Irina Krush Earns GM Title

  • FM MikeKlein
  • on 07-10-13 15:32.

After a dozen years with the IM title, Irina Krush is finally a GM-elect. She becomes the first American woman to achieve the threshhold while representing the U.S.

The first norm came right after becoming an International Master, then nothing for 12 years, then she earned her final two norms in a six-month span.

Krush blistered through the field in the recent Baku Open, picking up her third norm and cresting 2500 in the process - the final two hurdles for her coveted title. The event had 30 GMs and 20 IMs in a field of 69 (count Krush among the IMs participating; she usually eschewed references to the WGM title).


Krush (second from right) alongside teammates at the 2012 Chess Olympiad

In the event, she beat at player rated 2636, finishing with a stylish regrouping of her rooks on the g-file.

She also drew a handful of other strong GMs, and only lost to Super-GM Evgeny Alekseev. Krush needed only a draw in the last round. After it was declined on move seven (something her coach advised her to do), she went on to win.

Krush is now the 16th-highest-rated woman in the world, at 2502.

This comes after a scintillating and undefeated 7/9 at the Women's World Team Championships in Kazakhstan in March. She only played two grandmasters, which might normally pose a problem, but as she explained, FIDE is now considering that event a "performance norm" (along with other big events like the Olympiad) which allows for different requirements.

The first norm came in the New York City Mayor's Cup in 2001.

"I rather like my norm cities - New York, Astana, Baku, very cosmopolitan," Krush said. 

"This breakthrough is quite unexpected for me, as I don't feel like I've done anything special."


Krush at the closing ceremony to the 2013 U.S. Women's Championship

With the help of USCF Executive Director and Zonal President Franc Guadalupe, the title was conferred at the 84th FIDE Congress currently taking place in Tallinn, Estonia. Krush will officially get the title after a 60-day waiting period.

"My coach says that I've been close to it for a long time," Krush said. "I've had a number of tournaments where I was half a point short of the norm over the years, including the World Open this year. The little things I may have changed have added up to give me the boost towards this result. I guess that's possible. If someone can come close to norms for a while, and then you give them some favorable circumstances, help from their coach, positive atmosphere during the tournament, more psychological stability, then those things can certainly add up to an extra half point in an event."

Earlier in the year and in between norms two and three, Krush won her second consecutive U.S. Women's Championship. With seven wins and two draws, it was her fifth title overall.


Krush playing this year in St. Louis, USA

She has been at or near the top of the American chess scene for a decade and a half. Though born in Ukraine, she learned chess as a young girl on the same flight she took while immigrating to the U.S.

"My overall feeling is: Very nice, I made GM, now it's time to learn how to play chess," she said.

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  • 7 maanden geleden


    Congratulations, Irina!

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Congratulations, Irina. I really liked what you did in Kasparov v. The World. Looking forward to your comments on the Anand v. Carlsen match.

    Danny Rensch, now it's your turn!

  • 3 jaar geleden


    She finally did it, I am glad we finally have a American Woman Grandmaster, Congratulation Krush. :)

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Congrats to Irina! I imagine how hard it can be to obtain a GM title. Most people don't ever get past 2000 rating.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Well done.  Your great success can be attributed to the result of a dedicated work ethic.  Truly admirable and inspiring, thanks :)

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Congratulations! GM-elect Krush, nice sound to that.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    With the right coach a serious player can achieve very high levels.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Here's a great personal recap of the tournament and the achievement of the norm from the protagonist herself. I really enjoyed reading it, it reflects the emotions and the changing mental states of Krush very nicely.

    Congratulations to her for the norm and thanks for penning such an interesting article.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Saw her play in person at the US Championship. So cool to see this happen for her.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    One of my favorite chessplayers and commentators.  Love her playing style, and her commentary at Gibraltar last year was so entertaining and instructive!  Go Irina!

  • 3 jaar geleden



  • 3 jaar geleden


    Congratulations Irina! Fantastic.

  • 3 jaar geleden

    FM MikeKlein

    @bongcloudftw - I disagree. The first American woman to achieve the title while living in the U.S. - I think it is a very newsworthy event.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Congrats and nice game

  • 3 jaar geleden


    now maybe Irina will have the confidence to qualify for the women's world championship, and win it by beating Hou Yifan!!!!

  • 3 jaar geleden


    That's a humble and wise attitude in her words -- the attitude of being (feeling like) a beginner even when you've accomplished some stages in life/career.


  • 3 jaar geleden


    Congratulations on gaining the GM Title. All the best Irina from Blackpool, UK.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    A Krushing Attack! 

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Congrats to Irina on a title long in coming and well earned! The "Journey" continues!

  • 3 jaar geleden


    It's likely interesting to Americans and women, as well as anybody interested in the Kasparov/World match back in '99 (where Krush figures prominently).

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