Bella Khotenashvili, of Georgia, is one of the 40 women in the world who holds the Grandmaster title, since 2013. A three-time contender in the Women’s world championship, in 2012, 2015, and 2017, she was the winner of the World Youth Chess Championship for girls under-16. With a peak FIDE rating of 2531, she reached the #8 position in the world ranking among women in 2013, being currently the #18.
Born on June 1, 1988, in Telavi, Georgia, Bella is one more in the lineage of Illustrious women chess players from this chess-loving country, home to many of the greatest female figures in the history of the sport. She made a blazing appearance in the international arena with her victory in the 2004 World Youth Chess Championship for girls under-16, held in Heraklio.
Her next great success was the victory in the super-strong Maia Chiburdanidze Cup 2009, where she came first with 7/9, edging out Lela Javakhishvili on tiebreak score, and ahead of some other big names like the Muzychuk sisters, her countrywomen Salome Melia and Nana Dzagnidze, and many other of the top women in the world.
That same year, Bella made her debut with her national team at the Women’s European Team Championship 2009, where Georgia won the silver medal. She made a crucial contribution in subsequent team events: during her first Olympiad, in Khanty-Mansiysk 2010, her team got the bronze medal, the same result that would get one year later, in the 2011 Women’s World Team Championship. However, her best team result came at the Women’s World Team Championship in Chengdu, China, in 2015, where she defended the first board, and won the gold medal both with her team and
Bella achieved her first Grandmaster norm after scoring 7/9 at the International Rethymo Open in Greece, July 2010. She completed the two remaining norms during 2013, one of the best years in her career: the second at the Dubai Open, where she scored 6/9, and the third and final by winning the Women’s FIDE Grand Prix in Geneva, which she won with 8/11. These results earned her for the first time a place among the top-10 women in the world.
Khotenashvili has won three national titles in the highly competed Georgian Women’s Championship: in 2012, 2017, and 2021.
However, in her three participations in the Women’s World Championship, always under the format of a 64-player knock-out tournament, Bella didn’t manage to show her A-game. In Khanty Mansiysk 2012 she was eliminated in the first round by Maritza Arribas, in 2015 in Sochi she was eliminated in the second round by Huang Qian, and in 2017 she fell again in the first round against Olga Zimina.