"Nona Cup" Chess Award Visits Guria and Samegrelo

The Nona Cup was founded in 1997 by the World Chess Federation in honor of Nona Gaprindashvili and her contribution to the development of world chess. Gaprindashvili was a Georgian Grandmaster and a five-time women’s world chess champion. The Cup is awarded to the country whose men’s and women’s teams collectively score the highest in the Chess Olympiad. Since its founding, the Russia has had the cup three times, and Ukraine and China have both won it twice.

The 43rd World Chess Olympiad will take place in Batumi, Georgia from September 23 – October 5. The winner will be the next holder of the Nona Cup. Leading up to the tournament, the Cup is traveling around Gaprindashvili’s homeland of Georgia. It visited the regions of Guria and Samegrelo on September 7-8.

77-year-old Nona Gaprindashvili herself accompanied the cup in Guria and Samegrelo, along with World Champion Nana Ioseliani, and President of Georgian Chess Federation Giorgi Giorgadze.

In Guria, the Nona Cup was exhibited at the Chess Park in Ozurgeti. Gaprindashvili, Ioseliani, and Giorgadze were joined by the Governor of the Guria region, Zurab Nasaria, who spoke to chess lovers and many Ozurgeti residents.

In Ozurgeti, 91-year-old veteran chess player Olia Shatirishvili, reminded Gaprindashvili of a match they played 55 years ago. Giorgadze presented Nasaria and Shatirishvili with symbolic prizes.

In Samegrelo, the Cup was exhibited in the gardens of Dadiani Palace in Zugdidi. Guests were hosted by the Governor of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region, Alexander Motserielia, and local government representatives.

Gaprindashvili and Ioseliani held game sessions in Zugdidi and Ozurgeti and handed out prizes on behalf of the National Olympic Committee to distinguished young chess players.

Chess tournaments were arranged in both towns, the winners of which were given shirts, notebooks, USD sticks, and handbags with the logo of the 43rd World Chess Olympiad.

"After being nominated to hosting the Batumi Olympics, the organizing committee has been trying to popularize this tournament and is traveling with the Nona Cup. I am very glad that in all the cities where we brought this award, I saw great joy and love for chess. Obviously, the Guria and Samegrelo regions are exceptional. I am happy that in this corner of Georgia, this is a beautiful game. Ms. Nona and Ms. Nana played a number of interesting games with the kids and I think that among these children are the players who will compose the Georgian national team in the nearest future. I would like to thank the local government for their excellent hospitality,” said Giorgadze.

Gaprindashvili said, "There is very little time left before the Batumi Olympics, but I'm calm: I see that everything is going according to plan, and I believe this Olympics will be the best in history. I have a lot of warm memories in Guria and Samegrelo, and this is why I visited Ozurgeti and Zugdidi. Although I am no longer young, I think that this trip is a big deal and that's why I'm here.”

The Nona Cup has been exhibited in Tbilisi, Telavi, Rustavi, Kutaisi, Ambrolauri, Gori, Stepantsminda, Kvareli, and in several villages and towns.


By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: Nona Cup

11 September 2018 11:20