Nona Gaprindashvili Earns the World Chess Champion Title Once Again

Nona Gaprindashvili, a famous Georgian chess player who was the first woman to be awarded the FIDE title Grandmaster has won yet another World Chess Championship, only this time in the seniors' category. The lady, who acquired the World Champion title five times between 1962-1975, has now won the World Senior Chess Championship in the 65+ age category in Bucharest.

The World Senior Chess Championship took place in Romania from November 8 to 23. Out of 11 matches, Gaprindashvili ended the tournament with a total score of 8.5, making her the World Senior Chess Champion, much like last year. In 2018 at the age of 77 Gaprindashvili won The World Senior Championships, she became the winner of the "65+ World Senior Championship among women with 8.5/11. In 1995 Gaprindashvili won the World Seniors’ Championship for the first time.

Gaprindashvili was born in 1941 in Soviet Georgia, Zugdidi. She showed her excellence at chess when she was little, and at the age of 20, she made her first breakthrough in the international chess community. Grandmaster Gaprindashvili has won 11 chess Olympiad tournaments and five world championships (in 1962, 1965, 1969, 1972). In 1978 Gaprindashvili became the first woman to be awarded the Grandmaster title.

In 1997, following the decision of FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs) - the governing body of international chess competition -Nona Gaprindashvili’s Cup (which is awarded for the best total result of female and men's teams of the country) was launched at the World Chess Olympiad.

Since 2001, the Tbilisi Chess Palace has been carrying Gaprindashvili’s name.

Grandmaster Gaprindashvili was awarded the Order of Excellence in 2015 by then-President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili for "her outstanding contribution to the country and nation" and for "representing Georgia at an international level."

On May 3rd, 2016, to honor the legendary chess player’s 75th birthday, her star was opened near the Chess Palace. That same year, she was awarded by the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov with the precious chess prize of Caissa, executed in the shape of the imperious and unbeatable chess queen, the patroness of the fair skill of grandmaster chess. It was made by the Lobortas Classic Jewelry House.

The 78-year-old female chessplayer from Georgia is a living legend in Georgia and not only. It would be reasonable to say that the unusually large number of young girls who take up chess as their choice of sport are following the outstanding example of Gaprindashvili. She’s the symbol of victory, talent, and dedication. Gaprindashvili remains actively in shape – her success at the World Senior Chess Championship that took place in Bucharest stands as proof of it. In a 2018 interview, she was told that she doesn’t look her age. She came back with an inspiring explanation: ”That is probably because I do what I love and enjoy. That is why, despite my health issues, I continue to take part in the World Senior Chess Championship”.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

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25 November 2019 21:34