Georgian Surnames

Nona Gaprindashvili

Queen of chess

Nona Gaprindashvili was born on May 3, 1941, in Zugdide, in Georgia.

She became the Women's World Champion in 1962, when she won the title from Elizaveta Bykova by a score of 9-2 (+7 -0 =4). Gaprindashvili went on to dominate the women's international chess scene, and remained Women's World Champion for 16 years! She finally lost the title to another Georgian, 17-year-old Maia Chiburdanidze, in 1978, losing by the score 8-1/2 to 6-1/2 (+2 -4 =9).

During her career Gaprindashvili successfully competed in men's tournaments, winning (amongst others) the Hastings Challengers tournament in 1963/4 and tying for first place at Lone Pine in 1977. In 1978 she became the first woman to be made an (unqualified) International Grandmaster — having been a Women's Grandmaster since 1962.

Gaprindashvili is one of only a few women who could compete realistically in top level tournaments dominated by male grandmasters.