Rohini Khadilkar is a chess player holding the title of Woman International Master (WIM). Let us wish her a very happy birthday.
Rohini Khadilkar was born on 1 April 1963 in Mumbai. She is the youngest of the three Khadilkar sisters – named Vasanti, Jayashri, and Rohini – all of whom excelled at chess. Their father, Nilkanth Khadilkar, was a famous journalist in the Marathi language based near Mumbai, and all three sisters were helping run the newspaper ‘Nava Kal’ founded by their father at the time of his death.
Rohini Khadilkar became national women’s chess champion 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 Khadilkar also became the Asian women’s chess champion when the competition was held in Hyderabad. She was unbeaten in that competition and scored 11.5 out of a possible 12 points. In the same year, she became a Woman International Master and in November 1983, she again won the Asian women’s title. Khadilkar became the first female to compete in the Indian Men’s Championship when she participated in 1976. She beat three state champions in the competition.
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 a Chess Ambassador. She was the first female chess player to receive the Arjuna Award in 1980.