Rohini Khadilkar

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Rohini Khadilkar, Luzern 1982

Rohini Khadilkar (born April 1, 1963, in Mumbai) is a former women's chess champion of India. She won the Indian Chess Championship five times and the Asian Chess Championship twice. She was the recipient of the Arjuna Award in 1980.


Women's competitions[edit]

Rohini Khadilkar became National Women's Chess in 1976 at the age of 13 and was the first to win that championship in three consecutive years. She has held the title on five occasions:

In 1981, Rohini also became the Asian Women's Chess Championship when the competition was held at Hyderabad. She was unbeaten in that competition and scored 11.5 out of a possible 12 points. In the same year, she became an International Chess Master and in November 1983 she again won the Asian Women's title when the competition was held at Kualalumpur, Malaysia.

Rohini secured an International Rating of 2095. This was not surpassed until she retired.

Men's competitions[edit]

Rohini became the first female to compete in the Indian Men's Championship when she participated in 1976. Her involvement in a male competition caused a furore that necessitated a successful appeal to the High Court and caused the World Chess Federation president, Max Euwe, to rule that women cannot be barred from national and international championships. She beat three state champions - Gaurang Mehta of Gujarat, Abdul Jabbar of Maharashtra and A. K. Ghosh of West Bengal - in the competition.

Other competitions[edit]

Rohini participated in the Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires (1978), Valletta (1980), Lucerne (1982), Thessaloniki (1984), at Dubai (1986), Thessaloniki (1988), and in Novi Sad (1990). She has been a captain in that competition.


Rohini won the Zonal Championships twice i.e. in Dubai and Malaysia and became the World No.8 player.


Rohini was the first Asian player to beat Chess Computer in London in 1989. She won 'LONDON QUEEN' Award when she beat 'Women's V/S Machine' round.


Rohini was the first Asian Women Player to play with 113 players at the same time! She gave superb simultaneous display and won 111 rounds with 2 draws. An unbeaten record. Thus she was awarded 'DISPLAY MASTER' in Germany.

Chess Ambassador[edit]

Rohini has travelled abroad to represent India on 56 occasions, visiting numerous countries. On each occasion, she was sponsored by the Government of India as an Chess Ambassador. Her visits included trips to the then-Communist countries of Poland, USSR and Yugoslavia, which were encouraged by Indira Gandhi, the prime minister at that time.

Newspaper career[edit]

In 1993, Rohini retired from chess and enrolled as a student at the Printing Technology Institute. She came first in her cohort, earning a Gold Medal, and was given Printing Diploma by Agfa-Gevaert.

Rohini became the first female editor of an evening newspaper in Maharashtra. She is the assistant editor of Navakal and has been editor of Sandhyakal since 16 December 1998.


In 1977, Rohini won the Chhatrapati Award for outstanding performance in chess. Subsequently, she has been awarded India's highest honour in sports, the Arjuna award. She has also been declared Maharashtra Kanya for her chess exploits.


External links[edit]