Women’s chess in India is currently ruled today by two players: Humpy Koneru and Harika Dronavalli. But, before they were brought into the world a young lady from Chennai was making swells, winning practically all the age group Nationals.

Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman became India’s first WGM and furthermore the nation’s first female IM.

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First Woman Grandmaster

“Every chess master was once a beginner.” – Irving Chernev

Born 25 March 1979, S. Vijayalakshmi won the title of first Woman Grandmaster of India on July 24. 2001. It is a record which will never be claimed as other ladies competitors can just pursue her achievement. Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi worked in Indian Airlines and turned into the first woman Grandmaster of the nation after she drew her ninth round game with Wipro’s P Harikrishna in the Wipro worldwide GMs chess title.

Four-time national champion Vijayalakshmi had three WGM standards and two IM standards (in men) surprisingly. Nine game norms needed to turn into India’s first woman Grandmaster. Viji’s performance, normal a rating of 2503 in this classification 11 FIDE occasion, is the best upshot.

Born in Madras, she took in the game from her dad and tied the knot to Indian Grandmaster Sriram Jha. Her sisters S. Meenakshi and S. Bhanupriya are likewise chess players. Her first competition was the Tal Chess Open in 1986. In 1988 and in 1989 she won the Indian title in the U10 young girl’s group. Likewise in the U12 group, she won twice.

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Vijayalakshmi won the Indian Women’s Championship in 1995 (Madras), 1996 (Kolkata), 1999 (Kozhikode), 2000 (Mumbai), 2001 (New Delhi) and 2002 (Lakhnau).

She participated in the Women’s Chess Olympiad with the Indian national group in 1998. At the 34th Chess Olympiad in 2000 in Istanbul, she got a silver award for her exhibition at board 1, which she rehashed in Bled 2002. In 2007, she won the Leonardo di Bona Memorial in Cutro, Italy. In 1996 she was granted the Woman International Master (WIM) title on account of her result at the FIDE Zonal competition in Chennai.

In 2001, she became the first Indian to accomplish the title of Woman Grandmaster (WGM). She additionally holds the title of International Master (IM), because of her results at the Chess Olympiad 2000. She is the main female Indian player to move toward becoming IM. In 2006 in Kalamaria she accomplished a Grandmaster standard, and furthermore in 2007 for her triumph in Cutro.

Women Chess in India

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The historical backdrop of women’s chess in India is limited to only three decades. The women’s’ senior National Chess Championship which started in 1974 was totally commanded by the Khadilkar sisters – Vasanthie, Jayshree and Rohini up to 1984.

Of the ten championships held during this period, Rohini, the youngest won multiple times, Jayshree won four titles, while the oldest Vasanthie won the title in the debut year.

It is stated that the three sisters were so excited by the historic world title conflict between Bobby Fischer (USA) and defending champion Boris Spassky (USSR) held in Reykjavik (Iceland)

in 1972 when they began playing chess genuinely. Jayshree became India’s first WIM (Woman International Master) in 1979, trailed by Rohini and Vasanthie. Rohini additionally won the first Asian Women’s Chess Championship held in Hyderabad in 1981 and held the title in the second version of the Championship arranged in Kuala Lumpur in 1983.

Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi, famously known as “Vijji” in the chess hovers, to end Maharashtra’s stranglehold on the women’s’ chess. The Chennai girl who had won all the national chess titles open for the women from the under-10 girl’s title to the National “A” Chess Championship in 1995, won the five senior national titles in succession from 1998 to 2002.

On the whole, so far she has won the national chess title for a record number of multiple times. Aside from winning the Asian Zonal women’s chess crown at Teheran, Vijayalakshmi has won the ladies’ title in the Commonwealth Chess Championship twice. However, her most noteworthy exhibition has been in the two progressive chess Olympiads held individually at Istanbul (Turkey) in 2000 and at Bled (Slovenia) in 2002, where playing on the first board she won a silver award in the two Olympiads. She is the first Indian lady to win the WGM (Woman Grandmaster) title. She additionally holds the men’s IM title.