Best of CLO 2009: #3
By CLO   
January 26, 2010
IM Irina Krush, Photo October 2009 by Betsy Dynako

The #3 article in Best of CLO 2009 is Krush on the Congress: From Worst to First by IM Irina Krush. Judges praised Irina's psychological insight and clear descriptions of the fighting spirit that being a champion demands.

Irina is a two-time US Women's Chess Champion (1998, 2007) and is known as a great team player. Irina was part of the bronze medal Women's Olympic squad in Dresden 2008, the Mallorca 2004 Olympic silver medal squad and the 2009 US Chess League Championship team, the New York Knights. Krush wrote an in-depth article for CLO on the Knights win, "Champions by a Heartbeat."

Krush is currently playing in the Gibtelecom Chess Congress, a tournament which she covered for CLO in 2008, "Irina Blogs From Gibraltar" and 2009,"Irina Krush on Gibraltar Highs and Lows." 

You can see videos featuring Irina from the 2009 US Championship, the 2009 US Women's Championship and most recently, you can watch the US Chess Scoop video featuring Irina at the 2010 Liberty Bell Open. 

The Judges Sound Off

Read more about the judges here

Many players may have felt the urge to quit after a poor tournament start and Irina Krush's comment, quoted below is good advice that can strike a responsive chord with many readers.

I don’t drop out of tournaments, no matter how badly they’re going, no matter if there’s 'nothing left to play for.' Finishing the tournament is something to play for. Finishing what you start is something to play for. And I don’t mentally beat myself into a pulp no matter how badly I play, because I need that strength to keep going…

Her use of humor, photos, and analysis integrated with personal commentary came across very well. - Rachel and Myron Lieberman

Krush's insight into the psychology of the tournament scene was illuminating. Her willingness to admit the support structure needed by a top player to succeed was refreshing.- Rob Bernard

Obviously any article mentioning the Iri(y)na's is going to make my top ten!   The personal touch of Krush makes this a great article, and gives you insight into the non-chess activities at a chess tournament.  Kaidanov would be proud of the non-chess influences on the way to victory!- GM Ben Finegold

The confidence that exudes from this essay is poured into the heart-filter of this reader-Jessica Martin

Well-written tournament report with lots of personal notes and interesting asides- Arne Moll

Best of CLO 2009 Countdown
#3-Krush on the Congress: From Worst to First by IM Irina Krush
#4- Castling Long Around the World by FM Mike Klein
#5-The Grandmaster House by GM Jesse Kraai
#6-Kamsky on Match: "Life Goes on." by Macauley Peterson
#7-Abby Marshall on her Denker Win by Abby Marshall
#8-How to Score a Summer Upset by Matan Prilleltensky
#9- Adventures of a Samford: Friedel on the 2009 US Champs  by GM Josh Friedel 
#10-Interview with a Hall of Famer: GM John Fedorowicz  by WGM Jennifer Shahade