|Country||Soviet Union → Georgia|
|Born||17 January 1961|
Kutaisi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union
|Women's World Champion||1978–1991|
|FIDE rating||2500 (October 2021) [inactive]|
|Peak rating||2560 (January 1988)|
Maia Chiburdanidze (Georgian :მაია ჩიბურდანიძე; born 17 January 1961) is a Georgian chess Grandmaster. She is the sixth Women's World Chess Champion, a title she held from 1978 to 1991, and was the youngest one until 2010, when this record was broken by Hou Yifan. Chiburdanidze is the second woman to be awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE, which occurred in 1984. She has played on nine gold-medal-winning teams in the Women's Chess Olympiad.
Maia Chiburdanidze was born in Kutaisi, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR, and started playing chess around the age of eight. She became the USSR girls' champion in 1976, and a year later she won the women's title. In 1977, she was awarded the title of Woman Grandmaster by FIDE.
She won outright on her debut at the Braşov women's international tournament of 1974 when she was only 13 years old and went on to win another tournament in Tbilisi in 1975 before entering the women's world championship cycle of 1976/77.
Her style of play is solid, but aggressive and well grounded in classical principles; it was influenced by Eduard Gufeld, a top Soviet trainer, who was her coach early in her career.
Chiburdanidze finished 2nd in the Tbilisi Women's Interzonal (1976), thereby qualifying for the 1977 candidates matches. She advanced through to the Candidates Final, where she beat Alla Kushnir by 7½–6½ to set up a world title match in Pitsunda, Georgia, against Nona Gaprindashvili, the reigning women's world champion. Chiburdanidze defeated Gaprindashvili by 8½–6½.
She successfully defended her title four times. In 1981 she retained her title by drawing 8–8 with Nana Alexandria, in Borjomi/Tbilisi. Three years later she played Irina Levitina in Volgograd, Russia, and won 8½–5½. The next defense came against Elena Akhmilovskaya in Sofia in 1986, which Chiburdanidze won 8½–5½. In 1988 she beat Nana Ioseliani in Telavi, Georgia, by 8½–7½.
FIDE awarded her the title of Grandmaster in 1984.She is the second woman, after Gaprindashvili, to be awarded the title.
Xie Jun of China won the right to challenge for the world championship in February 1991. Chiburdanidze lost her crown to the young Chinese player in Manila by 8½–6½. Her reign was the third longest, at 14 years, behind only that of the first women's champion, Vera Menchik, who reigned for 17 years from 1927 until her death in 1944, and that of Gaprindashvili's 16 years.
She has attempted to regain the world title but, with the rise of the Chinese women and the formidable Polgár sisters, this has proved difficult and her best performance since 1991 has been 1st in the Tilburg Candidates tournament of 1994, losing the playoff to Zsuzsa Polgár by 5½–1½. Subsequently, despite not approving of the knockout format, she has entered the world championships of recent years. She reached the semi-finals in 2001, only to be knocked out by Zhu Chen of China, who went on to win the title. In 2004, she again reached the semi-finals where she lost to Antoaneta Stefanova who went on to win the title.
Chiburdanidze, like Hou Yifan, is unimpressed with 'women's chess' and prefers to play with men.She has played extensively in men's tournaments around the world and her best form was seen in the 1980s and early 1990s. She was 1st in tournaments in New Delhi (1984) and Banja Luka (1985) and in the next decade she finished 1st in Belgrade (1992), Vienna (1993) and in Lippstadt (1995).
She was a key member of the USSR team that dominated the women's Olympiads of the 1980s and, when Georgia achieved independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, she played board 1 for the new Georgian national team that won four gold medals, in 1992, 1994, 1996 and 2008.
She also played in the European Team Championships of 1997 when Georgia won the gold medal and in the 1st Europe v Asia Intercontinental rapidplay match which was held in Batumi (Georgia) in September 2001. Asia won the women's section by 21½–10½ with Maia contributing 3½. In 2008 Dresden Olympiad, she played on board 1, for Georgia, that won the gold medal (1st place), and she also won gold medal for best performance (2715 pt).
She has been honoured many times by her country and several postage stamps have even been designed to celebrate her chess achievements. Mongolia issued a commemorative stamp in 1986 which illustrates a position in one of her games from the 1984 world championship match against Irina Levitina.
Maia Chiburdanidze is one of several women from the country who have excelled at the highest levels of chess. She has helped to further boost the standing of the game in her country.
In 2021, Chiburdanidze appeared in the documentary Glory to the Queen along side Nana Alexandria, Nona Gaprindashvili, and Nana Ioseliani.
Xie Jun is a Chinese chess grandmaster. She had two separate reigns as Women's World Chess Champion, from 1991 to 1996 and again from 1999 to 2001. Xie is one of three women to have at least two separate reigns, besides Elisaveta Bykova and Hou Yifan. Xie Jun is the current president of the Chinese Chess Association.
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The 1978 Women's World Chess Championship was won by Maia Chiburdanidze, who defeated the incumbent champion Nona Gaprindashvili At only 17 years of age, Chiburdanidze became the sixth and youngest Women's World Champion.
The 1981 Women's World Chess Championship was won by Maia Chiburdanidze, who successfully defended her title against challenger Nana Alexandria after a closely fought match, which ended in an 8-8 tie.
The 1984 Women's World Chess Championship was won by Maia Chiburdanidze, who successfully defended her title against challenger Irina Levitina.
The 1988 Women's World Chess Championship was won by Maia Chiburdanidze, who successfully defended her title against challenger Nana Ioseliani.
The 1993 Women's World Chess Championship was won by Xie Jun, who successfully defended her title against challenger Nana Ioseliani in the title match.
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Marina Makropoulou is a Romanian and Greek chess player who holds the title of Woman Grandmaster. Her peak Elo rating is at 2330 in 1994. She is a Romanian Women's Chess Champion (1984) and eight time Greek Women's Chess Champion - which is the record for most Greek Women's Chess Championships. In 1982 she won two Chess Olympiad medals in the 25th Chess Olympiad, a team silver and an individual bronze for her performance in the second board. In the same year she reached her highest ever ranking in the world, placed 18th in the Women's FIDE elo rating charts. She has had a career of 40 years as a professional player, remaining at the top-20 women players rating for 2 years, at the top-50 for over 6 years and at the top-100 for over 13 years. In her career she has won or drawn 5 Women's World Chess Champions Nona Gaprindashvili, Susan Polgar, Maia Chiburdanidze, Ju Wenjun and Anna Ushenina which makes a record of 2 wins, 5 draws and 2 losses against five Women's World Chess Champions. She has participated overall in 15 Chess Olympiads and 11 European Team Championships representing either the Romanian or Greek national women's teams. In 2015 she became a World Vice-Champion winning the silver medal in the World Women's Senior Championship, a feat she repeated in the 2017 World Women's Senior Championship.
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This article is about the participation of women in chess and its culture.
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