Nona Gaprindashvili

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Nona Gaprindashvili
ნონა გაფრინდაშვილი
Nona Gaprindaschwili 1982 Kissingen.jpg
Gaprindashvili at Bad Kissingen, 1982
CountrySoviet Union → Georgia
Born (1941-05-03) 3 May 1941 (age 81)
Zugdidi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union
TitleGrandmaster (1978)
Women's World Champion1962–1978
Peak rating2495 (July 1987)

Nona Gaprindashvili (Georgian: ნონა გაფრინდაშვილი, born 3 May 1941) is a Soviet and Georgian chess player, and the first woman ever to be awarded the FIDE title Grandmaster in 1978. She was the fifth women's world chess champion (1962–1978).


Gaprindashvili in 1963
Gaprindashvili in 1975

In 1961, aged 20, Gaprindashvili won the fourth women's Candidates Tournament, setting up a title match against world champion Elisaveta Bykova. She won the match easily, with a final score of 9-2 (+7−0=4), and went on to defend her title successfully four times: three times against Alla Kushnir (1965: 10–6; 1969: 12–7; 1972: 12–11) and once against Nana Alexandria (1975: 9–4). She finally lost her crown in 1978 to another Georgian, 17-year-old Maia Chiburdanidze, by a score of 6½–8½ (+2−4=9).

Gaprindashvili played for the Soviet Union in the Women's Chess Olympiads of 1963, 1966, 1969, 1972, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1990, and for Georgia in 1992.[1] She was one of the contributing players of the USSR team that dominated the Women's Olympiads of the 1980s. She won 25 medals, including eleven team gold medals and nine individual gold medals.[2] At the Olympiad of Dubai 1986 she won all ten games she played.

Gaprindashvili was a five-time winner of the Women's Soviet Championship: in 1964, 1973, 1981, 1983, and 1985.

During her career, Gaprindashvili successfully competed in men's tournaments, winning amongst others the Hastings Challengers tournament in 1963/4. She tied for second place at Sandomierz in 1976,[3] tied for first place at Lone Pine in 1977,[4] and tied for second at Dortmund in 1978.[5] Her performance at Lone Pine made her the first woman ever to earn a norm for the title of International Grandmaster.[6] Although she did not achieve all of the norm requirements, she became the first woman to receive the International Grandmaster title from FIDE, in 1978.[9]

In 1995, Gaprindashvili won the Women's World Senior Championship for the first time.[10] She is the only female World Chess Champion to obtain the World Senior title as well. Gaprindashvili won the Senior title also in 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 (in the 65+ division since 2014). She also won the European Women's Seniors Championship in 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 (in the 65+ division since 2014).

In 2005, at age 64, Gaprindashvili won the BDO Chess Tournament held in Haarlem, the Netherlands, with a score of 6½/10 points and a performance rating of 2510.[11]

In 2021, Gaprindashvili appeared in the documentary Glory to the Queen, alongside Nana Alexandria, Maia Chiburdanidze and Nana Ioseliani.[12]


Gaprindashvili was awarded the Presidential Order of Excellence in 2015 by President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili for "her outstanding contribution to the country and nation" and "representing Georgia at an international level".[13]

To honor her 75th birthday, on 3 May 2016, her star was opened near the Chess Palace. Also in 2016, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov gave her a representation of Caïssa, in the shape of a chess queen, made by the Lobortas Classic Jewelry House.[14]

"Nona" is a perfume named after her. The bottle is shaped like a chess queen.[15]

Tbilisi's chess palace is dedicated to Gaprindashvili.[16]

Gaprindashvili was very briefly mentioned in the Netflix series The Queen's Gambit, in which it was incorrectly stated that she is Russian, and that she never played competitive chess against men. Gaprindashvili characterized this departure from reality as "dishonouring ... misinformation."[17] She filed a lawsuit against Netflix for US$5 million for false light invasion of privacy and defamation on 16 September 2021.[18]


  1. ^ "OlimpBase :: Women's Chess Olympiads :: Nona Gaprindashvili".
  2. ^ Only her compatriot Maia Chiburdanidze won more: 28 medals (15 individual and 13 team medals) over 15 Olympiads, including 15 gold medals.
  3. ^ Kevin J. O'Connell (ed.). FIDE Chess Yearbook 1976/7. Batsford. p. 83.
  4. ^ Isaac Kashdan (July 1977). "Lone Pine 1977". Chess Life. pp. 361–364.
  5. ^ Ray Keene (June 1978). "VI Dortmund International Tournament". British Chess Magazine. pp. 241–243.
  6. ^ Soltis, Andrew (2014). Soviet Chess 1917–1991. McFarland. p. 347. ISBN 978-0-7864-9758-4.
  7. ^ Benko, Pal (January 1979). "Chiburdanidze vs. Gaprindashvili, Match of the Century". Chess Life & Review. p. 15.
  8. ^ John Graham (1987). Women in Chess: Players of the Modern Age. McFarland. pp. 32–35.
  9. ^ Gaprindashvili's score at Lone Pine qualified as a grandmaster norm, but her scores at Sandomierz and Dortmund were each a half point short of the grandmaster norm requirement.[7][8]
  10. ^ Crowther, Mark (26 November 1995). "The Week in Chess 59". The Week in Chess. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  11. ^ Agterdenbos, Frits (10 September 2005). "Nona Gaprindashvili wins BDO Chess Tournament Haarlem". Chess News. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  12. ^ Skhirtladze, Tatia; Khazaradze, Anna, Glory to the Queen (Documentary), Nona Gaprindashvili, Maia Chiburdanidze, Nana Alexandria, Nana Ioseliani, Berg Hammer Film, Amour Fou Vienna, Playground Produkcija, retrieved 3 February 2021
  13. ^ "Order of Excellence to Nona Gaprindashvili". FIDE. Archived from the original on 13 November 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  14. ^ "Nona Gaprindashvili Earns the World Chess Champion Title Once Again". Georgia Today on the Web.
  15. ^ "Nona - Нона Iberia - Иверия perfume - a fragrance for women 1978".
  16. ^ "Tbilisi Chess Palace and Alpine Club".
  17. ^ Hudoon, Fatima (27 November 2020). "The real-life Queen's Gambit: how Georgia's Nona Gaprindashvili conquered the chess world". The Calvert Journal. Calvert 22 Foundation. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
  18. ^ Stevens, Matt (16 September 2021). "A Chess Pioneer Sues, Saying She Was Slighted in 'The Queen's Gambit'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2022.

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Preceded by Women's World Chess Champion
Succeeded by