Ladies Knight Chess

Jennifer Shahade

Two-time US Women’s Chess Champion Jennifer Shahade hosts the official podcast of US Chess Women, where she interviews female chess champions and leaders.

All Episodes

Jennifer Shahade welcomes artist, sculptor and Fulbright Scholar Donna Dodson on to the GRID. In 2018, Dodson created an epic chess set for a show at the Boston Sculptors Gallery, “the Match of the Matriarchs,” and she invited Jennifer, Daniel Meirom and Kledia Spiro to collaborate with her. The centerpiece of the show was a chess set...

Nov 18

55 min 2 sec

Jennifer speaks on Ladies Knight to Nadya Ortiz, a chess champion who now works as a senior software engineer at Apple. Born in Ibague, Colombia, Nadya talks about growing up in a lower-income family that supported her chess career, which led her career and life to flourish. She speaks about classism, and the power of...

Oct 19

44 min 40 sec

Our September Ladies Knight guest is NM Sarah Chiang, a graduate of Washington University in Saint Louis, a med student and an advocate for girls and women in chess.  She is one of a handful of female players who have played in both the US Women’s Championship as well as the US Junior Championship. During...

Sep 21

41 min 21 sec

Ladies Knight welcomes Holocaust Survivor, author and 1956 French Women’s Chess champion, Isabelle Choko.  Born on September 18, 1928 in Lodz, Poland, Isabelle Choko was two weeks away from her 11th birthday when Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Isabelle and her loving parents were among 160,000 sent to the Lodz ghetto. Her father...

Aug 18

43 min 35 sec

Jennifer brings National Master and chess coach and streamer Laura Smith to Ladies Knight. Laura talks about her very early beginnings in the game and her current passion for chess in education and streaming. A mom of three, Laura gave birth to twins at the start of the pandemic and talks about the joys and struggles of...

Jul 20

43 min 36 sec

In a special double-header, Jennifer interviews entrepreneur and organizer Judith Kiragu and chess patron Dr. Philip Mwashe on the origin story of the Lighthouse Chess Club in Mombasa, Kenya.  Kiragu and Mwashe speak about changing the landscape of chess in Kenya by founding the club in May 2017. Throughout its four year history, they advance education through...

Jun 29

46 min 10 sec

Jennifer Shahade welcomes theoretical physicist, author and chess enthusiast Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein to Ladies Knight. Prescod-Weinstein’s new book, The Disordered Comsos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime & Dreams Deferred is our current Madwoman book club selection. The book is both an ode to her love for physics and astronomy, a tour of some high and lowlights...

May 17

47 min 34 sec

This month’s Ladies Knight features IM Irene Kharisma Sukandar, the first WGM from Indonesia, a five-time Olympian and the fifth ranked player in her country of any gender.   Irene was recently featured in the most viewed chess match of all time, with 1.3 million peak viewers, shattering previous records many times over.   The...

Apr 20

55 min 28 sec

Jennifer welcomes long-time friend Courtney Lauren Penn to Ladies Knight. Courtney is a producer and the founder of Renegade Entertainment. In addition to being a player in Hollywood, Courtney is also a chessplayer: she was ranked in the top fifty female players in the country for six years, and played in the very first SuperNationals. She is now partnered...

Mar 29

43 min 32 sec

Women International Master, author and entrepreneur Sabrina Chevannes is our February guest on Ladies Knight. Sabrina talks about how she transitioned from chess to her current career leading a full service creative agency. She also gives Jen some advice on her own brand and the US Chess Women brand. They move on to discussing Sabrina’s books, “Chess for...

Feb 16

39 min 43 sec

Jennifer Shahade invites a longtime friend on a very special episode of Ladies Knight: US Chess Creative Director Frankie Butler. The talented designer and art director talks to Jennifer about her expanding role at US Chess and her passion for design and graphics. Jennifer and Frankie even reveal how their own friendship predates their work...

Jan 22

42 min 2 sec

In a bonus episode of Ladies Knight, William Horberg, the Executive Producer of The Queen’s Gambit, talks to Jennifer Shahade about the long road to creating the hit Netflix series. He also talks about his first chess project, “Searching for Bobby Fischer” which he described as a “cult classic.” Bill moves on to discussing some...

