• Chess Queens

  • The True Story of a Chess Champion and the Greatest Female Players of All Time
  • By: Jennifer Shahade
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Shahade
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For fans of The Queen's Gambit, this is the real-life story of a female chess champion travelling the world to compete in a male-dominated sport with the most famous players of all time.

Jennifer Shahade, a two-time US Women's Chess Champion, spent her teens and twenties travelling the world playing chess. Tournaments have taken her from Istanbul to Moscow, and introduced her to players from Zambia to China. In this ultra male-dominated sport, Jennifer found shocking sexism, as well as an incredible history of the top female players that has often been ignored. But she also found friendships, feminism and hope.

Through her own story, as well as in-depth profiles of pioneers of the game, Jennifer invites us into the extremely competitive world of chess. She shows us the rivalry and the camaraderie, the ecstatic highs and the excruciating losses, the glamour and the hard work. She describes the coach who told her that her period will affect her standard of play, and gives us thrilling blow by blow accounts of the matches that made history. 

Intertwined with Jennifer's own story are those of the top female players from around the world. We meet the famous Polgar sisters, the three Hungarian girls who were all child prodigies; we meet the glamorous jet setters who travel the world partying, and the players who escaped war-torn countries to become champions against the odds.

Chess Queens is a fascinating glimpse into the exhilarating world of chess and an essential audiobook for all the aspiring chess queens of today.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2022 Jennifer Shahade (P)2022 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What listeners say about Chess Queens

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Wonderful!

This was such a wonderful, intimate, look at the history of women in chess, and a great autobiographical window that might underplay Jennifer's own place in that history.

I normally shy away from audiobooks read by the author, but she does such an incredible job, and her enthusiasm comes through in every sentence!

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Chess Queens checks all the boxes

Entertaining and informative from start to finish. Jennifer Shahade weaves her own story and experiences throughout the chapters, and she takes the reader through a thoroughly enjoyable journey across the landscape of women chess player champions. Bravo Jen

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Wonderful history marred by poor delivery

I really enjoyed the historical narrative of this book. It is delightfully written with much humor. This is an author read book and I liked Jennifer Shahade's wonderful passion and enthusiasm for her topic. Very unfortunately, though, Jennifer's diction is poor and her voice keeps squeaking. This detracted greatly from my experience in listening to the book because I often could not make out the names of players or locations where events took place. I also kept anticipating the next squeak in her voice and this distracted from my enjoyment of the book. So I think this may be a book to read rather than to listen to (unless it is rereleased with a professional narrator).

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A true gem!

Chess Queens is a fascinating glimpse into Chess history.
This book is not only a brilliant homage to past Women grandmasters, but will also surely serve as inspiration to Chess Queens of the future. Can’t recommend enough!

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Outstanding Listen

As an adult beginner, this was an incredible first chess history book. Amazing to hear about how women have both faced enormous obstacles and have overcame them. Shahade's passion shines through brightly as she reads her own words. Looking forward to taking the lessons from this book and applying them to my play and approach toward the chess community.

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oof

great topic. accent is incredibly distracting. really hard to listen to. needs less valley girl.

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informative and interesting! great book!

loved all of the stories in the book as well as the nuanced perspectives of different female chess players throughout history. Jen is a great writer and narrator and I would recommend this books to chess enthusiasts as well as anyone interested in strong woman overcoming the obstacles to become the best!

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exceptionally researched and narrated

Jennifer Shahade writes a very interesting story and narrates it with an unforgettable voice! I love chess and this book has brought much of the unknown and uncelebrated accomplishments by women chess players. Definitely a recommended read for anyone who likes history and/or chess.