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9 Queens February 18, 2008

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9Queens is a national non-profit that I co-founded with Jean Hoffman in October 2007. Right now we have programs in Tuscon and Philadelphia and also offer workshops and lectures via our "9Q comes to you" program. If you’d like more information than what you see below, please visit our website or email 9queens@gmail.com.

Our Mission: 9 Queens is a national, educational organization that promotes and provides chess education to under-served and under-represented populations, especially girls and at-risk youth. Our mission is to provide all children with equal opportunities to realize their potential and enjoy the benefits of chess education. Through chess, we motivate, empower and engage under-served and under-represented youth to achieve academic and personal success.

About our Name. Although every player begins the game with only one queen, every pawn has the potential to become a queen. In theory, it is possible to transform all 8 pawns into queens, thus creating a position in which there are 9 queens on the board. 9 Queens is a metaphor for the all too often unrealized capacity to empower all children through chess.

9Queens Philadelphia Queens Academy: In Philadelphia, I teach a monthly women’s chess workshops at the Free Library in Philadelphia, sponsored by 9queens and ASAP (After School Activities Partnership.) For a blog on a recent Queens Academy, check out our 9queens blog.


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Jennifer Shahade is a Philadelphia based writer and gamesplayer. She is a two-time American Women’s Chess Champion (2002, 2004). Her first book, Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport  intertwined her own story with that of great women chess champions past and present. She is also a semi-professional poker player, and placed 17th out of more than 1200 players in the 2007 Ladies World Series of Poker event. She followed this up with placing 33rd out of 1190 in the same event in 2008.

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, New In Chess, the L.A. Times, Games Magazine and Chess Life Magazine, for which Jennifer is the web-editor. Jennifer is currently working on her second book, a novel. Shahade also contributed to Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess, which you can purchase here. In conjunction with DimMak Films Shahade created a video, nakedchess, and a video installation, hulachess, both inspired by the book project. 

In 2007, Jennifer Shahade and Jean Hoffman founded 9queens, a non-profit that provides chess instruction to those most in need of its benefits, especially girls and at-risk youth. Throughout her career, Jennifer has made a point of focusing her coaching efforts on girls and the inner-city, starting with her five-years of coaching work with Chess-In-The-Schools in New York. Her work with CIS included starting a Girls’ Academy and three years of training with the Championship Junior High School team, I.S. 318.

Jennifer performs simultaneous exhibitions in which she plays up to 50 people at once, in locations as various as Shanghai, China, Soweto, South Africa and a Girls’ Scout Convention in Los Angeles. Jennifer has also participated in and helped organize events at art galleries and museums, including the Noguchi Museum in Queens, the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of Art, the Viewing Room Gallery in New York, The Philadelphia Fringe Festival and the Psycho-Geography Festival.

You can reach Jennifer at jenshahade@gmail.com.



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 Books: My first book, Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport, intertwined the stories of top women players with my own experiences on the international circuit. Check out the Philly Weekly review, the Foreword Magazine review or listen to the embedded WNYC Chess Bitch interview with Leonard Lopate. I recently contributed to a book on Marcel Duchamp and chess that is currently available on Francisnaumann.com and theartofchess.org.

Buy Chess Bitch at amazon, B&N.com or chesscafe.com. To order Chess Bitch for your store, call  the toll free order line of Silman-James Press, (877) SJP-BOOKS

I’m currently working on fiction that deals with games, sexual confusion and modern dating. The idea is a beach read that doesn’t make you feel you lost 20 IQ points.

Articles: I have contributed to the New York Times, Games Magazine, the L.A. Times, New in Chess, Foreword Magazine and Chess Life Magazine, for which I am the web editor.

Links to writing samples:

Jen on Chess Outliers and Unlucky Birthdays

New York Times Op-ed "All The Right Moves"

Pick Up Lessons in Reverse 

Review of Birth of the Chess Queen in the L.A. Times

Review of Tabloid Love

Interview with Elizabeth Vicary on Chess Life Online

 Bookslut Interview with writer Chris Hallman 

Zugzwang Challenge on 9queens.org

Chess Life Online blog on "Burning Boards."