TheBookPatch, a print-on-demand self-publisher, published Rade Milovanovic’s International Chess Master My Family and Chess Story with Selected Games and Pictures. The book is 246 pages. Milovanovic completed it in September of 2021. It retails for $38.00 for a print book. It is also available as an e-book ($10.00).
I bought the book because Milovanovic and I both worked at The University of Texas at Dallas. The book includes a photo of us, from October 21, 2000, seated with UT Dallas Chess Program founder Tim Redman (black shirt) and Chess Program Assistant Director Ken Elliott (far left). Chess Club Officers stand behind us. While I still work at UT Dallas, Milovanovic decided to retire in the summer of 2018.
Typical of many times in his life, retirement has brought both sad moments and happy ones. His beloved wife Snjezana died in 2021, having been diagnosed with dementia in 2016. On the happy side, Milovanovic picks up his grandchildren from school every day. He is close with their parents, his daughter Kristina and son-in-law Omar Khan.
Most of Milovanovic’s book takes place when he lived in or near Tuzla, the third-largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Born in 1954 in Serbia, Milovanovic grew up in a Tuzla suburb. He played most of his chess career in what was then Yugoslavia. Milovanovic completed law school and worked in city administration. His wife worked as a legal representative at the “Coal Mine Administration.” While chess was a big part of his life, obligations with work and family meant that Milovanovic was not a professional chess player.
Because of the disruption of war in the 1990s, Milovanovic and his family immigrated to Dallas. His first job was a church janitor, which must have seemed sad compared to his prestigious career in Tuzla. But connecting with the Dallas chess scene developed, within a couple of years, into a full-time job as the chess coach for UT Dallas. Milovanovic found happiness through 20 years of UT Dallas chess coaching. He also taught private students and ran his own chess camps.
Coaching meant less chess playing time than he had enjoyed in his prior life in Tuzla. Thus, most of the tournaments listed and games included are from his pre-immigration days.
Milovanovic defeated and drew many titled players. While his selected games aren’t annotated in words, there are variations and symbolic annotations (such as ? and !) given. The included games were played between 1970 and 2008, when Milovanovic tied for first place in the U.S. Open.
One highlight of his chess career was being on the second-place team of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the 1994 Chess Olympiad in Moscow. The top Russian team finished ahead of Bosnia and Herzegovina but the Russian “B” team finished behind it in third place. Milovanovic defeated International Master Aleksandr Veingold of Estonia in the following game. The annotations are from Milovanovic’s book.