Maia Chiburdanidze wearing the World Champion’s laurel wreath, apparently from her 1984 title defense. Photo: Georgia Today
Maia Chiburdanidze (born 1961) became Women’s World Champion in 1978 on her first attempt at just 17 years old. Only Hou Yifan has since bested this record, winning the title at 16 in 2010.
Maia defeated Nona Gaprindashvili, the Champion since 1962. The young Georgian title-holder defended her title on four occasions in the 1980s before losing to Xie Jun in 1991.
Here is a game I first remember seeing in Attack with Mikhail Tal from the Tbilisi semi-final of the 1980 USSR Championship. It is spectacular!
White to play. Can you spot Chiburdanidze’s concept?
Connected vs. Unconnected Rooks