Sport or art? - Georgia’s queen of chess on gender, modern technologies in chess and her passion for other sports
25 January, 2016
Sport or art? - Georgia’s queen of chess on gender, modern technologies in chess and her passion for other sports
Nona Gaprindashvili, a 5 time world champion, has earned 11 team and 9 individual Olympic gold medals. Nevertheless, her last achievement created particular excitement. Last November, the 74-year-old legend of Georgian chess once again became world champion among seniors (chess players above 65 years of age) and…

‘When one of the TV presenters announced that after 40 years, I became world champion again, my telephone went mad. This happened in spite of my explanation that it was only among seniors’,
Nona Gaprindashvili says.

If you are interested why she did not play pool with Yuri Gagarin, who she considers to be the best football player in the world, what she thinks of modern chess players and why she takes part in seniors’ tournament, read this interview.

- I have won numerous medals at senior tournaments so far and I always feel some kind of a positive energy afterwards, even when I do not manage to win anything.

- If I remember correctly, the first seniors’ tournament you took part in was among men.

- I was the president of Georgian National Olympic Committee then and in spite of the fact that many great players participated in that tournament, I was very close to winning it all. My rivals played against each other and drew. As for me, I was on the verge of winning my match against Spasov, but I lost at the end.

- You raised the issue of gender equality, when you proved that a woman could compete with a man…


- I have played with men many times and have won some of the matches. 1977 is the year I remember with pleasure. It was Lawn Pine tournament, where only men played and I was the only woman among them. I was leading during the most part of the tournament and finally four people accumulated the same amount of points. I was among them.

- Do women find it harder to play chess?

- Usually, the match takes a lot of time and a lot of nerves. And it is difficult to fully recover in a short period of time. Together with talent and hard work, you also need strong character and patience. You have to be best in all those components. Otherwise, you cannot achieve success. Apart from physical priorities, men have stronger nervous system and that is why they are better than women. Nowadays, women achieve master title very easily and to tell you the truth, this title has lost its value a little bit. Years ago, the normatives were a lot harder. Even men found them very difficult. Now everything is younger. They teach chess at schools, in lower grades while I began to study when I was 13 years old.
geotv.ge
Nona Gaprindashvili in 1969

- You said chess became younger, but did it change along with the development of technology?

- It became more large-scale, but did not change. Computers make it worse, deteriorate the depth of thinking. Computers create theory from previously played games. This is not bad if we talk about collecting information, about technique, but you cannot fully trust computers. You have to move your hand on a chessboard, think. Your thinking has to be beyond theory and that will create the depth as well as originality that any chess player needs. That was what made difference between the players in my time. I do not prepare before the tournament. Often I only know who is my rival, when the match is about to begin. Others prepare using computers, I prepare using my head.

- Is or was there any chess player you wanted to play against but never did.


- I regret nothing when it comes to chess. But I regret not using my chance when I had an opportunity to play pool against Yuri Gagarin. I was staying in Moscow’s Yunost hotel, where Gagarin often came to play pool. When I knew that, I asked the then Georgia’s Youth Communist Party first secretary, Otar Cherkezia to organize the pool match between me and the first cosmonaut. He promised to do that but couldn’t… Gagarin did not come over. Later, Cherkezia told me it was his own fault. It turned out that Gagarin asked him, how good I was at pool and Cherkezia told him: ‘she is better than me’. The fact is Gagarin and Cherkezia played on the same level and that is why Gagarin responded: ‘If she is better than you, then she is better than me too. So, why should I want to lose?’

- Do you consider chess to be sport or a form of art?


- Some great matches have been played throughout the history and that is why we sometimes call it a form of art, but I think it is a sport. Because, anything that involves winning or losing is a sport. However, there is no doubt that chess is a different, intellectual kind. The same goes about Bridge that, apart from other card games, involves thinking. I played pool and tennis quite well too. Not on a professional level, but I have defeated many men. There were moments when some of them even broke the cue in front of me. I like snooker the most. I watched it many times and I know it looks very much like chess. It is built on a strategy and that is the case in chess as well. I always know beforehand, what the snooker player will do next.

- I know you love football too. How so?


- When I lived in Zugdidi, all our neighbors came to our place to watch the games and then, in the evening, I played along with the boys. Sometimes we also played volleyball, pool… We even organized chess championships. I like many kinds of sports but football is the best for me. I always relax when I watch it.

- Did you ever meet any famous footballer?


- Once, me and Ketevan Arakhamia (another famous Georgian chess player – editor’s note) were at the Moscow airport, getting ready to depart for France and Oleg Blokhin and Genadi Logofet were on the same plane. Before we boarded the plane, we talked a lot and Logofet got interested whether I really knew Football as well as people said I did. He asked me lots of questions and was so surprised that he bought me a little present then and there. He told me I had the same thinking as him.

- Which is the footballer do you like the most?


- I and my son have always had the same interests in football. Platini and Zidane were our most beloved players and that is why we’ve always cheered for France. Now I like Arsenal and Barcelona. The Catalonians have fabulous attacking trio and Messi is the best among them. He, Suarez and Neymar are the best players in the world and I think it would be better if they were rivals, playing for different teams. But look how they always help each other when playing. Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player too, but he does not have what Barcelona’s trio has. I also pay a particular attention to the character of a player. If Messi changed and became arrogant, I would still watch his playing but I would not have any sympathy towards him. That is why I do not like Jose Mourinho and his teams. First of all I do not like his character and how he behaves. Besides, it does not matter how good his players are, his team never plays beautiful game. And the football is about beauty of the game. That is why I like it.

geotv.ge

By Rati Shelegia


Related Story:

74-year old Georgian grand master Nona Gaprindashvili becomes a world champion once more


