May 13, 2011
Archeological excavations witness that chess game appeared at the territory of the modern Georgia in the 7-8th centuries. According to the hypothesis of academic Shanidze, chess game was penetrated from Persia, so far as most of the chess terms borrowed from Persian language. Some manuscripts are evidence of spreading of the chess play around Georgia – the mentioning of the Georgian name “Chadraki” of chess in the church book of the beginning of the 11th century, using of the chess themes in the national classic literature. During 13-17th centuries there was not any reference to chess game, apparently because chess was forbidden by Byzantine church in the 11th century.
In the 17-18th centuries the popularity of chess considerably increased, and in the second part of the 17th century special places for playing chess appeared called samorine. The chess game was so popular and famous that there was a custom to give a chess set and a poem of a national writer Shota Rustaveli “Vitaz v tigrovoi shkure” in a bride’s dowry.
In 1840s there were about 20 strong chess players; in the 19th century there were chess tournaments held at G.Orbeliani’s salon in Tiflis and the General Dadiani in Kutaisi. The best chess players were A.Chikovani-Asatiani (1812-1907) and Dadiani.
After the foundation of the Georgian Soviet Republic in 1921, chess movement became much more organized and massive. In 1926 a mass tournament with the participation of 600 players was organized, Zautashvili was winner among the women’s, and the 16-year old Kasparian won the men’s contest. The first chess club was opened in Tbilisi in 1927. A year later Gurgenidze won the first men’s national championship. He took 1st place. In 1935 Katz was the first winner of the Women’s Championship, Ts. Kakhabrishvili won 5 times, Gaprindashvili 4, Gogiava and Kakabadze… Women chess players Alexandria, Gaprindashvili, Gurieli, Ioseliani and Chiburdanidze several times participated successfully in the men’s tournaments. In 1957 children chess school was founded in Tbilisi under the coach of Goglidze and Karseladze. In 1985 Arakhamia won the World Youth Championship (Girls) U-20. There were very big and important chess events held in Georgia: 11 individual USSR Championships (4 men’s and 7 women’s), USSR Team Championships, Women’s Interzonals 1976 and 1982, three World Championship matches in 1978, 1981 and 1986, European Team Championship in 1999 and few World and European Youth Championships.
Between 1960 and 1990 Georgian chess players were especially successful: Nona Gaprindashvili became Women World Champion (1962-1978) and 5 times USSR Champion, Maya Chiburdanidze succeeded her and kept the title until 1991. She was also the USSR Champion of 1977, Nana Alexandria twice played in the World Championship matches, 3 times was USSR Champion, Akhmylovskaya played in the WCC match, Ioseliani played in the Candidates’, matches, four times was USSR Champion, the winner of the Candidates’ matches, Gurieli and Arakhamia – participants of the Candidates’ matches.
The first book devoted to chess was published in 1926 “Chadraki” by Sakvarelidze. By 1988 there were about 100 chess books in theory, composition, etc. The famous chess players are: Azmailparashvili, Gaprindashvili, Chiburdanidze, Jobava, Alexandria among the composers let’s nominate Krikheli, Gurgenidze, Nadareishvili, Shost, Savchenko and others.
Georgia winning the Women Olympiad in 2006
Georgia has participated to all Olympiads since 1992, it collected 9 individual medals including three Gold. The best achievement was the 1st place for the women team in 2008 and the 4th place in 2002 for the man team. In 2010 Georgia was ranked 15th among the countries (2608) with 25 IGMs, 35 IMs and a total of 103 titled players.
The national champions were:
1928 Victor Goglidze, 1938 Archil Ebralidze, 1939 Archil Ebralidze, 1941 Archil Ebralidze, 1944 Henrikh Kasparian, 1946 Archil Ebralidze, 1947 Nikolay Sorokin, 1948 Mikhail Shishov, 1949 Akaki Pirtskhalava, 1950 Alexandre Blagidze, 1951 Nikolay Sorokin, 1952 Mikhail Shishov, 1953 Alexandre Blagidze, 1954 Alexandr Buslaev, 1955 Bukhuti Gurgenidze, 1956 Mikhail Shishov, 1957 Alexandre Blagidze, 1958 Bukhuti Gurgenidze, 1959 Bukhuti Gurgenidze, 1960 Bukhuti Gurgenidze, 1961 Bukhuti Gurgenidze, 1962 Bukhuti Gurgenidze, 1963 Bukhuti Gurgenidze, 1964 Bukhuti, Gurgenidze, 1965 Bukhuti Gurgenidze, 1966 Roman Dzindzihashvili, 1967 Roman Dzindzihashvili, 1968 Bukhuti Gurgenidze, 1969 Roman Dzindzihashvili, 1970 Bukhuti Gurgenidze, 1971 Alexandre Bokuchava, Zurab Mikadze, 1972 Tamaz Giorgadze, 1973 Bukhuti Gurgenidze, 1974 Elizbar Ubilava, 1975 Zurab Sturua, 1976 Iuri Chikovani, 1977 Zurab Sturua, 1978 Gennadi Zaichik, 1979 Gennadi Zaichik, 1980 Zurab Azmaiparashvili, 1981 Zurab Sturua, 1982 Giorgi Giorgadze, 1984 Zurab Sturua, 1985 Zurab Sturua, 1986 Elizbar Ubilava, 1987 Mikhail Krasenkov, 1988 Giorgi Giorgadze, 1989 Giorgi Bagaturov, 1990 Alexandre Dgebuadze, 1991 Tamaz Tabatadze, 1992 Khvicha Supatashvili, 1993 Akaki Shalamberidze, 1994 Lasha Janjgava, 1995 Giorgi Bagaturov, 1996 Lasha Janjgava, 1997 Giorgi Kacheishvili, 1998 Nino Khurtsidze, 1999 Giorgi Bagaturov, 2000 Tamaz Gelashvili, 2001 Mikheil Mchedlishvili, 2002 Mikheil Mchedlishvili, 2003 Baadur Jobava, 2005 Valeriane Gaprindashvili, 2006 Georgi Kacheishvili, 2007 Baadur Jobava, 2008 Levan Pantsulaia, 2009 Tornike Sanikidze, 2010 Merab Gagunashvili, 2011 Davit Zarkua.