Ladies Knight with guests Judith Kiragu and Dr. Philip Mwashe

Judith Kiragu of the Lighthouse Chess Club

In a special double-header, Jennifer interviews entrepreneur and organizer Judith Kiragu and chess patron Dr. Philip Mwashe on the origin story of the Lighthouse Chess Club in Mombasa, Kenya.  Kiragu and Mwashe speak about changing the landscape of chess in Kenya by founding the club in May 2017. Throughout its four year history, they advance education through chess, give more opportunities for girls and juniors, and even bring in luminaries such as World Champion Vishy Anand to Kenya. 

Judith, Yvonne and Phillip

They are also chess parents, of a talented young girl, Yvonne, who is a member of the Cross-Cultural program that Jennifer and Judy started with Grandmaster Pontus Carlsson of Business Meets Kids Meets Chess. They speak about the controversy that erupted when Yvonne wanted to play in a mixed (Open to all genders) tournament. 

The innovative cross-cultural program began with Kenya girls and US girls meeting to study and practice chess, while also sharing their cultures. In an early class, the Kenyan girls taught the American girls Swahili. The program has now expanded to reach more countries, including Namibia, Malawi, Uganda, Botswana and Nigeria. You can find some highlights of the session on our Youtube playlist. 

Jennifer, Judith and Phillip also talk about the triumphs and struggles of reigning Kenyan Women’s Champion Lucy Wanjiru, who is also a talented musician. She even performed at a session of our club. You can watch that clip on twitter and find more of Lucy's music on YouTube @LoneWolfKE

Be sure to stay posted with the Lighthouse Chess Club and follow @judithkiragu and Dr. Mwashe. 

Find out about our US Chess Women programs, including a weekly girls club and women’s classes at We appreciate every donation and renewal. Love the podcast? Subscribe to us, review and share favorite episodes of Class is in Session or Ladies Knight on social media or with friends

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