I find it very amusing whenever I read about sports. Especially with chess, all I read is male-centric. Apparently they are the ones born with grey cells to have a cognitive mind and play chess.

Back in school, I played chess and there I found the boys asking me to back out. I used to complain to my parents, “Why do they say I lack intelligence? Why do they say I lose out when I play with them?” My parents used to smile and say, “Forgive them and work in silence, your work will speak on your behalf”.

So I found her, a woman who sits in silence with a loud mind: Padmini Rout – who won the World under-14 championship in 2008.

So, how many of you know about her?

she earned the title of ‘Grandmaster’ in Gibraltar after defeating the grandmaster Tamir Nabaty of Israel in 2015.

Born on 5 January 1994 in Baramgarh Odisha, Padmini Rout started playing chess at a tender age of nine. Her inspiration is her father who always supported her in playing chess. She is a commerce graduate from BJB College, Bhubaneswar.

She holds the honours of International Master and Woman Grandmaster. It was in the year 2008 she was awarded the under-14 world championship and twice in Indian Women’s championship in the years 2014 and 2015. The government of Odisha felicitated her with the Eklavya Award in the year 2009.

It was in the years 2005 and 2006 when Padmini was already under the category of Indian under-13 girl’s championship and Asian under-12 girl’s championship. Padmini Rout won the U-14 girls’ section of both Asian and World Youth Chess Championships in 2008. The following year she finished first in the Asian Junior Girls Championship (Under-20). In 2010, she won the Indian Junior (U19) Girls Championship and took the bronze medal at both Asian and World Junior Girls Championships.

Also Read: Meet The 5 Women Boxers Who Bagged Gold At World Youth Boxing

In the year 2015, she earned the title of ‘Grandmaster’ in Gibraltar after defeating the equally tough grandmaster Tamir Nabaty of Israel. The success did not come easily to her. She could win over Nabaty only in the eighth round of the masters section.

As per records of Post Jagran, “Rout took her tally to six points out of a possible eight and this is the best ever performance from the Odisha girl. A huge gain of over 50 points also means that Rout is ready to become the third highest rated Indian girl behind Koneru Humpy and D Harika, the only two Indian girls with Grandmaster title”.

Padmini Rout defended the National Premier Chess crown as per PTI sources of Times of India, she appended the Ram Ratna women’s national premier chess championship title after a tremendous victory over Tania Sachdev. To play chess one has to be very careful with each move – that is the blueprint and Padmini’s strategy paid off after Tania failed to figure out her brilliant moves and fluctuated in the rook and pawn ending; ultimately leading Padmini to a tally of an unassailable crossover 8.5 points.

During the National Chess Championship in the year 2016, according to Indian Express, Padmini paired with Marie Ann Gomes who is also a title holder of Woman Grandmaster. Padmini still remained a step ahead in the tenth round winning her third title triumph in the 43rd National Women Premier Championship. Padmini indeed had some crucial moments in the game and managed to turn the tables with 46 unscathed moves.

So before I draw a closure on Padmini Rout, let me also list out the names of several Indian women grandmasters in chess:

Nadig Krittika, 2009
Soumya Swaminathan, 2008
Mary Ann Gomes, 2008
Tania Sachdev, 2005
Dronavalli Harika, 2004
Swati Ghate, 2004
Meenakshi Subbaraman, 2004
Aarthie Ramaswamy, 2003
Humpy Koneru, 2001
Subbaraman Vijayalaxmi, 2001

I could not trace out the mentors of Padmini Rout as not much has been written about her but I write since I know she made our country proud with her Grandmaster title. But I also have a message to the Indian Sports Ministry: can you please genuinely invest in women in sports and give them proper coaches and mentors instead of just running behind the sportsmen? Women are no less either in sports and you are aware of it since you shower praises each time a woman brings a title to India.

Also Read: Bowled Out Of Nationalism: The Exclusion Of The “Other” National Team


Featured Image Credit:

Leave a Reply