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Interview with GM Alisa Maric
Written by content team 30 March 2009

Alisa Maric was introduced to chess at the age of four, together with her 21 minutes younger twin sister Mirjana Maric. Alisa and Mirjana are the only twins with grandmaster titles in the history. She is considered to be the best Serbian female chess player ever and best American-born female chess player ever. She was World's U20 Women's Champion in 1985 and Yugoslavian Women's Champion in 1986. At 20, she was third ranked female player in the world!
Alisa Maric has done Ph.D in Economics and she's working as Marketing professor at Megatrend University in Belgrade. She is co-author of students book “Principles of marketing“. She is also a member of Presidential Board of Serbian Olympic Committee. Many times, she was anchor of TV chess shows such as “Alisa in the Wonderland of Chess”.
In this interview with Alisa Maric, she talks about managing sports as well as academics career, chess in schools, Judith Polgar, role of glamour in chess etc. In the end she has a special message for Indians! Interview with games and pictures.

LatestChess :- Hello Alisa, We are glad to have you on LatestChess. Your domestic situation as a child was certainly different, what was it like to Grow Up as a Twin?
GM Alisa Maric :-
There is one especially good thing about it which is connected to chess; you always have a partner for the game! As we were kids, there was a great home rivalry between us, not only in chess but any kind of game. Of course, as twin sisters we attracted more media attention. It’s not about one talented girl but two at the same time!

LatestChess :- You were introduced to chess at the age of four, together with your 21 minutes younger twin sister Mirjana Maric. You are the only twins with grandmaster titles in the history of chess. How does it feel?
GM Alisa Maric :- It is interesting that Mirjana and I are the only twin grandmasters still despite many new players rising. I am very happy that both of us have achieved great results during our careers. I got higher rank than my sister but it was because she gave her best to help me as a trainer and pushed her own career back.

My sister was twice champion of Yugoslavia, world champion U16, participant of World championship Inter-zonal tournament and member of Yugoslavian national team at Chess Olympiads in a period of 1990-1994. Finally she had more obligations about her work as a computer programmer in national telecommunication company but also to her family and especially young son Filip.

Mirjana gave her best to help me as a trainer and pushed her own career back ...

Alisa and Mirjana Maric at age of four

LatestChess :- You started your chess career as a prodigy, you were equally good with academics, you have done M.S. and PhD. How difficult it is to manage both? Do you think you could have been a much stronger chess player if you would have concentrated only on chess?
GM Alisa Maric :- I was third at the World championship cycles in two occasions. In 1991 I was co-winner of Candidate’s tournament and played Final challenger match against Xie Jun and in 2000 I played semifinal at “knockout” World championship in New Delhi. In-between I was always among six best players at World championships. It’s not so easy to be much better than this. At the same time I graduated at University of Belgrade in Economy. It means that it is possible to manage both, sport and academic career. I can’t say it was easy, but it was a challenge to do the best in both fields. Now I spend more time as a marketing professor than as a chess player.

it is possible to manage both, sport and academic career...

Xie Jun with Alisa Maric during WCC Final challenger match 1991

LatestChess :- Chess has been effectively used as a powerful educational tool; Russian's have added chess as a subject in the Schools. How is Serbia doing with that aspect?
GM Alisa Maric :- Two years ago, Serbia introduced chess as a subject of choice in many primary schools. It was a great campaign supported by national Ministry of sport. I was named as a promoter of campaign so I played simultaneous games with kids, gave chess lessons and had interviews in various media about benefits of chess for youngsters. We have number of enthusiasts who are working on spreading chess as a subject to all primary and secondary schools in the country.

It was a great campaign supported by national Ministry of sport...

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