. With his action, Jergus risked not reaching the third round, but luckily for him, he advanced anyway by winning the Armageddon. (Read more here)
After Pechac showed the spirit of majestic sportsmanship during the European Hybrid Qualification Tournament for the FIDE World Cup 2021, FIDE President decided to provide him a wild card for Sochi.
While Jergus was perfectly on his right to continue the game, and he is a consummated competitor, he also demonstrated that winning at all costs is not a priority. The respect for the opponent he showed with his noble gesture is an example to the entire chess community, one that Svetozar Gligoric himself would have applauded.
Svetozar Gligoric Trophy
The award named after Serbian grandmaster Svetozar Gligoric was established by FIDE in 2012. FIDE General Assembly in 2012 has accepted the proposal of the Serbian Chess Federation to establish the award for fair play which would be named after the legendary Svetozar Gligoric who passed away earlier that year. The FIDE Presidental Board decided to reestablish the award setting the clear nomination process in 2019. The award recognizes outstanding gesture or action of sportsmanship during the sports event, outstanding contribution to the popularization of the values and principles of Fair Play, outstanding support towards initiatives on enforcement of ethical values and promotion of integrity and high ethical standards. Read more about the nomination process