Friday 17 May 2024

Milan Ninchich (1957 - 2024)

 It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Milan Ninchich. Milan was an active player on the Canberra chess scene for over 30 years, having moved here from Perth after taking a government job in the nation's capital. On arrival he became an active member of the Belconnen Chess Club, participating in numerous club and weekend events. A player who enjoyed attacking chess, he proved to be a challenging opponent, and the games he produce (win or lose) were always enjoyable to play through. 

I played him at least 20 times (not counting offhand games) going back to the early 1990's. It was one of our early games that was the most memorable, as it was a game that I still consider my best ever. But without Milan's attempt to refute my opening as early as move 7 (an idea prepared in advance) the game would never have existed. As a result I have always considered him the 'co-author' of this brilliancy.

In later years his involvement in the chess scene was curtailed by health issues, but we would stay in touch, discussing computer chess (of which he had an avid interest) and other chess topics. He was also a prolific contributor to this blog, either in the comments section, or via emailed links to articles he found interesting. To me, Milan was the type of player any chess club or community needed, always cheerful and always welcoming to new players.

For local chess players who wish to remember Milan, his funeral will be at Serbian Orthodox Church of St Sava, Lambrigg Street Farrar at 1:30pm 23rd May 2024. He is survived by his wide Biljana and children Doug and  Nada. I'm sure I speak for the Canberra chess community in offering our sympathies at this difficult time.

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