Irina Krush

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Irina Krush
Krush Irina (30073356050) (cropped).jpg
Krush at the 42nd Chess Olympiad, 2016
Full nameIrina Borisivna Krush
CountryUnited States
Born (1983-12-24) December 24, 1983 (age 38)
Odessa, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
TitleGrandmaster (2013)
FIDE rating2432 (November 2022)
Peak rating2502 (October 2013)

Irina Borisivna Krush (Ukrainian: Ірина Борисівна Круш; born December 24, 1983) is an American chess Grandmaster. She is the first woman, and as of August 2022 the only woman, to earn the GM title while playing for the United States.[1][a] Krush is an eight-time U.S. Women's Champion.

Early life[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).[citation needed]

Chess career[edit]

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,[2] 2010,[3] 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2020.[4]

In 1999, Krush took part in the "Kasparov versus the World" chess competition. 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.[5]

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.[6][7]

In 2013, she was awarded the Grandmaster title due 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.[8][9]

In 2022, she won the 2022 American Cup (Women's field) in a double-elimination format.[10]

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[11] and bronze in 2008.[12] 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).[13] Krush and her ex-husband, Canadian Grandmaster Pascal Charbonneau,[2] have played in the United Kingdom league for Guildford-ADC.

In May 2020, Krush played for the USA team in the FIDE Online Nations Cup.[1][14]


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.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Krush attended Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn. She graduated in International Relations from the New York University in 2006.[16]

In March 2016, Hillary Clinton was a guest on the Steve Harvey television show. On the show, Krush appeared along with two 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.[17]

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


  1. ^ Susan Polgar, affiliated to the U.S. federation 2002-2019, became a Grandmaster in 1991 while affiliated with the Hungarian federation.


  1. ^ a b Waldstein, David (May 27, 2020). "A Chess Prodigy's Return to Health Brings Cheer to the Game". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Krush Wins Her Second Championship". United States Chess Federation.
  3. ^ "Saint Louis: Irina Krush US Women's Champion 2010". Chess News. July 20, 2010.
  4. ^ "Irina Krush Bio". Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  5. ^ "Kasparov versus the World | Michael Nielsen". Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  6. ^ "Wijk R13: Aronian, Carlsen win Wijk aan Zee 2008". ChessBase. January 27, 2008. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  7. ^ Shahade, Jennifer (January 28, 2008). "Carlsen and Aronian Win Corus". Chess Life Online. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  8. ^ "2018 U.S. Championships: Irina Krush".
  9. ^ "GM title application".
  10. ^ "2022 American Cup - Day 9 Recap |". Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  11. ^ "Susan Polgar's dream comeback". Chess News. ChessBase. November 11, 2004. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  12. ^ "Olympiad in Dresden: Closing ceremony and prize giving". Chess News. ChessBase. November 29, 2008. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  13. ^ "Profile".
  14. ^ "FIDE Online Nations Cup Rosters: Team USA". April 29, 2020.
  15. ^ [1]. "Best of CLO #1– Krush on Baku ". March 26, 2018
  16. ^ Top Player Bios: GM Irina Krush. United States Chess Federation.
  17. ^ Friedel, Frederic (April 1, 2016). "Hillary Clinton: looking for Irina Krush".
  18. ^ Monokroussos, Dennis (March 21, 2020). "Irina Krush, Diagnosed with COVID-19". The Chess Mind.
  19. ^ Shahade, Jennifer (March 25, 2020). "Kosteniuk crowned Isolated Queen as Krush recovers from COVID-19". Chess Life Online.

External links[edit]

Preceded by U.S. Women's Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Preceded by U.S. Women's Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Preceded by U.S. Women's Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Preceded by U.S. Women's Chess Champion
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Succeeded by
Preceded by U.S. Women's Chess Champion
Succeeded by