Irene was born in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1992. She started playing chess at the age of 7 from her father. By the time she was into the game, chess was not popular in Indonesia unlike today and it was hard to compete locally. Despite that, with full support from her family, she began playing overseas when she was 9 and finally qualified to represent her country in her first Chess Olympiad in Spain in 2004 where she won a silver medal on board 3 and a WFM title. Two years later, she completed her WIM title in the Chess Olympiad in Italy in 2006. This time she was trusted to lead the Indonesian women’s team on the first board. She followed the pattern and completed her WGM and IM titles in the next two chess Olympiads, in Germany 2008 and Russia 2010 respectively.
Upon completing her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature degree in Indonesia, Irene unexpectedly won two Asian Women’s Continental Championships where only the first winner can get a spot in the Women’s World Championships cycle. She already used one of the tickets to play in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia in 2015 and is currently preparing for the next one which is scheduled in February 2017 in Tehran, Iran.
With one GM norm in store, Irene is on a quest to achieve the GM title. She is currently residing in the United States enrolled as a student at Webster University, St. Louis, under the SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) program and is planning to finish her Master’s degree in International Relations by mid-December 2016.
Irene will provide non-technical insights, such as interviews with chess players along with written and pictorial reports from selected tournaments. More info about her can be seen on her personal website www.ikhasu.com.