Irina Krush secured her fourth U.S. Women's title last year after narrowly missing out on a title in 2011. Although she is the reigning U.S. Women's Champion, she is coming into the tourney second by rating, and both she and IM Anna Zatonskih are the clear front runners to win this year's event.
Irina says looks forward to chess matches, but doesn't spend much time contemplating her chess success or failures. "I'm more attached to my future accomplishments." She said she enjoys the challenge of playing grandmasters most. "When you beat a strong GM, that's when you feel like you can play chess." Krush was the only female player to compete in the 2010 U.S. Championship, and turned in an impressive 12th-place finish, narrowly missing another GM norm.
Her performance at the 2010 U.S. Women's Championship just a few months later delivered her third title and further cemented her as one the top players in the nation.
Irina has a degree in international relations from NYU, but she is currently concentrating on chess. The 2008 Samford Chess Fellowship recipient has been hunting for GM norms and recently participated in the GM Norm Invitational in Saint Louis where she finished T-4th behind the three GMs in the field.
Outside of chess, Irina enjoys tennis, reading, writing, yoga and music.
Krush will be battling hard this year to surpass Zatonskih with her fifth U.S. Women's Championship title. She is coming off of a spectacular performace at the 2013 Women's World Team Championship, where she earned a gold medal for her superior performance on board 2 for the U.S. team, a result Krush called the best of her career.