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Chiburdanidze, Maia
Wednesday, 04 March 2009

A living legend of the Georgian chess, already a major force in women's chess became world champion in 1978 at the age of 17 by  overcoming another legend Nona Gaprindashvili who herself is the first female player to achieve the Grandmaster title. Chiburdanidze, followed her in 1984 and during her reign she defended her title four times, against Nana Alexandria, Irina Levitina, Elena Akhmilovskaya and Nana Ioseliani. She was not able to defend her title against Susan Polgar in 1991 but continued playing at the highest level.

She achieved nine gold medals in Chess Olympiads with former USSR and Georgia not to count  many individual medals she won during those campaigns. In 1997 she led Georgia to win the European Team Championship. She reached semi finals both in 2001 and 2004 FIDE World Women Chess Championships and both times she lost to the eventual champions Zhu Chen and Antoaneta Stefanova.

A sports hero in her own country most recently led Georgia to the Olympic title in Dresden in November 2008 with a brilliant 7.5 out of 9 performance.

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