Jennifer Shahade is a prominent sportsperson, public figure, and author. She is best known for being a double US Women’s Chess Champion but has also enjoyed success in playing poker and as an author and host of several podcasts.
Jennifer Shahade Profession
Jennifer Shahade has been surrounded by chess her entire life. Her father, Mike Shahade is a FIDE Master while her brother, Greg Shahade, is an International Master. Jennifer has surpassed them both though, earning the title of FIDE Woman Grandmaster with a world rank of 6945, a continental rank of 867, and a national US rank of 335.
She won her first major competition in 2002, becoming the US Women’s Chess Champion in Seattle, Washington. The following year, she earned a second FIDE International Master norm, and in 2004, Shahade became a two-time US Women’s Chess Champion.
As well as winning personal titles, Shahade has represented the United States in three Chess Olympiads in 2000, 2002, and 2004.
She favours the Sicilian openings when playing as both black and white, though she has played many others too, including the French Tarrasch, the Ruy Lopez, the Nimzo Indian, and the Grunfeld.
Away from competitions, Shahade has written extensively on the sport, including for the LA Times, Chess Life, and The New York Times. She also penned a book titled Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport back in 2005 which examines gender biases in the sport while shining a spotlight on other successful female chess players.
In 2011, she followed this up with Play Like a Girl!, a book that looks at the tactical positions taken by the most successful women in chess.
Following this success and rise to fame, Shahade was recruited by the United States Chess Federation, where she worked as the web editor in chief of the body’s website.
Just like other successful and famous American women, such as Helen Keller, Shahade donates a lot of her time to good causes. She has taken key roles as a board member of the World Chess Hall of Game and as a director of the US Chess Women Program. She uses these roles to help promote the sport to new players and provide inspiration for other women who may want to take up chess.
Shahade isn’t just a dab hand at chess either, she’s also taken part in several major poker tournaments and is an authoritative figure in the sport. Since 2014, she has been an ambassador for PokerStars and regularly takes part in the company’s tournaments and events, including the European Poker Tour, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, and the PokerStars Festival in New Jersey, finishing as high as second in many of these.
Shahade also regularly writes in numerous newspapers and magazines, and hosts an award-winning poker podcast called The Poker GRID with her husband, Daniel Meirom. The podcast won the Global Poker Award in 2020 for the “best poker podcast in the world”.
This isn’t Shahade’s only podcast. She also hosts a chess-themed show called Ladies Knight. She publishes a new episode each month and features other female chess champions and leaders, with past guests including Jennifer Yu and Alexandra Botez. Ladies Knight has also won an award, being recognised as the best podcast of the year by the Chess Journalist of America in 2019.
Jennifer Shahade Personal Life
Jennifer Shahade is married to Daniel Meirom, a filmmaker and artist. He created the 2014 documentary, Camden Love Hate which explores the history of New Jersey. The two share a passion for art and regularly create pieces together, such as Hula Chess and Not Particularly Beautiful.
The pair live in Philadelphia, where Jennifer was born and has spent most of her life.
Jennifer Shahade Net Worth
Calculating someone’s net worth is always a difficult task as it varies over time and can even fluctuate heavily from day to day. However, according to several different sources, it is believed that she has a wealth of between $1 million and $5 million, which has been earned through work as a journalist, author, chess player, poker player, and media personality.