GM Bela Khotenashvili is the new women’s chess champion of Georgia. The native of Telavi turned in a commanding performance in the 80th Georgian Women’s championship and clinched her fourth national title. She previously won this event in 2012, 2017 and 2021.
The 80th Georgian Women’s Chess Championship was a 10-player round-robin with classical time control, held in Tbilisi from February 06-15.
Bela Khotenashvili (pictured above) scored an impressive 8/9, conceding her opponents just two draws, but still, it was a very close affair as IM Lela Javakhishvili was hard on the leader’s heels most of the way. Coming into the final round a half-point ahead of her main rival, Khotenashvili sealed the deal by defeating Tamari Esadze with the black pieces.
Javakhishvili, meanwhile, drew with WFM Anastasia Kirtadze and allowed IM Meri Arabidze, who pulled off four straight victories at the finish, to catch up with her. Still, the silver medal goes to Lela Javakhishvili (pictured below), thanks to superior Sonneborn-Berger. Both the champion and the runner-up completed the event undefeated.