PokerStars Pro Jennifer Shahade has gone public with accusations of sexual assault and misconduct against one of the leading US chess grandmasters Alejandro Ramirez.
Time’s up. pic.twitter.com/ItOv73lTX7
— Jennifer Shahade (@JenShahade) February 15, 2023
Jennifer Shahade, who hosts The Poker Grid podcast and is a Team PokerStars pro with close to $500k in live earnings, is also a two-time US women’s chess champion, who champions the cause of women in both chess and poker.
Her claims against 34-year-old Ramirez, a former commentary booth colleague of Shahade’s for events at the St Louis Chess Club, were sparked by recent allegations that he was targeting younger females.
“I was assaulted by him twice, 9 and 10 years ago. I’d moved on until the past couple years, when multiple women, independent of each other and with no knowledge of my own experience, approached me with their own stories of alleged abuse,” claimed Shahade.
“I saw alarming evidence”
“These accounts were from much younger alleged victims. I saw alarming evidence, including texts that admitted abuse of a minor while he was coaching her, as well as a text to an alleged victim about being an underage ‘temptress’.”
Her claims were supported by others, including chess streamer, Alexandra Botez, who has ventured into the poker world with great success recently.
Over the years I’ve heard many stories from girls in the chess community regarding often prominent men in our industry. When encouraged to speak up, most are worried that the backlash and lack of consequences will render doing so pointless. 1/5 https://t.co/dpsRAj7NoK
— Alexandra Botez (@alexandrabotez) February 15, 2023
Friends and colleagues from the poker world reacted to Shahade’s revelations with shock and admiration for her courage in coming forward.
“Urgh I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing Jen, that can’t have been easy. Hope justice gets served to him.” – Liv Boeree
“I’m so sorry this happened to you. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope this will encourage others to do the same. I applaud your courage and support you.” – Maria Ho
“You are a heroic inspiration on so many levels. We are lucky you are in this world, Jen. Sending you and the other victims my love and support.” – Farah Galfond.
“I’m so sorry this happened to you Jen. It’s very brave of you to share this and I hope it helps stop more situations from happening.” -Lex Veldhuis.
Ramirez, the chief chess coach for St Louis University, is now being investigated by both the US Chess Federation and St Louis Chess Club.
He told Chess.com: “Although I cannot comment on the specifics of Jennifer Shahade’s assertions due to pending investigations … I understand the concern raised by the allegations levied against me. I am fully cooperating with both inquiries and look forward to the opportunity to respond to these charges and share my side of the story.”
- Get the best rakeback deals
- View all poker strategy articles
- View the latest poker news
- Watch more poker videos
- Get the biggest poker bonus
- Watch the best Twitch Poker streamers
Terms and conditions apply. New customer offer and 18+ only. Please gamble responsibly! Should you require help regarding your betting pattern, visit www.begambleaware.org