Georgian Women’s Championship: Lela Javakhishvili grabs fifth title

by ChessBase
2/27/2024 – Lela Javakhishvili emerged as the winner of the Georgian Women’s Championship 2024. One of the most successful Georgian chess players, Lela clinched her fifth national title. As is often the case in Georgian Women’s championships, it was a very close race among the top-rated players and the members of the very strong national team. Nino Batsiashvili and Meri Arabidze finished in second and third place, respectively.

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A competitive national championship

Press release by FIDE

Lela Javakhishvili emerged as the winner of the Georgian Women’s Championship 2024. One of the most successful Georgian chess players, Lela clinched her fifth national title. She previously won this event in 2001, 2007, 2014 and 2016.

The Georgian Women’s Chess Championship, a 10-player round-robin with classical time control, took place from February 9-18 in the country’s capital, Tbilisi.

As is often the case in Georgian Women’s championships, it was a very close race among the top-rated players and the members of the national team: IM Lela Javakhishvili, GM Nino Batsiashvili, IM Meri Arabidze and GM Bella Khotenashvili.

Lela Javakhishvili delivered an outstanding performance, scoring 7½/9. Most importantly, the native of Telavi defeated her main rivals, Nino Batsiashvili and Meri Arabidze, in their direct encounters to clinch the title. The champion became the only unbeaten player in the event.

Nino Batsiashvili (7/9) and Meri Arabidze (6½/9) stayed in the contest for the most part but could not keep up with the champion and took silver and bronze, respectively.

Lela Javakhishvili

Lela Javakhishvili

Going into the final round, Javakhishvili and Batsiashvili were tied for first place with 6½ points each. The eventual champion defeated Nia Donghvani with white, while Batsiashvili tried hard but failed to beat Anastasia Kirtadze with the black pieces.

White had just played 32.Ng3, attacking the bishop on f5. Though Black has a dangerous passed pawn on the a-file, White counts with a couple of strong connected pawns in the centre herself.

A move like 32...Bd3 is playable for Black, keeping the tension. But perhaps due to the tournament situation, Batsiashvili opted for 32...Rxg3 instead — according to the engines, this is not as strong as placing the bishop on d3 but it is a valid alternative nonetheless.

Six moves later, it was Kirtadze’s turn to sacrifice an exchange in order to stop her opponent’s queenside passer.

38.Rexa3 was the start of a liquidation that led to a 45-move draw.

Final standings

All games

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