Dec 2020

31 min 16 sec

Award-winning author, New Yorker writer and psychology PHD Maria Konnikova joins Jennifer Shahade on Ladies Knight to talk about her first book, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes. Maria is also the author of the recent bestseller, “The Biggest Bluff“, a chronicle of her poker journey, when she went from newbie to champion in a...

Dec 2020

46 min 48 sec

 In a special edition of Ladies Knight, Jennifer Shahade talks about the Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis. She starts by summarizing her thoughts on the series, and the experience of seeing chess all over the media, including a number of interviews Jen did on the show for Vanity Fair, the New York Times, PocketFives, Salon and the Mic.    She then...

Nov 2020

38 min 27 sec

Jennifer interviews Robin and Sarah Ramson for the October edition of Ladies Knight podcast. Robin Ramson is the founder of Chess Girls DC and the organizer of the upcoming Chess Empowerment Weekend (Nov 6-8), which will feature a series of chess tournaments and a star-studded line-up of guest speakers. Sarah Ramson is Robin’s daughter, and a chess player, golfer,...

Oct 2020

33 min 32 sec

The September edition of Ladies Knight features legendary Grandmaster and seven-time US Women’s Champion Irina Krush. Irina and Jennifer talk about Irina’s coaching philosophy and her recent learning experiences at camps with Kramnik and Polgar. They also touch on Irina’s battle with COVID-19, which was featured this Spring in the New York Times. Despite her struggles with...

Sep 2020

1 hr 1 min

On the August episode of Ladies Knight, Jennifer interviews author, chess teacher and speaker Lauren Goodkind. Goodkind is a popular Bay Area teacher and the author of “Poison Pieces” and “Queen for a Day: The Girl’s Guide to Chess Mastery.” In her latest book, Queen for a Day, readers work through an entire game with...

Aug 2020

34 min 40 sec

Our July Ladies Knight features 18-year-old IM Annie Wang, who captivated the chess world in 2018, when she nearly won the US Women’s Championship at just 15. Since that feat, Annie has continued to raise her playing level. In 2019, Annie won the Pan-American World Junior to earn her IM title and her first GM norm. A recent...

Jul 2020

41 min 10 sec

Jennifer Shahade welcomes singer, songwriter and former scholastic chess champion, Linda Diaz on Ladies Knight. We play a clip from “Magic” in the middle of the episode, a song you may have heard on twitch.tv/botezlive, where Linda’s music videos have played on breaks during our Saturday US Chess Women fundraisers.   Like twitch, Linda has been blowing up...

Jun 2020

49 min 40 sec

 Jennifer Shahade talks to 16-year-old International Master Carissa Yip on the newest episode of Ladies Knight. The popular two-time US Junior Girls Champ is a serial record breaker- the youngest female to defeat a GM at the age of ten, and the youngest American female in history to become an International Master. Jennifer and Carissa talk...

May 2020

40 min 59 sec

Our April edition of Ladies Knight features Grandmaster Humpy Koneru, the 2020 Cairns Cup Champion and our May 2020 Chess Life Magazine cover star. She is the reigning World Women’s Rapid Champion, and the second woman in history to break the 2600 barrier. She also defeated Judit Polgar’s record as the youngest woman to achieve...

Apr 2020

37 min 44 sec

Chilean singer, songwriter, chessplayer and artist Juga joins Jennifer Shahade for the March 2020 edition of Ladies Knight. Juga’s hit single, “Oh Capablanca” is the theme music for this podcast, and in her appearance, Juga talks to Jennifer about the inspiration for many of her hit songs, including Caruana Oh Na Na, which she wrote with IM...

Mar 2020

53 min 20 sec

World Chess Hall of Fame chief curator Shannon Bailey joins Jennifer Shahade on the latest episode of Ladies Knight. Shannon talks about some of her favorite exhibitions and chess sets over nine years of leading the intersections of history, chess and art at the WCHOF. They also delve deep into the 2015-2016 art show, Ladies Knight,...

Feb 2020

39 min 47 sec

In the first anniversary episode of Ladies Knight, Jen Shahade interviews the multi-talented FM, entrepreneur, gold medalist, author and lawyer Alisa Melekhina. Jennifer talks to Alisa live in Philadelphia, where  both grew up, about a wide range of topics, from Alisa’s corporate chess league, to lessons behind her first book, “Reality Check: What the Ancient Gameof...

