Times flies, they say – Nana Alexandria celebrates her 70th birthday. Born in Poti, Georgia, she learned chess at the age of four and six years later became the champion of Tbilisi among girls. Her rise to fame was meteoric: by the age of 20, she won three USSR Women’s Championships titles (1966, 1967 and 1969) and established herself as a frontrunner for the women’s champion crown. In 1973-1975 Nana went through all the stages of the World Championship cycle and challenged the reigning champion Nona Gaprindashvili.
Despite suffering a painful defeat in the Women’s World Championship match (+3 =1 −8), Alexandria managed to regroup and made all the way up again. In 1981 she became much closer to the coveted title but drew the World Championship match with Maia Chiburdanidze (+4 =8 −4), with the champion retaining her title.
As a member of the Soviet Union squad, Alexandria participated in six Chess Olympiads (1969, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1982 and 1986) making significant contributions in the team’s winning gold every time.
From 1986 to 2001 Alexandria was the chairperson of the FIDE Women’s Commission. The winner of 20 international tournaments, a talented journalist, one of the most determined advocates of women’s chess and bewitchingly charming person, Nana enjoys a great deal of respect in the chess world. It is no coincidence that Alexandria was appointed deputy arbiter at the Carlsen – Caruana match (2018).
On the occasion of her 70th birthday, we congratulate Nana Alexandria and wish her the finest things in professional and personal life.