Chess Icon Shahade to Speak on Women in Chess

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Two-time U.S. women's chess champion and author of "Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport," Jennifer Shahade will give a lecture titled "Leveling the Chessboard: Women in Competitive Chess" on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. The event, which will be held at Griffin Hall, room 3, on the Williams College campus, is free and open to the public. Following the lecture, Shahade will play 20 simultaneous chess games in Griffin 4. Participants who give her the most challenge will receive signed copies of her book. Those interested in signing up should contact Trevor Murphy at tmurphy@williams.edu. Shahade, a Woman Grand Master who has an FIDE rating of 2322, is considered by some to be the strongest female player ever born and raised in the U.S. In 1998, she became the first female to win the U.S. Junior Open. She then proceeded to win the U.S. Women's Chess Championship in 2002 and 2004. Shahade's 2005 book, "Chess Bitch," is a controversial but critically acclaimed investigation of young women in chess today. The book profiles international chess players and explores trends and biases in the game. This Brooklyn-based chess expert is also the web editor in chief for the United States Chess Federation. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications. In 2005, the New York Times carried an op-ed by Shahade, in which she suggests that chess in the U.S. can and should be popularized in a manner similar to the mainstream presentation of poker, a game she also plays competitively. Shahade who holds a B.A. in comparative literature from NYU teaches chess and is involved in performance art.
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Snub by Select Board Leads to Resignation on Williamstown Equity Committee

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — An attempt by the Select Board to extend an olive branch to the town's diversity committee Monday went terribly wrong and ended with one member of the DIRE Committee announcing his resignation.
 
Bilal Ansari later said he would reconsider and pray on his decision about whether to continue with the Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee after he received an apology from the vice chair of the Select Board.
 
Ansari was offended by a decision not to engage with a DIRE member while the board was discussing how to improve communications with the advisory group the Select Board created last summer.
 
Andy Hogeland, who ran Monday's meeting in place of Chair Jane Patton, who was out of town, said during discussion of the agenda item labeled "DIRE communications" that while the Select Board has taken actions in line with DIRE recommendations over the past year, the board should have acknowledged the equity group's resolutions publicly.
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