Jan 2020

53 min 37 sec

WGM Sabina Foisor joins Jennifer Shahade on Ladies Knight to discuss her recent work coaching our youngest players in International competition, and how she balances kindness with her ferocious approach over the board. Sabina and Jennifer also relive Foisor’s emotional triumph at the 2017 US Women’s Championship, and how chess skills translate into life skills. Sabina...

Dec 2019

54 min 8 sec

The November episode of Ladies Knight features Carla Heredia Serrano, a Women’s Grandmaster from Ecuador, who now lives in California. A member of the Ecuadorian Olympic team, Carla recently graduated from Texas Tech with a Masters in Sports Management and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Now Carla works with the Berkeley Chess School on many projects including...

Nov 2019

49 min 13 sec

It’s Podcast Tuesday on Chess Life Online, and since this month we have five Tuesdays, we have a Ladies Knight bonus clip for you. Jennifer Shahade talks to podcast host, author of 20 books, investor and blogger James Altucher about something his followers may know a little less about: James is also a US Chess master. He explains to Jennifer his swan song in chess...

Oct 2019

4 min 14 sec

In the October edition of Ladies Knight, Jennifer Shahade speaks to IM Dorsa Derakshani about her childhood in Iran, her TED talk and what surprised her most about living in the United States. Dorsa Derakshani is an International Master, Women Grandmaster, three time gold medalist at the Asian Youth Champs and a pre-med student at Saint Louis...

Oct 2019

44 min 20 sec

The September episode of Ladies Knight features International Master and commentator Daniel Rensch, known to many as the Chief Chess Officer at chess.com. Danny, the first male guest on Ladies Knight emphasizes the importance of men speaking up and advocating for women in our culture and sport. Jennifer and Danny also talk about gender ratio statistics...

Sep 2019

29 min 25 sec

The August episode of Ladies Knight features Maureen Grimaud, chair of the US Chess Women’s committee. Maureen is a vocal proponent and supporter of bringing more women and girls into chess, from her work with the girls club’ rooms and Regional women’s events. In a Sports Illustrated article about women in chess, Maureen said, “It’s a numbers...

Aug 2019

38 min 59 sec

Writer, army veteran, influencer and US Chess member Charlotte Clymer joins Jennifer Shahade on Ladies Knight live from Las Vegas, where Charlotte participated in her first women’s event, the US Women’s Open. Charlotte and Jennifer talk about Charlotte’s experience in the Armed Forces Championships, how to make chess more inclusive and why every chess game...

Jul 2019

43 min 3 sec

The newest episode of Ladies Knight features host Jennifer Shahade in conversation with our new U.S. Women’s Open Champion, Megan Lee. Jennifer interviews Megan live from the Las Vegas Chess Festival. Now based in Seattle, 22-year-old Lee is a graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design. In her conversation with Jennifer, she explains why...

Jun 2019

26 min 38 sec

WIM Dr. Carolina Blanco talks to Jennifer Shahade on Ladies Knight about her incredible work with the “Girls Club Room” at National Events, where girls socialize, learn from top players and participate in organized events. Right after the interview, Jen and Carolina gave a tandem chess simul at the Girls Club Room to 20 girls...

May 2019

27 min 4 sec

Our new U.S. Women’s Chess Champion, 17-year-old Jennifer Yu appears on Ladies Knight to discuss her historic victory, where she scored 10/11 to become the first teenager since 2000 to capture the Women’s Championship title. Yu and Shahade discuss her favorite games, her study techniques as well as her hobbies, from magic to running. Jennifer...

Apr 2019

44 min 33 sec

Jennifer Shahade talks to Women’s International Master Natasha Regan, mathematician and co-author of Game Changer: AlphaZero’s Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI. Natasha and Jen talk about how Alpha Zero’s new approach may make chess more popular, as well as intersections between gender and AI. They also discuss Natasha’s first book, Chess For...

Mar 2019

52 min 51 sec

In the second episode of Ladies Knight, Jennifer talks to Adia Onyango aka “chess traveler” about Adia’s favorite places to combine chess and travel, the importance of representation and chess, and their mutual fondness for this podcast’s name. Adia also talks about her plans to break the 2200 barrier. 

Feb 2019

41 min 56 sec

Jennifer Shahade interviews popular streamer and five-time Canadian Girls Champion Alexandra Botez. Alexandra is also the CEO of Fame Game and a commentator for the PRO Chess League. Jen and Alexandra talk about bullet chess, building a successful twitch channel, and how to tackle trolls. 

Jan 2019

39 min 8 sec