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At 88, Branimir Brebrich figures he has plenty of competitive chess left in him.

“If you can concentrate, you can play till you’re 100,” says the long-time chess master, teacher and tournament organizer.

Brebrich came to Canada from the former Yugoslavia in 1968 and soon created three separate chess associations. He was a leading player and organizer in Calgary for decades before moving to Richmond, B.C. in 2000.

One of his biggest achievements was setting a world record in 1978 for playing the most number of opponents in a simultaneous exhibition. He played 575 people in an Edmonton mall over 26 hours, recording only 15 losses.

Brebrich continues to play regularly at two local libraries, and over the last few years he has still been competitive when invited to play in tournaments. He returned to Calgary three years ago to play in a “Battle of Alberta” against the Edmonton club, winning his individual match.

“My most important job in chess is teaching,” he says. He has been actively involved in chess education since coming to Canada, and believes it’s important for kids of all ages.

Last year Brebrich was inducted into the Canadian Chess Hall of Fame.

Branimir Brebrich v. Frank Kluytmans, Calgary, 1986


Black has just played Nxg3. How should White proceed?

Reveal Answer:

White played 21.Bxe6+ Nd7 22.Nh4 Qxc2 23.hxg3 Qxd2 24.Nf5 h4 25.Nd6+ and Black resigned.