Grandmaster Jerguš Pecháč 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, Pecháč graciously offered a draw to his opponent, not taking advantage of Gelfand’s unfortunate mistake. With his action, Jerguš risked not reaching the third round, but luckily for him, he advanced anyway by winning the Armageddon.
While Jerguš 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.
Text credit – FIDE website.
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