Meet This Lebanese International Chess and Poker Champion

The worlds of Chess and Poker although quite different, are equally as fascinating. And this Lebanese, who comes from a family of Chess players, which includes both her Champion father and brother, has excelled at both.


Born to a Lebanese father in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,  Jennifer Shahade is the daughter of FIDE Master Mike Shahade and Drexel University chemistry professor and author Sally Solomon. Her older brother, Greg Shahade, is an International Master of Chess as well.

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In 1998, Jennifer won the U.S. Junior Open. In 2002, she won the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship in Seattle, Washington. At the next U.S. Women’s Championship, she earned her second International Master norm. In 2004, she won the U.S. Women’s Championship.


Shahade lives in Philadelphia and has earned a degree in comparative literature at New York University. Her writing has appeared in the LA Times, The New York Times, Chess Life, New In Chess, and Games Magazine. Her first book, Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport published by Siles Press, hit bookshelves in October 2005.

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In 2006, she was hired by the United States Chess Federation to be the web editor-in-chief of its site. Her brother Greg Shahade sat on the executive board of the USCF at that time. He founded the New York Masters and the U.S. Chess League. 


Her brother Greg is also one of a kind. He had a distinguished scholastic career, highlighted by three national championships: tying for first in the 1993 National Junior High School Championship, and the 1996 National High School Championship, and winning the 1996 United States Junior Open outright.

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In 2007, Jennifer co-founded a chess non-profit called 9 Queens. In addition to Chess, she’s also a poker player, who became the MindSports Ambassador for PokerStars in 2014.


On December 9, 2014, she won the first TonyBet Open Face Chinese Poker Live World Championship High Roller Event taking home €100,000. She is also a coach for the training website Run It Once.

Jennifer is also the author of Play Like a Girl!, published by Mongoose Press in 2011. In 2019, it was announced that Shadade would be Lead Ambassador for Pokerstars Pennsylvania.