Irina Krush

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Irina Krush
Krush Irina (30073356050).jpg
Irina Krush at the 42nd Chess Olympiad, 2016
CountryUnited States
Born (1983-12-24) December 24, 1983 (age 37)
Odessa, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
TitleGrandmaster (2013)
FIDE rating2429 (August 2021)
Peak rating2502 (October 2013)

Irina Borisivna Krush (Ukrainian: Ірина Борисівна Круш; born December 24, 1983) is an American chess player, the only active female American Grandmaster.[1][2] She was awarded this title by FIDE in 2013. Krush is an eight-time U.S. women's champion.

Early life and career[edit]

Irina Krush was born in Odessa, USSR (now Ukraine). She learned to play chess at age five, emigrating with her parents to Brooklyn that same year (1989).

At age 14 Krush won the 1998 U.S. Women's Chess Championship to become the youngest U.S. women's champion ever. She has won the championship on seven other occasions, in 2007,[3] 2010,[4] 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2020.[5]

Krush took part in the "Kasparov versus the World" chess competition in 1999. Garry Kasparov played the white pieces and the Internet public, via a Microsoft host website, voted on moves for the black pieces, guided by the recommendations of Krush and three of her contemporaries, Étienne Bacrot, Elisabeth Pähtz and Florin Felecan. On the tenth move, Krush suggested a novelty, for which the World team voted. Kasparov said later that he lost control of the game at that point, and wasn't sure whether he was winning or losing.[6]

Krush played in the Group C of the 2008 Corus Chess Tournament, a 14-player round-robin tournament held in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands. She finished in joint fifth place having scored 7/13 points after five wins (including the one against the eventual winner, Fabiano Caruana), four draws and four losses.[7][8]

In 2013, she was awarded the Grandmaster title thanks to her results at the NYC Mayor's Cup International GM Tournament in 2001, Women's World Team Chess Championship 2013 and Baku Open 2013.[9]

Team competitions[edit]

Krush has played on the U.S. national team in the Women's Chess Olympiad since 1998. The U.S. team won the silver medal in 2004[10] and bronze in 2008.[11] She also competed as part of the US team in the Women's World Team Chess Championship in 2009 and 2013.

She played for the team Manhattan Applesauce in the U.S. Chess League in 2015; she previously played for the New York Knights (2005–2011, 2013).[12] Krush and her ex-husband, Canadian Grandmaster Pascal Charbonneau,[3] have played in the United Kingdom league for Guildford-ADC.


Krush frequently contributes articles to Chess Life magazine and Her article on earning her grandmaster title in 2013 was honored as the "Best of US Chess" that year.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Krush attended Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn. She graduated in International Relations from the New York University in 2006.[14]

In March 2016 Hillary Clinton was a guest on the Steve Harvey television show. Krush appeared along with two other women, actresses trying to impersonate Krush. The trio answered questions from host Steve Harvey and Clinton regarding her life and chess career. Clinton successfully identified the real Irina Krush.[15]

In March 2020, she was hospitalized and treated for a "moderate" COVID-19 infection,[16] then released to recover under quarantine at home. While quarantined, she played in the Isolated Queens Swiss, an online women's blitz chess tournament played by internet streaming. She scored 7.5/10 in the tournament, putting her in joint second place, a half point behind tournament winner GM Alexandra Kosteniuk.[17] In May 2020, Krush played for the USA team in the FIDE Online Nations Cup.[18][19]


  1. ^ Susan Polgar was affiliated to the American federation 2002-2019
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Krush Wins Her Second Championship"
  4. ^ "Saint Louis: Irina Krush US Women's Champion 2010". Chess News. July 20, 2010.
  5. ^ "Irina Krush Bio". Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Kasparov versus the World | Michael Nielsen". Retrieved 2016-04-30.
  7. ^ "Wijk R13: Aronian, Carlsen win Wijk aan Zee 2008". ChessBase. 2008-01-27. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  8. ^ Shahade, Jennifer (2008-01-28). "Carlsen and Aronian Win Corus". Chess Life Online. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  9. ^ GM title application. FIDE.
  10. ^ "Susan Polgar's dream comeback". Chess News. ChessBase. 2004-11-11. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  11. ^ "Olympiad in Dresden: Closing ceremony and prize giving". Chess News. ChessBase. 2008-11-29. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  12. ^ Profile from
  13. ^ [1]. "Best of CLO #1– Krush on Baku ". March 26, 2018
  14. ^ Top Player Bios: GM Irina Krush. United States Chess Federation.
  15. ^ Frederic Friedel, Hillary Clinton: looking for Irina Krush, 1 April 2016,
  16. ^ The Chess Mind, March 21, 2020 a, citing Krush's Facebook page.
  17. ^ Jennifer Shahade, Chess Life Online, March 25, 2020. Kosteniuk crowned Isolated Queen as Krush recovers from COVID-19.
  18. ^ FIDE Online Nations Cup Rosters: Team USA, April 29, 2020
  19. ^ New York Times, May 27, 2020. A Chess Prodigy's Return to Health Brings Cheer to the Game.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Esther Epstein
U.S. Women's Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Anjelina Belakovskaia
Preceded by
Anna Zatonskih
U.S. Women's Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Anna Zatonskih
Preceded by
Anna Zatonskih
U.S. Women's Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Anna Zatonskih
Preceded by
Anna Zatonskih
U.S. Women's Chess Champion
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Succeeded by
Nazí Paikidze