Ladies Knight With Irene Kharisma Sukandar [PODCAST]

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Irene Sukandar, Photo by Eric Rosen
Irene Sukandar, Photo by IM Eric Rosen 

Download the episode here. You can also subscribe and listen on Apple, Google Podcasts or Spotify. 

This month’s Ladies Knight features IM Irene Kharisma Sukandar, the first WGM from Indonesia, a five-time Olympian and the fifth ranked player in her country of any gender.  

Irene was recently featured in the most viewed chess match of all time, with 1.3 million peak viewers, shattering previous records many times over.  

The match attracted unprecedented attention because a few weeks prior, Irene’s opponent, Dadang Subur, known as Dewa Kipas online, scored a controversial victory against popular streamer and YouTuber IM Levy Rozman. Levy, we should note, is a supporter of US Chess Women. The Dewa Kipas account was closed for Fair Play violations soon after his game against Rozman (though the account closure was not solely related to that game). A mainstream article in Indonesian suggested that it was Levy’s fault that Dewa Kipas account was shut down, causing a pile-on of harassment toward the New York based chess star.

Sukandar bravely spoke out about her own opinion of the statistical analysis of the games, after which she received millions of angry messages too. Soon after Irene’s open letter, she was invited to a play a match against Dadang Subur himself on a wildly popular YouTube channel and podcast, hosted by Deddy Corbuzier. Corbuzier is a mentalist/magician turned actor and mainstream personality. He has over 13 million YouTube followers, and has been called the “Indonesian Joe Rogan.”

Irene won all the games against Dadang easily, earning $14,000 for her efforts. Chess.com has an in-depth recap of the event by Peter Doggers, including full gamescores.

In addition to covering the intense weeks leading up to the match, Sukandar talked to Ladies Knight host Jennifer Shahade about how she psyched herself up to speak out “I had truth on my side." She explains how friends and family helped her through the difficult time of countless negative messages, and the subsequent opportunities since being vindicated.

Sukandar also talks a little about her chess beginnings, her high hopes for Indonesian women’s chess and her happy memories of the United States, where she earned an MA in International Relations from Webster University, supplementing her BA in English Literature.

You can follow Irene Sukandar on twitter, Instagram  and https://www.twitch.tv/irenesukandar

Find out about our US Chess Women programs, including a weekly girls club and women’s classes at uschesswomen.org. 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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Irene Sukandar
Irene Sukandar, Photo by IM Eric Rosen 

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