Chess Legend Nona Gaprindashvili’s Star Opens in Tbilisi

Five-time world chess champion Nona Gaprindashvili was awarded her name on a Star in the yard of Tbilisi’s Chess Palace, which is also named after her. The ceremony coincided with her 75th birthday on May 3. Despite her age, she still continues to gain victories for Georgia in international tournaments.

“Nona Gaprindashvili, for all Georgians and for many people in the world, is a symbol of two things: victory of intelligence and a fighting spirit. For me, she is a person who should be honored,” said Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili at the award ceremony.

Born in the western Georgian city of Zugdidi in 1941, Gaprindashvili became the world’s first five-time chess champion from 1962 to 1978. Thanks to her universal style of play, she could fight on equal terms with men at international tournaments and holds the unique status of being the first female chess player awarded the title of Chess Grandmaster among male competitors.

She stands alongside Maia Chiburdanidze, Nana Alexandria, and Nana Ioseliani as a famous Georgian woman chess player, all of them gaining the greatest victories in the international arena.

Gaprindashvili was honored as Chess Champion of the Soviet Union five times between 1964 and 1985 and won 11 chess Olympiad tournaments from 1963 to 1992. She was officially recognized as the greatest Georgian female sportsperson of the 20th Century in 1999 and has served as Honorary President of Georgia’s National Olympic Committee since 1996.

She has been highly recognized in Georgia, and not only had Tbilisi’s Chess Palace named after her in 2001 but was granted the Order of Excellence of Georgia in 2015.

“Nona Gaprindashvili has made an invaluable contribution to the development of sport and social activities in our country. Over the years, she has consistently strived to create a worthy heritage and popularization of Georgia around the world,” said President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili.

Gaprindashvili continues to gain victories – she is the winner of four Women’s World Senior Championships in 1995, 2009, 2014 and most recently in November 2015.

Eka Karsaulidze

05 May 2016 19:31