After shining at Asian Chess Championship in 2016 and winning National Women Championship in 2018, Bhakti Kulkarni, the 27-year-old Chess player has bagged another title and becomes Goa’s first woman to have grabbed one of the renowned titles of Chess i.e. International Master (IM). She defeated M Mahalaxmi in the third round of the Asian Continental Open and Women’s Championship in Xingtai, China on Monday.

Her journey        

It took Bhakti six years to get the title of an IM as it is not easy to earn ELO points since Chess is a mind game. It needs a lot of concentration, confidence, and calmness within the player. One needs to be judicious about his/her tricky moves because it is more about calculating better and faster. While doing anything, it is the tendency of the mind to get distracted which hinders the concentration of the player and demands for more efforts.

“I am extremely happy to become an International Master. There are people in my life without whom I wouldn’t have been here. My parents and my coach believed in me.”

“I am extremely happy to become an International Master. There are people in my life without whom I wouldn’t have been here. My parents and my coach believed in me.” Bhakti told TOI.

Now, Bhakti becomes the sixth Indian woman to have claimed this title after these five Indian women chess players — Tania Sachdev, Padmini Rout, Eesha Karavade, Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi, and Nisha Mohota.

Her achievements

In 2011, Bhakti won the Asian Junior Chess Championship. In 2012, she bagged the title of Woman Grandmaster and became Goa’s first Woman Grandmaster (WGM). In 2013, she was the first at the international women’s chess tournament in the Czech Republic. In 2016, she won the Asian Chess Women Championship. She participated twice in Women’s Asian Team Chess Championship (2009, 2016) and won a bronze medal for India in 2009. Further, she won National Women Championship in 2018 in Jaipur and is now taking home the title of International Master.

Bhakti will be competing at the Commonwealth Chess Championship which will be held in New Delhi from June 30, and we wish that she takes home another award.

Bhakti becomes the sixth Indian woman to have claimed the title of International Master after these five Indian women chess players — Tania Sachdev, Padmini Rout, Eesha Karavade, Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi, and Nisha Mohota.

Other chess champions

There are other Indian women who have made us proud in the field of Chess. Like Tania Sachdev, the Indian chess master and woman grandmaster who played her first match at the age of seven and won her first international title when she was just eight. In 2007, she won the Asian Women’s Championship in Iran. The other women champs are Padmini Rout (already an IM), Dronavalli Harika and Koneru Humpy.

While it’s heartening to see women achieving highest positions in all fields, we also see women sportspersons like Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza, PV Sindhu or Mary Kom, shining in their respective sports.

Sejal is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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