Print
Other Stories
CNN: Graham Rowntree and Milton Haig about Georgian Rugby
Graham Rowntree, a former English rugby player and a current forwards coach of the Georgian National Rugby Team speaks about Georgian rugby in the CNN’s one of the recent articles.
The New York Times: Zaza Pachulia among 5 stars of the 2003 NBA Draft class outlasting their peers
The New York Times has recently published an article about the draft experiences of five NBA stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kyle Korver and Carmelo Anthony, and Zaza Pachulia in 2003.
Nikoloz Basilashvili knocked out of Australian Open
The Australian Open kicked off on the 8th of January.
Australian Open kicks off: Nikoloz Basilashvili wins two matches
The Australian open commenced on the 8th of January.
Georgian Levan Tsurtsumia named N1 athlete of the US
Georgian weightlifter Levan Tsurtsumia is a very famous athlete in the US.
Despite injury, Tochinoshin plans to compete in New Year Basho
New Year Basho will take place between the 13th and 27th of January in Ryōgoku Sumo Hall, Japan.
Nikoloz Basilashvili among the World’s Top 20 players
ATP has recently published updated tennis player rankings.
Nikoloz Basilashvili praised as “the greatest hitter” by Novak Djokovic
The Georgian tennis player Nikoloz Basilashvili lost to the No1 Serbian Novak Djokovic (6:4, 3:6, 4:6) in the quarterfinal of the Qatar Open 2018.
Nikoloz Basilashvili defeats the Russian Andrey Rublev in the Qatar Open
Georgian tennis player Nikoloz Basilashvili claimed his second win of the Qatar Open by beating the No 68 seed Russian Andrey Rublev (6:3, 6:4).
Junior Zaza Pachulia players preparing for a pro basketball
Data and Saba are the sons of the famous Georgian and international basketball player Zaza Pachulia.
Georgian Wrestling added to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Georgian Wrestling (Chidaoba) has been added to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, - the Ministry of Science, Culture and Sports of Georgia has said.
Toma Tabatadze: Georgian Football Star in Turkey
Georgian football player Toma Tabatadze has recently become a star in Turkey.
Tochinoshin's beautiful wedding in Japan
Tochinoshin is a Georgina sumo wrestler making his career in Japan.
November Basho is over: Tochinoshin gets Kachi Koshi
On the 25th of November, the fifteenth bout of Tochinoshin took place.
Eighth victory and Ozeki title maintained by Tochinoshin
Georgian Sumo wrestler Levan Gorgadze, Tochinoshin came out victorious from today’s fourteenth bout and maintained a positive balance at the Kyushu Basho.
Seventh victory of Tochinoshin on the thirteenth day of Kyushu Basho
Georgian Sumo wrestler Tochinoshin maintained seventh victory today, on the thirteenth day of Kyushu Basho.
Day XII: Tochinoshin loses
Today on the 22nd of November, Levan Gorgadze or Tochinoshin lost the bout against Takayasu.
Tochinoshin wins eleventh bout and maintains positive balance
Tochinoshin's annual largest victory has been determined today. Tochinoshin has the largest number of victories this year among other Sumo wrestlers.
Tochinoshin wins fifth bout at the Kyushu Basho
Today Georgian Sumo wrestler Levan Gorgadze, Tochinoshin has won the bout and now his balance on the Kyushu Basho is 5:5.
Georgia defeats Kazakhstan at UEFA Nations League
On the 19th of November, Georgia defeated Kazakhstan at the UEFA Nation League with a score of 2:1.
Tochinoshin loses a bout with komosubi Takakeisho
Today Georgian Sumo wrestler Tochinoshin was defeated by komosubi Takakeisho on the ninth day of the November Basho.
Day VIII: Tochinoshin wins
On the 18th of November, the Georgian Sumo wrestler Levan Gorgadze, Tochinoshin won a bout against Ryūden Gōshi.
Tochinoshin loses fourth bout at the November Basho
The seventh bout was unsuccessful for the Georgian Sumo wrestler Tochinoshin Levan Gorgadze.
The fascinating career of sumo wrestler Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi
Tochinoshin is a professional and a very popular sumo wrestler in Japan. But his real name is Levan Gorgadze.
Another loss for Tochinoshin – chances of becoming champion extremely narrow
Georgian Sumo wrestler Levan Gorgadze, Tochinoshin lost another bout today, on the 16th of November.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
19.02.2019
20.02.2019
USD
1
USD
2.6404
2.6404
EUR
1
EUR
2.9908
2.9908
GBP
1
GBP
3.4130
3.4130
RUB
100
RUB
3.9898
3.9898
Other Stories
Georgia’s Under-20 national rugby team have claimed their second victory at the ongoing Rugby World Cup in Japan
You can be hopeful of us like we are of you, - sumo wrestler Tochinoshin (Levan Gorgadze) told Georgian Prime Minister
On June 4, world-famous Georgian sumo wrestler Tochinoshin (born Levan Gorgadze) arrived in his homeland.
Georgian rugby team claimed yet another historic victory over French Barbarians – the second national team of the French Rugby Federation.
For the first time in the history of Sumo wrestling, a Georgian national has become the owner of the Emperor’s Cup.
Renowned Georgian chess player Nana Dzagnidze claimed the gold medal
It was in the beginning of the 1980s, when FC Dinamo Tbilisi was enjoying their best
The Georgian national rugby team defeated the U.S. squad at the Mikheil Meskhi stadium in Tbilisi on November 25.
Georgian athletes defeated British in sitting volleyball at the Invictus Games Toronto, Canada, 2017.
The national basketball team of Georgia defeated Israel at the Eurobasket
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6404
EUR
1
EUR
2.9908
GBP
1
GBP
3.4130
RUB
100
RUB
3.9898
February 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28