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HomeBTA Activities

ONLINE TALK - Fatima Hudoon "The Queen's Gambit: how one Georgian woman conquered the chess world”

March 2021

by Esther Keller-Pickup and Alix Hughes

As a contribution to International Women’s Day 2021, The Bristol Tbilisi Association proudly presented:  “The Queen's Gambit: how one Georgian woman conquered the chess world”

The Netflix hit series “The Queen’s Gambit” followed the rise of a young female chess prodigy and caused an unexpected chess boom. While the series is fictional, the story of this amazing Georgian woman isn’t. The five-time Women’s World Chess Champion, Nona Gaprindashvili, became an icon: the world’s first female Grandmaster - the highest title awarded to chess players. Nona will join us for this event from her home in Tbilisi, a city twinned with Bristol for over three decades.

As part of the celebrations for International Women’s Day, Bristol journalist Fatima Hudoon tells the story of Nona’s chess career and legacy touching on chess culture in the now-former Soviet country of Georgia. It will then be followed by a Q&A with Nona who at the age 79 still makes moves on the board. 

Speaker: Fatima Hudoon is a Bristol journalist whose work features in the local media cooperative, The Bristol Cable, and elsewhere. A chess enthusiast herself, Fatima recently wrote a Calvert Journal article on Georgian chess queen, Nona Gaprindashvili, who was mentioned in the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit.

Nona Gaprindashvili Cup FIDE


The event was introduced by Derek Pickup, Chair of the Bristol-Tbilisi Association.

People from Georgia, UK, Czech Republic and USA took part in the Zoom conference, including Ambassador of Georgia to the UK H.E. Sophie Katsarava. Nona Gaprindashvili also presented. It was a big honor to have her as a guest.  She answered many questions during the event. Her grandson "worked" as an interprener. 











Meeting with a new Ambassador of Georgia to the UK in Bristol

October 2020

by Alix Hughes

The Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, BITA and BTA members meet a new Ambassador of Georgia to the UK Sophie Katsarava,  MBE and her team in Bristol

Ambassador Katsarava and Mayor Rees 1Ambassador K with Lana Achelashvili Chevening scholar at Univ Bristol in front of Brunel House student residence webAmbassador K meeting Richard Warren Encounters Film Festival director Richard Jones Bristol Festival of Literature director with Ana Nozadze Cultural attache at the Georgian Embassy in London webAmbassador Katsarava with Jon Finch head of culture including museums at Bristol City Council webAmbassador K with Mayor Rees in front of the Georgian flag at city hall webAmbassador Katsarava and Mayor Rees 2












123057244 3755234307849788 1700180454429639020 n1Ambassador S. Katsarava, Mayor of Bristol M. Rees and Alix Hughes, BITA officerAmbassador Katsarava and Mayor Rees 5 














Bristol Festival of Literature hosted three of Georgia’s leading writers.

October 2020

by Nina Bendukidze and Alix Hughes

Georgia is the first country partner of the Bristol Festival of Literature.  Georgia Calling was focused on literature in the post-Soviet era. These were peculiar times for Georgia in general and for Georgian literature in particular. The economy collapsed and publishing was utterly impossible. Yet new translations somehow began to appear of authors who were unavailable in Soviet times. It was as if Georgian literature was trying to catch up with everything it had missed in the previous 70 years.

Richard Jones from Tangent Books has explored Georgia’s fascinating literary landscape with three guests before opening the event to questions…

Free Zoom event on Saturday Oct 24 at 6pm

2020 10 24 2

Richard JonesPublisher, Tangent Books 5.16 Paintworks, Bristol BS4 3EH, Bristol Festival of Literature organiser
Davit Gabunia is a Georgian translator, award-winning playwright, and author. His debut novel, Falling Apart, was published i2017 and became a best-seller in Georgia. It has since been translated into German. Inside Georgia, Gabunia is also known for having translated the Harry Potter series of novels, as well as for being an outspoken pro-Europeanist.
Aka Morchiladze is the pen name of Giorgi Akhvlediani, a Georgian writer and literary historian who is one of the key figures in the birth of new Georgian literature and who has written some of the best-selling prose in the post-Soviet era. Morchiladze's work is rooted in the re-orientation of early 21st-century Georgian literature towards Western influences.
Eka Kevanishvili is a poet and journalist with a particular interest in internal politics, social and healthcare issues and human rights. Eka has written six books – four poetry collections, one volume of short stories plus a collection of essays and interviews.
The fascinating and inspiring Georgia Calling event has been recorded: the password needs typing in rather than cut and paste but try both


Passcode:   Ys21Z&*$

Take a look at the recording of the event on the Tangent Books podcast on YouTube 022 pointer 512 Georgia Calling - YouTube




Georgian Studies Day 2020 online

October 2020

Please register and watch the video of the Georgian Study Day 2020 meeting online. 



Please click HERE to read the BTA chairman Derek Pickup's presentation to this years Georgian Studies Day on the 8th October 




BTA members met the Georgian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Tamar Beruchashvili

February 2020

by Derek Pickup

IMG 1702


















Supra 2019

July  2019

by Esther Keller-Pickup 

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Nice to see all of those who came to the Supra recently. I think all, who attended will agree the evening was a big success.
Our caterers, Mangal Catering (https://www.mangalcatering.co.uk/), did us proud. It was the first time they cooked Geogian food and according to one of the Georgian guests, they nailed it!
Special thanks to The Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, Mrs Peaches Golding OBE and The Lord Mayor of Bristol Cllr Jos Clark, who were guests of Honour.
Also BIG THANKS to Borjghali, the Bristol Georgian Choir, who under the direction of Anthony Johnston, provided musical entertainment throughout the evening.
At this we event we announced our intention to organise a trip to Georgia 'Off the Beaten Track' for October 2020. More information about this trip will follow in due course.  


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Photo Gallery