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Moving Pieces, Breaking Barriers: How 3 Sisters Paved The Way For Women’s Chess in India

Breaking the gender barrier in style, Maharashtra’s Khadilkar sisters ruled India’s chess scene for an entire decade, and showed the world that women can compete with men in chess! #FirstWomen #GirlPower

From the time India held its first National Women’s Chess Championship in 1974 through to the early 1980s, the famous Khadilkar sisters—Jayshree, Vasanti and Rohini— from Mumbai, Maharashtra, dominated the scene.

Although it was Vasanti, the eldest, who won the inaugural tournament, for the next decade every title would go home with one of the Khadilkar sisters.

 . . .

Rohini broke the gender barrier in India when it came to chess, becoming the first Indian woman to participate in a men’s tournament. She even went on to defeat a few state-level male champions in the tournament.

“When I started to do well against men, they did everything to discourage me,” Rohini once told The Hindu. “They would smoke in front of my face.”

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Tags: #chess, #india, #women
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