Gurgenidze dies at 74

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On Saturday, May 24, Georgian grandmaster Bukhuti Gurgenidze passed away, as reported by Russian websites Gazeta.ru and Novaya Gazeta, with references to ITAR-TASS and the Georgian chess federation. Gurgenidze was 74 years old.

Bukhuti Ivanovich Gurgenidze was born 13 November 1933 in Surami, Georgia. A geologist by profession, Gurgenidze became Georgian champion no less than eleven times - even twelve according to Chessbase's data! Nine times he participated in the USSR Championship finals. With the Soviet team he won the World Student Olympiads twice: in 1957 and 1958.

Gurgenidze was awarded the International Master title in 1966 and the Grandmaster title in 1970. He shared first place with Mikhail Tal at Tbilisi in 1969?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú70 and placed first at Olomouc in 1976.

Gurgenidze was the coach of many top female players from Georgia: Gaprindashvili, Chiburdanidze, Alexandria and Ioseliani. During the 1990s he was Vice President of the Georgian Chess Federation.

His name is and will always be attached to the Gurgenidze Variation in the Sicilian Defence (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 e5 6.b4). Other lines that are sometimes linked to Gurgenidze are 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6 4.f4 d5 5.e5 h5, 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Be2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7, and 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 b5.

Here's a selection of fifteen wins by Gurgenidze, against very strong opponents:

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