Irina Levitina

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Irina Levitina
Irina Levitina Saloniki 1984.jpg
Levitina during the 1984 Chess Olympiad
Full nameИрина Соломоновна Левитина
CountrySoviet Union
United States
Born (1954-06-08) June 8, 1954 (age 65)
Leningrad, Soviet Union
TitleWoman Grandmaster
FIDE rating2405 (June 2019)

Irina Solomonovna Levitina (born June 8, 1954) is a Russian-American chess and bridge player. In chess, she has been a World Championship Candidate in 1984 and gained the title Woman Grandmaster. In contract bridge she has won five world championship events, four women and two mixed, including play on two world-champion USA women teams.

Chess career[edit]

In 1973, she tied for 2nd–5th in Menorca (interzonal). In 1974, she beat Valentina Kozlovskaya 6,5 : 5,5 in Kislovodsk (semifinal match). In 1975, she lost to Nana Alexandria 8 : 9 in a final match in Moscow. In 1977, she lost to Alla Kushnir 3 : 6 in a quarterfinal match in Dortmund.

In 1982, she took 2nd in Tbilisi (interzonal). In 1983, she beat Nona Gaprindashvili 6 : 4 in Lvov (quarterfinal), and Alexandria 7,5 : 6,5 in Dubna (semifinal). In 1984, she beat Lidia Semenova 7 : 5 in Sochi (final) and became World Women's Championship Challenger. Levitina lost to Maia Chiburdanidze 5½ : 8½ in a title match at Volgograd 1984.

In 1986, she took 7th in Malmö (Candidates Tournament; Elena Akhmilovskaya won). In 1987, she tied for 2nd–4th in Smederevska Palanka (interzonal). In 1988, she tied for 3rd–4th in Tsqaltubo (Candidates). In 1991, she tied for 3rd–4th in Subotica (interzonal). In 1992, she took 6th in Shanghai (Candidates; Susan Polgar won).[1]

She was the Soviet Women's Champion four times—in 1971, 1978 (jointly), 1979, and 1981, who was not allowed to play in the 1979 Women's Interzonal in Buenos Aires and for the World Women's Championship because her brother immigrated (legally) to Israel.[2]

After her emigration in 1990 to the United States, she has also been U.S. Women’s Champion in 1991 (jointly), 1992, and 1993 (jointly).[3]

Awarded the titles of WIM in 1972, and WGM in 1976.

Bridge career[edit]

Levitina is now a professional bridge player. She has won 5 world champion titles in women's bridge and many "national" titles (major events at North American Bridge Championships, thrice-annual 10-day meets). Sometime prior to the 2014 European and World meets (summer and October), Levitina ranked 15th among 73 Women World Grand Masters by world masterpoints (MP) and 5th by placing points that do not decay over time.[4]

In 1986, Levitina won the Alpwater Award for the best played hand of the year by a woman player, becoming the first Soviet citizen to win a bridge award.[5]

Irina Solomonovna Levitina at the 10th World Bridge Championships, Lille, France, 1998.

Bridge accomplishments[edit]


  • Alpwater Award 1986



Notable chess games[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ World Chess Championship for Women
  2. ^ "Who's Who In Chess". Archived from the original on October 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
  3. ^ Past U.S. Women's Chess Champions
  4. ^ "Women World Grand Masters" Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine. WBF. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  5. ^ Alan Truscott's column, The New York Times

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Elena Donaldson
U.S. Women's Chess Champion
1991 (with Esther Epstein), 1992, and 1993 (with Elena Donaldson)
Succeeded by
Elena Donaldson