Irina Krush

New York City
Chess Highlights: 
Five-time U.S. Women's Champion: 2013, 2012, 2010, 2007, 1998 (youngest winner ever at age 14); Member of 2004 Silver Medal U.S. Olympiad Team and 2008 Bronze Medal Team

Irina Krush had a fantastic 2013.

Prior to last year’s U.S. Women’s Championship, Irina turned in a spectacular performace at the 2013 Women's World Team Championship, where she earned a gold medal for her performance on board 2 for the U.S. team, a result Krush called the best of her career.

Then in May, Irina secured her fifth U.S. Women's Championship title, and a few months later she earned her third and final grandmaster norm.

Irina says she 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."

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). Krush attended Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, one of the top high-school chess teams in the U.S.

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," she said. Krush was the only female player to compete in the 2010 U.S. Championship, and turned in an impressive 12th-place finish.

Irina has a degree in international relations from NYU, but she is currently concentrating on chess. In addition to her chess studies, the 2008 Samford Chess Fellowship recipient enjoys tennis, reading, writing, yoga and music.