When Rusudan Goletiani arrived in New York City on a direct flight from her Republic of Georgia on Friday May 12, she was unknown in America, in spite of having won the World Chess Championship for Girls Under 14, the World Chess Championship for Girls Under 16, and the World Chess Championship for Girls Under 18 in successive years.
UPDATE: On the Official FIDE website, Rusudan Goletiani is listed as qualified to play for the Woman's World Championship. See Zone 1.5
Born on 8 September 1980, in Sukhumi, Abkhazia, Georgia and rated 2325, she is now the number 12 player in the world on the official just released FIDE top-20 girls list.
She has traveled extensively and has won three world chess championships. In 1994, she won the World Championship for Girls Under-14 in Hungary. In 1995, she won the World Championship for Girls Under-16 in Brazil. In 1997, she won the World Championship for Girls Under-18 In Yerevan, Armenia.
Perhaps even more impressively, she won the Soviet Junior Championship for Girls Under-12 in 1990 when she was only nine years old!
In 1990, Rusudan Goletiani was the Soviet Representative in the World Youth Chess tournament for Peace in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. This event is the subject of a movie entitled "Chess Kids".
She qualified to the World Chess Championship, now scheduled to begin on November 25, 2000 in New Delhi, India, by tying for first with Nina Khurtsidze in a zonal tournament in Georgia in May, with representatives of six countries including Yugoslavia and Turkey competing. However, her rating chart shows that she had not played a rated game in the last six months. Georgia has been beset by civil war since 1992 and the war is primarily centered in her home region of Abkhazia.
Travel in the separatist-controlled Abkhazia remains dangerous and Americans are urged to avoid travel to the region. There has been an increase in terrorist activity in Abkhazia with recent outbreaks of fighting, including attacks on international observers. Land mines pose a threat to all travelers in Abkhazia. Travelers to Abkhazia may also encounter so-called Abkhaz border officials who may require travelers to purchase a "visa" from the so-called "Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia."
This situation has made it difficult for Rusudan Goletiani to compete in chess tournaments either internationally or in her own country, especially since she is from the very place in Georgia where the civil war is centered.
Rusudan Goletiani has never had a chess trainer or coach, in contrast to many other top rated young chess players who seem to be surrounded by a plethora of coaches and trainers.
In spite of these disadvantages, her results have been impressive. In addition to winning three world championships, she reached a FIDE rating of 2386 on the January 1999 list and was ranked number 42 in the world. She was awarded the title of International Woman's Grandmaster when she was only 17 years old.
She has a wild and unorthodox playing style, which is probably a reflection of her lack of formal training. Here as a typical example is her game against Irina Krush from the World Under-20 Championship held in Yerevan Armenia.
[Event "World Junior (Girls)"] [Site "Yerevan ARM"] [Date "1999.??.??"] [White "Krush, Irina"] [Black "Goletiani, Rusudan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2432"] [BlackElo "2386"] [ECO "E00"] [Round "11"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5 Bd6 6. Nf3 Bc7 7. d6 Ba5 8. Bg5 O-O 9. e3 Qb6 10. Bxf6 Qxb2 11. Qc1 Qxc1+ 12. Rxc1 gxf6 13. Nd2 Nc6 14. Bd3 Rb8 15. Nce4 Ne5 16. Be2 b6 17. Nxf6+ Kg7 18. Nd5 Bb7 19. Nc7 f5 20. Rd1 Rf6 21. O-O Rg6 22. f3 Nf7 23. Nc4 Bc3 24. Bd3 Rg5 25. Nb5 Bf6 26. Nxa7 Ra8 27. Nb5 Rxa2 28. Rf2 Bxf3 29. Rxa2 Bxd1 30. Nxb6 Ne5 31. Nxd7 Nxd3 32. Rd2 Bf3 33. Nxf6 Kxf6 34. d7 Ke7 35. d8=Q+ Kxd8 36. Rxd3+ Ke7 37. g3 Rg6 38. Rc3 Rc6 39. Na7 Ra6 40. Nb5 Ra5 41. Na3 Be4 42. Kf2 Ke6 43. g4 fxg4 44. Kg3 Bf3 45. h3 h5 46. hxg4 hxg4 47. Nc4 Ra2 48. Nb6 Kd6 49. e4 Kc6 50. Nc4 Kb5 51. Nd6+ Kc6 52. Nc4 Bxe4 53. Kxg4 Rf2 54. Kg3 Rf8 55. Ne5+ Kd6 56. Nc4+ Kd5 57. Nb6+ Kc6 58. Na4 Rf5 59. Nxc5 1/2-1/2
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