|IM Irina Krush|
International Master and five-time US Women's Chess Champion Irina Krush keeps everyone guessing. She first shocked the American chess community in 1998, when she swept the U.S. Women's chess championship 8.5/9 to become the youngest ever U.S. champion. In 2001, she was the lowest rated player invited to the Mayor's Cup, an international round robin held in New York City. She won first place and also earned her first Grandmaster norm. Irina also won back to back US Women's titles in Saint Louis in 2012 and 2013.
A well-rounded player, Irina wins in both technical endgames and with brilliant attacks. She is known to be stubborn both on and off the board. If she feels her opponent has violated a basic chess principle, she'll search ardently for punishment and often find it. Krush also has high standards of sportsmanship, and is disappointed when her chess peers don't adhere to them.
Irina aims to be a great
chessplayer, not a great female chessplayer. That's why she prefers
organizers to tout her as an IM among men, rather than a Women's
Grandmaster, a title that she never actually applied for. (The IM title
is harder to get than the WGM title.) Her main goal is to become a Grandmaster.
In 1999, Irina participated in the well-publicized Kasparov vs. the World match. Garry Kasparov, playing white competed versus a team of young chess masters. Irina was the team MVP, working tirelessly on her analysis and permanently changing theory with her novelty for the black side of the Bb5+ Sicilian. A mini scandal erupted when Irina's recommendation for the 58th move of the game was not considered due to an Internet glitch- the team lost quickly, but might have drawn if Irina's choice was selected.
Irina has also been a valuable team member at Olympiads. In both the 2002 and 2004 Olympiads, she defeated World Women's Champion Xu Yuhua. These wins led to back-to-back American victories over the Chinese women's squad. In the 2008 Dresden Olympiad, Irina Krush played first board, leading her team to bronze medals. Although team-mates Goletiani and Zatonskih had the big scores of the team, Krush again tallied a crucial win over the reigning Women's World Champion, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk.
Irina moved to New York from Odessa, Ukraine
when she was five years old. In May 2006, she graduated from NYU with a
degree in International Relations. Outside chess Irina enjoys tennis,
practicing French, photography, rapping and writing. After winning the 2010 US Women's Chess Championship, Irina even performed a short rap video for CLO. She is a frequent
contributor to Chess Life Magazine.